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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Bread

Today is bread making day. I cheat a bit and use a bread maker to mix the dough, as the older Sunbeam Mix Master that my mother-in-law gave me isn't powerful enough to mix the dough. And, to be honest, I really don't like the prospect of kneading dough for 20 minutes or so. That being said, I do the final rise/proofing in a bread pan because I like a "normal" looking loaf of bread rather than the tall narrowish type with the hole in the bottom like the bread makers produce. One day I might get a pullman bread pan. If you don't know what that is (I didn't either, until I saw one), it is a bread pan with a sliding lid. That's why square loaves of bread at the supermarket are like that, they use a type of pullman pan. Here's one at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/USA-Pans-Pullman-Aluminized-Americoat/dp/B002UNMZPI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1308429252&sr=8-1

I just follow the recipe that came with the manual to make a White Wheat Bread. Here's the ingredients with a change or two:

1 cup water, minus 2 teaspoons. (If you don't take out that tiny bit of water, the dough can be too moist and will collapse when it goes in the oven. When it collapses, it will be dense.)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt - I use Kosher salt, not table salt
1 rounded tablespoon sugar - the recipe calls for 3 tablespoons but it's way too sweet, like almost all of the bread here in the USA. You still need sugar for the yeast to eat but not so much.
3 tablespoons lecithin - liquid or granular - I use this in place of the oil/butter. Here is a good link explaining dough enhancers http://www.breadmachinedigest.com/tips/dough-enhancers-and-how-to-use-them.php I use it to keep the bread from drying out, so it lasts for a week or so. You can get Lecithin in any health food store or somewhere like Whole Foods.
2 cups white bread flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons bread machine yeast - I use Red Star brand as I can get it at the local supermarket in a jar, instead of just using individual packets. Stored in the fridge it keeps for yonks.

So, here is all the ingredients in the machine.


Mixing vigorously.


After it's first two rises in the machine, I take it out, put it on a floured surface and knead it 4 times. Lastly, I shape it a bit, ending up with this.


I put it in a greased bread pan (cooking spray) and push it into the corners.


I turn the oven on to 350F (175C), cover the bread with some plastic wrap with some cooking spray on it and let it do it's thing. I sit it on top of the oven as it's nice and warm there. This takes anywhere up to 45 minutes, depending on how much you want it to rise. Your oven will actually be at the right temperature by then. I have an internal thermometer in our oven, and when the "dinger" goes off telling me it's at the right temperature, it's not even close. SO, big tip here: If you want to really know how hot your oven is, get an internal oven thermometer.


When it's ready, it goes in the oven for 30 minutes and comes out looking like this.


Home made bread, whether you like white, wheat, wholegrain or whatever, I believe, will taste far far better than what you can buy at the supermarket, is easy to do, you know just what's in it rather than a list of chemicals and as an added bonus, your house smells fantastic!!

Matt

6 comments:

  1. Because I can't find cooking salt like we have back home in Australia. There's a difference between cooking salt and table salt (I think cooking salt doesn't have the anti-caking agents/chemicals in it), so, failing to find cooking salt, I use coarse ground salt which happens to be Kosher. It's a softer salt taste but does the same thing.

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  2. What brand of breadmaker do you have? After being home I realise how much I miss bread so I think I am going to get myself a breadmaker :)

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  3. I have a Hamilton Beach. As long as it has a 2lb capacity, you'll be OK. If I had a decent KitchenAid mixer I wouldn't need the bread machine, but I have a Mix Master already and couldn't justify the $300-400 on another one.

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  4. I use my KitchenAid mixer for bread, and then bung it in the oven.

    This is a good lookin' loaf of bread!!

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  5. Thank you. I'm not letting it rise as much now though...makes for a bit tighter loaf.

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