2011/09/28

No bigger than a bread box

Bread Box—that's the name of our rather old Toastmaster bread maker. It had been stashed away for a long time, certainly for the 10 years that we've lived in this house. I used it enthusiastically when we first got it, but then stopped for one main reason: the size and shape of the loaf it makes. It's one of those models in which the bread "pan" is actually vertical. I think all the older bread makers were like that. It makes a really broad loaf with a rounded crust on one end. The slices are quite large.

I dragged it upstairs as part of my quest for more variety in my cooking. I figured I'd get restarted on bread making with a simple honey whole wheat recipe I found at allrecipes.com. It came out pretty decent. But still, there are those huge slices.

What I really want to do is get back to making bread by hand. It's time-consuming but more satisfying than making bread in a machine. You get the feel of the dough in your hands. You get exercise kneading! And you bake the loaves in normal bread pans that make normal-looking loaves which you can cut into slices that aren't huge.

One problem is my habit of finding recipes on the interwebs. Just try to find one that doesn't end in "place ingredients in pan in the order specified by your bread machine instructions." Manual bread recipes exist, of course. It's just hard to zero in on those and eliminate the more-numerous machine recipes. I might have to look in an actual recipe book! It's not like I don't have plenty, including those with bread recipes.

One of the good things about online recipes is the feedback that others provide. Good old Web 2.0! Someone will comment that a recipe works particularly well. Another might say that this or that adjustment improved the result. Recipes in book presumably are tested before publication, but there's nothing like input from actual "users."

So I will be searching for more bread recipes, especially whole-grain or nearly whole-grain. And maybe occasionally a white bread recipe, such as for a baguette. I should try to get some sourdough starter going too. It's winter. It's time not only for soup, but also for the bread to go with it.

This honey wheat bread is tasty!

1 comment:

Aerin said...

You might need to *gasp* go old school and get an actual cookbook for bread. Drop me a line if you are interested - Dad makes awesome bread and I can ask what are his fav books. :)