Monday, October 12, 2009

Some thoughts on bread machines

Since this blog is called Real Food Fast, I make no apology that I use a bread machine. I also know how to do it by hand, and I used to bake all of our bread that way when my kids were very little. I received a question offline that I want to share with you:

Ann wrote:
If you do not mind me asking can you tell me what brand and/or model you have? I will have to look around online but I know I use to find many bread machines at tag/yard sales and whatnot so my impression was they did not work very well.
I replied:
I think what happens to a lot of people is that they don’t think about how bread baking is going to fit into their routine. They buy a bread machine and use it a few times, and then just lose interest. It’s a big machine, and you’ve got to have a place to keep it that doesn’t eat up counter space but also is easy to fetch and carry. I keep mine on top of the dryer, so laundry day is also bread day lol!
Some of the ones you find at yard sales may not work very well…I don’t know, but I’ve had great luck with my cheapie yard sale find. It’s an old Oster, and came with an instruction booklet that I actually read lol! It has a paddle that leaves a big hole in the bottom middle of the loaf, but that doesn’t bother us too much. If it does, I take the dough out to shape and bake the old fashioned way.
All I can say is that I love this machine, and it’s the best thing I ever did, getting it. Now we have fresh bread where before, despite my best intentions, we had none! :-)

Here are two of my favorite bread machine recipes (besides Naan and Pizza Dough):

Sunflower Oatmeal Bread

1/2 c water
1/2 c + 2 T buttermilk
1 large egg
1 1/2 T butter, cut into pieces
2 T honey
1 T molasses
2 1/2 c flour
1/2 c oats
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c unsalted sunflower seeds
1 1/2 t salt
2 1/2 t yeast

Basic cycle, light crust.

Cracked Wheat Bread

3/4 c boiling water
1/2 c cracked wheat or bulgur
3 T molasses
2 T butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 t salt

3/4 c water
2 2/3 c white flour
1/3 c whole wheat flour
2 1/4 t yeast

Pour boiling water over cracked wheat in a bowl.  Add molasses through salt and let it stand 1 hour at room temperature. This mixture will be considered a liquid ingredient.

Basic cycle, light crust.

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