Hello...my name is...homemade bread?
I know you might find this impossible when there's a million other things to do with your time. But, you know, when you make all those wonderful soups, stews and cassoulets –not to mention herbal teas and gluhwein--this winter, you really should have a homemade loaf of freshly-baked bread, shouldn't you?
I recently read a great article by Adam Gopnik on breadmaking in the New Yorker magazine. And, it filled me with the desire to bake homemade bread. I really wanted to knead, wait, knead again, bake and await, see, smell and then taste...
I really wanted all those verbs!
But, if you saw my schedule (like yours), you'd realize that this would be an impossibility for the near future. So, best case scenario, I'd pull out my breadmaker and pop in the ingredients and do stuff on my schedule until I could do those verbs...await, see, smell, taste.
I found this great recipe in the book that came with my Oster Breadmaker. It really produces a brioche-like loaf seen in the pictures.
Country White Bread
Add the following ingredients in this order into your breadmaker pan (I still lightly spray it with cooking oil)
Liquid Ingredients, mixed together go in first
1 cup warm milk (110-115 degrees)
1 and ½ TBSP melted butter
1 large egg
Then, add dry ingredients, mixed together, directly on top of the liquid ingredients:
4 cups flour
1&1/2 tsp salt
1&1/2 TBSP pure cane sugar
Finally, make a well with your finger and place 2 tsp. Dry active yeast into the middle of the well, still in the dry ingredient layer, NOT in contact with liquid.
Now, secure bread pan in place in the machine, close the lid and select the Basic (3 hour) setting, with a medium crust color (if that option is available).
Press the START button.
Here's what you'll end up with...a beautiful crumb, lovely with butter and raw honey (in this photo) and a cup of tea...or with anything!