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 cup
Butter, or margarine, 1/2 cup
Sugar, 1/2 cup
Yeast, 2 packages
Water, warm, 1/4 cup
Enriched flour, sifted, about 5 cups
Eggs, beaten, 3
Egg yolks, beaten, 2
Salt, 1/2 teaspoon
Lemon extract, 1 teaspoon
Bring milk to a boil. Add butter and sugar; cool to lukewarm.
Sprinkle yeast over warm water. After 5 minutes, stir and combine with cooled milk mixture. Add 3 cups of the flour; beat until smooth.
Combine beaten eggs, egg yolks, salt and lemon extract; add to yeast mixture; beat 10 to 15 minutes by hand or 4 to 5 minutes with the electric mixer, using medium speed; add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough.
Place dough in a warm greased bowl; brush surface with melted fat; cover and let rise in a warm place (80 to 85 F.) about 2 hours or until doubled in bulk. Stir down, cover and chill in refrigerator overnight.
Turn out on board. Roll 1/4 inch thick into an oblong about 18 by 24 inches. Brush with melted butter or margarine. Fold lengthwise to make 3 layers; cut into 1-inch slices. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk.
Twist ends of each piece. Place on greased baking sheet and shape each into a coil or figure 8, 3 or S. Brush with melted fat; cover and let rise again until doubled in bulk.
Bake in a moderate oven (375 F.) for 15 to 20 minutes.
Brush while still warm with confectioners’ frosting; sprinkle with chopped nuts if desired. Makes 20 to 24 brioches.
Kirk, Dorothy, ed. Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book. New York: P. F. Collier & Son, 1953. Print.