It’s way too hot for baking in the oven, but that doesn’t rule out my bread machine. Purchased during some sort of dieting frenzy when I saw it on TV being used to bake whole grain breads, it sat in my pantry unused for way too long. And then I tasted my friend’s homemade, whole wheat, all-organic brioche (she’s married to a frenchman who knows his way around the kitchen). I asked for the recipe and the next thing I knew Jean-Marc had dashed it off in an email. I’ve since played around with some variations, depending on ingredients in my pantry, but here’s the basic:
Jean-Marc’s Whole Wheat Brioche for the Bread Machine*
4 cups stone ground whole wheat flour
3 large eggs at room temperature
3/4-1 cup canola or grapeseed oil
2-1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup honey (raw is preferable)
2 tsp active dry yeast
Heat milk until hot.
Pour it into bread machine pan.
Sprinkle yeast on top. Let yeast dissolve.
Measure out 1 cup flour and set it aside.
Swirl milk until yeast is dissolved.
Add eggs and flour to the pan. Mix with a wooden spoon.
Measure 3 remaining cups of flour. Pour on top of the other ingredients in the pan.
In this sequence, add the remaining ingredients onto the top of the ingredients in the pan: oil, salt, honey. DO NOT MIX!
Put the pan into the machine. Choose “whole wheat setting” and set timer to get a total of 4-10 hours. More time means more flavor!
*use organic ingredients, when possible
Variations and Suggestions:
Just as Jean-Marc does, I often set up the bread machine to run overnight, so that there is fresh bread for breakfast. This works out really well and is like a surprise waiting. I also mix my flours up. Today I used 1/2 cup chestnut flour and 1 cup King Arthur unbleached white flour in addition to 1-1/2 cups whole wheat. I also play with the amount of oil, trying to keep it as low as possible. 1/2 is as low as I’ve dared go. And last time I used coconut oil because I was out of the grapeseed.
And here’s who helped me with the bread baking: my pal, Omar. To start the day we enjoyed a cup of herbal tea in the backyard, where he found a blue jay feather. He was excited to notice that the feather matched his outfit and the detailing on his mug! And he said that blue jays are his favorite bird. Learn something new every day.
We had a fantastic day that included our regular trip to the children’s room at our library (2 dinosaur books and 1 dino video). Omar enjoyed 2 slices of pizza and an orangina for lunch. I, however, am on day #5 of a 7-day detox. When he offered me his crusts I explained that I was eating mostly vegetables and fruits this week. He replied, “Oh, that’s bad!” The good news? I was able to resist taking care of his leftovers and waited until we got home to scarf down some garden-fresh green beans and steamed beets with rice vinegar!
I finished up the day with a photo shoot of the bread out on the back porch and a cup of ginger detox tea. We’ll be taking this luscious loaf with us tomorrow when we visit friends down in Providence.