Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My first-ever bread machine bread

I'm a big fan of homemade bread, so much so that it's dangerous to my diet to have it around all the time. But I'm convinced that it's healthier than anything we can buy, and I also believe that being able to bake my own bread is going to be a necessity once we run for the border. See, while you can get all kinds of bread at Xelapan (or Panapan or Guatepan or wherever-you-happen-to-be-pan), loaf bread (pan frances, it's typically called in Guatemala) is just basically tasteless white bread. That's not what I want to eat forever, nor is it what I want to feed my kid.

I will say that I'm not totally convinced that baking my own bread is as cost effective as it could be. I haven't figured out the details yet, so it might be, but I know that we can get a decent loaf of whole wheat bread at Aldi for less than $1.50. If I ever sit down and figure out how much it costs to make a good loaf of homemade bread I'll let you know. But making our own bread is more about health and controlling what goes into our bodies than it is about saving money at this point in time.

Anyway, we've had a breadmaker for several years, and P-Daddy has made a lot of bread with it. A few weeks ago someone freecycled a breadmaker and we decided to grab it while we could, since we had no idea how long our current breadmaker would last, and we thought it would be good to have a back-up. It's a Zojirushi, which I understand to be a really good brand for breadmakers and rice cookers. So we are trying this one out to see how it works.

I'm using P-Daddy's basic bread machine recipe for my virgin loaf:

Add the following to the bread machine:
9 oz water
2 TBSP olive oil
1.5 TBSP sugar
1 cup flour (I used white)
2 tsp active dry yeast

Wait 30 minutes to let the yeast work a little, then add the rest of the ingredients:
2 cups flour (I used whole wheat for this part)
1.5 tsp salt
2 TBSP dry milk
Then turn the machine on and let it go. I prefer the crust on oven-baked bread, so after the bread kneaded and rose, I took it out and put it on our baking stone, separating it into 2 loaves.

After about 30 minutes at 350 degrees, it came out like this:

It was pretty darn good! With a little butter and honey, as well as a cup of coffee, it made a perfect mid-afternoon snack!

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