My wife and I have been making our own bread since 1985 when we taught in an Athabaskan Indian village in remote Alaska. There was no store in the village so commercial bread was not readily available. My wife was teaching kindergarten, first and second grades, and I had the easier job of third, fourth, fifth and six. All of our time was spent either teaching or planning lessons so there was no time to become bread bakers.
That year we bought our first bread maker that looked similar to the R2D2 robot on Star Wars and produced a cylindrical loaf.
Since that time, we have always made our bread with bread machines.
This is my favorite bread recipe:
1 cup of milk
3 tablespoons of water
1 ½ cups of white all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups of whole wheat stone ground flour
4 teaspoons of sugar
¾ teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of butter
1 teaspoon of yeast
If you measure carefully the bread comes out perfect almost every time. Just before the last rising we remove the dough, remove the paddle, lightly kneed and shape into a ball and return the dough to the bread machine for the final rise and bake. We find the 1 ½ pound recipes give a better consistency bread than the 2 pound recipes.
We have had numerous bread machines. The worst one was a terribly expensive, two paddle machine made in Sweden – the bread came out lousy. The one we like the best is the Bread Machine Ultra that cost about $90 on line.
We have made breads, cakes, pizza dough and rolls with our machine – the machine does most of the work.
My favorite bread machine recipe book is: Bread Machines and Beyond by Jenny Shapter, my next favorite is Better Homes and Gardens Bread Machine Cook Book. I like the first one best because it has pictures – I like pictures
Enjoy some fresh bread