Brioche is a challenging dough for beginners, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't enjoy the wonderful texture of this dough. I've taken out the step of allowing the dough to rest overnight in the refrigerator, but I don't think I took out any of the taste. I know Pillsbury has been advertising on television "croissants" for Easter dinner, but wouldn't it be a nice surprise to your family not to give them something out of a can, knowing the preservatives that are inside!
4 - 4 1/2 cups King Arthur Bread Flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup milk, slightly warm
6T unsalted butter, softened
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup warm water (110F-degrees)
1 pkg (about 1 T) dry yeast
1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
4-6 T butter, melted for brushing the bowl, baking pan, and tops of rolls
First, proof your yeast. Whisk the dry yeast into the warm water and add the sugar. Allow to sit on for 7-10 minutes. It should appear "bubbly" or "foamy" if your yeast is active; if not, buy new yeast!
In a stand mixer, using the dough hook, add 4 cups of bread flour, sugar and salt and mix on low to incorporate. Add the warm milk and your proofed yeast and turn the mixer on low (Setting #2). While the mixer is running, add the egg yolks (save the whites for macarons!), then, the softened butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. The dough is soft, but should not be overly sticky. If needed, at more flour until it comes away from the bowl.
Place dough on a bread board and knead until smooth. Brush melted butter inside a large bowl and place the dough, right-side down, then flip it over. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit 1 to 1 1/2 hours until doubled.
Punch down dough and turn out onto the bread board. Use a bench scraper to divide dough into twelve pieces. Brush a 12" x 8" baking pan (I use my Le Cruset, but you can also use a glass baking dish) with the melted butter. Roll the dough pieces into balls and place in the baking dish, leaving some room between the rolls. Cover and allow to rise another 30 to 45 minutes (until doubled).