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Breadmaking Machines

A Guide to Home Baked Bread Using Bread Makers

Breadmakers are a wonderful gadget. You can effortlessly produce superb quality bread, cakes and dough by just inserting the necessary ingredients and pressing ‘go’. I have had my Morphy Richards Breadmaker for about 2 years now and I’m a complete convert. As long as you keep a supply of the essential ingredients you can make superior bread on impulse.

Coming into a house where fresh bread is being baked is a wonderful, sensual experience. There is no better accompaniment to a meal than a freshly baked loaf or bread.

I have had my failures but each is easily explained and due to my own fault. The first loaf I attempted to bake, I failed to seat the baking pan in correctly and consequently the kneading attachment didn’t rotate. I ended up with a mess of unblended and partially cooked ingredients. However, once I had realised the problem, the second attempt produced a perfect 1lb white loaf.

My Morphy Richards came with a comprehensive instruction and recipe booklet. The recipes cover a range of yeast breads and dough recipes. The recipes range from basic white bread, wholemeal bread, brown, soft grain, granary speciality breads such as olive, pesto, cheese and onion, nut breads, fruit breads and also some guaranteed dough recipes such as bagels, croissants, pizza base, doughnuts, muffins etc. There are also a number of excellent recipe books that have been written especially for breadmakers, I have invested in Paul Hollywood's Bread by Paul Hollywood. He extend this basic list to include many other breads and savouries, sweet loaves and cakes, rolls, buns and snacks.

The breadmaker will make small (1lb) or large (1˝) loaves or prepare the basic dough for you to form into the traditional shape and bake in an oven or on a griddle. There is not much else to know about making bread and all the basics are explained in the instructions or recipe books. Key points to note are always use correct flour. For general bread making this should be strong plain or ‘bread’ flour. Other flours will be used for other purposes such as cake making. Yeast is necessary to make the bread rise, through a fermentation process that produces carbon dioxide. Active dry yeast is used in nearly all bread machine recipes. Sugar flavours the bread and feeds the yeast; salt flavours the bread and limits the action of the yeast. Milk or water and dried milk improve the flavour and texture. I always used dried milk powder as advised in the recipes. Butter, fats and margarine ‘shorten’ the texture of the bread and breads that use specifically butter will stay fresh for longer. I actually use an olive oil based spread with complete success.

Any other ingredients or variations are well explained in the recipes. So I will leave you to some productive baking. Have fun and enjoy your own fresh, homebaked bread without the fuss!

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