About a month ago I started baking bread again. I started because finding the types of fresh specialty breads and regular bread that I like was getting dicey. I have run across breads and rolls that were so close to their expiration dates that they molded in less than a week, as oppose to bread bought prior to the pandemic. Moldy bread is unattractive as well as highly unhealthy. Therefore, I pulled out my Hamilton Beach Bread Maker Machine and got to work.
I love my bread machine. I bought it because with my arthritic hands kneading dough was slow and sometime painful, but the machine has allowed me to painlessly prefect my bread making skills, and also yield some very tasty bread products.I also use the bread machine to create dough for making specialty breads, rolls, pie/pizza crust and donuts in the oven. Today, I made two loaves of breads. The first is my regular weekly loaf of white bread and the second is a loaf of Focaccia bread baked with fresh chopped basil and grated Parmesan cheese. While the Focaccia bread baked in the oven, simultaneously, the white bread baked in the bread maker on the express setting saving a lot of time. Photos below.
Focaccia bread and white bread
The top of the Focaccia looks burnt in the photos but it is not. It is just the darkening of the baked cheese and basil. It tastes wonderful.
Both recipes are in the Hamilton Beach Bread Maker Machine recipe book, which can be found online. However, they both call for bread flour, which I find too heavy for most of my breads; so I substitute it with equal measures of unbleached all purpose flour and a teaspoon of vital wheat gluten. I learned that vital wheat gluten helps bread to rise properly.
The breads bake up well with delicate buttery crusts, and are springy with soft tasty centers. I don’t know how long the breads I bake actually last, because after a week I toss out the old loaves and begin again; one regular loaf and one specialty loaf.
Until next time,