A few years back my mom bought me a bread maker. It took me awhile before I used it, but once I did, I was hooked. It was so easy to use and the results were too yummy. I love bread, but I am also trying to eat healthier. The beauty of homemade bread is control of the ingredients. The basic recipes that I use only have a few ingredients. I really like that.
I always use organic ingredients so I can feel better about what I am eating. There is a basic recipe I use (included below), but I have experimented with different flours. Instead of using a straight recipe of white or wheat flour, I would mix other flours like rye or oat. If the recipe called for 3 1/4 cups flour, I would maybe add 1/2 to 1 cup of the rye, oat, or whatever other flour.
The bread maker is super convenient, but I don’t like the hole that comes with the bread because of the paddle. In the wintertime, I use the bread maker to knead and do the first rise. Most bread makers have a dough-only setting for this purpose. I then remove it from the bread maker and put it in a bread pan for baking. I let it rise a second time and cook it for 20 to 25 minutes at 350 F. I like that it helps warm up the house. The bread maker is helpful for the kneading and rising when I want to do Challah bread too.
When I make Challah, I start out with the bread machine to mix and knead. After the first rise, I remove it, braid, it, and let it rise again.
I have followed basic recipes for bread that don’t include eggs, but I really think the bread with egg is the tastiest. It is not as dry. I especially like using fresh eggs from our chickens. Whenever I don’t have fresh eggs, I substitute flaxseed. I use 1 tablespoon flaxseeds with 3 tablespoons water. Sometimes it needs to set a few minutes to gel and have more of an egg consistency.
I don’t think you can go wrong with this basic bread recipe. We just love it in our house.
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/4 cup sugar (sometimes I add a little less)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 1/4 cups flour (I use all purpose or whole wheat, but the wheat doesn’t generally rise as much)
1 package yeast
In order listed, place all ingredients in bread maker.
The basic setting is used for all-purpose flour and there is a wheat setting for wheat flour. Sometimes the bread doesn’t rise the way I want, but the bread always taste good. If you don’t have a bread maker, check out a thrift store. I have found many good deals on perfectly good bread makers there.