This morning, fresh from my latest knitting successes and all fired up with the spirit of homespun enthusiasm, Bethany and I decided to try our hand at bread-making. I used the food processor, as my bread-maker has long-since started a new life as landfill and its weeny, little loaves used to annoy me, anyway. Unfortunately, the food processor is similarly size-restricted so I had to process the dough in three batches - but, besides taking a little bit longer, this didn't really cause much of an issue, as it kneaded quite well.
The recipe was a combination of several different ones (on the backs of the yeast, the flour and the bread improver packets - I'm nothing if not indecisive!) but it turned out delicious - though the bottom half of the loaf was a tad heavy. I think the oven may have been set too high for the loaf to cook through properly. Next time, I'll set it to a little under 200°C, to take account of the higher temperatures in my fan-forced oven.
I used strong bread-maker's flour and bread improver to give the bread a better texture. I, also, used a well-rounded tablespoon of sugar for a slightly sweet taste and a crusty top. I didn't want to use a bread mix as it seemed to defy the purpose of homemade goodness to resort to using a mix out of a box!
After making the dough so easily this way, I don't think I would bother to replace the bread maker - though, I am thinking that a bigger food processor might be a good investment. Ordinarily, I steer clear of too many kitchen appliances but the food processor is fantastic. I use it for everything from chopping vegetables to making cakes and pastries. Ours has a blender attachment which is, also, really useful.
Anyway, back to the bread - here's the recipe we used:
4 cups of strong flour
7g dried yeast
1 teaspoon of bread improver
1 teaspoon of salt
1 heaped tablespoon of sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of butter
300ml lukewarm water
1. Dissolve the yeast in the water and set aside for 10 minutes, until frothy.
2. Put the rest of the ingredients into the food processor and mix with the blade attachment until combined.
3. Pour the yeast and water quickly through the feed tube and process for 2 or 3 minutes.
4. Dust with flour, cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place for about 1/2 an hour, until doubled in size.
5. Return to the food processor and process for a further minute.
6. Shape the loaf as desired and placed in a greased baking dish.
7. Bake for about 25 minutes at 200°C (11 or 12 minutes for roll).
8. Remove from dish immediately, otherwise the bottom of the loaf will get soggy with condensation.
While She Naps has another recipe which sounds even easier. I might give that a go, next time.
Now, back to my knitting. I'm beginning to get the hang of Continental knitting - I can't believe how quick it is!