Monday, 5 December 2011

Bread Maker Crusty Loaf

As I've mentioned in the past my family and I are raving carb addicts.   R-A-V-I-N-G!  Put us in front of a freshly baked loaf and a honking slab'o' butter and we're your bestest friends.  We admittedly (and quite happily) have no self control when it comes to freshly baked carbs.  So it should come as no surprise that I own not one but two bread machines.  Go big or go home!
Bread machines are a little slice of heaven.  They're one of my favourite kitchen gadgets because they tame the Carb Beast that dwells within me.  I love them because while I'm galavanting (yes, I do galavant and have even been known to meander a time or two) it's at home working away kneading, rising and even baking my bread dough (or making me some ridiculously good pizza dough!) 
I know of some people (who shall remain nameless) that don't want to get a bread machine because they fear that they'll be tempted to make too much bread.  What I say to that arguement is .... 'uh, YA!'.  Who doesn't want a fresh loaf of bread with the ingredients you choose?  No preservatives or whoseewhatsits (that's a technical term meaning 'crap you can't begin to pronounce').  Plus you can add your favourite extras!  Do you like oregano and basil?  Add 'em in!  Do you love Parmesan cheese?  Grate some up!  What about cinnamon and raisins?  Toss 'em in!
Bread machines are also extremely easy to use.  Seriously.  A one armed monkey with mange could do it.  As long as you follow the directions and put the ingredients in the order specified (ie keep the liquid away from your yeast) you'll have your house smelling like a bakery in a few hours. 

The reason why I love this specific crusty bread recipe (though I must note that I'm an equal opportunity bread eater) is that it looks like a loaf you'd spend $4+ for in a food story bakery but you can make it at home in no time flat and for so much cheaper! 

I've made this loaf twice on my day off.  I start the dough at 1pm, two hours later it's out of the bread machine and rising while I get the kids from school.  Then I pop it into the oven as we're unpacking backpacks and chatting about our day.  Easy peasy! 

I also love that this dough starts in a cold oven so I don't have to wait for my oven to preheat.  That saves me some time and the slowly rising temperature gives the dough a last burst for it to rise just a little bit higher as it starts to bake.  I'm tellin' ya, it's so easy! 
The bread has a slightly denser texture (it's not heavy just not as squishy as other loaves) but the crust is ... crusty (as a crust should be!  That's why the crust isn't called a 'squish'!).  Not only that but I 'hear' that this bread tastes wicked good as toast a few hours later when the kids are in bed and certain people get hungry watching "The Vampire Diaries".  Or so I hear. 

Needless to say this bread has been added to my Bread Repertoire.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Bread Maker Crusty Loaf
1 cup + 1 tbsp water
1/2 cup Greek yogurt or 10% sour cream (or plain yogurt)
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp white sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp yeast

Add ingredients into the pan of your bread machine in the order listed.  Set your bread machine to its Dough setting and press Start.

After the Dough cycle finishes (mine takes 2 hours), turn the dough out onto baking stone or baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.  Form the dough into a ball using your hands to gently smooth the top (this just makes it look pretty). 

Using a sharp, serrated knife make slices into the top of the dough approximately 1 inch deep (again, this is to make it look pretty.  Bread is nothing if not vain). 

Cover dough with a tea towel and allow it to rise for approximately 45 minutes.

Place dough in a COLD oven and set heat to 375F for 45 minutes.  Bread is done when it sounds hollow when you tap on it.  Remove bread to a cooling rack.  Sprinkle with a bit of flour (I kind of went crazy with my flour in the first picture).  Try not to eat it all in one sitting.  I dare you.

Recipe Inspired by: Three Pickles' 'Quick Sour Dough' recipe


Peter Barker said...

Mmm looks delicious.. Breadmakers are great Household Gadgets

Angela Scott said...

It looks great. My husband is the baker in the family and makes bread from scratch--grinds his own wheat and everything. Partly because he is vegan and can watch what ingredients are in the bread. He thinks he can make this bread by adding a substitute for the yogart, so he's going to give it a go.

Thanks for the recipe.

Cajunlicious said...

Looks absolutely delicious! The hubby and I have been talking about making our own bread for a while and this one's a keeper, bookmarked!

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

I'm so glad that I'm in the company of other bread lovers!! :). There are not many things that I can think of that smell (and taste) better than homemade bread. :)

Marisol B. said...

This recipe sounds and looks so good!....I love bread, way to much. My little girl made bread and it wasn't that bad for a 10 year old. So I think we are going to try this one.
Thanks for the recipe! bye

TheBookGirl said...

Oh yes I love my bread machine, but since my daughter left for college, I rarely use it as my husband and I don't eat the big loaves it makes fast enough :(
I've decided to invest in a small machine, designed for one pound loaves, and have been scouring the consumer reports type listings to see which is best. The big machine I had was the Zoji, but their small one is also quite expensive, so I want to see if there's another brand that will work just as well for less.
Your loaf looks amazing! I can almost hear the crunch from here :)

Bonnie in Manitoba said...

I used to use my breadmacker every day when my kids were small but have gotten away from it, and am inspired to get back to it! First off, I know it used to make great pizza dough, but I've lost the recipe book and since you mentioned pizza dough, care to share your recipe? (would like to use it for supper tomorrow!) ~Bonnie

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

Marisol -- I'm so happy that you've visited my blog!! :) I adore it when my kids want to bake something. Bread can be pretty challenging too!

BookGirl -- my smaller bread machine makes 1.5lb loaves and they're still pretty big. I didn't realize they made smaller versions.

Bonnie -- I just use the pizza dough recipe that came with my first machine and add some dried basil, oregano etc. I can post the recipe if you'd like. :)

Bonnie in Manitoba said...

Sure! That would be great! Like I said, I've lost my book that came with my machine, and although I could search online for a recipe, I know yours will be tried & true!!

Jen at The Three Little Piglets said...

We're the same way in my house! In fact, just yesterday I stopped by the bakery to grab a loaf of bread. Ate a slice on the way home and washed it down with a raspberry cream cheese muffin from the same bakery!

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

Bonnie in Manitoba -- I am planning on writing up a blog post with my pizza dough recipe this weekend. I made homemade pizza last night and got some pictures too! Definitely a tried and true recipe in this house!

Jen -- You're my kind of carb lover. A slice of bread with a raspberry muffin chaser!!! Love it! :)

Trish @ MomOnTimeout said...

I love homemade bread and this looks heavenly! Thank you so much for sharing at Taking A Timeout Thursday and Merry Christmas!
- Trish @ Mom On Timeout

Lady Luz(Pamela) said...

I don't even know if you still do your blog but I came across it while surfing for a reason why my breadmaker machine doesn't make a crispy top any more in my 1 kg. loaf.

There are some wonderful recipes, including yours, which are fromt he USA, all asking for cups of this and cups of that.....but how big is a cup, e.g. how many ozs, or grammes. It's a nightmare trying to work it out without a cup size to guide me. Many thanks.

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

Hi Lady Luz,
I'm actually Canadian but, like a lot of people I know, I tend to go back and forth between Imperial and Metric. Maybe it's because we're so close to the US that we do a bit of both.

Even though I use metric for temperature, distance (km)and measurement (cm) I do admit that I tend to use imperial for cooking/baking.

I think it gets confusing because some measurements (like ounces) are used for weight and volume where a cup measurement is a measure of volume.

I found, on The Reluctant Gourmet, a conversion chart which may help you. Here's the link. I hope this helps.

Kim Burnett said...

I love this bread recipe. My friends love when I make this bread. I think it's the sour cream and lemon juice up the game on this crusty loaf.

Today I divided the loaf in two and made lil buns (with cuts in them for the beauty) and a medium sized loaf (beautiful cuts) for variety (so I could serve pulled pork on the buns and make garlic bread). Amazing. Again. You rock.

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

Oh Kim -- Your comment put a smile on my face! Thanks so much for letting me know you and yours love this recipe!! I actually just made it again last week. I love its chewy texture and slightly 'sour dough-esque' flavour. Your idea of wee buns is a great idea!

Since we're both carb lovers I thought I had to ask ... have you also tried my Garlic and Herb Topped Rosemary Bread?? It's my ultimate bread and I make it at least once every two weeks. I've actually (prepare for a confession) ... made meals around this loaf just so I could eat it for supper. Oh ya. I did it and I'm not ashamed. I adore it. I'm a lover of all things bread and I adore smelling fresh bread baking in my house. Mmmmm.

Thanks for making my day with your kind comment. :)

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