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Brioche

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This will be is the best Brioche that your family and friends have ever tasted. It makes a wonderful French toast for Sunday brunch. Wrap one up in a cloth napkin and give it to a neighbour. Leave the loaf in the pan and give to a close friend; they will be sure to ask you for the recipe next time you share coffee. Create a few loaves for the next community bake fair; they are sure to be a huge success.

It is a very rich bread using a lot of eggs and butter. It’s like a cross between bread and a pastry.  It is made using lots butter and eggs.

It is very versatile dough.  It can be formed into the traditional tête or grand tête shapes. Or it may be shaped into loaves, braids, or any other shape you desire. It freezes well if wrapped in several layers of plastic wrap.

This dough may be used as a base for coffee cakes.

Makes 2 Brioche loaves

Ingredients:

4 1/4 cups Bread Flour

1 1/4 cups High gluten Flour

1/4 cup Water

6 Eggs (4 for the dough 2 + 1 egg yolk for the egg wash)

1 Tablespoon Salt

6 Tablespoons Sugar

1 1/2 Tablespoons Instant DryYeast

1 1/2 cups Cold Butter

Instructions:

Day 1:

Mixed all the dry ingredients together (except for the yeast) and place it in the refrigerator. Measure the yeast and place it in refrigerator. Everything MUST be cold.

Day 2:

In a stand mixer combine all of the ingredients for your Brioche except the cold butter and the eggs for the egg wash. Mix until all of the ingredients are incorporated.  Mix the dough 5 to 7 minutes with a dough hook in the mixer.

While the dough is mixing, take the cold butter out of the refrigerator and cut into 1/2 inch cubes.

Once the dough is ready, start adding the butter a little bit at a time until it is completely mixed into the dough. The dough should be smooth and shiny. This may take about 8 minutes.  You may wish to finish this step by hand if your mixer is having a difficult time.

When all of the butter has been incorporated into the dough, put it into a lightly floured large bowl. Cover the dough with a warm damp cloth and let it rest in a warm draft free place for an hour.

Once the dough is ready punch it down. Place it back in the bowl refrigerate overnight.  Punch down the dough 2 or 3 times over the next few hours. However, I did degas it when I took it out of the refrigerator to shape it. This will produce very small air bubbles in your dough and a very smooth crumb in the finished loaf.

Day 3:

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature. Divide the dough in half. Set one half aside or wrap in plastic wrap and freeze.

Divide the remaining piece of dough into two pieces. One piece twice the size of the other. Shape the largest piece into a round ball and place into the bottom of a brioche pan. Next make a ball with the smaller piece of dough. Place this small ball of dough on top of the centre of the larger dough ball already in the pan.

Pre heat the oven to 375 degrees’

Cover the dough with a warm damp cloth and place in a warm draft free place to rise. I like to use the top of my preheating oven. It seems to be the perfect temperature.

When the dough has doubled in size, brush the loaves with an egg wash. Make the egg wash by beating the remaining 2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk and a pinch of salt. Do not let the egg wash run down into your pan or your bread will stick.

Bake until the loaf is a dark golden-brown on top and golden on the sides (you can lift the brioche slightly to peek at the edge of the mold). This takes about 18 minutes. If the bread is getting very dark and still needs to cook longer tent the loaf loosely with aluminum foil for the remaining cooking time.

Remove from the oven and allow bread to stand in the pan on a metal rack for 10 minutes before unmolding.

Unmold and serve while they’re still warm to the touch.

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