Every once in a while, I find something that I haven’t used in a while and it suddenly catches my interest. In this case, it was an automatic bread maker (machine) which had been sitting in a cupboard unused for the past several years.
After taking it out and dusting it off, I ran to the store and found a bread machine box mix, which just required the addition of water to make a fresh homemade loaf of bread. I dumped in the mix, added the water, turned on the machine, and waited for the magic to happen.
About three hours later, the house was filled with the wonderful scent of fresh bread. When the machine finished, I opened the cover and was immediately disappointed. The bread had risen, but then apparently caved in on itself. What I had was, at best, called a bread bowl instead of a nice fluffy loaf of bread. I ended up tasting it, but it was pointless to cut up and eat.
Not to be deterred, I pulled up this recipe online, and immediately set out to try my own recipe. After purchasing my own bread flour and yeast, I was set. By the way, I tried not just one packet of yeast, I came home with three different kinds. I plan to test them all out and choose the best one going forward. Nevertheless, my second attempt using the above-mentioned recipe turned out fantastic! A nice, fluffly loaf!
I quickly realized that to stop the bread from caving in on itself, I should cut down on the amount of yeast used (I now use 4/5 of the yeast packet) and add a pinch of salt (above what the recipe calls for) to stop the yeast from becoming too active.
I’ve now successfully made several kinds of white bread, and one cinnamon loaf. If you haven’t smelled cinnamon bread baking, you haven’t lived. This has got to be one of the best things to experience in life.
Here’s to our bread machine. It allows me to make wonderful bread!