Make Your Own Bread with a Bread Machine: For Beginners
Digging Up My Bread Machine
Bread is quite cheap nowadays. This is one of the reasons why my bread machine 'slept' for some time in my kitchen cupboard. This machine was passed on to me by my Mom who was not domesticated at all--she did not really enjoy cooking or baking. It was given by a friend of my Mom when bread machines were a craze. How many years ago was that?
Yesterday, I had a change of heart, brought out my bread machine and decided to make myself a bread. Now, I can watch the ingredients that go into my bread. Since I had all the ingredients in my pantry, I eagerly assembled everything and started making my first bread-machine bread.
Revival of the Bread Machine
Recently, I noticed some of my friends have started baking bread at home. Their main reason for doing so is because of their food allergies and diet. A friend of mine is into gluten-free diet and this is why she makes her own bread. She got a bread machine with settings for baking gluten-free bread.
What made me excited too about making my own bread is that I can make my very own multi-grain bread--customizing the grains I include in my recipe. I am also thinking of baking my favorite brioche with the amount of butter that I want. Some of the brioche I have eaten had way too much butter. Another recipe I am eager to try is cinnamon-raisin bread. I can already imagine the appetizing smell of this bread in my kitchen.
Bread Machine Oatmeal Bread
1 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons agave nectar
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 teaspoons Himalayan salt
3 3/4 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons powdered milk
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
Incorporating the Yeast
I tried to read up on making breads with bread machines and all of the articles I read warned that the yeast should be placed last on top of all the ingredients in an indented well in the middle, so as not to wet the yeast before the kneading action begins in the bread machine. This will prevent the bread from becoming dense.
1. Measure water and agave syrup, then pour in the pail
2. Cut the butter into chunks and spread around the pail.
3. Measure and mix the oats, salt ,flour, flax seed and milk in a separate container, then carefully scoop into the pail. Do not mix.
4. Gently, make a well in the middle of the flour mixture. Put the yeast in the well.
5. Close the lid.
6. Select the Basic setting.
7. Select the medium setting for the crust color (just press the crust color button and wait for the P to come out for a few seconds).
8. Press the Start button.
9. After the bread bakes, remove the pail from the machine. Please be careful because the pail will be very, very hot. Use a kitchen pad to protect your hands.
10. Turn the pail over a rack, then loosen the bread. Cool the bread on the wire rack.
Enjoy your bread!
While the bread was still hot, I excitedly cut a portion --it was nice to hear the crunching sound of the crust while I was slicing through it--and spread some jam on it!! It was soft and chewy. Enjoy this with a cup of coffee!
It might be true that bread is cheap and very much available nowadays, but GOOD bread is not.
Choosing Your Breadmaker
When I Googled bread machine, I was amazed with the variety of bread machines available now in the market. You can choose the ones that allow you to add nuts and fruits while baking, some with gluten-free settings, and others with a number of choices on the length of baking time. Moreover, one machine allows you to bake for 13 hours, so you'll have freshly baked bread when you wake up in the morning or when you arrive home.This will surely be a level up to the quality of life (of bread) I am enjoying right now.
I guess, you have to know the needs of your family before getting your own bread machine. Make a list of the qualities you are looking for in your bread, then choose the bread machine with the features that answer the needs of your family.