NICK'S QUICK BRIOCHE
Ingredients for 1 large coffeecake or 1 dozen brioche rolls:
1 envelope Rapid Rise yeast
1/2 cup warm milk (120 degrees)
2-1/2 cups (+) unbleached flour
8 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature (1 stick), cut into 8 pieces
3 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs at room temperature
Food Processor or Stand Mixer: Whisk the warm milk into 1 cup flour and yeast in a small bowl, Set aside.
Place butter pieces, sugar and salt in the work bowl of a food processor or mixer with a paddle attachment. Pulse several times or mix at medium speed until the mixture is smooth. Add eggs one at a time allowing each to be incorporated before adding another. At this point add the remaining flour and yeast mixture. Pulse in these ingredients until the dough is smooth. (If the processor motor labors, stop the machine, work in 2 tablespoons more flour and return to pulsing. Repeat again if necessary. Run the processor continuously for 15 seconds. If using a mixer, blend until ball forms, adding more flour as needed. Switch to a dough hook and knead for 2 minutes.
Transfer the dough to a well floured work surface and knead the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic. After a rest of 10 minutes, the dough may be used to wrap around a filling or be shaped into rolls. The dough may also be refrigerated up to 24 hours before shaping, rising and baking.
Adapted from a recipe for food processor by Nick Malgieri which appeared in the September/October 1995 issue of Cook's Illustrated, p. 15.
SHAPING BRIOCHE FOR BAKING
***** TRADITIONAL ROUND BALL WITH TOPKNOT *****
Lightly butter a large brioche mold or charlotte mold.
After the brief rest, roll the dough into a cylinder. Cut off 1/4 of the dough. Roll the remaining dough into a ball and place in the prepared mold. With gentle finger strokes, make a depression 2" in diameter and 2" deep in the center of the ball. Roll the small piece of dough into a pear shape and place it in the depression, small end down.
Lightly cover the brioche with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, moist spot until almost doubled in bulk, 30-45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Make an egg glaze with 1 large egg yolk whisked with 1 teaspoon milk or cream and a pinch of salt. Brush the topknot and shoulders of the brioche with egg wash. Allow this coating to dry for 5 minutes.
Just before baking take a scissors and make 4 or 5 small cuts at the joint where the large and small balls meet. Bake for 5 minutes at 400, then lower the heat to 375 and continue baking another 30 minutes. (For smaller individual brioche bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.) Cover over the top with foil if it darkens too quickly. Test brioche with a cake probe place into the center. The temperature should reach 200 degrees.
Cool completely on a rack.
***** MOUSSELINE BRIOCHE SHAPE *****
Flatten dough into an oblong, and letter fold it twice to form it into a ball shape. Place dough in buttered coffee can or mousseline pan. If you are using a short coffee can, wrap and tie buttered brown paper around the can extending 6" above the rim.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Let the dough rise to double it’s size. Cut a cross in the top with a sharp knife or razor blade. Bake for 50 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 200 degrees.