Saturday, November 14, 2009

Tweaking the Bargain Bread Machine

I can't quite bring myself to complain about a bread machine that only cost $14.99, but I did need to do some tweaking to improve the quality of bread I make in it.  The first two loaves were made from boxed bread mixes I happened to have on hand.  The first one came out good, but the crust was a little dark on the sides and bottom ...everywhere the dough was in direct contact with the pan.  When I made the second loaf, I set the delay start timer with the idea I would be back in kitchen at baking time and could stop the baking process a few minutes early to see if I could thereby lighten the crust.  I must have miscalculated the start of the baking time though because we got back 10 minutes before I thought the baking should have started and it was already done.  Second loaf was same as the first, good but a little darker in the crust than I like.

This time I made bread from scratch, using a recipe I found in the manual for the bread machine.  I  also 'camped out' next to the kitchen so I would be sure and be right there when the baking cycle started.  According to the manual, the baking cycle lasts 40 minutes but I turned the machine off 30 minutes into that cycle.  I took the bread out of the pan and let it cool on a rack.  I seem to have guessed right in shortening the cycle by 10 minutes, but if it had not seemed quite done, I could have put it on a baking sheet and finished it in the oven at 350 degrees for a few minutes.

Now this is what I consider a pretty color on a loaf of bread.

The recipe I used to make this loaf is called Egg Bread and I am happy enough with how it turned out, I will try some of the other recipes in the manual next time.

Egg Bread (2 lb loaf)

1 cup warm water
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 eggs plus enough water to make 1/2 cup
4-1/4 cups all-purpose flour (I used Better for Bread flour)
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp yeast (I used one packet which is slightly more than 2 tsp)

Add all ingredients to the bread pan in the order given.



Blogger Kim said...

I love the bread. I keep thinking I want a bread machine, but Ger keeps talking me out of it.

November 15, 2009 at 10:04 AM  
Blogger WomanWhoRunsWithHorses said...

I don't know that I would pay the price for a new one, but for the $14.99 I paid for this one, it's well worth it. It has a dough setting too so if want to shape and bake the loaves or rolls myself, I have that option. I'm short on time and counter space, so I'm well pleased to have the bread maker now. The bread you make is far more wholesome and nutritious that what you buy in the stores too.

November 15, 2009 at 11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like you have Tweakiasis, you seem to have worked your template over a bit too.

My Mom, 86, uses her bread machine mostly to do the mixing and kneading, then finishes it off in her oven.

Good looking loaf.

November 15, 2009 at 11:49 AM  
Blogger Felinae said...

The bread looks really good, WW. :D

I'm thinking maybe I need a bread machine now. lol either that or I am going to buy the cookbook Kneadlessly Simple.


November 15, 2009 at 1:49 PM  
Blogger WomanWhoRunsWithHorses said...

Thanks, AKA ...Yup, I'm a born tweaker, especially when it comes to recipes. But I also tweak software and schedules and anything that's still in the planning stages. My husband calls it 'thinking things to death' and I guess it is an affliction of sorts. How fortunate you are to still have your mom at 86! She sounds like a smart woman ...she didn't give up making bread, just gave up the 'hard work' part of making bread! Smart woman.

November 15, 2009 at 2:15 PM  
Blogger WomanWhoRunsWithHorses said...

Thanks, Fel ...Furt had an open-face ham and cheese sandwich for lunch made from this loaf. He gave it two thumbs up. Ha! Kneadlessly Simple sounds like a good cookbook. I'll have to look into that!

November 15, 2009 at 2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this some of the bread I had last night? Is always nice to see what you are eating! LOL> The KAT

November 15, 2009 at 5:27 PM  
Blogger WomanWhoRunsWithHorses said...

Hello, Fatkat! Yup, that was last night's bread. It sliced up into 10 1/4 inch slices. It's a coarser bread, but very good. Furt had it as an open-faced ham & cheese sandwich for lunch and had a slice with his dinner tonight. He gives it two thumbs up. :)

November 15, 2009 at 7:11 PM  

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