Fresh bread anyone?

For my first “real” post, I thought I would write about one of my very favorite kitchen electrics. My Breville bread machine. I’ve had it for about 4 years and its still of of my faves. Since I bought this, I think I’ve only bought one loaf of bread. It makes baking fresh bread SO EASY. It’s also way more fun and way less expensive than paying $5 for those artisan loaves in the stores.

The model I have has all sorts of features, the best being the horizontal pan. It does mean that the machine takes up a bit more counter-space than a traditional upright bread-machine, but the loaves that come out are way prettier. I’ve made all sorts of breads in this machine. White, wheat, and it even has a place for add-ins and stirs them in the dough at the right time automatically.

One of my favorite loaves is a Cinnamon Honey Whole Wheat loaf. It’s a great loaf to make for your morning toast. And, its got half whole wheat flour, so it’s got to be healthy, right?

This recipe is adapted from one of the recipes in the recipe book that came in the box with the bread-machine. It’s great.

First, we assemble all the ingredients (minus the whole wheat flour and vanilla which somehow didn’t make it in the picture). DSC01159

A bit about my ingredients: I really like the Penzey’s cinnamon blend – I find that it is very high quality and the final product always tastes more”cinnamon-y” than with the really inexpensive stuff. Also, never use more cinnamon than the recipe calls for. It has a tendency to absorb lots of water and make the dough dry. For my yeast I buy it in a huge package at a bulk store and keep it sealed in a mason jar in the refrigerator (I use a Food Saver to suck all the air out of the jar and it lasts quite a long time!)

I always use a scale to measure out my flour as after many loaves, I’ve found that the results can be very different and not as predictable as I would like when I don’t use a scale.

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The ratio I use is: 1 cup of bread flour = 4.25 ounces and 1 cup of whole wheat flour = 4 ounces. I have use different ratios in the past, but this one seems to work the best for me.

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It takes less than 10 minutes to gather weight and add all the ingredients to the bread machine pan. Easy-peasy. Then all you have to do is put the pan back into the machine and turn it on for the correct cycle. For this loaf, I used the whole wheat cycle set on “medium” crust. DSC01165

Once you put it in, all you have to do is wait. Sometimes that’s the hardest part though since the house will smell like fresh baked bread while its baking.

This particular machine has a really nice feature. For whole wheat recipes, it warms the whole pan up to just above room temp so that all the ingredients are at the right temperature to make the yeast work the best that it can. Cool, right?

After about  3.5 hours, you will have a beautiful loaf of bread!

Here is the recipe:

Cinnamon Honey Whole Wheat Bread (Bread Machine Needed)

Makes 1.5 lb loaf

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tbsp butter, room temp, cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour (6.4 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (6 ounces)
  • 2 1/4 tsp cinnamon (ground)
  • 2 1/4 tbsp dry milk powder
  • 1 3/4 tsp active dry yeast

Instructions: Put all the ingredients in the bread machine pan in the order listed. Set the bread machine for a 1.5 lb whole wheat loaf. Wait 3.5 hours and then some more time for it to cool. Slice. Enjoy.

 

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