For any of those who might be interested, I've chronicled my latest foray into brioche here:
Thanks for your posting. I just finished my first Nanterre loaf ever, basically using the recipe from "Baking With Julia" (Nancy Silverton) with some tweaks from you. It was very helpful--just tried a slice and had to exercise a whole lot of self discipline to keep from eating the entire loaf!
Now if I could figure out how to roll "tight balls", I think it would be even better.