This Thomas Keller recipe makes the most perfect brioche loaf. Buttery, fluffy, light and pillowy. And the best thing. I made it myself. You can do it, too.
When the timer goes off, you should see a sticky mass clinging to the sides of the bowl and to the hook. Now, with the mixer still running, start adding your room temp butter a small handful at a time, waiting until the previous handful has been mostly mixed in before adding the next until all of the butter is added.
Stop the mixer for a second, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with your spatula, and then turn the mixer back on low, mixing for another 10 minutes until the butter is fully incorporated and you have a shiny dough.
Spray a big bowl with nonstick spray. Scrape the dough out onto a clean work surface trying to tear as little as possible and keep it in one piece. Now, who feels like folding?
Ok, let's incorporate some folds here: Pat the dough gently into a rectangular shape just enough so that you can fold it on itself, using a light dusting of flour if necessary to keep the dough from sticking to your board. Take the right side and fold it over to cover 2/3 of the length of the dough, stretching the dough gently without tearing it.
After the hour has passed, put it onto your floured counter again. Repeat the patting and folding (see above) Put the dough back in the bowl, cover it with the plastic wrap, and put it in the fridge overnight. Pfiuuu that was quite an ordeal, huh? Well, the worst part is over!
Roll the portions up into smooth little balls: do this either in between your hands until they are as smooth as possible or,- even better - by rolling them in your hand against your work surface. It's best to use little to no flour.
Place the rolled dough balls in the prepared loaf pans (6 to each one), or for buns space out all on a sheet. I baked mine in my 26 cm cake tin and created kind of a round decorative loaf. Looks stunning on a brunch table..
Ok, almost done. Now, Make an egg wash by beating an egg or two little ones with a whisk and strain through a fine mesh strainer into a clean bowl.
Brush each ball generously with the egg wash, cover the pans with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap (peak a whole in the foil) and set aside to do your final proof of *iknowthisisreallybadnews* another 2 1/2 hours. The dough balls should double in size. Keep the egg wash in the fridge. You will need it later. All you can do for now is preheat your oven to 350.
Transfer the loaves or buns immediately onto a wire rack to cool for at least 20 minutes. Oh yeah, twenty whole minutes. This is torture. It brakes my heart every time.
Here in Canada, the climate is not really optimal for proofing dough. I proof my dough in the microwave with the door ajar so that the light is on; The oven light works pretty well, too.