In happy anticipation of making the Four-star Chocolate Bread Pudding, I made a batch of brioche dough. This was quite fun--and quite an extensive project. Mixing the flour with the yeast/water, Dorie says you end up with a "fairly dry, shaggy mess." It's true! Adding the eggs turns it into batter, and adding 3 cubes of softened butter a bit at a time transforms the batter to a happy, shiny dough. This has to rise, then sit overnight in the refrigerator. You take it out and form 4 little logs that fit perfectly into the loaf pan.
You're supposed to put it in a warm place in your kitchen and let it rise in the pan. This is winter in Rochester and there is no warm place in my kitchen (unless it's the oven!). After two hours on the counter with very little change, I heated up the oven just a bit and let my loaf rise in there. I baked it and it was beautiful!