bread maker

All posts tagged bread maker

Mixed Seed Loaf with Honey

Published November 4, 2015 by Storm

Darker days see me wanting more comforting food. Nothing beats good bread for comfort food; whether it’s still warm from baking alongside a bowl of soup or a thickly buttered doorstep topped with home-made jam, it’s food for the soul as well as the stomach. This loaf isn’t quite as rich as my Honey and Walnut Loaf but it’s still good autumn fare.

As usual the instructions are for a bread machine, my hands and kneading bread don’t mix well. 

For a medium loaf

  • ¾ teaspoon dried yeast
  • 4 oz barley flour
  • 10 oz strong wholewheat flour
  • ½ oz butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon heather honey (it really is worth using heather honey if you can get it)
  • 4 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 300ml water
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

Put all the ingredients except the sunflower and pumpkin seeds in your bread pan, in the order recommended by the manufacturer.

Select the Whole Wheat Raisin setting.

Add the sunflower and pumpkin seeds at the raisin beep.

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Bread machine honey and walnut loaf

Published October 25, 2015 by Storm

I haven’t baked quite as much this year as last but I have tried to stick to my goal of a different loaf each time I bake. This loaf was an experiment which turned out so nicely I may find myself having to repeat it before the year is out. With a warm, rich flavour from the heather honey I used, this is a comforting loaf for cold, damp days.

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To make a medium loaf

  • ¾ teaspoon dried yeast
  • 10oz strong wholemeal flour
  • 4oz strong white flour
  • ½oz butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 280ml water
  • 3oz walnut pieces

Add all the ingredients except the walnuts to the bread pan of your bread machine, in the order specified by the manufacturer.

Select the Whole Wheat Raisin setting.

Add the walnuts at the raisin beep.

Enjoy the aroma that fills your kitchen as the bread bakes, try not to eat it all in one go!

Walnut, garlic and basil bread

Published May 24, 2015 by Storm

The baking experimentation continues; May has seen three loaves baked (so far), with at least one more likely before I summarise them all at the end of the month. This loaf though was so good it deserves it’s own post, and as it was one I dreamt up for myself I can share the recipe.

This was one of those ideas born of what I had in the kitchen and felt I should try throwing together, baking without needing to shop first. I had some walnut pieces I felt needed using up, and walnuts are always good in bread, so that was my starting point. There was a pot of basil on the windowsill, sadly needing replacing now after being eaten by a ginger cat, and I felt that would go well with walnuts. From deciding to use basil it was a short step to pulling the jar of garlic purée out of the fridge, as the two go so well together. Initially I was going to make this a wholemeal loaf but realised I was lacked wholemeal flour so had to use white instead; I think this was a happy accident as I don’t think the finished loaf could be improved on. 

Almost a meal in itself this was a good bread for any non-sweet purpose. Mushroom pate or cheese and salad sandwiches were deliciously satisfying and I’ve never made such tasty eggy-bread before. So, without further ado, here’s the recipe…

For a medium loaf

  • ¾ teaspoon easy bake yeast
  • 14oz strong white flour
  • ½oz butter (use 1 tablespoon sunflower oil for a vegan loaf)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic or garlic purée
  • Approx 12 fresh basil leaves, roughly shredded
  • 280ml water
  • 1½oz walnut pieces

Using the Basic Raisin setting on your bread machine, put all the ingredients except the walnuts into the machine in the order specified by the manufacturer (mine is dry ingredients first, water last but I know some makes reverse this). Add the walnuts at the raisin bleep.

The tricky bit is allowing the bread to cool before tucking into it as it smells so delicious!

April baking

Published May 3, 2015 by Storm

Having failed to try a new recipe or bake any bread in March I was delighted that April turned into reasonable month of baking.

I started the month with Parsnip and Nutmeg bread, a recipe from The Cook’s Encyclopedia of Bread Machine Baking. The smell of this baking had The Railway Modeller thinking I was making some comforting pudding, I think he was disappointed to learn the truth. To be honest I wasn’t quite sure what to eat this bread with, it was tasty but didn’t lend itself easily to sandwiches or toast; eventually I found it’s perfect partner, a hearty root vegetable soup. Slicing was also a challenge, it was just too soft and springy. I’m glad I tried it but to be honest it’s not a loaf I’m likely to bake again.

My next loaf was more experimental. I read through a few different recipes for loaves using the Italian bread setting on my machine but nothing jumped out at me saying “bake me next”. So I took the ratios of basic ingredients, added some extras of my own choosing and baked a sun-dried tomato and garden herb loaf. As well as chopped sun-dried tomatoes I included two generous teaspoons of sun-dried tomato cream giving me a richly orange loaf which was as beautiful as it was tasty.

Loaf three of the month was just a quick white loaf, as I’d forgotten to buy sandwich bread for The Railway Modeller. This didn’t quite scupper my plan of making a different loaf every time I bake this year, as I hadn’t baked this since late last year, but it came close.

We’ve hit the time of year when the yoghurt I like for my breakfast becomes temporarily unavailable, so loaf four was baked with toast in mind. Half strong white flour and half wholemeal spelt, this was a three seed loaf with sesame, pumpkin and sunflower. I borrowed the seed quantities from a recipe in the bread machine’s handbook for a seeded wholemeal loaf, I should have used more. This was a loaf which started to stale quite quickly, but being destined for toast that didn’t matter too much.

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The wickedly indulgent creation in the photograph was my last bit of April baking. Perhaps not the most neatly presented Black Forest Gateaux, I discovered my spatula had a split in it so did my best to spread cream with the back of a spoon and a butter knife (I also discovered that grating chocolate makes more mess than I could have ever imagined), but lovingly made as a birthday cake for someone who once told me that their two favourite puddings are Lemon Meringue Pie and Black Forest Gateaux. This was my ‘new’ recipe for the month but I did deviate a little from the recipe as written. I only made two of the three cake layers and used half the recommended cream as I felt that it would be a lot of cake for two of us to eat quickly enough if I made it full sized, even my small version was generous for two people to eat in four days. I also used frozen cherries instead of tinned, simply because they taste fresher.

February Baking

Published March 11, 2015 by Storm

I’ve just finished a cross-stitch project I really want to write a bit about, but I’d best not yet as it still needs to reach its destination. Instead I’m going to try and re-ignite the baking inspiration which has gone into hibernation this month. Last month I tried plenty of new loaf recipes, this month I don’t seem to be quite organised enough.

Spelt and Bulgur Wheat Bread

From The Cook’s Encyclopedia of Bread Machine Baking, which is becoming a well thumbed volume, this used a combination of white wheat and wholemeal spelt flours with the interesting addition of bulgur. This made a tasty loaf and the bulgur gave an interesting crunch to it. It was definitely best fresh though, as it dried out quite quickly; if I make it again I’ll use the dough setting on the bread machine and bake it in the oven as rolls, which should keep a little better.

Raspberry and Almond Teabread

From the same recipe book, not a bread at all but a cake for sharing. Not too sweet but beautifully moist and very easy to eat. I should feel guilty about out of season raspberries but sometimes you just need a treat, especially if you have a friend visiting who also deserves treating. Cake is good!

The Panasonic instruction and recipe booklet which came with the bread maker provided the rest of February’ bread recipes, and a good pizza base.

Apricot and Almond Loaf

If you have this recipe and haven’t tried it you need to do so! A higher protein bread, thanks to the ground almonds, this was wonderfully filling as a breakfast loaf. Toasted with butter and honey it was a real indulgence and I wish I’d had some marmalade to try it with. It was also surprisingly good with a hard, mild goats’ cheese. This loaf may cause me to stray from my aim of baking a different loaf every time I bake this year, just writing about it I want a slice.

Honey, Sunflower and Spelt Loaf

Another very indulgent baked offering. This should have been 50/50 white and wholemeal wheat flours but I didn’t have wholemeal wheat so used wholemeal spelt instead. A delicious and versatile bread I’d be happy to eat every day.

Pizza Bread

Being vegetarian I skipped the pepperoni the recipe called for, I know I could have used a vegetarian version but I’m not really a fan of fake meat, otherwise I followed the recipe as written. What a treat! The olives I used were stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes but I’d like to try it again with a mix of those and garlic stuffed ones. Probably not a loaf I’d want daily but it was tasty and made fantastic fake pizza, like cheese on toast but with tomato purée spread between the bread and the cheese.

Now to decide what to try baking next.

Tidying up 2014’s goals, starting 2015’s

Published February 4, 2015 by Storm

Ending my recipe challenge with a flurry of treats

I may not have found time to write about doing so but I did find time to keep trying new recipes throughout December. My final three efforts of 2014 were Turkish Delight, French Chocolate Cake, and Beer and Mustard Bread.

I’ve been wanting to try making the Turkish Delight since being given Gifts From The Kitchen a few years ago, it just took me a while to brave my first attempt. This was a mixed success, it tasted good but I definitely didn’t have the texture right; boiling for longer at the final stage is obviously required but it had reached the point that I was struggling to stir it and was getting blisters. The recipe was reasonably easy to follow and although it is time consuming and wasn’t a great first attempt I probably will try again some time as I do love Turkish Delight. 

The French Chocolate Cake, from the simply titled Chocolate, was a greater success; just as well as I was baking this as a gift. It was more complicated than my usual ‘throw all the ingredients in the food processor then chuck the mix in a sponge tin’ approach to cakes, but the recipe was well written and easy to follow and the results were (so I’m told) good.

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Beer and Mustard Bread, from The Cook’s Encyclopedia of Bread Machine Baking, was very easy to make; using the bread machine still feels a bit like cheating but it’s a nice sort of cheating. I baked this as part of a Boxing Day buffet and I think it’s fair to say it was good as I’ve never seen a loaf disappear so rapidly. Possibly the perfect bread to eat with cheese.

Which leads into

2015 Goals

  1. Try a new recipe from one of my cookery books each month.
  2. Try a different bread recipe every time I bake.
  3. Learn something new with each knitting project I do (the two projects I’m carrying over from last year are exempt from this).

January saw me start all three of these goals!

The recipe I tried was Broccoli and Cauliflower Gratin from Vegetarian Classics. I cheated and used a bag of broccoli and cauliflower florets rather than chopping my own, this was a mistake as they weren’t well enough matched in size so I had to choose between extra firm cauliflower or soggy broccoli. I wasn’t particularly keen on the yoghurt and cheese mix used a a sauce either, I think I would have preferred simple grated cheese or a more classic cheese sauce, the yoghurt flavour dominated. Not one I’m going to be making again.

The bread was far more successful than the supper dish. Chickpea and Peppercorn Bread from the same lovely book as the Beer and Mustard Bread. This doesn’t use gram flour (which you might expect) but combines white flour with tinned chickpeas. The chickpeas blend into the dough and create a rich bread with a moist, slightly heavier crumb. It’s delicious and filling; it also seems slow to go stale, I baked it on Saturday and it hasn’t started to dry out yet (maybe that’s partly thanks to the bread bin I was given for Christmas). I will bake this again but will probably omit the peppercorns to give myself more choice what I eat with it.

The knitting was the first of a string of selfish projects, a hat for myself.

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The pattern is Sandra Dee’s Nymandus Draculea and the yarn is King Cole Galaxy. King Cole seems quite a fine DK so I used 4mm needles, not the 6mm called for in the pattern, and put in an extra pattern repeat. The new, to me, technique was cabling; little, baby cables where just one stitch crosses another, but there were quite a lot of them. The cables don’t show as well as they might in a slightly heavier and plainer yarn, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing! I know that I was a bit clumsy with my cables at first, though they got neater as I became more used to doing them, so having a yarn that distracts from the slight unevenness of my cabling isn’t such a bad thing. It took me about ten evenings to knit, I might have finished a little faster but I decided not to work on it when I was tired as I didn’t want to risk too many mistakes (feline assistance led three or four dropped stitches I needed to rescue without adding sleepiness into the equation). I’m happy with my hat, I might even knit it again in slightly chunkier yarn, and, having bought more yarn than I needed, I have the next project queued to start using galaxy; the Railway Modeller will just have to get used to me in stripes!

Cake to keep and cake to eat

Published December 7, 2014 by Storm

Cake to keep (for two or three weeks)

For at least the last 10 years I’ve been using the same Christmas cake recipe, with the only variation being whether I soak the dried mango and pineapple in spiced rum or spiced mead. It’s a nice cake, but this year I felt like a change. We’d enjoyed the Simnel cake recipe I’d baked from Vegetarian Cooking Through The Year so last week I decided to give the Christmas cake recipe from the same volume a try.

My first challenge was finding dried pears; I couldn’t get them anywhere within walking distance of home! I thought about the rest of the fruit in the cake, currants, sultanas, raisins and apricots, then looked at what we had on the shelf at work and decided that dried sweet cherries would do nicely.

The next challenge was to find a vegetarian sherry. I eventually found an amontillado (how suitably Poe), a nip of which will also make a nice companion to cooking Christmas dinner. At this time of year my drinks cupboard gets a bit scary; sherry for the cake, brandy for the mincemeat, rum for stollen, and possibly some kirsch still to add for a dessert I want to make for Christmas Eve or New Year… I might be making up some jars of boozy fruit in readiness for next Christmas.

Making the cake was nice and simple. It smelt lovely getting home the day I’d left the fruit and chopped almonds infusing in the sherry, ready to bake in the evening. Cheating a bit, as usual, I mixed the flour, spices, ground nuts, fat and eggs, in the food processor then stirred the mix through the fruit by hand. It all looked right going into the tin and tasted right when I cleaned the bowl out before washing it; I’m afraid when it comes to cake mix I do take my chance with raw egg. Two hours into the baking time, when I went to check on the progress of the cake, I realised I’d missed an ingredient or two; there on the side was the still sealed jar of molasses with the honey alongside it, too late to do anything about it I shrugged my shoulders and concluded that since the mix had seemed right, and the cake smelt and looked good, the lack couldn’t be too serious.

Now of course it’s waiting time.  The cake is wrapped in baking parchment, securely in it’s tub, being unwrapped to be fed a tablespoon of sherry about every 4 days; the recipe doesn’t actually mention feeding the cake but it’s a Christmas cake, of course it needs feeding! In two weeks time I’ll add marzipan and icing. I’m looking forward to seeing if it tastes as good as it smells.

4.5 out of 5 for well written instructions and ease of baking 

I can’t really grade the tastiness just yet!

And a cake to eat (now)

Having made a cake which wasn’t for immediate consumption I thought perhaps I should make another cake this week. I’d been given a glut of ripe bananas so a banana cake of some description was the obvious choice.  I picked up the Cook’s Encyclopedia of Bread Machine Baking and thumbed my way to the chapter on teabreads and cakes. Banana and Pecan Teabread looked nicely tempting.

I had most of the ingredients in the cupboards but I did need to buy shelled pecans. Again, using the food processor to mix everything, this was a doddle to make. When I’m mixing a fruity cake in the food processor I mix everything except the fruit, then use the pulse option to mix the dried fruit in so as to keep as much of the fruit whole as possible. The only thing I would disagree completely with the recipe about is the cooking time; the recipe suggested an hour’s baking for the size I was making, with perhaps a few minutes more; I ended up giving my cake an extra half hour, which to me is more than a few minutes. Minor grumble aside, the cake is moist, tasty, and moreish; I’m likely to bake it again.

4 out of 5 for ease of baking and well written instructions

4.5 out of 5 for tastiness

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