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Classic Brioche Dough (made in the bread machine)

Brioche, a light yeast-risen dough made with eggs and butter, can be made into a great variety of baked goods. The recipe might seem to contain an excessive amount of fat, but in reality, it has less fat than pastry dough while providing more dough to work with. When chilled, the dough is as easy to work with as child's modeling clay, making shaping coffeecakes as easy as child's play.

1/3 cup milk
3 extra-large eggs
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups bread flour
2 1/4 teaspoons dry yeast

All ingredients must be at room temperature. Liquid ingredients should be about 80 degrees.

Cut butter into tablespoonsful. Add ingredients in the order specified in your bread machine owner's manual, adding just 4 tablespoons of butter to start. Do not use delay bake function.

Select manual/dough.

Add the remaining butter during the first kneading, 2 tablespoons at a time after the dough comes together in a ball.

(If you are making stollen, go now to that recipe and proceed. If you are making Christmas trees or other shaped bread, proceed with this recipe.)

At the end of the program, punch down dough. Let dough rest 5 minutes.

Butter a 3-quart bowl. Place dough in bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Refrigerate 12 to 24 hours.

After the cold rise, proceed with recipes for stollen and trees.

Thursday, December 09, 1999

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