Friday, August 29, 2008

Crusty Bread No More!

Again, this is a tip I read somewhere a while back, but I can't remember where I read it... So you don't get a reference. Sorry!

Anyway, I just LOVE baking bread. I have a fabulous Zojirushi bread machine (that I got for FREE! see below...). I use it to knead the dough, then put the dough in a super-long bread pan I purchased at Ikea, let it rise, then bake it. It's roughly the same size as the loaves of bread you purchase at the grocery store. Anyway, my only complaint was the crustiness of the bread. It wasn't soft like store-bought bread. While I didn't mind (and actually preferred it crusty) my kids wouldn't let me make sandwiches with it because the crust was too crunchy. TIP: Remove the bread from the pan right out of the oven, then cover it with a damp towel, tucking it around the sides, until the bread is cool. It will "steam" the crunchiness out of the crust. :)

Since I know you want to know (wink, wink): The story of how I got my Zojirushi bread machine - a brand that I highly recommend (do you know another bread machine that can handle whole wheat bread?) but it costs around $200 brand new. How did I get mine for FREE, you ask? The site ROCKS! I put a "WANTED: bread machine" ad on Freecycle in Seattle about four or five years ago. I had a gal email me and tell me she'd purchased a bread machine to use while her in-laws were visiting, used it once, and had stored it since (and had since divorced). She didn't use it, and didn't want it so I could have it. WOW! I only determined how much it was worth when I was web-surfing trying to find a users manual for it. It makes horizontal loaves and can handle whole wheat bread without batting an eyelash (if it had eyelashes, that is). The thing is AWESOME. I got super lucky that day. :)

In the spirit of preaching the virtue of my fabulous bread machine, I though it would be fitting to share my favorite bread machine recipe with you today:

Raisin Bread (Bread Machine)

Put the following ingredients in bread machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions and set for basic (or quick) bread setting:

1 ½ C. water

2 T. oil or butter

2 ¼ C. wheat flour

2 C. white flour

3 T. sugar

2 T. dry milk

1 ½ tsp. salt

3 tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. active dry yeast

*(or 3-4 tsp. active dry yeast for quick setting)

When "Add" beep sounds (or about 3/4 of the way through the kneading cycle), add:

1 ½ C. raisins

1 comment:

  1. There is nothing like the delicious aroma of baking bread mmm :p drool There are so many healthy bread recipes too. mmm fiber
    I think I'll go make some.