Sunday, January 23

And a new one for the kids??

Well, that loaf didn't turn out that great. It didn't raise as much as the other loaves have, I even measured it. Only 3 1/2" at it's fullest. Now, of course, I'll have to measure a fully risen loaf to compare. But I think they have been around 5".
And the crust is, well, very crusty, not just from the crust, but it seems like not all the mix got mixed again. Hmmmm. Now I'm thinking it wasn't just the fact that I put extra water in on that first loaf.
Taste is fine. But kinda yeasty. Does that make sence? But not bad enough not to eat it! Bread is bread after all.
Now I'm thinking I might have to make another loaf to have hot and fresh when the kids get home. Maybe I'll try a recipe this time.....

And the loaf for me

This one is still in the machine at this moment, but smells good. For those of you keeping track at home, this is the same mix I tried for the first loaf, and I want to check if it was just first time mistakes that made the loaf not so good. I measured the water more accurately this time, and I didn't level out the mix on top of the water. We'll see how it turns out. (We'll also see if there's any left when the kids get home tonight) ;p

Saturday, January 8

Saturday Loaf

Saturday's loaf turned out just great. I don't know if it's the brand, or just my experience. I'll have to try the first brand again. Letting the loaf rest for the recommended 2-30 minutes, really makes it easier to cut.
This time, there was crusty places on two of the corners, but not a big deal, I just picked off the crusty parts.

Wednesday, January 5

Snow Day Loaf

Snow day today was a perfect time to try another loaf. I needed to first clear off the space on the counter for the bread maker to 'live' so it wasn't just sitting in a cupboard where it could get forgotten. So now the bread maker lives next to the coffee maker, hope they don't get too chummy, breaded coffee doesn't sound too great. ;p
So today's loaf was:

I just had gotten my 1 cup almost perfectly room temperature, when I double checked the directions. They wanted 1 cup PLUS 1 TBSP of 'warm' water. What the heck is warm??? Be scientific, please. I put in the 1 cup of room temperature water, and heated the tap water up to hot, to add, thinking that would make a total of 'warm' it seems to have worked just fine.
The other change with this mix, was to add 2 TBSP Butter chopped up or oil. I chose butter, rather the can't believe version of butter that I use.
It was cool to have the bread machine on the counter where I could actually peek in the top window and see how well it was going.
And I remembered to cool the loaf before cutting. It was wonderful!

Tuesday, January 4

Baby Bottle

Still reading through instructions, wanting to learn as much as I can. A couple interesting things, there are two specific things that don't work well with yeast, and therefore can't be used in the yeast bread. They are garlic and cinnamon. Good thing they told me, because I'm a garlic fiend.
The other thing I was interested in learning was 'room temperature'. What temp is that exactly, and how long do I need to let the water sit to become that temperature. The instructions says 80 degrees, or 'baby bottle temperature'. That's a good way to find the right temp, of course, not scientific.
I'll pull out my handy dandy thermometer/timer (you know what
Alton Brown says, all kitchen tools need to do more than one thing--except the fire extinguisher) and checked the temp of the water. I was right about water from the tap before it gets hot or cold being close to room temp, and I let it set a little bit and it stayed around 75-80. I think I will experiment with hot and cold water to see how long it takes to get to room temp.

Monday, January 3

Mixes and Recipes

So a lot of why I started this blog was to track the different mixes and recipes I try.
The first two were Krusteaz brand, the only kind of bread maker mix available at the small store in the small town. I think the price for each was about $1.79, pretty sure they were each under two dollars. The two I bought were two out of three flavors that they had, so not much variety.
I've always like the Krusteaz brand, my mother swore by it for years for pancake mix. And that was when it was hard to find for some reason. We'd have to look for it when we were on vacation, and buy enough to last until the next vacation.
I want to keep track a bit of the prices, as our friend Xan says it's cheaper and easier to make them from scratch. Cheaper, I'm sure, most of the fast mixes, box dinners and junk would be cheaper if we made them from scratch. Easier, we'll see. Single working mom, sometimes I go for quicker even if it's a bit pricer. But a lot of the recipes in the book seem super simple. I bought bread flour specifically, and yeast made to work in a bread maker. And I bought a couple more mixes. I was surprised to see that the Krusteaz boxes were over $2 here at big store in big town, maybe even $2.49, hmm, maybe I remembered the price wrong from small store. They did have more choices, both within the Krusteaz brand, and a couple other brands. This time I decided to try Hodgson Mills. And realizing I wanted to keep track of which brands I liked, and which flavors, I decided to start this blog.

Sunday, January 2

Second Try

On to the second loaf.
I made sure to only use 1 cup of water.
Oh, and on the water. The box mix says room temperature water. So I got water basically straight from the tap, before it gets hot or cold, and then I let it sit about 15 more minutes just to make sure. I think that's long enough, don't you?

The instructions say to just use the 'basic' setting when using the box mix, but the box says to use the 'regular' or 'whole wheat' setting. So I tried 'whole wheat' on the advice of the boyfriend. Good plan.
And I just poured/dumped the dry mix over the water, I didn't spread it around. It made a little mound in the center, I did make a little well in the mound for the yeast, so the yeast wouldn't touch the water just yet.
The bread rose up to full potential. Smelled great, tasted great. It was a little crusty. So next time, I'll try light crust.
Also, it was hard to cut. I was thinking it was just we didn't have the 'right' kind of knife at 'his' house, or maybe I needed to buy a special bread cutting knife (which I still may do), but I later found in the instructions to cool the bread 15-20 minutes before cutting. Whoops. We had cut it in under 5 minutes. We'll try actually letting it cool next time. ;p