I love a good brioche loaf, but they are hard to find in the immediate area, so when I get a taste for one (and French Toast and Bread Pudding), I whip one up in my bread machine. Yes, this is a bread machine recipe, and it’s easy, no fail, and absolutely delicious. The recipe is from One Hundred Bread Machine Recipes by Vicki Smallwood, a must for anyone who takes their bread machine as seriously as I do.
1 pinch saffron threads
1 tablespoon water, boiling
2 eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons honey
2/3 cup hot water (100°F-105°F)
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
3 ½ cups white bread flour
1 ½ teaspoons yeast
1 eggs, beaten for brushing over
In a small bowl, soak the saffron threads in the 1 tablespoon of boiling water for 10 minutes. In the meantime, place the beaten eggs, honey, hot water, and melted butter in a bowl. Mix well. Add the saffron threads with the soaking water, stir and pour the mixture into the baking pan of your bread machine. Mix the salt into the flour and add to the baking pan and spoon the yeast on top. Set the program to 'DOUGH.'
When the dough is ready (mine takes 90 minutes), transfer it to a lightly floured surface and knead it for 2-3 minutes. (The dough will feel quite soft and silky.). Shape the dough into a loaf, place into a greased loaf pan, brush with oil, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 425°F. When the dough has nearly doubled in size, remove the plastic wrap and lightly brush the top of the loaf with the beaten egg. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.
Transfer the loaf to a wire rack and leave it to cool before serving.
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