~ Eggnog Breakfast Brioche in the Bread Machine ~
Eggnog bread -- most folks associate it with quick bread (like banana, zucchini and date-nut). It's referred to as quick bread because it's a quick to mix together loaf that is leavened with baking powder and/or baking soda instead of yeast -- it rises as it bakes in the oven. It's semi-dense texture is very similar to a muffin or a poundcake and it's usually topped with a sugary glaze of some sort before slicing. It's easy to make and it's quite delicious too. That said:
I make an eggnog brioche that most folks don't know exists.
A bit about brioche: Brioche is a soft, light-textured, sweetened, yeast bread enriched with milk, butter and eggs. This French classic is traditionally baked in a deep, round, fluted tin that is smaller at the flat base and wider at its top, which encourages the dough to rise. All brioche takes time to prepare, requiring three, rather than two, risings. Brioche is usually a delicacy served warm or toasted at breakfast or teatime.
There are as many versions of brioche as there are countries, but the French brought brioche to the world's stage at Court in Paris in the 17th century when Queen Marie Antoinette (upon being told the poor people of France were rioting in the streets because they had no bread) made the infamous statement, "Qu 'ils mangent de la brioche." ("Let them eat cake.") Want to know what happens when you substitute eggnog for milk, add a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg and a bit of almond and butter-rum flavoring to brioche? You get a light and lovely sweet yeast bread perfect for popping in your toaster for breakfast. I kid you not -- this bread is extraordinary:
1 cup pasteurized eggnog
6 tablespoons salted butter, cut into cubes
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon butter-rum flavoring
2 extra-large eggs
4 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
5 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons granulated dry yeast (1 packet), not rapid-rise yeast
~ Step 1. This is the rectangular-shaped bread pan that came with my Breadman Ultimate. The paddle (which will do the kneading) has been inserted. The instructions say to always insert it in this position before adding any ingredients, so I do.
~Step 2. Place eggnog in a 1-cup measuring container and heat it to steaming in the microwave. While the eggnog is heating, use a paring knife to cube the butter. Add the butter cubes, almond extract and butter-rum flavoring to the hot eggnog. Using a fork stir until the butter is melted. Pour the eggnog mixture into the bread pan. Crack the eggs into the measuring container, use the fork to lightly beat them, then, add them to the eggnog mixture.
~Step 3. After pouring the beaten eggs into the eggnog, add the flour -- do not stir, just add it. After flour is added, sprinkle in the cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and salt. Using your index finger, fashion a small well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the yeast into the well.
~ Step 4. Plug the bread machine in and select the white bread setting. Click the button to choose whether you want a light, medium or dark crust -- I prefer a light crust and my husband prefers a dark crust. Press start and do nothing.
Walk away. Do not lift the lid to check in on the process. The moment the bread machine signals, the bread is done:
Carefully open the lid of the bread machine. Using pot holders or oven mitts, remove the bread pan from the machine, using its handle to lift it from the machine. Turn the bread pan at about a 30-45 degree angle and gently shake/slide the loaf out onto its side. Turn the loaf upright and place it on a cooling rack to cool completely. If the kneading paddle remains in the loaf after it is removed from the pan, I find it best to cool the loaf completely before removing it.
Once a loaf this size has cooled: starting at the top, slice the loaf in half to form 2 smaller loaves, about the size of 2, 1-pound loaves -- eat one, freeze one. I love my bread machine and besides making brioche and eggnog brioche in it, I make great cinnamon-raisin and rye loaves too. Just click on the Related Article links below to get both of those recipes.
hot chocolate, coffee or tea
and topped with fun stuff like:
strawberry cream cheese
blueberry, cherry, peach or strawberry preserves
Just a bit of lovable butter & cinnamon-sugar for me thanks!
Special Equipment List: 1-cup measuring container; paring knife; fork; bread machine; wire cooling rack
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2016)