I had a friend in Newfoundland that use to call bought bread, baker’s fog. His wife made bread the old fashion way almost every day.
We started making our own bread about 1986. We were teaching school in an Athabaskan Indian village about 150 miles north of Fairbanks. Alaska. My wife and I together taught grades kindergarten through six. The planning involved left very little time for bread making, or anything else, so a bread machine was the answer.
Our first machine was a DAK we bought before returning to the village for the second year.
This was before the internet, so there was no buying on line. The machine made passable bread, but the loafs were round. We have always referred to that first machine as R2-D2.
About eight years later, in the nineties, we bought our second bread machine, a Breadman Ultra, and it made great bread.
We have gone through two Breadman machines, and last year our last one bit the dust. We ordered another Breadman, but it was a piece of garbage and we returned it
Now we have a Cuisinart and it is, in our opinion, the best we have owned.
Today’s society requires instant gratification. People buy bread machines, and if the bread doesn’t turn out the first few times they use it, they declare the breadmaker is at fault.
Making consistently good bread with a bread machine requires some amount of practice. When the ingrediency begin to mix, you need to know what a good dough looks like, and make adjustments. Eventually you will have your recipe down pat and will make consistently good bread.
We make one-and-a-half pound loafs, because the two-pound bread slices are too big for the toaster.
OUR STANDARD RECIPE.
Exact measurements are necessary.
1 1/8 cup of water goes into the bread pan
2 ½ tablespoons of olive oil are added
3 cups of all-purpose flower added (not bread flour.)
1 tablespoon of sugar on one side of the pan
1 teaspoon of salt on the other side of the pan
1 Teaspoon of Fleischmann’s yeast (not bread machine yeast or rapid yeast) in the middle of the pan.
(recipes that came with our bread machine call for two or more teaspoons of yeast – this is not necessary – one teaspoon works great.)
We select the White Bread setting, 1 1/2 pound loaf
When the ingredients start to mix, wait a few minutes then scrape the sides of the bread pan to remove any sticky dough. Our machine beeps just before the last kneading and we remove the bread pan, dump the dough on a flowered sheet and remove the paddle, kneed the dough a few times to shape a loaf and replace the dough in the bread pan and return it to the breadmaker.
Cutting the bread is a skill I never mastered well and often resulted in slices too thick or too thin. I have now found the solution
Bambusi bamboo bread slicer.
I am still working on perfection, but again anything done well takes practice.