Brioche Basket with Tea Sandwiches
List of Ingredients
2-3 T heavy cream
Pate a Brioche:
2 packages or cakes yeast
½ cup lukewarm water
4 cups flour
1 T sugar
1 ½ t. salt
10 ounces creamed butter
Make a large brioche: Prepare pate a brioche and on a lightly floured board for ¾ of dough into smooth ball. Put the ball in a buttered 2 quart brioche pan. In the center of the dough make a cone-shaped opening about 2 ½” in diameter at the top and 2” deep. Form the remaining dough into shape of a teardrop and insert it, pointed end down, into the ending. Cover dough and let it rise in a warm place until it reaches the top of pan. Brush the brioche with egg beaten with heavy cream and bake it in the bottom 1/3rd of oven at 350 for 40-45 minutes, or until it is golden brown. (If after 20 min. top seems to be browning too fast, cover it very loosely with aluminum foil.) Let the brioche stand for 10 min., turn it onto a rack and let it stand for 24 hours.
With a sharp pointed knife cut off the crown and enough of the top of the brioche to leave a flat surface. Hollow out the brioche: make a vertical cut around the sides 1” from edge to within 1” of bottom. Slice the cutout in half, loosen the halves carefully and remove. Slice bread for sandwiches. Place little finger sandiches in the open basket and replace top notch.
Pate a Brioche:
Dissolve the yeast in warm water and add 1 cup flour. Turnout, knead into ball, slash top criss-cross with knife and drop into lukewarm water. Leave until dough rises to top.
Blend the rest of flour with sugar and salt and beat in whole eggs. Continue stirring until the mixture is smooth and slowly add butter. When dough is smooth, add drained yeast sponge. Mix in well. Cover with plastic wrap and cloth. Set in warm spot to rise until double. Punch down dough. Refrigerate until you are ready to bake. When you are ready to use the dough, turn it out onto a floured board and shape into loaf to fit into a well-butter bread tin. Let rise for 20 minutes at room temp. Bake in a 375 oven for 40-45 minutes, or until loaf browned and done. (Last directions are for loaf pan, not the basket recipe).