The Brioche Also Rises

BriocheDonebfLOYESSSSS! Now THIS is what I’m talkin’ about. Two beautiful, rich loaves; quite tasty sliced warm from the oven and topped with a schmear of cream cheese, or saved for Sunday Morning French Toast with Maple Roasted Bacon. Brioche also freezes well, so I’ve stashed one of the loaves in the corner in da back. But back to our process:

BriocheButterStep3bfLOWhen last we left our dough, the yeast, sugar, eggs, and salt had been mixed with some of the flour and set aside in a buttered bowl in the fridge overnight; then brought out with the butter to spend an hour or so on the counter coming back up to room temperature.

Grease 20 mini brioche tins or two bread tins. Set aside.

BriocheIna4bfLOPlace the dough in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook this time, add the softened butter in chunks, and mix for 2 minutes,

Scrape down bowl sides, add additional flour as needed – mix on medium for about 15 minutes, until it starts to ‘slap’ the side of the mixing bowl and/or pulls into a ball.

I gotta be honest; the whole slappy, slappy thing has so far escaped me, but when the dough started to pull into itself and off of the bowl edges, I called it a GOOD thing. By the way, I added the rest of the flour in scant 1/4 BriocheBreadPanbfLOcup sprinkles, letting each addition work it’s way into the dough – this is why you really want to do this with a nice stand mixer. SURE, you CAN do it by hand; but you can also hunt, shoot, and dress your own dinner. The question is, do you really WANT to?

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and divide the into 20 (1 3/4-ounce) balls and place them in the buttered tins – OR – divide in two and place into loaf pans.

Cover the tins with a damp towel and set aside to rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350º.

When the dough has risen, brush the top of each roll with the egg wash and bake for 20 minutes, or until the tops spring back and it sounds slightly hollow when tapped. If you’ve opted to make loaves, cut three or four slashes across the top of each and then brush with the egg and milk wash. Bake for approximately 30 minutes – the loaves will probably be a bit harder crusted, but will still sound lightly hollow when done.

Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

Savor the aroma and feel pretty darned pleased with yourself.

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