The Brioche: The brioche recipe produces enough for two cakes, but you won’t be successful with the brioche if you make a smaller amount. Click here to make a Tarte Tropézienne.
- 3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- ¾ oz yeast (3 packages)
- 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 5 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick + 4 ½ tablespoons (6 ¼ oz) unsalted butter, softened
- Put the flour, sugar and yeast in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the dough hook and mix on low speed just to combine. With the mixer at its lowest speed, add the milk, eggs and salt in succession, mixing until the flour is moistened. Stop the mixer and, with a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl and incorporate the dry crumbs that in all likelihood will be at the bottom of the bowl.
- Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until the dough comes together and cleans the sides of the bowl, 5 to 10 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. When you start this beating process, the dough will look hopeless – persevere and it will smooth out.
- Cut the butter into 6 or 7 pieces. The butter should have the same consistency as the dough. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and add the butter a couple of pieces at a rime, mixing until it is incorporated. Continue to mix until the dough detaches itself from the sides and bottom of the bowl, curls around the dough hook, and makes a gentle slapping noise as it hits the bowl. The process of incorporating the butter and beating the dough until it detaches might take as long as 15 minutes. When the dough is properly beaten, it will be silky and voluptuous.
- Transfer the dough to a large bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rest in a warm place (about 72°F/22°C) until it doubles in bulk, 2 to 3 hours. (I recommend 3 hours, there was quite a difference with the dough between 2 and 3 hours)
- Gently deflate the dough (this means forming a fist with your hands and pushing the center of the dough down a couple of times to let the excess air out, flour the top, fun to do!) and press a piece of plastic wrap against it surface. Cover the bowl well with plastic wrap and place it in the freezer until the dough doubles in bulk again, 2 to 3 hours. (mine didn’t doubled much in the freezer) Deflate the dough, remove it from the bowl, wrap it tightly in several layers of plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 ½ teaspoons sugar
- Whisk the ingredients together in a small bow until well blended.
- Generously butter an 8 ½ by 4 ½ inch loaf pan. Divide the fully risen and chilled dough (half of the recipe for Tarte Tropézienne) into 6 equal pieces. Working with one piece of dough at a time on a clean unfloured work surface (marble is deal), roll the dough under your cupped palm to form it into a tight ball. Push the dough around and around with the hell of your hand and press down gently with your palm to form a ball. Repeat with the remaining pieces. Place the pieces side by side in the pan (you’ll have 2 rows each with 3 balls of dough), cover the pan loosely with wax paper and allow the loaf to rest in a warm place (about 72°F/22°C) until the dough doubles in volume, 2 to 3 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C. Glaze the top of the loaf with the egg wash.
Bake the loaf for 20 to 22 minutes, or until deeply golden and an instant-read thermometer plunged into the center of the loaf reads 190°F to 200°F. Unmold the loaf and cool to room temperature on a rack.