The dilemma of the bread machine and the controversy surrounding the question .... is the bread homemade if made with a machine? I have made homemade bread both by hand and by using a bread machine. Personally I don't believe it is cheating if you would prefer using a bread machine .... it is, in my eyes, still homemade ...... you are adding and/or omitting ingredients that you might not wish for your family to eat. It is the healthy loaf you want for your family. THAT is homemade and homemade with love ..... even if it was made with a bread machine.
I love my bread machine. I bought it second hand from a thrift store almost two years ago and use it every couple of days. It works perfectly, came with the original recipe book and was only $10.00!! One of the best deals I have ever found. I enjoy kneading my bread by hand as well but I find that after a while it really bothers the muscles in my back. Kneading for a full 10 minutes can really do a number on it! Hence the reason I use my bread machine. Others have told me they like their bread machines for the sole reason that their lives are just too busy!! I certainly can understand this and it is a valid reason. Running with younger children from school to sporting events and then home to put dinner on the table does take time away from such tasks.
Besides making the basic white and wheat loaves, we all love, love, love the raisin bread recipe that came with the machine. It is just delicious and I thought I would share it with you in case you are like us ..... use a bread machine, and love raisin bread!
My book provides instructions for a one pound loaf and and a one and a half pound loaf ( I always make the 1 1/2 pound loaf as our household can finish it off in two days). Although the amount of ingredients needed will be different, the process will be the same for both size loaves.
One Pound Loaf INGREDIENTS One and Half Pound Loaf
7 ounces (3//4 cup + 2 Tbsp) Water, 90 - 100 F 8 1/2 ounces (1 cup + 1 Tbsp)
2 cups Bread Flour 2 2/3 cups
1 tablespoon Dry Milk 2 tablespoons
1 tablespoon Sugar 1 1/2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon Salt 1 1/2 teaspoons
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon 1 teaspoon
1 tablespoon Butter or Margarine 2 tablespoons
1 1/2 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast 2 teaspoons
--or-- --or-- --or--
1 teaspoon Bread Machine/ 1 1/2 teaspoons
Fast Rise Yeast
1/2 cup Raisins 3/4 cup
1/4 cup Chopped Nuts (optional) 1/2 cup
FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS FOR BOTH RECIPES
BREAD SELECT SETTING TO USE: Basic/Specialty
- Add liquid ingredients to pan
- Add dry ingredients except yeast, to pan. Tap pan to settle dry ingredients, then level ingredients, pushing some of the mixture into the corners. Place butter into corners of pan.
- Make a well in center of dry ingredients; add yeast. Lock pan into bread maker.
- Program for BASIC/SPECIALTY and desired Bread Color. Program TIMER if being used. Close cover. Start bread maker. When done, turn off and remove bread from pan. Cool on rack before slicing.
** If making a one pound loaf; use Light Bread Color setting to prevent over-browning of the smaller loaf.
*** SPECIAL TIP: To make raisin bread overnight, follow Steps 1-3 above. Then place raisins and nuts around the outside edge of pan, away from the yeast. Do not add raisins to the water in pan as the raisins will absorb too much liquid and a poor loaf of bread will be obtained. Continue with Step 4.
If you happen to make a double batch, remember to cool the bread completely before packing it in a freezer bag. Remove all air from the bag before sealing .... I use the old straw in the corner trick. When I need another loaf, I remove it from the freezer, let it thaw slowly and if the oven happens to be turned on to cook our dinner, I will toss it in to warm up the loaf and have warm slices with our meal.
Whether you chose to use a bread machine or knead the loaf by hand, baking with wholesome ingredients for your family is something to be very proud of. Your bread will be better than any from a supermarket ..... guaranteed. I am sure your family would agree with me. So use that bread machine and use it with your head held high. You have just baked a loaf of fresh, homemade bread! Doesn't it smell wonderful?!
Remember to give your loved ones a hug!