Making a proper bread is somewhat new to me. I am keen baker, not exactly a good one, but I can make some decent stuff like cheesecakes, muffins, cookies and pies. I have never really tried making proper bread in the past, because the kneading part makes me sweat just by thinking about it. So all I have tried in the past are all non-knead bread.
The only proper bread I have tried making before was Kalamata Olive Bread from Lemon & Olives. I had cravings for some olive bread after my holiday in Santorini some time back. I love, Love, LOVE the smell of it and how the soft warm olive bread tasted in my mouth. Sadly, after a few days of hunting, I could not find olive bread to be bought around the place I stay. So I started looking up for easy recipes for Olive Bread, something that doesn’t need too much kneading and too much work.
This recipe is really easy and very minimum kneading is required. I was overjoyed when I succeed on my very first attempt in making an olive bread. The smell of it filled the whole of my house.. and oh my goodness.. that smells heavenly.. seriously… When I remove the bread from my oven, I couldn’t wait at all! I cut a slice up and sinked my teeth into it. And Hmmmmmm…. hmmmmm…….. was my only response! I love it so much! I was so proud of myself that I can make such tasty bread. Everyone should try making this bread at least once! I may even try making this with my bread machine next time.
Back to the bread machine story.. haha.. (sorry I get distracted easily..) I have been considering for a while whether I should buy a bread machine to make my own bread. So I can add whatever ingredients I like, but I am just afraid that it will become a white elephant. I have friends that share the fantastic and drooling looking bread they have made on facebook regularly, and every time I ask about the bread they made, they always promise me its a breeze using the bread machine.
When I finally made the choice to buy the Kitchen Aid Mixer last Christmas, I got a Mayer Bread Maker for FREE ! Hahaha ! Initially, I think to myself, I could sell this bread machine away and in that sense I reduced the price I paid for my Kitchen Aid mixer. Ultimately, I kept it. And after a few months sitting in my cabinet, I finally brought the bread maker out to give it a try.
This a multi function bread maker that automatically kneads, rise and bakes a loaf of bread. I set the bread maker on the table and open up the user manual. Not knowing what to expect, I chose the first recommended bread recipe on the manual and started throwing ingredients into the pan then off it goes. This seems like a fool proof procedure. All the liquid goes in first, then the flour and lastly the yeast. Easy enough right ?
So the first bread I made using my Mayer bread machine is a soft bread. It takes about 2.5 hours for the whole process, so I left the machine to do its work while I get on with me other chores. During the last 30 mins, my little doggie, Miyuki, sits at my kitchen, staring at me sharply, waiting for the bread to be done. Miyuki loves to share my food.. Or I should say, Miyuki wants everything I eat.. Haha !
After 2 hrs 20 mins, my first bread machine bread realised. My kitchen smells good and the first look of the bread.. looks good. After taking out the pan from the machine and removing the bread clumsily. To my surprise, the mixing blade was left in the bread. This is how my first bread looked.
There is a big hole in the center of the bread. Taste is decent but not exactly to me liking. I would prefer it to be more fluffy and sweet. I finished my first bread nontheless and started on the second loaf. This time, I’ve decided not to follow the recipe from the instruction manual. The first place for me to start looking is Pinterest and it took me 5 mins to decide on the recipe I want to lay my hands on
This time, I am more excited than the first try. This recipe calls for butter and milk, which I am sure will make this loaf much better than my 1st loaf. And yes, this time, its way better than my 1st loaf. Its sweeter and the texture is much better. Its still a little dense but I am fine with it.
After 2 loaves of bread using the bread machine, I am convinced that having a bread maker is really convenient and useful. Just pour all ingredients into the pan according to instructions and with a few buttons pressed, you will have a loaf of freshly baked loaf of bread in 2-3 hours. You can set everything up in advance the night before or in the morning and you will have your bread ready for breakfast or dinner.
You might wonder, what is the difference between baking bread in an oven and using the bread machine. By using the bread machine, the machine does all the work for you. The mixing, kneading, rising and baking part. All are timed and done for you. You don’t need to get your hands dirty and no strength is needed, except for that few buttons you need to press for the bread setting.
For oven baked bread, mixing and kneading has to be done by hand, usually 10 minutes of work. Some will use their mixer to get this part done, no sweat too. Then let the dough rise, transfer to the baking pan and bake. The result is almost the same, in fact, oven baked bread will look prettier compared to bread machine bread. So this would be an individual preference whether you like the bread machine or not.
Personally, I like the bread machine mainly because of the convenience it brings. That means no mixing and kneading with my own hands. Just a few buttons, I get to have a nicely baked bread. Easy enough. So I know will be making more of these in my every day life from now on. In fact, my 3rd loaf is already in the machine baking now ! Haha !
I will share the recipes of the breads I have mentioned separately. So do look out for them. =)
Do share your thoughts about bread machine bread too ! Or you have a fantastic recipe I should try ? Please leave a comment or a link to your blog or website, so I can try that out and do a review on it too. =)
Have an AMAZING weekend every one ! Cheers !