Thursday, January 22, 2015

Brave Bread

I love a good fresh homemade just-out-of-the-oven loaf of bread.
Homemade bread is the best because the smell hits your tummy before the sight fills your eyes.
I was never one to bake bread until I received a bread machine for my birthday years and years ago. With the bread machine I became a bread baker.
And loved it.
I usually skipped those recipes that were just making dough in the machine because I wanted the machine to do all the work for me. I guess it just didn’t feel convenient.
Fast forward quite a few years and I’m working my way towards a Miss Suzie Homemaker badge…. I’m canning, cooking more from scratch and making my own cleaning and laundry supplies…. yeah, I’m a bit wonky like that.
Because really, honestly, I groove on making my own stuff. I started because financially we needed to tighten the purse strings but I continue to because I truly enjoy doing it and have found it really doesn’t take that much more time.

So I decided to start using my bread machine just for prepping the dough.
And I like it.
A lot.
[Example: This pizza dough recipe is the bomb.]

But I’ve still shied away from what I deem “fancy breads”.
Until now… with it being my Year of Brave, I decided to brave the making of some fancy bread.
Actually, Chocolate Chip Brioche

Whoo wee.
I searched online for bread machine recipes for the fancy bread and adapted my own recipe from what I found.
And I made it.
And it’s seriously yummy, as in the-family-couldn’t-stop-eating-it yummy.
Not only is it a yummy tasting fancy bread, it looks like a yummy tasting fancy bread.
Yep, it’s a keeper.

Chocolate Chip Brioche in the Bread Machine
Add ingredients to bread machine in order listed, per your machine’s instructions:
1/3 cup water (room temperature)
1/3 cup milk
3 eggs lightly beaten
1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, softened and cut into small pieces
½ cup sugar
4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 ½ tsp bread machine yeast (dry active yeast)

2/3 cup chocolate chips-- Add at “extras” part of bread cycle or in your machine if you have a spot for “extras” like I do (some machines beep to let you know it’s time to add extras and some, like mine, have a compartment for adding your extras at the very beginning)

Egg Wash (to be added right before baking)

Follow the instructions for your bread machine’s dough cycle. For my machine, I select dough cycle, add extras and 1 pound loaf on the control panel and hit start. I love how the machine does all the work for me. Towards the end of the cycle prep your baking sheet by greasing it and dusting with flour.
When the dough cycle is complete, remove the dough and place on a lightly floured surface.

Brioche dough is very sticky so make sure you’ve floured your hands as well! Knead the dough a bit to work in some flour and combat the stickiness then divide it into two equal balls of dough. Using your hands, roll each ball into a 20 inch dough rope.

Place your dough ropes side by side on the greased and floured baking sheet (that you prepped earlier) and braid/twist them together, forming the twisted bread dough into a circle at the same time.

Cover the dough ring with a clean towel and let rise in a warm place until double in size, usually about 30-45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Make egg wash. [To make egg wash: whisk one egg, add in 2 tablespoons water and whisk until well blended.]

After dough has doubled in size, using a pastry brush, lightly brush the brioche dough with the egg wash.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until brioche is golden brown.



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