Anyone who's ever tried looking up bread-machine recipes ont' Web knows that there are thousands of them out there. Except not, for some reason, for brioche. I've done plenty of searching and found only three or four, and, quite frankly, have found none of them to be up to much. So I've been experimenting for the last few days and have wasted quite literally a tenner's worth of ingredients to bring you this, a brioche recipe for bread machines that is not too bad at all. I certainly intend to eat vast amounts of it.
1 large egg
1/4 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp salt
30g diced cold butter
15g brown sugar
35g castor sugar
40g strong white bread flour, sieved
210g plain flour, sieved
2 1/4 tsp fast-acting yeast
Beat the egg, add the vanilla, then add cold milk to bring the total amount of wet ingredients up to 150ml.
My experiments have shown huge (bad) differences with softened butter, and so I recommend not softening it, but dice it quite small.
The amount of flour may be slightly out. Keep an eye on it during the kneading and add an extra sprinkling if you think it's necessary. The consistency of the dough should be pretty soft and a bit sticky and should start out rather wet but should still eventually coalesce into one neat ball.
I'm using setting 1 on a Morphy Richards machine, which is the setting for a basic small white loaf. To help you tally that with your machine, that is:
Slow knead: 6min
Fast knead: 27min
The crust is, I think, not quite right, but the overall results are perfectly good enough for dipping into hot chocolate.
I'm going to go on tweaking this and will provide updates if I manage to make any more improvements. Do feel free to email me with any cunning suggestions you may have.
I have improved on this now. Here's the better version.