Friday, August 24, 2007

Mini Brioche Rolls


Brioche always intimidated me until I saw Ina make it recently. A visual can sometimes really help me out. She served them with a homemade strawberry jam she quickly cooked on the stove. I'm in.

1/2 cup warm water (110 to 120 degrees F)
1 package dried yeast
3 tablespoons sugar
6 eggs, at room temperature
4 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon milk, for egg wash

Combine the water, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (If the bowl is cold, start with warmer water so it's at least 110 degrees F when you add the yeast.) Mix with your hands and allow to stand for 5 minutes until the yeast and sugar dissolve. Add the eggs and beat on medium speed for 1 minute, until well mixed. With the mixer on low speed, add 2 cups of the flour and the salt and mix for 5 minutes. With the mixer still on low, add 2 more cups of flour and mix for 5 more minutes. Still on low speed, add the soft butter in chunks and mix for 2 minutes, scraping down the beater, until well blended. With the mixer still running, sprinkle in the remaining 1/4 cup of flour. Switch the paddle attachment to a dough hook and mix on low speed for 2 minutes. Scrape the dough into a large buttered bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

The next day, allow the dough to sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Grease 2 sheet pans. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and divide the dough into 20 (1 3/4-ounce) balls (rolls) and place on the sheet pans. Cover the pans with a damp towel and set aside to rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

When the rolls have risen, brush the top of each with the egg wash and bake for 20 minutes, or until the tops spring back and it sounds slightly hollow when tapped. Turn the rolls out onto a wire rack to cool