Thursday, 15 May 2014

Wholemeal Bread recipe for bread machines

Having now +eBayed my way through most of the under-stairs cupboard, I was able to dig out our bread maker today for the first time in several years. One of the things we most enjoyed about our caravan tour was getting fresh bread from local bakers, but not every campsite had the same quality of loaf so we had thought to try baking our own again once we got home. Our reasoning went that if we could make our own small loaves that would taste good and last at least a couple of days, then taking the bread maker with us would be worth the space/weight on our next expedition. We normally paid a set amount per night for electric hookup, regardless of usage, so we might as well make the most of the money spent!

There are a few recipes in the instruction leaflet for our Morphy Richards Breadmaker but I remembered when I had my bread making phase previously, these weren't great and I normally just used the machine to mix a dough, then kneaded and baked it separately - far more labour intensive! Fortunately, we kept a great little book that Mum had found for Dave: One Hundred Bread Machine Recipes by Vicki Smallwood. As well as many different loaves and breads - naan, cheese, pizza dough - the book also has recipes for hot cross buns, muffins, croissants, Dave's favourite pain au raisins, and things I've never even heard of before - lamachun, pissaladiere, grissini. Plus one Grandma often spoke of: Lardy Cake.

So there's plenty of experimentation opportunities ahead, but for today I kept it simple and made a loaf of wholemeal bread. The recipe below is pretty much as per the Granary recipe in One Hundred Bread Machine Recipes except +The Co-operative in Polegate only had wholemeal or white flour, and I substituted olive oil for the melted butter.

Fresh wholemeal bread 
1/2 cup tepid water
1/2 cup tepid milk (I used semi-skimmed)
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil
1 egg, beaten
3 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
1 sachet of dried yeast (not sure exactly how much but it's +The Co-operative own brand, 8 sachets to a box!)

Bung all the ingredients into the bread machine pan in the order stated above. Remember to put the wretched paddle on the spindle first (guess who forgot!)
I set the bread maker for a 2lb loaf with a dark crust on the wholemeal setting and left it to do its thing for 3 hours and 40 minutes. At the end, out popped the delicious bread pictured above!

OK, there is is room for improvement but overall I was happy with the result. The flavour could have done with a bit more salt. I only put in about half a teaspoon because it looked a lot, but in hindsight a whole teaspoon-full is right. Also, the bread maker has light/medium/dark crust settings and dark is very crunchy so medium would have been the better choice. The beaten egg, which I'd never seen in a bread recipe before, obviously worked though I'm not really sure how it affects the consistency. The finished loaf is quite dense but not too heavy. It's not really a sandwich loaf, but would be perfect thickly sliced with a strong goat's cheese, pickle and an apple for a country ploughman's lunch.

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