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Brioche (bree-osh) pastries are made from a nonlaminated yeast dough rich in eggs and butter. It’s like soft bread or a cake, and it has a slightly sweetened, creamy and tender consistency, without the crispiness we usually think of in a pastry.
Brioche comes in many shapes and sizes:
Brioche à tête: which translates as “brioche with head”. It has a small roll of the dough on top and then baked in muffin-like tins to achieve its small, rounded shape.
Brioche Loaf: can also be made in a pan without being rolled into balls to make an ordinary loaf that toasts beautifully.
Brioche Nanterre: is a loaf of brioche made in a standard loaf pan. Instead of shaping two pieces of dough and baking them together, two rows of small pieces of dough are placed in the pan. Loaves are then proofed (allowed to rise) in the pan, fusing the pieces together. During the baking process the balls of dough rise further and form an attractive pattern.