I have been baking bread since I bought my Zojirushi bread maker in Jan 2004. Most of my friends who own a bread maker, warned me that, even though they bought one, it ended up in storage, cos something or the other wouldn't work out and they end up buying bread again. To tell the truth, I have bought store bread once in the last 7 years, and my family hated it. I still buy bread for Pav bhaji and an occasional french bread, but for the sandwiches I make for my kids and the toasts, it is all homemade bread. Once you try this, I am sure you will agree and hopefully enjoy baking as much as I do.
Homemade bread also does not have any addtives or preservatives.
I think I have mentioned this book in my previous blog posts, The Bread Lovers Bread Machine Cookbook. There are tons of recipes in the book, and this recipe is one our family favorites.
About Maple syrup, I use the original maple syrup, not maple flavored corn syrup. This makes a huge difference in the taste. And always use Grade B for Baking, remember B for Baking. Grade A is used as an accompaniment to waffles etc. A is for Amber, it is generally lighter in color.
About Bread Flour, It is not all purpose flour. I use King Arthur Brand Bread Flour, available in most stores in the USA. I also mix in White Wheat Flour. The ratio I like to use is a 1/2 wheat 1/2 white or 1/3 wheat and 2/3 white, depending on the recipe.
About Gluten, it is basically wheat flour, which is found in the innermost part of the grain and has a higher protein level. This can be brought wholesale from amazon store and can be kept in freezer for a year.
If you have a bread machine, and plan to bake this in that, please use the exact measurements and try not to substitute any ingredients.
If baking by hand, you can substitute some, but make sure you have a really sturdy ball of dough, it shouldn't be loose or very dry. (use a regular loaf pan for this).
About Salt, I prefer to use Sea Salt for baking. I buy mine from Costco.
About Yeast, I use the SAF brand, I buy it from amazon, and store it in the freezer. If you become a regular baker like me (an average of two loaves a week) this will come for 6 months.
For a 1 and 1/2 pound loaf.
Water 1 cup + 1 Tbsp
Unsalted Melted Butter 1 and 1/2 Tbsp
Maple Syrup 3 Tbsp
Bread Flour 3 cups or Bread Flour 2 cups and white Wheat Flour 1 cup (healthier)
Dry Buttermilk powder 1/3 cup (if baking by hand, u can use real buttermilk and add in little extra flour)
Gluten 1 Tbsp
Salt 1 and 1/2 Tsp
Yeast 1 and 3/4th Tsp
If baking by Machine, just add all ingredients in the same order and set the machine to a regular loaf setting according to your machine instructions.
If baking by hand, u can substitute the real buttermilk for the powder. and make a nice sturdy dough and knead for at least 20 minutes. Roll in to a loaf shape and in a oil sprayed loaf pan, place the dough.
For added effect, you can just sprinkle some oatmeal on top.
Other variations can be adding some flax seeds or sunflower seeds or kneading them directly in to the dough also works...and let rise for at least 45 minutes.
Once the dough has doubled in size, preheat the oven to 350 Deg F, and let it bake for 45 minutes.
After it has baked, you can check the temperature of the bread, it should register 200 Deg F, which means it has cooked all through.
This makes a really good french toast bread.