Brioche à Tête
For the Brioche dough:
- 1 tablespoon of fast-action dried yeast
- 5 tsp sugar
- 140ml warm milk
- 500gm bread plain flour, plus 50gm extra for kneading
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 140gm butter, softened
- sunflower oil, for greasing
For the egg wash:
- 1 egg yolk
1) To make the brioche dough: in a mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the milk.
2) Mix together the flour, sugar and salt in another bowl. Make a well in the dry ingredients. Pour the milk and yeast mixture into the well and start to mix with your hands. Mix until you have a smooth, well-combined dough that you can pick up and take out of the bowl.
3) Start adding the eggs, one at a time. Mix with your hands, adding another egg when the dough starts to feel firmer and less slippery.
4) On a cool, lightly floured countertop, knead the dough-slapping it down on the counter, pushing it away with the heal of your hand, and folding it over. It may feel sticky but don’t add flour; use a scraper instead. Knead for about 5 minutes
5) Take the soft butter and knead it in, bit by bit, pressing down lumps with your knuckles or the heel of your hand. The dough will be sticky (continue to use a scraper). When the dough feels like it’s absorbing the butter, add more butter. If the dough gets very slick and shiny, the butter is starting to fall out, so gather up the dough and let it cool off in the fridge for 5 minutes.
6) Continue kneading and slapping until the dough is smooth and with no lumps, 3 -4 minutes. It should start to pull away from the counter, feel silky and almost shimmer. Return it to the bowl, cover with plastic and let it sit at room temperature until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
7) To shape the brioche: gently remove the dough from its rising bowl and transfer it to a lightly floured work surface. Flatten the dough, pushing out air bubbles. Cut it into 16 equal pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a smooth ball. Smooth the top surface of the dough to form a taut skin and tuck the excess under, seam side down. Try not to overhandle the dough.
8) Form the “hat” by roll 16 smaller balls and place them over the larger once. Gently lower the dough balls into a buttered fluted brioche moulds. Brush with an egg wash and cover with plastic wrap and let the loaves proof for an hour (or less, depending on surrounding temperature), or until they’re doubled in size. Brush them again with egg wash if you wish.
9) Heat the oven to 200°C and bake the brioches on a baking sheet for 15 to 17 minutes, The brioches are done when they’re deep golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean.