Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Atomic Bread ?

Or as Grenville declared, it’s the bread that will make you run faster, jump high, and glow in the dark.


After my less-than-successful first attempt at making homemade wheat bread earlier this week, this second time was MUCH better. It looks a bit unusual since it rose higher than the bread machine basket — It tasted better than it looks, so unlike the earlier “brick bread” which the birds enjoyed today.
What happened?
wheat bread0218 (4)On my disastrous first try shown here, I let the bread machine knead the dough, then, removed it to finish its rise, and baked it in a loaf pan. It never doubled as expected.
This time, the process was completed IN the bread machine from kneading to baking, AND using IMG_1990a different recipe, which most likely also helped (a LOT) and there was that difference in looks, texture AND taste.

There were recipe changes too:  I did NOT use all whole wheat flour (as the previous recipe called for). This time, I cut the King Arthur Whole Wheat Flour with King Arthur All Purpose White Flour, which claims to have a higher gluten content then other all-purpose flours. And, instead of just water, combined an equal amount of orange juice. Less salt was used as well and unsalted butter instead of cooking oil.

THANKS to fellow bloggers who offered encouragement, especially veteran bread bakers, Lois (From Lois’ Hands) Christer (The Cottage by the Crane Lake Part Two)  and Steve (Out on the Prairie). Several folks commented that they had never tried bread making, like myself, until now. But, the bread machine certainly makes this an easier process — especially when everything works right. But, as it’s not the same as a fresh oven-baked loaf of bread, I’ll give that another try soon.

bread machine (1)This Welbilt bread machine was a thrift store find 2 years ago. While many need a good cleaning, this one was very clean as in hardly (if ever) used. It sold for the bargain price of $5 and included the original user manual (another rarity). At that time, other bread machines were being sold in local thrift stores. Lately I haven’t seen any, including at the thrift bread bookstore where I volunteer. Maybe the economy and the rising cost of basics, like bread, has more folks baking at home?

IF you're interested in finding more about bread machine baking tips, this book is a great resource (another thrift store find). Also check out The King Arthur Flour website where there’s a wealth of bread making information and recipes. Here’s a few from Baking Tips and Ingredients for Bread Machines:
  • Yeast likes to eat sugar, but doesn’t like salt. But, TOO much sugar in a recipe will slow down the yeast.
  • Yeast likes an acidic environment; increase the dough’s acidity by  replacing some of the liquid with an acidic liquid: orange juice, lemon juice or vinegar.
  • Use a good quality active dry or instant yeast.
  • Don’t use artificial sugar substitutes; they don’t help the yeast.
  • To make “successful” whole-grain breads in a bread machine “cut” grain flours with high-protein all-purpose or bread flour, to provide the gluten necessary for rising.
  • Salt is a yeast inhibitor. Salt-free bread will rise quicker than bread with salt. Don’t use salt substitutes in the bread machine, they don’t work.
  • Liquids activate the yeast and combine with gluten to form the elastic strands that help bread to rise. Too little liquid, results in a hard, dense, poorly risen loaf; the gluten is tough and unable to expand. Too much liquid, the loaf rises, then collapses; the gluten has expanded and thinned too much.
  • Bread machine liquids include water, milk, buttermilk, yogurt, sour cream, soft fruits, liquid sweeteners, eggs, butter and vegetable oils, in either liquid or solid forms.


Country Gal said...

Great info ! I have been looking into buying a bread maker and have investigated lots of different brands as here you will not find one in a thrift shop that hasn't been used to the hilt lol New here they range from $70 to $200 . I to am not a bread maker of any kind but am thinking of changing that as bread here is getting expensive . Your bread looks and sounds YUMMY ! Have fun with your bread maker and have a good evening !

Karen @ away for the weekend said...

I commend you for your bread making efforts - there is nothing quite like a lice of warm homemade bread with a pat of butter - mmmmmmm. It's been many years since I've made bread, but I do remember that there are so many variables. The atomic bread actually looks pretty yummy.

Linda said...

Interesting. Now I know why gluten-free bread is not the same!

Sandra said...

photos please of the jumping and running and make sure you take the glowing pics at night.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad it worked fine this time :-)

Those baking machines are hard to come by now days, I see them rarely in stores and the price is just way to high really. But I think $5 is a nice price :-) :-)

Never let it work while sleeping though, I have friends that woke up and found it burning in their kitchen one morning.

Have a great day!

Montanagirl said...

I never make home-made bread. I did own a bread machine some years back, and it did a good job, but like you said, it still isn't the same as actual home-made.

Daisy said...

I've never owned a bread machine, but I've made home-made bread. It's been years since I've made any yeast breads, but I love how it makes the whole house smell good while it is baking.

DeniseinVA said...

I haven't made bread in a long time. My bread machine needs another workout, or maybe I will try the old fashioned way :)

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

I haven't made my own bread for a long time..but I am thinking of doing it again. It's just so easy..and better than anything you can buy. I used to do it twice a week. Never bought bread from a store.
Strange glow?? LOL You guys are so funny!!!

Cheryl @ TFD said...

I love homemade bread and have never had any luck making my own. Maybe I need to look for a bread machine, but then I just don't have room for one. My cupboards are full now. I always buy a couple of loaves whenever I'm by an Amish bakery. You found a bargain!

HermitJim said...

I do love me some good o;' homemade bread! I use the heck out of my machine!

Bought mine at Goodwill for $6.00 and considered it a bargain!

Anvilcloud said...

Your bread is da bomb.

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