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Brioche Dough

½ cup (125 ml) warm milk
1 tablespoon dried yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
8 oz. (1 ⅔ cup; 250 g) flour
3 eggs
6 ounces (200 g) softened butter

The eggs should be at room temperature. Leave them next to the sponge while it rises.

Scald the milk, then let it cool to body-heat. Mix milk, yeast, sugar, salt and ⅓ of the flour, to form a sponge. Let this rise at room temperature for six hours or more, until it at least doubles in volume. Beat in the eggs, one-by-one; gradually work in half the softened butter, then the remaining flour. Knead the dough gently and let it rise again until doubled in volume.

Punch the dough down. Press it into a rectangular shape, spread the surface liberally with softened butter, then fold into thirds; repeat, folding in alternate directions (lengthways/sideways), until the butter is all incorporated. Wrap well and refrigerate.

You can use this dough for coulibiac . Roll out two thin rectangles, one a couple of inches larger than the other. Let them rise. Place your filling on the smaller; cover with the larger; seal the joint and brush the top with beaten egg. Make a couple of incisions to let steam escape.

Preheat the oven to 375 °F 190 °C (Butter a brioche mold, put in enough dough to half-fill it; let rise until it fills the mold. Brush the top gently with beaten egg. Bake until golden brown, about 45 minutes.

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