Made like a bread it has the texture of a very light cake. It is like silk when made correctly. Best when fresh it contains lots of air. It rises three times and is very rich. French law states; you must have a minimum of 5 ounces of butter to 1 pound of flour to be called a brioche. When it toasts it sizzles…this is an eating experience you must have.
1 lb Gold Medal unbleached flour
1 t salt
2 oz sugar
1 T yeast
1/4 c warm water (100º to 105º)
5 large eggs
8 oz butter cubed 1″ softened but still cool
* Mixing time is a full twenty to twenty-five minutes. Do not rush this process.
1) Dissolve yeast into water with a pinch of sugar.
2) Add flour, salt and sugar to mixing bowl and attach dough hook. Stir to mix.
3) Add yeast to the center of the mixing bowl and stir on speed 2 for two minutes.
4) Add 2 eggs to small bowl and incorporate them one-at-a -time into the mixing bowl. Go very slowly at this juncture as to help develop the gluten. Too fast and the dough will be too mushy. Continue adding the eggs one by one and when the last egg had been added then mix for a full 8 to 10 minutes.
5) Stop the mixer from time to time and scrape down the sides os the bowl and the hook. Press the dough back down to the bottom of the bowl. Repeat several times.
6) Add softened butter all at once and knead butter dough for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until the dough starts to show signs of becoming weblike and smooth.
7) Sprinkle a little flour to clean the sides and the dough, when ready it should be smooth and elastic and can be removed from bowl with a single action.
Test: Windowpane. Hold dough in both hands, pull apart and using your fingers splay the dough to mimic a window. If ready, the dough will hold together and it will resemble a window.
Place into a clean dry bowl. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and place in 85º area to allow the yeast to rise. About two hours. Soft deflate, work on removing the air. Recover with clean wrap and place into the refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator, punch it down and shape the dough. Remove any excess flour by gently brushing it with a bench brush. Fill lightly greased pans half full…the dough will double in size. Shapes: a tet 1 1/2 oz, nanterre and parisian 7 oz. Always egg wash brioche toward the center and remember to clip with scissors before baking.
Bake 375º different times for size and shape of brioche. After baking remove from pans and place on its side.
It can be frozen after the second rise or after the first rise, in an air tight container. For baked brioche freeze when cool…just a little heat.
Variations on shapes and usages: scoop out center of brioche a tet and fill with lobster neuberg; put top back on. En croute is a brioche wheel; bake the main dish inside of it. Everything is eaten. Canapes, mini brioche, mini cheeseburger buns, etc.