As you can imagine, this brioche recipe I baked was a massive hit. I've always been a little daunted by the french pastry department. I once tried to make croissants and with all the folding, layering, and kneading, I ended up tossing the dough in the trash. This brioche recipe, however, is much easier! It's like croissants for beginners. It's practically mistake proof! I used this step by step recipe from The Kitchn
16 tbs unsalted butter (2 sticks) softened
1 tablespoon active dry or instant yeast
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup white sugar
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 yolk beaten combined with 1 teaspoon of water (reserved for the glaze)
Dissolve the yeast and water in the bowl of a standing mixer for a few minutes. Add in salt, sugar, and eggs to the yeast mixture and stir to combine fully. Slowly add in the four cups of flour and stir with the dough attachment hook on the mixer. On a low speed, knead the dough for roughly two minutes. You will see the dough begin to come together and form a ball. Increase the speed to medium and add in butter in 1 inch sections. Make sure the butter has been softened. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed with a rubber spatula. Continue to beat the dough for an additional five minutes. Remove the dough from the hook, gather it into a ball, and cover the bowl with a damp towel or loose saran wrap. You can use the same bowl as the mixer. Let dough rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Place the dough in the fridge and refrigerate overnight.
Grease two loaf pans and remove the dough and place onto a well floured surface. Divide the dough into 12 even pieces. Form the portions into tiny balls. Stagger six balls into the loaf pans, layering them over themselves. The pattern should resemble a braid. Repeat process in the second loaf pan. Let the brioche rise again for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together the yolk and water in a small bowl and brush over the two loaves. Bake the brioche for 35 - 40 minutes. The brioche should be golden brown and have an internal temperature of 190 degrees F internally.