What can I say about this bread? It's delicious warm out of the oven. It's good toasted and with a lot of butter (well, obviously). It makes great French Toast. (It is the French cousin of Challah bread after all.) Why would you not make your own bread? Especially when it is as simple as this. The smell of freshly baking bread will reward you, and then the taste will take it over the top.
Adapted from La Tartine Gourmande
1 2/3 cup All Purpose Flour
2 3/4 oz Butter, Room Temperature
2 Eggs, Room Temperature
1 tbsp Yeast
2 tbsp Sugar
1/3 cup Warm Milk
1 pinch Salt
1 Egg Yolk
In a large bowl, mix the flour and yeast. Make a well in the middle and add the warm milk slowly. Then, add the sugar and pinch of salt. After mixing (you can use a wooden spoon or your hands), add the butter a small piece at a time. Mix each piece in before adding the next. Then, add the eggs one at a time. Mix well after each, then work the dough until it detaches easily from your fingers and is elastic. I had to add a little more flour at this point to make the dough less sticky. Cover the dough and let it rest in a warm place for two hours, until its size has doubled. Work the dough for ten more minutes, and divide it into four balls. Place them in a greased loaf pan, and cover. Let rise for another hour. Then, pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush the tops of the brioche with egg yolk mixed with a dash of sugar. Use scissors to make small cuts at the top of each of the balls. Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees then reduce the heat to 350 and bake for another 20 to 30 minutes. Once it is golden brown, remove from the oven and unmold.
My loaf pan only fit three of the dough balls, so I made the last one into a bun as you can see above. I just rolled the dough into a round and baked it on the baking sheet for slightly less time than the loaf (about 15 minutes).