When my husband bought this neat bread machine my lips curled in a scorn. I went like… ‘Whoa, do we really need this?’
‘There are gazillion varieties of breads at the snap of a finger. This is such a labor intensive way to eat a slice of bread’.
‘Let’s have fresh homemade, preservative free bread’.
‘I guess, preservatives are good…for aging bodies! This is extra work in capitals!
‘For heaven’s sake, at least try it once!’
Do I need to say he is a bread enthusiast! So I launched my experiments with the gadget. I was almost sure that the machine will go back to where it belongs. The instruction booklet that accompanied the machine gives 8 different recipes. I started with the ‘Basic’ recipe – fail! The crust was hard and the inside was crumbly. Next, I tried Rapid Bake 1 – not satisfied. I moved to the Cracked Wheat Sandwich bread. The bread turned out to be a block of brick. Then I tried the Dinner Rolls Dough setting and used the dough to make pizzas. Wow! that was a success story. So I made my coconut bun making the dough. I was overwhelmed and decided to use it as a kneading machine and transferred the dough into a bread pan and allowed it rise to bake in the conventional oven. Was I contented with the result? NO! I wanted the machine to do everything for me. Over ambitious you may say!
While looking for a bread maker bread recipe, luckily I found Melanie’s “Soft White Sandwich Bread Recipe for Bread Machine” at http://www.melaniecooks.com . I tried it with great anticipation as the recipe looked promising. Thanks Melanie for the timely help…it turned out to be a delicious loaf made entirely by our bread maker. Here is the recipe.
1 cup water
3 tbsp vegetable oil
3 cups flour
4 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp dry yeast
For a Soft White Bread
- Warm the water and when you touch it should be slightly warmer than your body temperature.
- Remove the inner pan with the kneading paddle and add the water. If the pan is inside the machine the flour scatters to the bottom of the machine and takes extra effort to clean.
- Add all other measured ingredients in the order. I added 1 tsp. salt as we are always on the lesser side.
- Put the pan into the machine.
- Plug the machine and select ‘Basic’ setting.
- Set the crust color to medium and appropriate loaf size to 1.5 lb.
- Press start button. Do not open the top lid in between but view through the viewing window to see the rising and browning of the dough. I took pictures and it could have bothered my dough.
- When the bread is done the complete signal will sound.
- Remove the bread pan from the unit and carefully slide the bread on to a wire rack for cooling.
- Pull out the kneading paddle which is stuck in the bread. It comes out easily leaving a small slit.
- Allow the bread to cool for 20 minutes before transferring it to a board to slice.
- Use a serrated knife and slice carefully.
You will get very soft bread with a crumbly crust!
I was so carried away by the result of this method that I baked the second bread today and it was a total SUCCESS! This simple recipe has instilled the courage in me to go ahead and experiment with more. Bharathy, this is exclusively for you!