Brioche

Rich and buttery brioche, a classic in French bread making, rests overnight in the refrigerator and is put into a preheated oven the next morning in time for breakfast. A heavy-duty mixer is a must for the stiff, sticky dough. It makes excellent French toast and bread pudding.

Prep: 25 minutes plus rising and overnight to refrigerate
Bake: 30 minutes
3⁄4 cup milk, heated to warm (105° to 115°F)
1 package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon plus 1⁄4 cup sugar
4 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
6 large eggs
1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened and cut into pieces (do not use margarine)
1. In large bowl of heavy-duty mixer, combine warm milk, yeast, and 1 teaspoon sugar; stir to dissolve. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
2. Stir in remaining 1⁄4 cup sugar, 1 cup flour, and salt until blended. With mixer at low speed, beat in 1 egg. Continue beating, alternately adding remaining 3 cups flour and remaining 5 eggs until well incorporated. Gradually beat in butter until smooth.
3. Transfer dough to lightly buttered large bowl. Cover bowl with greased plastic wrap and let rise in warm place (80° to 85°F) until doubled in volume, about 21⁄2 hours.
4. Meanwhile, lightly grease two 81⁄2" by 41⁄2" metal loaf pans. Punch down dough. Divide dough in half; place in prepared pans. Cover pans with lightly greased plastic wrap; refrigerate overnight.
5. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake loaves until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Removes loaves from pans; cool on wire racks. Makes 2 loaves, 12 slices each.

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