At about a million calories, these little brioches are not for the dieters of the world. They are, however, surprisingly light. Not surprisingly, they are really delicious; even my picky eaters made it a point to say so - both of them! This is proof that my heart is in excellent shape, because to get unsolicited compliments from both of them is surely cause for heart attack, or at least, severe shock!
COOL RISE BRIOCHE
1 cup warm water (110 to 120F)
6 tsp yeast (or 2 packages)
4 to 5 cups flour (start with 4)
3/8 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
3 eggs, at room temperature
Sprinkle the yeast over the water in a bowl or bread machine container. Add 4 cups flour, sugar, salt, eggs and the butter, cut into pieces. Mix together, using the directions I gave in the Cool Rise White Bread recipe. Note that this dough is really soft and sticky, and you will probably need to add more flour as it mixes. Add in 1/4 cup increments, until the dough forms a nice ball; I used a total of about 4-3/4 cups.
Let the dough sit for 10 minutes, then divide into 2 unequal parts: 1/4 of the dough and 3/4 of the dough. Divide the larger section into 18 pieces, form balls from each, and place in greased muffin or cupcake tins. Poke dents in the top of each piece. Divide the smaller part of the dough into 18 pieces, and form into 18 small balls (about 3/4" diameter each). Place each small ball in the dent of one of the larger balls. Brush the tops of the brioches with oil, brush waxed paper with oil, and cover the brioches. Place them in the refrigerator for 2 to 24 hours.
When you're ready to bake the brioches, remove them from the refrigerator, and place on top of the stove to warm up as you preheat the oven to 350F. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, until they're nicely browned. Brush the tops with melted butter, if desired, and serve hot. (I didn't do this; I thought they had enough butter in them.)
They look wonderful in the muffin pans after baking, although, frankly, mine look like they were made by the Special Ed Mom. The cookbook suggests preparing these at night, and having them hot for breakfast in the morning. I didn't do this, of course.
Stupid looking or not, they got to be a whole lot prettier in the basket, and no one told me that my rolls were lopsided. Bonus!
And, in case anyone wondered, this is how much snow we had at noon. Those are Ryan's feet, and he's over 6 foot now. Good thing Thor's a big dog, or he'd get lost trying to relieve himself! And it must be worse beyond my little corner of the world, because UPS called me this morning, and told me they would not be making my regular pickup this afternoon, because they are closed today. How often does that happen?