Ok... with the help of an actual brioche pan, I made a much nicer brioche last week. This time I made 'middle class' brioche, with about half the butter (still a full cup though). Same deal letting it rise overnight in the fridge, then shape and let rise for a couple more hours.
Brush with an egg wash & sprinkle with a little salt & sugar before baking. Et voila:
Very pretty, and quite yummy too. The long rise gives it a good yeasty developed flavor, oh so soft & rich with all that butter. I brought it to the office, and it was well received. I was surprised that some of my coworkers didn't know what a brioche was (not as surprised by a former coworker who thought that bagels were 'new' but still). My boss asked if it was a bread or a cake... and actually that's a good question. It's kinda like a pastry or a coffee cake, simple but delicious. In theory it would be great with a little jam, but I just eat it plain. Would be nice for brunch or an afternoon snack with a nice hot cup of tea.
Next up on the holiday baking menu is Stollen. The fruits are soaking in brandy as I type.
*BTW there's no credible record of Marie Antoinette ever saying "Let them eat cake." or "Let them eat brioche" or anything of the sort, just a little fun fact for the day.