1/4 cup whole milk, warm
1/4 cup water, warm
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
12 tablespoons (1 and 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg, lightly beaten (for brushing the tops)
1 teaspoon cold water
1. In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the warm milk, warm water, and a pinch of the granulated sugar.
2. Sprinkle the yeast over the top of the mixture and let sit for about 5 minutes, until the yeast is foamy and slightly absorbed.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and salt.
4. On low speed, gently mix the yeast mixture until creamy. Remove the paddle attachment and replace it with the dough hook.
5. Add all of the flour mixture at once to the yeast and turn the mixer on and off in short pulses to lightly moisten the dough.
6. On medium-low speed, mix the dough until dry but shaggy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, about 3 minutes.
7. Turn the mixer speed to low and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each one.
8. Add in the remaining granulated sugar, increase the mixer speed to medium and mix for about 3 minutes.
9. Reduce the mixer speed to low.
10. In 2-tablespoon increments, add the butter to the bowl, mixing well after each addition.
11. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 10 minutes or so.
12. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a towel, and let rise until nearly doubled in size, about 1 hour or so.
13. Once risen, pull the dough up by the edges and let it fall back on itself to deflate.
14. Cover again and place the dough in the refrigerator, slapping it down every 30 minutes, for a total of about 2 hours. (You will slap it down 4 times.)
15. Press the plastic wrap tightly against the surface of the dough and let it rest overnight in the refrigerator.
16. The next day, butter a 12-cup muffin tin (or brioche molds). ***Or use Wilton paper liners like I did.
17. On a floured surface, divide the dough into 12 even portions, then split each portion into 3 round balls.
18. Place 3 balls into each muffin liner, and set aside. Let rise in a warm place until they almost fill the cups, about 1 hour or so.
19. While the dough is rising, place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
20. In a small bowl, whisk together the cold water and egg.
21. Lightly brush the tops of each brioche with the egg glaze-making sure to be very gentle.
22. Bake the brioches for 20 minutes or so, or until deeply golden. ***Watch them. Mine were ready at exactly the 20 minute mark. If they start to brown too much, cover them with aluminum foil.
23. Remove the brioches from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes.