Hey, were you curious about how that loaf of bread turned out? If you have been following my messages and read the comments then you already know, if you haven’t followed this thread, then you will have to keep reading to find out. ;)
I did learn one thing, my bread machine does work perfectly, as long as you plug it into grid supplied power (arrrgggg!). It doesn’t like the flavor of my power, it has to do with sine waves and such. If you could “see” the electricity that flows through power cords, the kind that comes from the grid looks like a smooth wave, the electricity that comes from an inexpensive inverter looks blocky, square, you have to pay more for inverters that supply electricity with a smooth sine wave. A lot of electrical items don’t care about the source of the power that feeds them, then there are certain appliances/machines that require a pure (smooth) sine wave. Things that have timers or clocks come to mind. I know that when I plug in my digital clock to my inverter, the time always runs faster than it should, what’s funny is I have 2 identical inverters, one makes my clock run slightly faster than it should, the other one makes my clock nearly fly, I can actually see the time skipping minutes, does that qualify as a time machine??? So when I plugged in the bread maker, it worked to a point, the stirrer motor worked perfectly, but when it came time for the timer and heat functions to work, it just gave up and displayed an error code.
I removed the dough from the bread machine, but it had already started to bake, it was still on it’s first rise, so I took the dough out, pulled off the parts that had started to bake, kneaded the dough a bit then popped it into a heavy cake pan. I covered it and let it sit in a cool room until the following day. I haven’t gotten my convection oven out yet, so I took the bread dough to my neighbor’s house and baked it in his oven. Well, it was an utter failure as a loaf of bread, it would have made a spectacular door stop though. It was hard as a rock and stuck to the pan, I had to pry and scrape it out. I left it on the counter, honestly I do not know what happened to it after that, it vanished, I can’t imagine anyone actually ate it. I suspect someone threw it into the trash, that’s the kindest thing that could have happened to that sad brick of bread.
Yesterday, I wanted to find out for sure if the bread maker worked properly, so I took it to my neighbor’s house, placed it on the counter top, plugged it in, put in the same ingredients as the previous loaf of bread and started the machine. It immediately jumped into service. I watched it as it mixed the dough, let it rest then went into a frenzy of stirring and kneading the bread dough. I could tell that this was a happy dough, it looked perfect.
At the appropriate time, the paddle came to a stop and the dough settled down into the pan to do the first rise. This is when things went wrong before, so I watched carefully.
5 then 10 minutes passed, soon it was evident that things were going according to schedule. After a while, the paddle stirred around a couple of more times, then it settled down for the second rise. After the dough had risen almost to the top of the pan, the heating element came on and a while later, the smell of freshly baking bread began to waft through the house.
Soon the bread maker beeped to let me know it was finished. I removed the pan and dumped out a wonderful, fresh, steaming hot loaf of bread. I didn’t have a cooling rack, so I set the loaf of bread on the raised burner grate of the stove top so the air could circulate around the bottom of the loaf. If you place a hot loaf of bread directly on the counter or other flat surface, you will get a soggy bottom on your bread. Once it sat for about 10 minutes, I plugged in my electric knife, I know! How un-off grid of me, but I have to say, that nothing cuts a hot, fresh loaf of bread better, if you come near it with a regular knife, even a good quality bread knife, you risk squishing your bread. The electric knife cuts through it like butter without having to apply any pressure, the result is perfectly sliced bread.
Now, since I am fairly experienced with baking bread, I have to say that this was not my best loaf of bread, I would give this one a 5.5 or 6 on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the best). The main reason is I didn’t have the type of flour I would normally cook with, I prefer using bread flour, and using whole wheat, graham and rye flours. I just realized that I forgot to add butter to the mix too, that would have made the bread much better. But all in all, the loaf turned out pretty good, Bob sure loved each and every bite, we ate nearly the whole thing last night for dinner. There were just a few slices left over, and those were eaten today.
So now I’ll be going to town and finding bread flour, I don’t expect to find any other types of flours in the local stores, I’ll probably have to order the other flours on line. Bread is a good staple and it’s not hard to make yourself, whether you use a bread machine or your hands & stove, give it a try.
Here is the recipe I used:
- 1 ½ cup water (I substituted chicken broth for better flavor)
- 4 ½ cups bread flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon rapid rise active dry yeast
I used the light crust setting, next time I’ll use the medium or dark crust setting, I like my crusts dark and crusty. :)
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