A fresh brioche can be served with jelly or other preserves to accompany tea or coffee, or with pate or hors d'oeuvre. The tops of the small ones can easily be pulled away, giving space for a sweet or savory filling. Brioche dough can also be used for wrapping other ingredients such as beef for boeuf-en-croute, a salmon filling for a koulibiaca, or a spicy garlic sausage.
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You can use 1 ounce of fresh yeast instead of active dry yeast, if you prefer.
For Cheese Brioche, knead in 4 ounces of grated Gruyere in step 5.
To make brioche a tete, grease muffin tins or fluted brioche molds. Divide the dough into the right number of portions for your pan. To shape the rolls, divide each piece again in portions of about 2/3 and 1/3. Roll them into balls. Put the larger piece into a plug and insert it in the hole so that it makes a small round, sitting on top of the first piece. Leave the brioche for 30 minutes, or until the base has risen to the edge of the pan. Brush with egg wash. Bake until deep golden-brown, checking after 10 minutes.
To make brioche in a stand mixer, combine the water, yeast, flour, sugar, and eggs in a mixing bowl. Mix on low speed with the dough hook until the dough is fully developed, 10 to 15 minutes, scraping the dough down occasionally. With the mixer running, gradually add the softened butter a tablespoon at a time, mixing well after each addition. Place the dough in a greased bowl and proceed with the recipe.