Sprinkle the yeast over the hot water, add the salt and sugar, and
let yeast dissolve and rise in a soft mass on top of the liquid.
This will take 5 minutes or so; prepare rest of ingredients while
yeast is proving itself.
*1 package (1/4 oz) dry
*3 Tb hot water (not over 110 degrees) in a cup
*1/4 tsp salt
*1/2 Tb granulated sugar
Pate a Brioche
From The French Chef Cookbook by Julia Child
The very special,
unbelievably light and airy texture of brioches is due to the large amount
of butter and eggs worked into their yeast dough. Delicious with
breakfast or tea, eaten plain or with jam, brioches may be baked in loaf or
muffin tins, formed in the traditional cylinder shape with round headpiece,
or baked in a ring. Stale brioches may be sliced and toasted, or
hollowed out and used as edible containers for sauced foods.
For a 6 - 7-cup baking mold, or 8 muffin cups
1. Preparing the yeast
2. Mixing and kneading
are lighter in texture if the dough has two risings before its final
rising in the baking molds. For the first rising, set at room
temperature for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or longer, until dough has risen by at
least 2/3 and retreats slightly to the pressure of your finger.
(Because of high butter content, rising temperature should not be over
around 70 degrees; let rise several hours in refrigerator in hot
Remove from bowl, punch down, and knead fora moment. Replace
in bowl, sprinkle lightly with flour, and set in refrigerator for 4-5
hours until doubled in bulk. (If left overnight, cover with a
plate and weight to prevent overrising.) Do not allow dough to
rise more than double or yeast will overferment; before forming dough,
punch down again. (Dough may be frozen.)
Forming brioche en couronne (ring-shaped brioche)
5. Glazing and clipping
oven to 475 degrees. Bake in middle level of oven. Small
brioches are done in about 15 minutes, when nicely browned and easily
unmolded. Large brioches bake for about 20 minutes until risen and
beginning to brown, and should finish cooking at 350 degrees for about
30 minutes. Ring brioches take 20-30 minutes, until a knife or
straw comes out clean. The center frequently closes in as the
brioche bakes. If brioche browns too much, cover loosely with
When done, cool brioches on a rack for 15-20 minutes before serving.
Baked, cooled brioches may be frozen. Defrost and reheat for a few
moments in a 350-degree oven.
flour, sugar, salt, eggs, and dissolved yeast in a mixing bowl with
a rubber spatula, then turn out onto a pastry board or marble.
Begin lifting dough and throwing it roughly down on teh board with
one hand; it will be very soft and sticky. Continue lifting,
throwing, and scraping dough back into a mass; when dough has enough
body, begin kneading with the heel of your hand. After a few
minutes of vigorous work, dough should have enough elasticity and
body so that it barely sticks to your hand; it is now ready to
receive the butter. Soften the butter by beating it with a
rolling pin, then smearing it out on your board with the heel of
your hand until it is perfectly smooth and about the same
consistency as the dough. Take a 2-Tb bit in your fingers and
work it into the dough by beating, stirring vigorously, and smearing
the dough around on the board. Dough will seem ropy and
stringy, but smooths out as it absorbs the butter. Continue
working in butter by bits until all has been incorporated and dough
again barely sticks to your hand. Then place dough in a clean
bowl, sprinkle top with a teaspoon of flour, and cut a cross in the
top with scissors (to help in rising). Put bowl in a plastic
bag or cover with a damp towel.
2 cups (9 oz) all-purpose
flour (measure by dipping dry-measure cup into flour; level off excess
with straight-edged knife)
*1/2 Tb granulated sugar
*3/4 tsp salt
*3 eggs (U.S. Graded "large")
*1 1/2 sticks (6 oz) chilled butter
brioches have risen, beat 1 egg in a bowl with 1 tsp of water and
paint the brioches with the glaze. Brioches are now to be
clipped with scissors to help them shape up nicely while baking.
For the ring brioche, clip top at 1-inch intervals, making cuts
about 1-inch deep and pointing scissors toward outside of ring at a
Ring-shaped brioche may be
formed in a buttered and floured 4-quart ring mold, or may be shaped by
hand. For hand shaping, knead the doug into a smooth ball.
Make a hole in the center with your finger and twirl the dough around
your finger, inserting more fingers and finally your hand as the inner
circle widens. Continue widening inner circle, finally using both
hands; object is to make a doughnut 8-10 inches in diameter. Rinse
a baking sheet in cold water, shake off excess, and place brioche upon
it. In about 10 minutes, when dough has relaxed, you may widen the
circle more. Let rise to almost double (an hour or more).