Sunday, April 12, 2015

Using a bread machine

Have you ever used a bread machine to make a loaf of bread? Do you have one and you are intimidated by it? I have owned 3 bread machines in my life. The first one was horrible. The loaf was tall like this image from Google. It was difficult to get a "good" loaf from this machine. The next machine I bought made a "traditional" loaf. It was simple to use and made great bread. Then our house burned. I replaced that machine over 15 years ago with my West Bend Baker's Choice Plus machine. It bakes a traditional loaf in about 3 1/2 hours. And it is good.

Image result for bread machine loaves
tall loaf, image from Google
When I first started making bread in the bread machine, I had a difficult time. It wouldn't rise, so, I called the help line. That was when they recommended "jar" yeast for bread machines. My favorite is Red Star. You can't always find that though so I also use, and like, Fleichmann's Rapid Rise in the jar. It is for bread machines, and you can use it for regular baking as well.

                      Image result for jar yeast        Image result for jar yeast

I have always used White Lily Unbleached Bread Flour for my bread making. I tried many, many brands including Martha White and Pillsbury. I felt White Lily was best. Then I used King Arthur and oh, my. It is the softest flour to the touch and nothing I have made with it has ever failed. Flour does make a difference. I will now and forever use King Arthur Unbleached All Purpose flour for my bread making. For ever.  AND NEVER, EVER use margarine in your bread making! If it calls for butter, USE BUTTER!! It makes it so much better, plus the water content of margarine can flatten your loaf!
google image, old fav
Image result for king arthur unbleached
google image, new fav

So today I got an email from the King Arthur folks. Sunday Recipe Roundup. The King Arthur baking site is also linked on this blog to the left if you are on a PC. There was a recipe at the bottom of the email with a recipe for bread, and since I had already considered making a loaf, I opened the link and read the recipe. I decided to try the loaf and wow. What a loaf of bread! It is super!! Best bread I ever made, and not to brag, but I am a pretty great baker.

Always use real butter in the bread recipes that call for butter! NO margarine substitution!! 

So the recipe is as follows: (ALWAYS follow the ingredient add order recommended by your machine!!)

for large (1 1/2 to 2-pound) machine

1) Put all of the ingredients into your machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer.
2) Program the machine for basic white bread, and press Start.
3) When the loaf is done, remove the pan from the machine. After about 5 minutes, gently shake the pan to dislodge the loaf, and turn it out onto a rack to cool.
Yield: 1 loaf.
Set your machine accordingly and turn it on! In about 3 1/2 hours you will have a perfect loaf of bread! Good luck!  Cut the butter into small cubes and have it be close to room temperature for better mixing. 

So hard to wait for it to cool enough to slather it with Land O Lakes butter!
Happy baking!

I love all y'all❤️
To be continued...................

some images are mine, some from google and some from King Arthur email

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