Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Bread Maker Magic

sliced breadI love my breadmaker. It doesn't make the most fantastic bread I've ever had, but it does a pretty good job. The nice part is that I don't have to babysit it. I can set it up before I go to bed, set the timer, and voila! Warm bread for breakfast!

Most of the recipes that came with it are pretty good. One of my friends came up with her own variations that work even better. One my family's favorites, from her list of breadmaker recipes, is for a half-white half-wheat bread. By itself, the recipe makes nice, soft, and tasty bread. I've modified the recipe by adding a couple of "secret ingredients" - wheat gluten and dough conditioner. They don't make the bread any tastier, but they do seem to help it rise a bit better, and more evenly.

Half-Wheat Bread a la Jennifer (as interpreted by the Mormon Foodie)

This recipe will make a nice 1 1/2 pound loaf in your breadmaker. The ingredients are listed in the order suggested by my breadmaker's manufacturer. Check the order recommended for your breadmaker. It does make a difference.

1 cup water
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cup white flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 1/2 tsp dry yeast
2 tsp wheat gluten
1 tsp dough conditioner

Use the "wheat" cycle, and set it to make a "light" loaf. (Yes, this recipe is light in the loafers. Ha Ha. Now be quiet.)

After it's done baking, cover it with a kitchen towel and cool it on a wire rack. Make sure you let it cool completely before cutting. That way the warm moisture on the inside of the bread will rise up and soften the crust, not fly out the side and dry out the bread.

What I like doing is making a couple of loaves of 100% whole wheat bread the "old fashioned" way over the weekend, and then supplement that with bread from the breadmaker during the week. That way we can cut down on making all those peanut butter and jelly sandwiches using store bought "air" bread.

Mmmm . . . peanut butter . . .


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