Brioche loaf

Dorie Greenspan’s new book, Baking Chez Moi, is wonderful – full of cookies and cakes and other desserts I can’t wait to try. This brioche recipe worked perfectly, and was really quite simple to make. You do have to allow some time – ideally start the evening before, or the morning of the day you want to bake it. But it is so worth the time – it is a lovely loaf of light and airy, buttery goodness.

_MG_58551/4 cup warm water (110°F to 115°F)
1/4 cup warm whole milk (110°F to 115°F)
3 teaspoons active dry yeast (measured from two 1/4-ounce envelopes)
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs, lightly beaten, room temperature
3 tablespoons sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

Combine 1/4 cup warm water and warm milk in the bowl of heavy-duty mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Sprinkle yeast over and stir to moisten evenly. Let stand until yeast dissolves, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.

Add flour and salt to yeast mixture. Blend at medium-low speed until shaggy lumps form, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes. Add eggs, 1/3 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Beat in sugar. Increase mixer speed to medium; beat until dough is smooth, about 3 minutes.

Reduce speed to low. Add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until blended after each addition, about 4 minutes (dough will be soft and silky). Increase speed to medium-high and beat until dough pulls away from sides of bowl and climbs hook, 8 to 9 minutes.

Lightly butter large bowl. Scrape the dough into the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm draft-free area until almost doubled in volume, about 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes.

Gently deflate dough by lifting around the edges, then letting the dough fall back into the bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and chill overnight. At this point, use the dough to make 12 brioches, or 2 small loaves. You can also wrap half the dough and place in the freezer in a ziploc bag or an airtight container and store for up to a month.

If you are baking two loaves – butter two 7×4 in bread loaf pans. Divide dough into 2 equal pieces; cut each piece into thirds. Roll each small piece on a lightly floured surface into about 10-12 inch long ropes. Attach 3 ropes at on end, and braid loaf. Place the braid in the prepared pan, and repeat with the remaining piece for the second loaf. Place pans in a warm draft-free area; lay sheet of plastic wrap over loaves. Let the dough rise until light and almost doubled (dough will rise about 1/2 inch to 1 inch below the top rim of the pan), about 2 hours.

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Bake brioche until golden brown, covering with foil if browning too quickly, about 40 minutes – the fully baked loaf should register 200°F. Transfer pan to rack. Cool 10 minutes. Remove brioches from pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe adapted from epicurious.com

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