Brioche Challah (Paula Shoyer)
Makes two medium loaves
Brioche is a buttery French bread that tastes like a pastry. It is typically eaten for breakfast in France, and makes the perfect dairy challah for Shavuot. When I learned how to make brioche in pastry school in Paris, we were instructed how to prepare it by hand. The process of mixing and kneading the dough and then kneading in the butter took 30 minutes.
During two separate pastry courses I had made brioche by hand, so when I had to make it a third time, I asked my teacher if I could make it by machine. I explained that we could compare both methods and see which was superior. He only agreed because at the time I was visibly pregnant with Sam. The chef was sure that the hand-kneaded one would be better, but, alas, he had to admit that the taste and texture of my machine-made brioche was perfect. In the interest of time, I am not even suggesting that you ever make this dough by hand.