Brioche

I have baked the more humble cousin, the challah, on multitudes of occasions over the years, but never the more aristocratic Brioche. Although there are some idiosyncrasies to brioche making, I found the process much easier than I've imagined.  I made a couple of batches but even within one batch I experimented with different shaping techniques my research came up with. I am really in awe at how different proportions of flour, water, eggs, yeast and butter will produce such a different depth of flavor and texture in bread.

This post is a part of my collaboration with Red Star Yeast. I found RSY's original brioche recipe super authentic in rich buttery flavor and flaky crumb. This mini brioche was perfect in the morning along with my cup of coffee.
I am sharing here some highlights and videos from my research that will demystify baking brioche:

Michel Roux's brioche video which I found absolutely fascinating. Watch his technique, it's incredible.

Bread in Five's video of mixing brioche dough in a stand mixer This technique does take the mystique out of brioche making and makes it accessible for the home baker.

Nancy Silverton on Julia Child Creme Fraiche Custrad Brioche Tart video. Watch the tips Silverton shares as she makes the dough.

Leite's Culinaria's pictorial brioche guide by Sarabeth's Bakery.
These links really give you a well rounded perspective on brioche making. If you do not have brioche molds, you can bake the brioche in muffin tins. You can also bake as a loaf, but allow approximately 10 minutes extra in baking.
Brioche
original Red Star Yeast recipe
makes about 16

Ingredients:
3 1/2 cups flour
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 packet, 1/4 oz)
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup butter softened (2 sticks butter)
4 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 tbls milk

In a large bowl combine two cups flour, yeast, sugar and salt, mix well. In a sauce pan heat butter and water until warm (120F-130F) and add to the flour mixture. Add the eggs, one at a time and mix by hand until smooth. Gradually stir the remaining flour to make a very soft dough. Cover bowl with a plastic wrap and refrigerate from 6-12 hours.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Punch down dough and divide into three parts. Keep two parts in the refrigerator until ready to shape. Divide each third to six parts. Cut off 1/4 from each part. On a lightly floured surface, shape each large and small piece into a smooth ball. Press large ball into a greased brioche or muffin tin. Make a large indentation in the middle of the large ball and press the small ball into the indentation. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes. Whisk egg yolk and milk together, brush the top of the brioche gently and bake for about 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from muffin or brioche tins and let cool.

Continue working with the next two batches as stated above.

Red Star Yeast Series:
Cinnamon Buns
Yeast Pancakes
Multigrain Oatmeal Bread
Marbled Rye Bread
Dark Pumpernickel Rye Bread
Jalapeno Cheddar Bread 
Challa

Challah Posts: 
Honey Challah
Spelt Honey Challah anc Chocolate babka
Quince Honey Challah Knots
Challa