Apple Bread in a Breadmaker
I mostly use my breadmaker to save time making dough which I then finish by baking in the oven. But this apple bread recipe is intended for days when you really don't have any time at all to faff about and is made entirely in the machine. It's a useful standby bread for busy celebration times like Easter or Christmas. I wouldn't call this a brioche because to me brioche means a LOT of butter but it's an enriched, sweetened bread that does have the feel of brioche. It's less rich than a classic brioche but it's also a bit less of a threat to the waistline and it proves that the old baking trick of replacing some of the butter with apple purée really does work.
This makes a fine breakfast bread but is not too sweet to be used alongside savoury foods. It toasts well (but it tends to toast quickly, so be careful). If you happen to have any left over, it will make a very useful base for a dessert or two such as a classic bread and butter pudding.
I've used some clementine zest to flavour this loaf, but other flavours will work just as well: lemon zest or extract, vanilla paste or powder or almond extract would all be good. It's easy to overdo the flavouring with extracts, though, so be a little cautious. Of course, I assume that you'll slave away producing your own apple purée but, let's be honest, it's much easier to open a jar.
1 tsp dried, fast-action yeast
400g white bread flour
3 tbsp golden caster sugar
50g butter, at room temperature, cut into small cubes
1 tsp salt
Zest of 1 clementine or half an orange, very finely grated (or other flavouring, see above)
2 large eggs
125g apple purée
80ml milk (semi-skimmed or full fat)
The order of ingredients given below is correct for a Panasonic breadmaker but, if you have a different type of machine, you may need to reverse the order of dry and liquid ingredients. Please check the instructions for your breadmaker.
Add the first six, dry ingredients to the breadmaker bucket.
Lightly whisk the two eggs and combine them with the apple purée and milk. Add the liquid to the breadmaker bucket.
If your breadmaker has a sweet or enriched bread bake setting, then use it. If not, set the machine to a basic bake and a size appropriate for 400g of flour - more often than not that's a “medium” loaf but machines do vary. Set the crust setting to “light crust” - this is important, since enriched doughs tend to brown very quickly.