Basic Brioche recipe

Ingredients:

3 tbsp. milk, scalded then left at room temperature to cool until warm to the touch

1 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast (approximately 1/2 of a package)

Pinch of sugar

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1 2/3 cup bread flour

3 large eggs

3 tbsp. granulated sugar

3/4 tsp. salt

10 tbsp. unsalted, good quality butter, grated or cut into small pieces on a sheet of waxed paper and then refrigerated

Directions:

Place milk, yeast and a pinch of sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer (you may also use a food processor or make the dough by hand.) Stir and allow mixture to sit 5-10 minutes until foamy. Add 1/3 cup flour and 1 egg and mix. Scrape down sides of bowl. Sprinkle remaining flour over the mixture; do not mix in. Remove bowl from stand and cover with plastic wrap. Allow mixture to rest for 1 1/2 to 2 hours at room temperature. (This step is called the sponge method.)

Add sugar, salt, and the 2 remaining eggs to the bowl. Place bowl on mixer stand and mix for 15 seconds. Turn machine to medium speed and gradually add refrigerated butter. Continue mixing until butter is incorporated, 5-8 minutes (the mixture may not appear entirely smooth at this point.)

Remove bowl from stand and sprinkle the top lightly with flour to prevent a crust from forming. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature about 3 hours and then place it in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes without deflating.

Using a rubber spatula, deflate the dough by stirring it down. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board. With floured hands, gently press the dough into a rectangle and gently fold it into thirds. Place dough in a plastic or glass bowl twice the size of the dough, dust it with flour, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place bowl in the refrigerator overnight.

Lightly butter or spray a standard bread pan with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Turn refrigerated dough out onto a lightly floured counter. Cut dough into 3 pieces and place these pieces side by side in prepared pan.

Cover pan with plastic wrap and allow bread dough to rise at room temperature for 1 hour.

Remove plastic wrap and bake bread in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until bread is golden brown. Immediately remove bread from pan and tap lightly on bottom. If bread sounds hollow when tapped, it is completely baked. If not, return loaf to the oven, directly on oven rack, and continue to bake 5 minutes more.

Allow bread to cool on a cooling rack at room temperature for at least 20 minutes before slicing.

Makes 1 loaf.

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