My dough was in the mixer, it had just picked up all of the dry ingredients from the side of the bowl and begun to slap the sides. I had read the instructions ten times. This was the moment to add the butter. I dropped my carefully measured, perfectly soft butter into the bowl and it began to incorporate. Then I reread the instructions.
The dough was supposed to be kneaded for 6-8 minutes before the butter was added. I screwed up. It was going to be terrible. I was certain it wouldn’t rise. Certain it wouldn’t take color. Certain it wouldn’t taste good.
But I pressed on. Let it finish in the mixer, refrigerated it overnight, and this morning when I woke up it had risen to the top of the bowl, the butter had hardened and it was easy to shape into little balls. I had planned to serve the brioche at breakfast, but alas, it needed to prove for 3 hours.
I had yogurt for breakfast, and mommyPrimate had oatmeal. We carried on like good soldiers fighting the good fight. She went for a run, I lifted, and whilst lifting I tossed my brioche in the oven, expecting a disaster. But a disaster never unfolded. It was like this:
For the last ten minutes I sat next to the oven, watching it, periodically poking it with a skewer to see if it was done, and after about 6 minutes longer than Mr. Hollywood said it would take, the skewer came out clean.
So after such struggles, it came together. I think the dough may have been a bit glossier if I had added the butter at the correct time, but it still turned out very nicely. It’s velvety smooth on the inside, very rich and buttery, and golden brown on the outside. It rose so much in the oven that I had to raise the rack above it.
If you’re new to baking, I might suggest a brioche. It will forgive you when you sin.
I’m looking forward to trying it again, but in a different shape, and filled with chocolate. And again, with brie. And again, with nutella.