Adventures in Breadmaking…

There seems to be a trendsetter in my office (it’s not me).  One of my co-workers bakes her own bread, and recently brought a loaf as a contribution to our chili cook-off.  I didn’t have a slice that day, but most other people did, and just raved about it.  That spurred our boss to want to give it a shot, and then it wasn’t long before other people were out looking for deals on their own bread machine’s.

I’m normally not one to buy in to the latest health craze; I enjoy my Campbell’s Soup, and instant mashed potatoes (no lumps, yay!), thank you very much.  However, I thought to myself, “self, maybe you should put a bread machine on your Christmas List?  That might be kind of fun to have around!”

It turns out though, that you can get bread machine’s at many thrift stores for under $10.00!  So I present to you…

… my $6.99 Bread Machine!!

Now, I started with my co-worker’s recipe (spoiler alert, it didn’t turn out…).

Kathy’s Bread Recipe – Makes a 1.5 lb loaf

What to gather:

1 cup water, room temp

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 T honey

3 and 1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup vital wheat gluten

2 and 1/4 tsp yeast (active dry, instant or bread machine)

What to do:

Put the ingredients into the pan, into the bread machine, select the whole wheat setting and press start!

Now… I’d like to highlight the importance of the GLUTEN up there.  If you don’t add that, and you stick with regular flour (whole wheat or not), and don’t allow the yeast to bubble a little, you end up with a bread “loaf” that looks like this:

I found out after the fact that if you purchase actual bread flour then you don’t need to add gluten yourself, however if you use just plain ol’ Gold Medal Flour… you’re apparently missing the gluten.

So… onto try #2!

Best Bread Machine Bread – makes a 1.5 lb loaf

What to Gather:

1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

2 tablespoons white sugar

1 (.25 ounce) package bread machine yeast

1/4 cup vegetable oil

3 cups bread flour

1 teaspoon salt

What to do:

Place the water, sugar and yeast in the pan of the bread machine. Let the yeast dissolve and foam for 10 minutes. Add the oil, flour and salt to the yeast. Select Basic or White Bread setting, and press Start.

And you know what…

This one worked!!

I still didn’t have bread flour, but had purchased whole wheat before the first endeavor so just kept using that.  The loaf above is pretty dense, but I attribute that to once again using regular flour and not adding gluten.  When this loaf is gone, I’ll be investing in some “bread flour,” and I have faith that it will turn out perfect!

I know this because I’ve seen the slices on my co-worker’s sandwiches at lunch… I should have assumed there’s a reason there are two separate products for regular flour and, you know… bread flour! ;]

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