Saturday, February 16, 2008

A sweet bread and an unsweet bread

Have I mentioned that I LOVE my bread machine!?!?! Geez. Talk about an awesome appliance. Please tell me that there are some readers out there that are enjoying my bread machine recipes. Unfortunately, I just don't have any bread recipes that are made the old fashioned way and I don't anticipate posting any. If you are contemplating trying out bread machine bread, I seriously recommend it...I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Cuisinart.

If you are reading and are addicted to your bread machine like I am, please speak up...I gotta know that I'm not alone!

Gingerbread Loaf

3/4 c milk at room temperature
2 eggs at room temperature, beaten
1/3 c mild molasses
1/4 c unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
4 c bread flour
4 tsp light brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

Add ingredients to machine in order given. Select 2 lb loaf size, light crust and basic cycle. Remove baked loaf from machine and cool on wire rack one hour before slicing.

What I liked about this bread: It gave me an excuse to replace my old molasses, which popped when it opened. I don't know how old it was, but I'm venturing to guess that I bought it when I got my OLD bread machine about twelve years ago.
What I disliked about this bread: It's the first loaf that I have made in my bread machine that has split at the end of the baking cycle. Plus, there is a tiny area right in the top that did not bake all the way...kind of mushy and gross.
Cool kitchen gadgets used: None this time...didn't require any prep work.
Tastiness factor: Very good. Nice and spicy but not overly sweet.

Tomato-and-Basil Bread (sorry, I didn't have time to take a picture before I left for my trip to Phoenix!)

1 1/3 c tomato juice at room temperature
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/3 c freshly chopped basil leaves
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp sugar
3 Tbsp rye flour
4 c bread flour
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

Add ingredients to bread machine in order listed. Select 2 lb size, French cycle and light crust. Remove baked loaf at end of cycle and let cool at least one hour before slicing.

What I liked about this bread: I got to use the tomato juice from my tomato basil soup I made several weeks ago. WHO KNEW YOU COULD FREEZE TOMATO JUICE!?!?! Plus, it gave me an excuse to add to my ever-growing collection of flours...I now own all-purpose flour, bread flour, cake flour, cornmeal and RYE FLOUR. I keep it all in the freezer except the cake flour which is kept in the cabinet...reason being is because cake flour contains the lowest amount of protein and is the least likely to go bad quickly. Plus, it comes in very small bags and doesn't last long at my house.
What I disliked about this bread: I bought a fresh pack of basil leaves and thought that would be enough. It was JUST short of 1/3 c once I chopped them. I'm sure it's fine though. This is making me think I need to plant an herb garden again...
Cool kitchen gadgets used: My mezzaluna, once again, came in VERY handy for mincing the basil and this time I didn't take a chunk out of my finger.
Tastiness factor: It wasn't a bad bread, but it was not the tasty yummy tomato and basil flavor that I had imagined. I had to put a little salt on it to bring out the flavor. Not my favorite.


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