Few things evoke a more universally positive reaction than the smell of baking bread. It hits humans somewhere very basic and instinctual, comforting us.
As anyone who reads this site and/or follows me on Twitter/Facebook knows, I’ve been on a bit of a baking kick lately. I’ve tried basic French bread, honey whole wheat, and experimented with a variety of flours and methods recently — all in the bread machine. So far, my very favorite has been a 1 lb brioche loaf — one of which just came out of the oven and is perfuming the air in the apartment.
Here’s the recipe (based on one in Beth Hensperger’s The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook):
1 lb Brioche Bread
- 2 egg yolks and enough water to total 2/3 cup
- 4 tbsp softened butter, cut into pieces
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (original recipe calls for bread flour)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tablespoon wheat gluten (original recipe calls for 2 tsp.)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/8 tsp SAF yeast
Place all in bread machine according to manufacturer’s directions. In my case (Williams Sonoma machine), it’s liquids first, then solids, with yeast last. Bake on basic cycle. When it’s finished, slice up and slather with butter. Enjoy!