I admit it! I need a change from sitting and sewing yesterday to more invigorating work today!
So I'm going to give you another bread recipe that you might find a little challenging, but it's so delicious. This recipe is found in Ina Garten's cookbook Barefoot in Paris. As usual, Ina's recipes are spot on, and she gives you so much information to help you do it right. She says: to make sure the butter is room temperature, leave it out overnight. And sugar feeds the yeast, so you want to add the sugar directly to the yeast, but add the salt only after you've mixed in some flour.
This recipe is made in a mixer, but if you enjoy kneading, there are brioche recipes that are perfect for you. From my experience, the loaves in the picture will be your result when making this bread. But you can make brioche dough into many kinds of beautiful bread: regular brioche rolls, or cinnamon rolls, sticky buns, a lovely braid, or you can even use it for pizza dough. And don't forget delicious, scrumptious French toast.
Makes 2 loaves
1/2 cup warm water (110-120 degrees F)
1 package dried yeast
3 tablespoons sugar
6 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
4 1/4 cups unbleached flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon milk, for egg wash
Combine the water, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (If the bowl is cold, start with armer water so it's at least 110 degrees when you add the yeast.) Mix with your hands and allow to stand for 5 minutes until the yeast and sugar dissolve. Add the eggs and beat on medium speed for 1 minute, until well mixed. With the mixer on low speed, add 2 cups of the flour and the salt and mix for 5 minutes. With the mixer still on low, add 2 cups more flour and mix for 5 more minutes. Still on low speed, add the soft butter in chunks and mix for 2 minutes, scraping down the beater, until well blended. With the mixer still running, sprinkle in the remaining 1/4 cup of flour. Switch the paddle attachment to a dough hook and mix on low speed for 2 minutes. Scrape the dough into a large buttered bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
The next day, allow the dough to sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Grease two 8 1/2 X 4 1/2 X 2 1/2inch loaf pans. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and cut in half. Pat each portion into a 6 X 8 inch rectangle, then roll up each rectangle into a cylindrical loaf. Place each loaf, seam side up, into a greased pan. Cover the pans with a damp towel and set aside to rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. When the loaves have risen, brush the top of each with the egg wash and bake for 45 minutes, or until the top springs back and it sounds slightly hollow when tapped. Turn the loaves out onto a wire rack to cool.
Or for mini brioche rolls, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. When you finish preparing the dough, scrape it into a buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. The next day, allow the dough to sit at room tempterature for 1 hour. Grease 2 sheet pans. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and divide into 20 balls or rolls (1 3/4 ounce each). Place on sheet pans. Cover the pans with a damp towel and set aside to rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 2 hours. When rolls have risen, brush tops with egg wash. Bake for 20 minutes or until tops spring back or sound hollow when tapped.
Once you make this recipe, it will be a special treat that you can count on when you want to serve an especially tasty and beautiful bread with a holiday meal or a brunch with friends. Go forth and conquer!