Cask & Barrel

French Brioche

This recipe is transcribed from one of my Grandmother’s old cook books, given to her by her mother. I’ve written it down here as a way to preserve it, and also because I strongly believe that some dishes are best in their simplest form. When learning to cook anything new, I like to begin with the traditional method before experimenting with my own take on things. All ingredients and instructions are as written in the original text.

Milk, 1/4 cup
Butter, or margarine, 1 cup
Sugar, 1/2 cup
Salt, 1/2 teaspoon
Grated lemon rind, 1 1/2 teaspoons
Yeast, 2 packages
Water, warm, 1/4 cup
Eggs, beaten, 6
Enriched flour, sifted, 4 1/2 cups

Bring milk to a boil. Add melted butter, sugar, salt and lemon rind; cool to lukewarm.

Sprinkle yeast over warm water. After 5 minutes, stir and combine with cooled milk mixture. Add beaten eggs.

Add 3 cups of the flour; beat for 10 minutes by hand or 4 minutes using the electric mixer set for medium speed. Then add the remaining flour and beat until mixture is smooth.

Cover and let rise in a warm place (80 to 85 F.) about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. Stir down, cover tightly and chill overnight in the refrigerator.

Take from refrigerator, form quickly into an equal number of large and small balls, making the large balls 1/3 to 1/2 the size of muffins pans, and the small balls about 1/2 the size of large balls. Place large balls in greased muffin pans; flatten down. Top each one with a small ball. Brush with diluted slightly beaten egg white. Let rise until doubled in bulk.

Bake in hot oven (400 F.) 12 to 15 minutes. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen brioches.

Kirk, Dorothy, ed. Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book. New York: P. F. Collier & Son, 1953. Print.

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