Wednesday, February 8, 2012

One Last Bread Machine Post--My Favorite Recipe

Home made bread is a great way to help fill the hunger gaps, as well as the gaps in the food budget--but I may have said that before.

So, enough on the glories of the bread machine loaf--just let me share my favorite recipe, which makes a 1-1/2 pounder.

White Bread for the Bread Machine

1-1/4 cups water
3 Tbsp. oil
2 Tbsp. sugar
1-1/2 Tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. non-fat dried milk powder
(or 1 Tbsp. if you use non-instant)
3 to 3-1/3 cups flour
1-1/2 tsp. yeast

Layer the wet ingredients, then the dry ingredients, then the yeast, so the yeast stays dry--especially if you plan to use the delay timer. Be sure you put the paddle(s) in the machine! Press 'start'!

Just a little discussion of ingredients:

Water can be cool--the machine will monitor the temperature.
Oil improves texture and should be mild flavored--canola is great.
Sugar feeds the yeast and helps with browning.
Salt improves flavor and is a control for the yeast.
Non-fat dried milk improves nutrition by making more protein available to the body.
Flour provides proteins for loaf structure and nutrition, and carbs to give us energy. Bread flour is recommended, but I have to admit that I use all-purpose.
Yeast grows to produce the gasses that raise the loaf--make sure it's fresh! (Admission: I was too embarrassed to take a photo of that loaf which went through the entire machine cycle without yeast. Not recommended.)

Don't be afraid to peek at the dough and evaluate it early in the cycle. It should be soft and almost sticky. You can then scrape down the sides of the pan or maybe add flour or water to improve the dough texture. I will admit that I have been known to stop the machine early in the cycle, add flour or water to adjust the dough, and then re-start it. Nothing bad happened.

So, that's it for my Saga of the Bread Machine. But I might not be finished with the subject of the dough.

We haven't even talked about whole grains--any input?

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