In among a bunch of posts about cake masquerading as ‘bread’, I thought I had better pump up my baker credentials by showing that I do make the actual bread from time to time – at least to the extent of setting up the bread-maker!
Over the years, I have made bread of various kinds by hand, but with kids under foot it was never particularly fun. When my brother Ken received two bread makers as wedding presents, we took one off his hands and that was a great deal more rewarding as a kitchen adventure. When we wore that one out, the old credit card loyalty points program provided a replacement, and then another. So yes, making bread is great for filling the house with that lovely bakery smell, but I don’t feel any obligation to do all the hard work myself – just like I can make pasta by hand, but I enjoy it more using a pasta machine.
The only trick is to follow the instructions very precisely – I lashed out a few bucks and bought an electronic scale, so weighing the ingredients could be done easily and very accurately, and after that it was easy.
For preference, I make seed breads like this one – a light rye loaf that became Sunday brunch. I use seeds that don’t need softening (for this load – sesame, caraway and poppy seeds), so its just a matter of putting those in with the water and oil (our machine has a seed dispenser, but to be honest, it has never worked very satisfactorily, and I probably wouldn’t bother with that feature on a new machine).
For a quick cupboard cooking lunch, it was a taste sensation with almond dukkah – dip bread cubes in a touch of olive oil, then the dukkah.