This section is from the book "The Epicurean", by Charles Ranhofer. Also available from Amazon: The Epicurean, a Complete Treatise of Analytical and Practical Studies on the Culinary Art.
Take one pound of flour, three quarters of a pound of butter, seven to eight eggs, half an ounce of yeast, two pinches of salt, four pinches of sugar, two spoonfuls of brandy and some water. Dissolve the yeast in half a pint of tepid water, and with this liquid and a quarter of a pound of the flour, make a rather thick paste, put it into a small saucepan with a little lukewarm water at the bottom, and let it rise in a slack heater. Sift the remainder of the flour on the table, form a hollow and put in the center, the salt, sugar, brandy, two spoonfuls of water, three of the eggs and the butter; mix together thoroughly with the hand, and incorporate gradually the flour so as to obtain a smooth paste, then beat sharply with the hands for a quarter of an hour, adding the rest of the eggs one at the time. Beat it well against the table to let it acquire a body; then lay out the paste and spread the yeast over, fold it up to enclose the yeast and break it into small pieces with the hands; pile up the broken pieces, cut the paste once more, and put the pieces as quickly as they are cut into a floured vessel, cover it and set it to rise in a moderate temperature, until it will be raised to twice its original size; this will take at least six hours.
Set the paste again on the floured table, break it up and refold it several times with the hands, return it to the vessel, cover and put it back once more in the same place to rise. Break the paste up again three hours later, put it back into the vessel, and this time set it either in a cool place or on the ice to become firm. It should now be left at least three hours before using.