Little brioches à tête are similar to their more imposing relatives with one main exception—they are shaped from just one ball of dough. Here’s how to fashion the head and body portions: After letting a tightly shaped ball of dough relax for 2 or 3 minutes, turn the ball onto its side (illustrations A and B). For right-handed bakers, the seam side of the dough should be facing towards the right. Place the side of your hand on the dough so that roughly one-third of the dough is to the left of your fingers (the “good” side of the dough, which will become the head of the brioche), and the remaining two-thirds of the dough is to the right (the eventual body of the dough). Illustration C shows the correct hand position. Roll your hand back and forth over the dough a few times in order to create a neck of sorts, with the head on one side and body on the other. Use enough pressure so that there is a clear delineation between the two parts of the brioche, but avoid decapitating the head. When finished, the brioche looks something like a bowling pin (illustration D). With your thumb and two fingers, plunge the brioche into the mold (illustration E) and proceed with the final shaping as for the Grande Tête brioche above, with the thumb pulling the head to the side so the fingers can enter the dough from an angle (if your hands are large, use just one finger). Comprising less dough weight, these brioches rise slightly quicker, about 1¼ hours at 80°F. Brioche molds that are
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