1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
8 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup honey
3 sticks of unsalted butter, melted
7 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Recipe will yield about 4 lbs of dough. Feel free to half or quarter this recipe, though it will result in halving or quartering the amount of delicious bread you'll end up with.
- 1. Mix the yeast, salt, eggs, honey, and melted butter with the water in a 5 qt bowl, or a lidded, but not air-tight, food container. I've been using old ice-cream buckets because they're the perfect size, i can punch a hole in the lid, and they don't take up as much room as a bowl in the fridge.
- 2. Measure out 7 1/2 cups of AP flour (or 2 lbs + 1 cup for those with scales).
Lifeless and kind of gross looking.
- 3. Mix in the flour without kneading, using a spoon or spatula (or a machine with a dough hook if you're some sort of robot-lover). Try to incorporate all of the flour, but don't over work the dough. I find a good spatula works best for this because you can scrape the sides and bottom of the bucket easily. The dough will be wet, loose, and lumpy.
- 4. Cover (not airtight) and allow dough to rest at room temperature until dough rises, approximately 2 hours.
- 5. After initial rise put dough in the fridge until it is chilled through. Brioche is very very difficult to work with unless it is chilled. Dough will last in the fridge for up to 5 days. The dough will also freeze well, in 1 lb portions.
Brioche LoafIf you just want to make a "loaf" of brioche, dust the top of the dough with flour and cut off a 1-pound (grapefruit sized) ball of dough. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all sides, turning the ball as you go. Then elongate dough, and place into a greased dough pan. You can also free - form this loaf on a baking stone, it wont rise as nicely though.
Allow dough to rest for 1 hr 20 minutes before baking.
Preheat oven to 350.
Using a pastry brush, brush the top of the loaf with egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water).
Place the bread near the center of the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a golden brown.
Allow to cool.
Ok, I don't have a picture of this "loaf" because it's not very exciting, though it is still delicious. In the next few days I'll follow this up with some variations on the loaf recipe, mostly involving either cheese or chocolate so you know it's going to be good.
Strength and honor.