Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Simple Bread - Saying 'Hello' To My Bread Machine!



I have been waiting to show (off ) my bread machine!  Westbend HiRise with dual blades. Ever since I got it recently, I have been waiting to bake a decent enough bread and tell you all about it. Of course it took time, beginning from getting a step-up converter to figuring out how the machine works and what recipes work best. And some more time as I made the big mistake of ignoring instructions and thinking that baking bread in a machine (after baking bread by hand all along) is going to be a breeze ( to the extent that I kept planning for the next post to be that bread) until the first one turned out to be a brick (Oh No!!!) and the next couple of them just about OK.

Problem with assuming that bread machine baking is exactly the same as baking bread by hand and trying to compare it with the rules or fundas you are used to for hand made bread. Then ending up thoroughly confused, bewildering people around you by obsessively talking about it and baking more breads..till you bake a decent one. Hope rekindled in this wonder gadget so many people successfully use - in different ways. Hope - the desperate bread baker's bread!



To me, a bread machine is a really really new gadget, having read about it first on Champa' s blog. A machine in which I can just dump in the bread ingredients in a certain order, select a cycle, the color of the crust I want, the size of the loaf and then press start. Then get on with my business till the machine sounds a beep to signal that the bread is baked and ready. As simple as that. This is the Basic cycle, takes 3.20 minutes in my machine. Or use the machine to just do the dirty work of kneading the dough, allow it to rise, punch down, knead again (this second knead truly shocked me, but it works!) and let it rise again, sound a beep when done. This is the dough cycle, takes 1.50 minutes in my machine. All you then need to do is shape the dough into loaves or rolls or sticks or pizza or whatever you fancy and bake. No mess. Home-baked bread with minimal effort and time.

There is also a feature called as a delay start timer. Allows you to set a basic cycle or dough cycle among others so that you can just dump in the ingredients in the order and command the genie to either fully bake your bread or just knead the dough (till its ready to shape) by a specific time. Really cool. No perishable ingredients on the delay start cycle of course. There is also a Rapid cycle which bakes your bread in about 2 hours, but with more yeast (no thanks!). And yes, another cycle called as home-made which is for seasoned bread-machine users. Allows you to customize each of the knead, rise and bake settings. I think this will be great.


As I gather, a lot of bakers prefer only the kneading to be done in the machine, the shaping, final rise and baking done in the oven.  As bread baking veterans say, baking entirely in the bread machine gives an odd shaped loaf, less of taste, less moist breads as compared to bread baked in the oven. Taste and texture is better when baked the latter way. And its not very surprising if you aren't highly impressed with breads baked within the machine. Think a little better than your typical packaged bread. But of course, you could make it in varying flavors, sans a load of preservatives. So if you buy bread regularly and have no time to bake breads at home, then baking in the bread machine is good enough. If you don't want the hassle of kneading but can spend time on shaping and baking, the dough cycle is of great help. I baked 3-4 breads quite successfully, one of them baked in my oven. And yes, the one baked outside tastes much better!

Well, I did read the manual, but completely ignored the recipes in it, as I always do, who ever reads or follows them? But obviously bread machine recipes are an exception. And then I wrote a distress mail to Champa and she suggested that I try a recipe from the manual so that I can get the hang of it. It worked!! I baked one when I was almost asleep, the success shook off the sleep! I wanted to bake another one, and since it was already midnight, I set the machine on delay start and went to bed. Of course, the bread was waiting when I woke up lazily at 7.30 on a Saturday morning!



Here is the recipe from the manual, which I baked on the basic cycle, meaning bread dough kneaded and baked in the machine itself. A recipe which worked for me, the texture was quite good, the flavor could have been better. That I guess can be remedied to a certain extent by adding herbs and spices.

Ingredients :

Milk - 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons  (80 degree F, which is almost room temperature)
All purpose flour - 3 1/3 cups / 434 grams
Vital wheat gluten - 3 tbsp plus 1 teaspoon
Salt - 1 1/4 teaspoon
Sugar - 1 1/2 tablespoon
Butter - 2 tablespoons
Instant yeast - 1 1/2 teaspoons

Procedure: Place ingredients in the bread machine pan in the order specified by the manufacturer. Liquid first, then dry ingredients. Level the dry ingredients, quarter the butter and add to the corners. Make an impression the the center of the dry ingredients and add the yeast. Close the lid, bake on the Basic cycle. This made a 1.5 pound loaf, I selected a medium color crust which sets the temperature at 199 degree C /390 degree F.



Thanks to Champa for her post on bread machines, it helped me pick out one for myself. I hope to bake lots of  breads like her some day and without the sweat! Here is another useful blog which tells you why a bread machine is better for baking yeast breads. So as I continue to experiment with my machine, find answers to my questions, more breads will appear here, hopefully better ones. The bread machine also comes with a learning curve and I hope to learn my way with the machine better over a period of time, discover good recipes and learn techniques which work better. If you use a bread machine, please do share your most helpful tips and tricks.

25 comments:

Tina said...

Soft and perfect bread...

Madhuli said...

The bread looks fabulous Suma.Where did you buy the machine??

Divya Shankar said...

Wowie :) Hearty congratulations to you. Nice and awesome machine it is. Where did you buy this from, IBCA ?

Arch said...

I can just imagine you obsessing over your prized possession !Sounds like fun to let it do the dirty work...You can actually have fresh bread off it every morning...waiting to see more recipes from you...

Shetal said...

Hi Suma,
Congrats on your new gadget!!..Its too pretty..
I have been following your blog from quite some time now & have made quite a lot of cakes so far.
Need a suggestion from you dear: I have convection oven, am not so happy with the cake it bakes. And end up baking cake in a cooker. Now planning to buy an OTG. Want to know if OTG is better than convection ovens in baking & grilling??..If yes which OTG is good??..Planning to buy Prestige 19ltrs, do you have any idea about this?. Can we make these kind of breads in an OTG??..Will look forward for your reply. Thanks a ton for those yummy receipes. God bless!

Sharmilee! :) said...

Perfect texture of the bread..looks very tempting

Sum said...

Ooohooo... that is nice! Congratulations on ur Bread machine! Now i'm sure there will be frequent bread-posts here!

Priya said...

Thats really wonderful to have a breas machine na, bread came out awesome.

Suma Rowjee said...

@Tina and Sharmilee - Thanks!
@Madhuli, Divya - Got it from the US,you can look for it here too, you may not have a lot of choice and it could be a more expensive.
@Arch - Oh yes, its fun!
@Shetal - Thank you so much! No idea about Prestige, am sorry! Pls check my post on baking paraphernalia for info on OTGs. You can surely bake good breads in both microwave and OTG.
@Sum - Hopefully!

Jyoti said...

wow.. that is a super soft bread!

zareena said...

mmmmm...congrats for the new gadget dear. This is super easy.... A perfectly done bread.

Akila said...

its a boon to us...

simran said...

congrats on the bread machine......the bread looks awesome.........now i have a gadget on my must have list!...(this when i swore no more buying things)

Lubna Karim said...

Wow...congrats on new addition of gadget....bread looks super duper....just like fresh from oven.....

runnergirlinthekitchen.blogspot.com said...

Congratulations on the new machine!! Happy baking!

madhavi said...

I recently saw a bread machine at Foodhall, no. 1 mg road opposite Taj vivanta.cost between Rs.6ooo to 7000 and think was of kenwood make. it had a vertical tin. somebody can check it out and get suma's expert comments
madhavi

Ramya said...

I have been doing some experiments with my panasonic bread machine and from what I had read wheat gluten is added mostly to whole wheat flour - 1 tbsp for every cup... The all purpose flour already has the required gluten...and the bread does taste pretty good too without added gluten. Also I find that the bread smells very yeasty. I adds 1 tsp for a medium loaf.. don't know how I can reduce that smell ..

Ipsita said...

Hi Suma,
This is my first post in your blog though I'm a frequent visitor of your pretty blog for quite sometime. I have tried a few cakes and breads from your blog with great success. Currently I am visiting Canada for few months and wondering if I could buy a bread machine like yours :) Can you please give me some more information (expert's comments) on it ... specially how you manage to operate it in Indian power supplies (220V)?
Keep well.
Ipsita

Suma Rowjee said...

Hi Ipsita! Thanks so much for the encouraging words! I guess you could get one from Canada. I had to get a converter to use the machine. I am still learning my way around the bread machine, so am afraid I am not the right person for this :(. Good luck and be in touch!

ShruthiPrashanth said...

I bought a Kenwood make (single blade) bread maker from METRO, Kanakapura Road....
First attempted Wheat bread recipe came with the manual and it was not at all edible..I am totally disappointed... :(
Today I tried the dough option, the time preset was around 1hr 20 mins...
My question is , if I want to bake in the oven, not in the bread maker, should I remove the dough from the maker, after the first rise?...
I left to run the complete cycle, then shaped and put it in the loaf pan and kept for another rise.... then baked in oven....Is it wrong? Could you please let me know....

-Shruthi

Suma Rowjee said...

Hi Shruthi! Congrats on getting the bread machine! My dough cycle sets for 1.50 mins. I have found that using water at room temperature and using about 1.5 teaspoons instant yeast for 3 - 3 1/2 cups of flour works better in my machine. Experiment with this..You are right about allowing the dough cycle to complete, competing the final rise in the bread pan and then baking it in the oven. Hope this helps!

meenakshi said...

hello mam, i have recieved a Professional Bread Maker as a gift . i want to bake bread in this one but i am confused in book they have mentioned that basic bread and dough recpies are developed using active dry yeast but in the recpies they have used bread machine yeast.How can i use dry active yeast in bread machine.please guide.

Suma Rowjee said...

@Meenakshi - Congrats!! You can certainly use active dried yeast if you are not baking it on delay start mode as your water needs to be warm to get the yeast kick started. If baking the bread immediately, allow the yeast to proof and then carry on. Check my post on yeast for more info. And if you can get some good instant yeast, nothing like it!! Good luck!

Aruna Mahesh said...

hello,
i have always wanted to buy a bread machine and saw the first post in India (for me :-))for its use in this blog. my question is-how do i decide upon the make of machine-say between kenwood, panasonic and hirise WB? also does weighing ingredients is better option than approx measure for BM? would love to have your inputs.

Suma Rowjee said...

@Aruna - Am glad! Am so sorry, I have no idea about Kenwood or Panasonic, may be you could check with people who have used these. Foodies in Bangalore or Home Bakers Guild on FB may give you an idea. But I would not recommend getting one from the US as my machine has conked and no way of getting it repaired..