Bread machine saves time and money

As most of you know grocery prices continue to rise and I keep trying find ways to stretch our food budget. In December my husband bought me a new bread machine. I don’t mind making bread the regular way but we don’t yet have a functional oven at our new house and the bread machine made it so I could make fresh bread without a lot of hands-on time. I find myself packing the machine back and forth from the ranch to town because we just love fresh bread that much! As a note, I do not use bread machine yeast, I don’t like keeping three different kinds of yeast in my fridge so I just use instant yeast for every recipe. The different types will yield different results to if you don’t have instant you will need to adjust your quantity for whatever you have on hand. I hope you enjoy these recipes.

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

I love cinnamon raisin bread, but the most popular brand to be found at the grocery stores is not only getting a little pricey for my pocket, but is also full of preservatives and chemicals. Using a couple of different recipes I found online and a little experimentation I have found a recipe that makes a super flavorful loaf and is delicious not only as toast but as french toast as well. This one was met with approval by my entire family. Keep in mind this has A LOT of cinnamon so if you don’t like cinnamon as much as I do you will want to cut back. This recipe makes a two pound loaf. If your bread machine has a nut/fruit loaf setting use that otherwise I use the sweet bread setting on a light or medium crust color.

1 1/2 Cups – Milk (lukewarm)

4 Tablespoons – Unsalted Butter (sliced & softened)

4 Cups – Bread Flour

1/2 Cup – Light Brown Sugar (packed)

2 1/2 Teaspoons – Cinnamon

1 1/2 Teaspoons – Salt

2 Teaspoons – Instant Yeast

1 1/2 cups -raisins (either regular or golden)

Add the ingredients in the order per manufacturers instructions. I have listed the ingredients in the order that I would add them to my machine. I always make a well in the dry ingredients for the yeast to insure that it gets mixed in at the proper time.  DO NOT add the raisins until the last few minutes of the final knead cycle (or the fruit/nut add time if your machine has that) or they will just get crushed instead of nicely incorporated into the dough.

Italian Garlic Bread

One day I had already been to the grocery store and didn’t grab a loaf for garlic bread to go with our dinner and I didn’t really have time for the process of making french bread and then turning it into garlic bread in my afternoon schedule. Bread machine to the rescue. I incorporated my normal dried herbs, butter and garlic directly into the bread and the loaf was a hit at dinner time. Even my husband said it was just as good as regular garlic bread! This is for a 2 pound loaf, medium crust color and regular bread setting. I use salted butter. If you use unsalted butter you can increase the salt by a 1/4 teaspoon.

1 1/3 cups water

1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 cup butter melted

1 tablespoon minced garlic

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese The powdery stuff.

1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoons salt

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast or 1 packet

As always, add ingredients per your machine’s instructions.

Honey Whole Wheat

I make this using my own freshly ground flour but your favorite whole wheat flour will work too. The seeds are optional but really make the loaf nice and filling. This is adapted from a King Arthur recipe.

1 1/4 cups lukewarm water

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup honey

3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1/4 cup sunflower seeds, sesame or flax seeds, or a combination, optional

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast

Place ingredients in machine per instruction. I set mine to medium crust color and standard/regular loaf.

Next time I plan to do some gluten free loaf recipes….but still working out the alchemy on those! Happy baking.