Want Brioche? Be Patient!


Bubbly yeastThis morning I woke with a hankering for Brioche.

How glorious would soft, steamy, buttery brioche be with some homemade butter - especially on such a damp day.  So I hastily began!

And just as my yeast began frothing, I read the recipe to the end. Much to my dismay, brioche dough must be refrigerated overnight (up to three nights actually).  Tragically, I would not have brioche this day.

So if you have a similar hankering . . .  start now!  Here's the recipe:

For the Starter

1 tsp sugar

1/4 cup warm milk

1 package active dry yeast

1.2 cup all purpose flour

For the Dough

1/4 tsp salt

3 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp hot milk

3 large eggs

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch slices and softened


Make starter:
Stir together sugar and milk in a small bowl. Sprinkle yeast over mixture and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Stir flour into yeast mixture, forming a soft dough, and cut a deep X across top.

Let starter rise, covered with plastic wrap, at room temperature, 1 hour.

Make dough:
Combine salt, sugar, and hot milk in a small bowl and stir until salt and sugar are dissolved.

Fit mixer with whisk attachment, then beat 2 eggs at medium-low speed until fluffy. Add sugar mixture and beat until combined well. With motor running, add in order, beating after each addition: 1/2 cup flour, remaining egg, 1/2 cup flour, about one fourth of butter, and remaining 1/2 cup flour. Beat mixture 1 minute.

Remove bowl from mixer and fit mixer with dough-hook attachment. Spread starter onto dough with a rubber spatula and return bowl to mixer. Beat dough at medium-high speed 6 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic. Add remaining butter and beat 1 minute, or until butter is incorporated.

Lightly butter a large bowl and scrape dough into bowl with rubber spatula. Lightly dust dough with flour to prevent a crust from forming.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise at room temperature until more than doubled in bulk, 2 to 3 hours.

Punch down dough and lightly dust with flour.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill dough, punching down after first hour, at least 12 hours.

Cooks' note: • Dough may be chilled up to 3 days. Punch down dough each day.