- 1 1/4 c. warm milk
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2½ tablespoons sugar
- 3 large eggs, divided
- 3 1/3 cups bread flour
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 2½ tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus more for coating the pan
Note: This is a sticky dough. After the initial mixing process it will not come together into a ball; the dough will be smooth, elastic, but still ‘wet.’ Once fully risen, it will be easier to handle.
- Preparing the dough:
- In a large glass measuring cup, add the milk, yeast, and sugar. Whisk well. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Then, add 2 of the eggs and whisk to combine.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flour, salt and butter. Using the paddle attachment, mix until the butter blends into the flour. You don’t want large chunks.
- On low speed, add the milk & yeast mixture to the bowl. Once combined, increase the speed (I use #2 or #3 on my Kitchen Aid) until a dough forms, about 5-8 minutes. It will not come together into a ball; the dough will be smooth, elastic, but still wet or sticky resembling thick ‘batter.’ Once fully risen, it will be easier to handle. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula.
- Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm spot until it has doubled in size, 1- 3 hours* (see note below). Alternatively, refer to the baking schedules outlined in the post above.
- Cutting, Shaping & Assembly:
- Preheat your oven to 400 F. Generously coat a 9″ cake pan with butter. Set aside.
- Tip your fully risen dough onto a lightly floured work surface. It should feel slightly wet and sticky.
- Using a floured bench scraper (large knife or pizza wheel) cut the dough into 10 pieces.
- Take two pieces of the dough and cut them in half, creating 4 smaller pieces. These smaller pieces will fill the center of your brioche (think: center of a sunflower). You now have 12 pieces in total.
- To shape into balls, gently flatten each piece of dough. Pull up the sides tucking them in towards the center. Flip the ball over (seam side down) and move to an un-floured part of your work surface (it’s easier to roll this way). Place your palm over the top and gently roll into a smooth ball. If your dough is too sticky, sprinkle with a little bit of flour for easier handling.
- To assemble the brioche, to the coated pan, place 1 ball of dough at 12 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock and 9 o’clock. Fill in the gaps with the remaining dough, placing the 4 smaller balls (you made earlier) in the center. Doing it this way will ensure that the dough is evenly spaced.
- With the remaining egg, beat together with a splash of water. This is your egg wash.
- Brush the dough with your mixture. If you don’t have a pastry brush, use a folded napkin or paper towel instead.
- Loosely cover the pan with a kitchen towel. Rest for about 30 minutes. Your dough should look slightly puffed, relaxed, and no longer dense. Adjust the time here, if necessary.
- To Finish:
- Bake 400 F. for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
- Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- Enjoy warm or at room temperature.
*Giving your dough enough time to rise is crucial in bread baking. Rise times will vary, so be patient. Remember to watch your dough and not the clock! To speed up the process, either place your dough in the oven (proof setting), or near a heater.