David’s Recipes – Bread Machine 101 – Love the smell of fresh baked bread? Let David Venable show you a simple homemade white bread recipe using a Cook’s Essentials Bread Maker. For more ITKWD:
Without a doubt, there is no nicer smell in your home and particularly in the kitchen than fresh baked bread and I always find one of the nicer short cuts is to use and electric bread machine. These are super simple to operate and the most important thing is to read your instruction manual. Get to know your machine a little bit and make sure you understand exactly how it works so you’ll have great results every single time. The second step that you want to make sure that you do when making bread in a bread machine is making sure all your ingredients are nice and fresh. Using fresh eggs, and milk, and fresh butter. Making sure they’re as fresh as they can be will result in a nicer, brighter flavor and you’ll know that the end result is going to taste great. And then you want to make sure that the bread recipe that you’re using is appropriate for the machine you have. The last thing you want to do is have too much dough and have your bread bake up and over and out of the pot, or you want to make sure that you have enough room for the bread to knead. Now what we’re going to do today is a really simple white bread recipe. What we’ll do first is get busy programming the machine and getting it ready for a basic white bread. On this particular machine, we’re going to choose our loaf size. We can choose a 1, 1.5, or 2 pound loaf. What we’ve done here is we’ve chosen a 2 pound loaf. Secondly, there are 12 different bread settings. We’re going to choose 1 for basic because we’re doing a basic white bread. And then finally you’re choosing the color of your crust. Would you like it to be light, medium, or dark? We’ve chosen medium. Now let’s get busy with the ingredients. If you were making this bread by hand, there are lots of rules you have to be careful about. You should never let yeast come into contact with the salt, or liquid because it will activate the yeast too soon in the process. The nice thing about a bread machine, as soon as you turn this on it’s going to mix immediately, so you really don’t have to worry too much about those rules. The bread machine is very forgiving and will take care of all of that heavy lifting. So, here are your ingredients, we’re going to begin with 4 cups of bread flour. Next we’re going to add in our salt, then the sugar, and add your warm water. Now the water should be at least 80 degrees because you want that warm water to help activate the yeast. We add in a little oil and then finally, always make sure your yeast is very fresh and add that in, and as soon as it’s inside, close the lid, press start and the machine does the rest of the work. This loaf will take about 3 hours to bake and in no time at all, your house will fill with that wonderful aroma, and of course, when that bread comes out of the oven, that bread will be ready for some fresh creamy butter, and your favorite jam. Now the machine is into its bread cycle where it’s kneading the dough, allowing it to rise, kneading it again and beginning the baking process. You can begin to think about getting a little creative. This particular machine has a beeping sound and when that beeping sound goes off, you can add some other ingredients to make the bread even more special. Think about adding things like dried fruit, you can also do nuts, and even chocolate chips can make a great dessert bread. Most important thing to do, get those ingredients in before the baking process begins so those ingredients can be incorporated into the dough and then you have something really beautiful, tasty, and aromatic when it’s all done. So now the baking cycle is completed and it smells fantastic in here! Let’s go ahead and take the bread out. Now the first thing to remember is that this is very hot inside, so you’ll need a nice dish cloth or an oven mitt. I like to lay it on its side on the cutting board that way I can reposition and grab this from the bottom and then just scoot it right out, so you can slice. Now best rule of thumb, slice this as soon as it comes out and get some butter on there right away so it gets nice and melty. There’s nothing nicer than waking up to fresh bread or serving it with your dinner.