Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I love bread

I freely admit, I'm a carb junkie. I could give up meat with hardly a pang; but bread--never! And fresh, homemade bread--well, nothing beats it in my book. About 8 or 9 years ago, the b/f & I bought a bread machine, and we haven't purchased a loaf of bread since. Our trusty Toastmaster has served us well, but, sadly, all good things must come to an end. The gears in the pan were slipping, and a replacement pan would be difficult (at best) to come by. Sayonara Toastmaster. Fortunately, on Monday, it was Hello, Breadman! After much research, I ordered the Breadman Corner Bakery from Amazon. When it arrived, I tore open the box and started measuring ingredients for my first loaf of bread.

The bread shown here is actually my second loaf; the first loaf is gone already. Needless to say, it turned out well. The first loaf was my tried-n-true recipe I have memorized from repeated baking. This loaf is potato bread, from the book included with the machine. It rose so high, the dough was pressed against the glass viewing window on top of the machine. That's why there's a light spot on top of the bread; it doesn't brown well when it's shoved up against the top of the machine.

I'm waiting with worm on tongue (ba[i]ted breath) for this loaf to cool enough to eat. In the meantime, I thought I'd share my tried-n-true recipe, should anyone care to try it.

B/F's Favorite White Bread
(makes a 1 1/2 pound loaf)

9 oz (1 cup + 2 T) sour milk or buttermilk, warmed (I microwave for 30 seconds, stir, microwave for 25 seconds more)
1/2 T lemon juice
2 T olive oil (you can substitute other types of oil; I just like olive oil)
1 T honey (you can use the same amount of sugar instead, but I find the bread rises just a little higher with honey)
3 c King Arthur bread flour (other brands of bread flour are OK, but King Arthur results in a little taller loaf)
1 t salt
2 t yeast

Place ingredients in pan in order listed. Bake on normal/standard/default setting. As with any bread recipe, check consistency of dough to see if you need to add flour or liquid to make it "just right".

Enjoy--I'm off to see if my bread is cool enough to slice yet.


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