Countryside French Bread - Best Bread Maker Recipe - Bread Machine Tips
If You Can't Stand The Heat, Get Out A Bread Maker
I have discovered the best French bread recipe for the bread maker that I have made several times with great results every time. You can have home baked bread anytime of the year without warming up the kitchen. When you want to have healthy food, your own ingredients, no hassle, and exceptional results, you make your own meals using handy gadgets (bread maker and slow cooker are a phenomenal pair anytime).
Find the recipe, some minor tips that will ensure you have great results every time, and bonus recipes that will show you what you can do with the whole loaf (this is great if you are cooking for one or two people). Sometimes a one or two person home misses out on this kind of treat, so, I've included recipes I use to store and use up the bread.
Thanks to each of the readers who have come back to follow up and report the results of using the recipe on this page!! Your feedback is appreciated and I love to hear when a loaf of bread can bring so much joy to people.
Making Bread with A Bread Maker
Save money and make the most wholesome foods for you and your loved ones
The cost of this process pays for itself in no time! I use my bread maker for my own family and to create amazing gifts for the holidays and year round. The ability to put in your own ingredients is amazing in itself, but, how about saving money.
A basic loaf of bread at the grocery store has risen to between $1.99 for most generic and as much as $3.49 for brand name basic breads. Consider the cost of one tiny loaf of raisin bread and you might save as much as $3 a loaf making it yourself. I make a raisin bread by adding a few raisins and a dash of cinnamon to a basic bread recipe.
You choose your favorite ingredients.
If you have dietary restrictions then this process is going to be priceless for you! I especially love this now that I have adopted a gluten free diet for health reasons.
For a general family of 4, the price of the bread maker will pay for itself in less than 2 months. *Potential savings estimated from current cost of bread, bread maker costs, and an educated guess.
We are saving:
- money, and
- we know exactly what is in our bread.
- We have a new idea for gift giving (home baked delights that will be a welcome gift for most anyone on your list), and
- the added pleasure of keeping the kitchen cool while still adding that Grandma's Kitchen aroma that is sure to please everyone who enters your home.
Are you ready to make some bread?
I'm betting you already have everything you need to get started right away...So Let's make my favorite and easiest bread recipe now!
Choose a Breadmaker
Think about the size machine you would like to buy. I'll discuss the options below.
I have a 2 Pound Machine.
First The Breadmaker -- This is the one I use.
I am using the Oster 2 lb Expressbake made by the Sunbeam corporation.
The recipe is for the 2 lb bread maker. If your bread maker is smaller, you will need to adjust the recipe. Refer to your bread maker manual to determine the size of your machine. If you do not have a manual, you can find one at hillbilly housewife.
This is by far the best Bread Machine I have ever used. I've used a variety of them, but, none of them compares to this one. Longevity, exceptional guidance (the owner's manual and website). I enjoy the simplicity of operations.
The settings are straight forward and I love how easy it is to use, clean, and set up for lovely loaves of bread.
Loaf Size Machine Size Reminder
Make sure you check how many 'pound' size it is. This refers to the size of the loaf of bread. A 1 pound loaf , 1.5 pound, and a 2 pound size loaf of bread are most common.
Remember you can make any size loaf recipe in a larger size machine (for example I can make a 1 pound loaf of bread in a 2 pound machine) but not the other way around. If you try to make a recipe for a 2 pound loaf in a smaller machine the dough will end up all over the place before it has a chance to rise all the way. So, it may be wise to look at the 2 pound machines so you are capable of making just about any recipe you want to try out.
This is by far the best Bread Machine I have ever used. I've used a variety to them, primarily hand me down or thrift store finds, but none of them compares to this one. Longevity, exceptional guidance (the owner's manual is remarkable for recipes and bread making tips), and above all, I enjoy the simplicity of operation. This model lets you select a variety of settings (as most do) yet it is also very compatible with a variety of recipe resources in regard to a seemingly universal use of terms.
Machine Style Tips:
This Recipe is not for delay cycles because you need to watch the first few minutes of kneading to make sure the dough is forming a smooth ball. I've included a photo of how a smooth ball should look. And, how I have adjusted the dough when it isn't at the right smoothness.
You will need about 20-30 minutes to prepare the baking pan and insure the dough is off to a good start and then you can leave for 3 hours 20 minutes. Be sure you are handy to remove the bread right away, upon completion of the bake cycle, so the bread will not dry out or burn the crust.
French Countryside Bread
Recipe copied from the my Oster Sunbeam Corporation 1999 owner’s manual. I couldn't find this anywhere else. They do have great recipes on their website but this one is my all time favorite.
- -- 1 and 3/8 cups water
- -- 1 and ½ Tablespoons vegetable or olive oil (I've only used “extra virgin olive oil” for this recipe)
- -- 1 and ½ teaspoons salt (very important for rising consistency)
- -- 4 cups bread flour (tip: fill the measuring cup with a spoon and level off with the back of a knife to “level off”
- -- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- -- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- Measure and add liquid ingredients to the bread pan.
- Measure and add dry ingredients (except yeast) to the bread pan.
Use your finger to form a well (hole) in the flour where you will pour the yeast. Yeast must never come into contact with a liquid when you are adding ingredients. Measure the yeast and carefully pour it into the well.
Put the bread pan inside the bread machine and secure
- Snap the baking pan into the bread maker and close the lid.
- Press “select” button to choose French setting.
- Press the “crust color” button to choose light, medium or dark crust (I've use both medium and dark and prefer medium for a golden brown crunchy crust).
- Press the “start/stop” button.
(End copy from the Oster Sunbeam Corporation 1999 bread maker owner’s manual)
Breadmakers Save Money
You can save money as well as ensure you are getting healthy food by making your own bread.
A Smooth Ball -- Best Learned Tip
- Watch the dough as it forms (at 2-3 minute intervals for the first 15 minutes. You want the dough to form a smooth ball).
If the dough is too wet: add a small amount (slowly add one teaspoon at a time) of bread flour.
If the dough is too dry: add a small amount (slowly drip one teaspoon at a time) of water.
The French cycle takes about an hour longer than the basic bread cycle because it will rise an extra time during the process.
As soon as the bread maker cycle is complete:
Carefully remove the loaf from the bread pan and allow bread to cool for 20 minutes on a wire rack before slicing.
Proper Storage -- Bonus Cooking for Two Ideas
Once your Bread is Cooled Down -- Proper Storage of Home Baked Bread
No preservatives means taking extra care in keeping your loaf of bread machine bread fresh longer
Keep your fresh loaf of bread fresh
* Do Not Refrigerate (unless you have made a loaf of bread with large amount of fruits, meats, or vegetables - such as Tomato, Pumpkin, Applesauce, etc).
*Store in a cool dry place in an airtight container (see below for examples). Use a Ziploc or food grade bag (think about how store bread is packaged - plastic bag with a twist tie).
Store your home made bread...
To keep your home made bread fresh, be sure you let it cool before you package it (so it will not sweat).
Bread Storage Adjustable Bread Keeper
Making your bread in your bread machine is one of the best things you can do but you also need to protect the bread so it will stay fresh longer with proper storage. This handy bread box for bread machine bread will help you keep your home baked bread fresh to the last slice.
Cool the bread completely and then put it in this adjustable container that will slide to fit the size of your loaf and continue to adjust as the loaf gets smaller to reduce the air in the box so your bread maker bread stays fresh longer.
Basic Break Making -- Video - Basic Steps Using a Bread Maker
Banana Bread Video -- How to make Banana Bread - Step by step using a break maker
I still remember Grandmother's Banana Bread and I know my banana bread may never be as good as hers, but , it is really good and easy to make in the bread machine. Your bread maker can make raised, sweet, and quick breads.
This is my idea for a gift.
Bake a loaf of bread the night before you are going to visit (to present the gift). Using the delay setting on your bread maker you can time this so you are taking the loaf out of the bread pan while you are pouring your first cup of coffee.
Then it is cooling while you shower and dress.
- Then wrap it in bread bag or bread box.
- Now you have a unique gift that will be a joy for anyone.
Want to make it even more precious?
- Include a recipe card or better yet include a coupon that says, This certificate entitles you to a home baked loaf of bread
So you have promised to make another loaf (or perhaps a loaf a month) throughout the year.
Easy Raisin Bread!
One of my recipients gets a loaf of raisin bread about every 8 weeks or so. Also, I have prepared (using the dough setting on the bread maker) the most delightful honey buns. When I make a batch of these I usually split the goodies into 4-6 gift wrappers and share.
No need to have sweets around the house for days on end but on occasion it is a delightful treat. Topped with the drizzled homemade vanilla glaze.
The recipe I use for the honey buns is
- a basic white bread recipe,
- set the bread maker to the "dough" setting.
- After the bread maker is done with the dough,
- I then roll the dough into a rectangle,
- sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar,
- and roll into a long roll.
- Then cut about 2 inches sections and lay them on a cookie sheet.
- Let rise until about double in size (or a bit more if you like them light and airy).
- Bake at 375 until golden brown.
Remove from oven, let cool a little bit, and drizzle with a vanilla glaze.
Vanilla Glaze Recipe
Make the glaze with
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar),
- 1 teaspoon milk,
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla.
- Stir well until you have a drizzle consistency and
- top the honey buns with your glaze.
Cooking for Two?
Great ways to save money and time when you are cooking for two
Stretching Your Loaf
If you have avoided using a bread maker because you are cooking for one or two people... don't wait any longer. This idea is meant to be suggestive to give you ideas how you can enjoy your a fresh loaf of bread a little each day.
Cooking for two (for a larger table pick a day and use your whole loaf of fresh baked bread)
*When you are cooking for one or two persons, you can use a loaf of bread in creative ways throughout a week or so.
- *First day: Enjoy your home baked bread just as it is. Serve with a dab of garlic butter and your favorite pasta recipe. Day one is also a great day to use your favorite slow cooker recipe and time the two so the slow cooker meal is ready to serve 4 hours 20 minutes after the bread maker is started.
- *Second day: Sandwiches! Pick your favorite sandwich toppings and enjoy. Slice the bread to best suit your ingredients. Slice a bit thicker for heavy toppings and on the thin side for delicate sandwich ingredients.
I made a tuna egg salad (best of both tuna salad and egg salad recipes) and used a medium slice so the bread would hold up to the spread and hold lettuce, tomato, and sprouts as well.
If you prefer thin sliced bread and want to use heavy ingredients you can cut your sandwiches into finger size portions,
- *Third day: Make French toast. Thick sliced French bread dipped in a whipped up egg (with a touch of cinnamon) and toasted in a hot skillet (with a non stick cooking spray) served with a drizzle of your favorite pancake syrup or fruit preserves.
- *Forth day: Make a french bread pizza. Top a slice with chopped leftovers and cover with cheese. (I've used a tablespoon of leftover pasta sauce, chopped olives, and left over chopped up meats from the day or two before. Meatloaf - broken into tiny morsels - makes an excellent french bread pizza topping!
*Put your "pizza" on a piece of foil and place in your Toaster Over on the Broil setting until the cheese melts.
© 2009 Deb Bryan