Saturday, October 22, 2011

Bread Machine: White Bread

 My bread machine and I have been separated for about a year and half.  I had forgotten how much I missed her.  Even though I have a mixer, I still use my bread machine enough that I miss her when she's gone.  I love the convenience of it.  The other day I wanted to have soup and bread for dinner, but also had to take Hadlee to a dentist appointment and wouldn't be home to complete all the steps of making bread.  I almost picked up a loaf of french bread when I went to the store that morning, but then realized, I can just use my bread machine.  It is so nice to be able to put the ingredients in, press start and know that when I get back from wherever, we can walk in to the smell of fresh bread.
This is the best result I have had so far with bread in my bread maker.  I make a lot of dough in her and love that, but sometimes the bread is a little denser than I would like.  When we are eating it with soup I really don't mind.  However, this bread wasn't dense at all.  It was so light it almost melted in our mouths but also had a flaky crust that I really like when we are having soup.  When the bread machine was finished, I opened the top and was a little worried because the middle had sunk slightly.  I only used the amount of ingredients for a 1.5 lb loaf (and my bread machine capacity is 2 lbs) but the bread was to the top of the machine.  I was worried what that sunken middle meant and planned on looking through my instruction manual later to find out.  After I cut into the bread, I didn't care what the top looked like.  And after we tasted it, I cared even less.  I still don't know and it doesn't bother me.  I later realized that I didn't follow the recipe exactly, so maybe that had something to do with it, but I hope it turns out just like this next time too!  You may be able to make this bread by hand or in the mixer, but since I haven't done it yet, I can't say for sure how it would turn out.  This bread alone is worth getting a bread maker!

Bread Machine White Bread
1 cup + 2 T water
1  1/2 T oil
2 T sugar
1  1/2 tsp salt
3  1/4 cups bread flour
1  3/4 tsp active dry yeast

Check the instruction manual of your bread maker to see how it recommends adding ingredients.  For mine, you add all the we ingredients, add flour and salt, make a week in the middle and add yeast and sugar.  Turn onto setting appropriate for white bread and a 1.5 lb loaf.  When loaf is finished, remove from machine and let cool 5-10 minutes before slicing to prevent smashing the loaf.
Have a great weekend!

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