It's 'Befana Day', as Dylan says. You can read my brief take on this baking, tipsy witch: here.
In years past, we have made Couronne De L'Épiphanie, a Spanish Epiphany bread, and Dreikönigskuchen, a German one. This year, I opted to make some brioche dough rolls. And while we slathered them with homemade marscarpone and Aunt Jenn's homemade cherry jam for breakfast, I will fill them with gelato for dessert tonight!
Brioche is fairly easy to make, but it's time-consuming and required me to get up at 3:30 this morning, and again at 4:30am, to get it on the table by 7:30am. But this pillow-soft, golden-hued bread is worth it!
1/2 C warm water
1 T active dry yeast
3 T organic granulated sugar
6 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
4-1/2 C all-purpose flour
1 t sea salt
10 T butter, at room temperature
splash of olive oil
1 egg mixed with 1 T heavy cream, for egg wash
Combine the water, yeast, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Let bloom for 5 minutes. Add the eggs and beat on medium speed until well mixed. With the mixer on low speed, add 2 C of the flour and the salt and mix for 5 minutes. With the mixer still on low, add the remainder of the flour and mix for 5 more minutes. Scrape the dough into a large oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
This is what the dough looked like in the morning.
Add the softened butter in chunks, and mix for 2 minutes. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and divide the dough into balls and place them in the hollows. Cover the dish with a damp towel and set aside to rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.