Monday, December 30, 2013

Breadmaker and bread making

Our daughter gave us a bread maker for Xmas.  Actually, we stopped exchanging Xmas gifts almost a decade ago, so technically she did not.  What happened was that while she was visiting over Xmas I casually mentioned that I was thinking about buying one and the next day she told me that she needed to buy sneakers.  I told her where the mall is and a few hours later she came back without sneakers but with a bread maker.

Yes,  I know that she lied to me.  I let it pass and set up the machine.

The first loaf I tried should have come out very badly.  I used too much flour (didn't know to weigh rather than measure) and set the machine to the wrong program - one for a "sweet bread" rather than the whole what I was making.  In spite of that, the result was decent - a bit malformed, but decent tasting.


When I tried again a few days later, I thought the machine was broken because it did not start kneading immediately.   Needing bread (no pun intended) and being too stubborn to go to the store, I used this "no knead" recipe: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/no-knead-100-whole-wheat-bread-recipe .

I screwed that up because I didn't have a dough hook.  After gumming up the regular beaters, I mixed that by hand and expected disaster, but it actually turned out quite nicely.

Investigating my apparently broken bread machine, I found that I had made a mistake:  wheat recipes delay the kneading for some time - I simply hadn't been patient enough ("How unlike you!", my wife commented, snarkily but accurately.   I therefore tried again,  but in my excitement I screwed up the flour in the other direction: the recipe called for almost 20 ounces (4 and 2/3 cups) and I somehow used only a little more than 15 because I'm an idiot (there is no other reasonable reason).

Nevertheless, the bread once again turned out decently; a little more airy, but good tasting.  Apparently it's not that easy to really screw up bread!

My wife doesn't like whole wheat - she thinks it's bitter.  The "no knead" recipe mentions adding orange juice for that problem - I'll try that next time and also want to try mixing in some oat flour.

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