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Brioche Mousseline

Brioche Moussehne (bree-yohsh moos-leen) is a large, cylinder-shaped brioche which is baked in a plain, round mould. The

butter in this recipe is in much greater proportion to the flour than in the basic brioche recipe, although the method of preparation is the same.

7 oz. butter 9 oz. flour oz. yeast

warm water

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons castor sugar

3 eggs

1 beaten egg for brushing

Place the butter on a marble slab or on a sheet of greaseproof or waxed paper on a board. Soften the butter by beating it with a rolling pin. Then spread it out with the heel of your hand until it is smooth and soft. Scrape the butter off the marble or paper with a knife and set it aside on a plate.

Clean the board or marble slab. Dry it thoroughly and then sift the flour on to it. Using your fingers, draw aside one-

quarter of the flour and make a well in the centre. Into this crumble the yeast and moisten it with only enough warm water

to dissolve the yeast. Using your fingers, mix to a soft dough. Gather the dough into a ball and with a knife cut a cross

in the top.

Slide the yeast ball into a bowl of lukewarm water. Be sure the water is not hot or it will kill the yeast. Set the bowl

aside for 8 minutes. In this time the yeast ball should rise to the surface and double in size. With your hand scoop the yeast ball out of the bowl and drain it on a cloth. If your dough is not finished by the time the yeast ball is ready, cover it with an inverted bowl until you are ready to use it.

Sprinkle the remaining flour with the salt and sugar. Make a well in the centre and into this break the eggs. Mix the eggs

together with your fingers and gradually draw in the flour. Continue mixing until it becomes a sticky dough.

Beat the dough with the fingers of one hand by drawing the dough up and then throwing it down again on to the board.

Continue lifting and throwing. After about 10 minutes of such beating the dough should be elastic and smooth.

Now begin to work the softened butter gradually into the dough. Add only about

2 tablespoons at a time. After each addition of butter, beat the dough, stir it vigorously with your ringers and smear it around on the board. When half the butter has been incorporated, add the remainder all at once and beat it thor-oughly.

The dough should now be quite smooth.

With your fingers, mix the drained yeast ball thoroughly into the dough. The consistency of the finished dough will be

like that of stiffly whipped cream.

With a knife scrape the dough off the board and gather it into a ball in your hands. Place it in a clean, lightly floured

bowl that is large enough to allow the dough to double in size. Cover the bowl with a cloth and leave to rise in a warm

place (80°F-85°F) for at least 1 hour.

At the end of this time the dough will have doubled in bulk. Push the dough down with your fist, cover the bowl with

aluminium foil, and refrigerate for 12 hours or overnight.

Remove the bowl from the refrigerator. The dough will now be firm enough to handle.

Butter a large, plain, tall, round mould and wrap around it a piece of buttered greaseproof or waxed paper that will

double the height of the mould. Tie on the paper with a piece of string.

Turn the dough out of the bowl on to a lightly floured board or marble slab and knead the dough lightly with the heel of your hand. Form the dough into a ball and place it in the mould. Cover the mould and put it in a warm place to rise again

(to prove) for 15 minutes. The proving may be done on a rack over a tin of boiling water.

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

After proving, brush the surface of the brioche with beaten egg and bake in the oven for 1 hour. The brioche is done when the surface is golden brown and a knife plunged down into the centre comes out clean.

Take the brioche out of the oven and transfer it to a wire rack. Cool the brioche for 25 minutes before lifting it out of the mould.

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