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Stir the yeast into the warm water, add 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1 tablespoon of the sugar, and set aside for 5 minutes to allow the yeast to soften. lMeasure the flour and place in a large bowl. Add the remaining salt and sugar, the eggs,a nd the dissolved yeast. Mix all ingredients thoroughly to make a soft sticky dough. Lift the dough from the bowl with your hands and slap it dow firmly on a pastry board. Push the dough together, then lift and slap it down again vigorously. Put it together again and continue this lifting, slapping, and pushing technique until the dough begins to stiffen and take shape. Strenuous work at this point pays dividends: your brioches will be feather light. Knead the dough energetically when it is stiff, continuing to knead until elastic and smooth enough to pull away from your hands. Work the butter with your hands until it is malleable but still slightlycold. The butter should not be melting. Spread it smoothly on the pastry board, break off a small piece with your fingers, and incorporate it into the dough, kneading it in as thoroughly as possible. Continue to work the butter in until it has all been used up and the dough becomes smooth and elastic again. Set the dough in a large bowl. With a sharp knife, cut a large "X" on the top surface of the dough. Cover with a slighly moistend towel from which all excess water has been squeezed. Allow the dough to rise for about 2 hours at not more than 70 degrees F. When the dough has risen to about 2/3 of its original bulk, punch it down and turn it out of the bowl. Knead briefly. Dust the dough lightly with flour and place it back into the bowl. Cover and allow it to rise again -- this time in the refrigerator--to double in volume (about 4 hours). Punch the dough down again. Use to make Petites Brioches and Brioche a Tete. Posted to RecipeLu List by email@example.com (Michael Bauman) on Jun 3, 1998. Recipe by: New York Times Bread & Soup Cookbook by Yvonne Young Tarr Posted to MasterCook Digest by Nancy Berry
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