I have posted about bread making before. My wife and I have been making our own bread with bread machines since 1985 when we lived in the Alaskan bush.
The reason people who buy bread machines tend not to use them, is there are too many bread options with ingrediency and instructions which often turn out poor bread.
The machine we use is the Cuisinart, and I like it – mainly because it chimes before the last rise cycle allowing me to remove the dough, take out the paddle, then place the dough back into the machine to finish.
The machine has 16 different bread cycles and separate selection for loaf size and crust. I use only one: white bread – 1 ½ pound loaf – medium crust.
My recipe takes five minutes of preparation.
1 1/8 cup of water
2 tablespoon of olive oil
Three level cups of flour
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
And one level teaspoon of yeast.
In that order.
The exact measure of water, flour and yeast must be precise.
I use all purpose flour. If I want wheat bread, I replace one cup of the white flour with wheat flour; if I want whole grain or rye – the same thing.
Yesterday I made a herb bread. Between each cup of flour, and on top, I sprinkled 1/2 teaspoon of dried Herbs-of-Provence. You could use basil, dill, jasmine or the herb of your choice. You can substitute the tablespoon of sugar with an equal amount of honey or molasses.
If you want artisan bread, take out the dough before the last rise – cover it for rise time and bake it in your oven; for me too much work.
I will make one caveat: the pizza dough cycle works well, though we don’t often make our own pizzas.
Let your loaf sit for three to four hours to cool before storing in a plastic storage bag. The bread will have the best texture and curst if sliced the next day – if you can wait that long.
There is no better bread than you can make at home in a bread machine with this simple recipe.