I am on my second bread machine. My first, gave up the ghost midway through a wholemeal mix. Being a mere male of the species. I am not a big cooking fan. So I buy 'just add water' bread mixes. My machine makes a perfect loaf, in 3 hours. Which lasts me about four days. In spite of home made loaves having no added preservatives, my bread always remains fresh until finished.
I have arthritis in my hands, elbows and shoulders. My right hand is the worst. I use my bread machine to prepare my dough and then bake it off in the oven. I love my bread machine. Here is one of my favs that I made a lot.
Italian Bread Recipe (Bread Machine)
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 head of roasted garlic (optional)
3 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
cornmeal, for baking sheet
1 egg white, slightly beaten
Add flour, oil, salt, roasted garlic, sugar, yeast and water to your bread machine according to its instructions.
Set on dough setting.
Always follow your machines instructions, when mixing open it and keep check on the dough.
Dough should be in a nice round soft sticky to the touch ball.
If it is not add more water, or add flour which ever is needed.
Remove when signal beeps and cycle is done.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Sprinkle cornflour or cornmeal onto a baking sheet.
Punch dough down and form into a long or oval loaf.
Cover and let rise for 25 more minutes.
(I set my baking sheet on a heating pad on low. Its perfect for letting bread rise)
It should be doubled again by this time.
Uncover and slash the top with a sharp knife or razor.
Brush all over with the beaten egg white.
Bake 25 minutes to 35 minutes, until hollow sounding when tapped on bottom.
Cool before slicing.
(I added the roasted garlic to the recipe. I love the flavor it gives the bread. You can leave it out if you like.)
If you use a mix it does have one preservative in it. Salt! It is a preservative and it aids in the rising process. It is the one ingredient I'm not allowed to have so I make mine from scratch.
Originally Posted by Goldfynche
Salt doesn't help in the rising process. Sugar is what kick starts the yeast, feeds it and helps the baked product brown. Put some yeast into a bit of water, add some sugar and watch the yeast beasties come to life. Do the same with salt, nothing. Salt does prevent the yeast from getting out of control though and the dough turning into a messy blob growing out of control. I have never seen that happen though, lol.
Originally Posted by jpshaw
Lol, Learned that in Home Economics 101 which was a mandatory class for both girls and boys back in the day. Our teacher loved to use the term, "Yeast Beasties"
also be careful when you add the salt when using yeast - it can kill the yeast
My bad. I stand corrected but I had heard that somewhere. I know it is a preservative.
I will stand uncorrected now. I knew I saw that somewhere so I did a little digging. Dick Logues book "500 Low Sodium Recipes" has on page 436 on Honey Wheat Bread; " . . . and it didn't collapse on top as happens sometimes when you leave out the salt." Also checked with a girl who worked in our Studio while she attended College, who later moved to San Antonio, Texas to go to cullinary school. She is now a pastry chef with a Hotel in that city. There was mentioned of the Roman Empire effect of salt free baking meaning the "rise, then the fall of it". Tried a standard high yeast recipe for basic white bread that called for 2 Tbs of yeast in a 1 1/2 Lb loaf. Used no salt and had a loaf that was not only concave on top (about 2" at the center) but had a crust line over 1" high around the edge. Sort of a high water mark of how high it got before it fell. So no, it doesn't help with the rise but it sure can help keeping it there.
BTW not all bread will fall without salt but if you are going to leave it out you have to leave out the normal salted butter also. My standard 1 1/2 Lb white bread calls for;
1 cup water
2 Tbs Unsalted butter
3 cups bread flour
1 Tbs sugar
2 Tbs nonfat dry milk powder
2 tsp active dry yeast
So far it has never fallen.
That's a lot of tsp & tbs. Are they generally 'flat' or 'heaped'? A serious question.
The 2 Tbs sounded like too much to me but that was the recipe for that one. I haven't used it since though. My normal is 2 tsp which is about normal. No the measurement are not heaped but scraped straight across for a true tsp.
Usually with a measuring spoon, if measuring properely, just like a measuing cup, fill and level off the top.
Growing up, we didn't have measuring spoons. We had the spoons we ate off of. The smaller spoon was the teaspoon and the larger was the tablespoon. The girls ate their soup and cereal with the little one while the boys usually use the tablespoon for some reason. Maybe just to shovel more into our mouths at once.
JP, the standard recipe for a dough for a 1lb loaf usually calls for 2 1/2 tsp of yeast. I see that since you are not using any salt and sweet butter, your yeast amount is a bit lower.
When baking my bread in the oven, I start the baking by preheating the oven a good hour before the baking. I also place a pan of water on the lower rack. I steam the bread for about 10 minutes and then remove the pan of water. This helps with the rise and also my loaves never sag. (Do not use baking stones when steaming. I don't care what anyone tells ya. They will crack.)
Question for bread machine users. When I bake my loaves in the oven, I always score the top. This allows venting. When making bread in the bread machine, how is the loaf vented? What happens to the steam generated inside the loaf durring the cooking stage?