We are a family of bread lovers. Our breakfast at home is almost always bread, with butter and jam or cooked sausages and ham. Sometimes lunch is also made from bread - such as toastie melts and pizza on bread, both of which i make quite often as a quick and yummy lunch on-the-go.
For the longest time it was easy to just buy whatever bread we fancy. But since hubby bought me a breadmaker a few months ago, it's been so much fun making my own bread, and being able to mix and match whatever ingredients and flavour i like.
Of course the other plus points are that there are no preservatives or artificial flavours and enhancers. In our tropical weather, homemade bread last for only 2-3 days max in room temperature. I have found that commercial breads can still seem fresh after 6 days....
I'm no good at handmade dough. For some strange reasons, dough making has always intimidated me.
So I use the breadmaker to make all the dough. Here's a snapshot of some breads that
|My breadmaker. I have a soft spot for Aussie brands.|
|Good ol wholemeal bread|
|Jumbo raisins, dates and cranberries bread - yummy just on its own.|
|This was my most recent experiment - Banana bread. |
At first i thought this experiment bombed. I added the mashed bananas at the beep point, but the extra moisture from the bananas affected the yeast, so the bread didn't rise as per normal height. After proofing, it was just about 2/3 of the normal bread height. I was like OH-OHHH.....
The colour also looked funny rite?. The top crust looked like someone had just seen a ghost - so ghastly white! And the side crusts were holey.
But when i sliced it and ate one piece, it tasted really nice. Whew! The texture was quite chewy, similar to foccacia - which i really like, and VERY moist, almost as moist as the stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth type, which I also like - sometimes!. So the best way to eat this kind of bread is to toast it. Toasted chewy banana bread - I like :)
|If you are baking a 3/4 loaf, use the Light crust setting, and let it finish|
baking on the full cycle. This will produce a beautiful brown crust.
You know how those commercial breads are sliced so perfectly? That was my biggest challenge - to slice each piece in equal thickness and with clean straight lines, not jagged like a drunken person trying to walk in a straight line, with the top part of the piece thinner than the bottom :p.
What's the solution? Leave the bread uncut (whole), and cut it in the morning for breakfast.
This works for me as I bake my breads after dinner (it takes about 3 hours to complete a whole baking cycle), so it's ready just before bedtime. I take it out to let it cool completely, then keep it in the microwave (with the door closed) overnight, and then slice it in the morning. I find that somehow the texture is just nice for me to slice it properly.
|Good job I reckon!|
OK, now let's get to the Rosemary and Potato Bread. When I saw this recipe on Zoe's blog, I was very eager to try it because I love herb bread. I also happened to have all the ingredients on hand. The recipe is easy and straighforward. As usual, i used my breadmaker to make the dough. As it was being cooked in the breadmaker, the house was filled with the wonderful aroma of baked pastry and rosemary.
Try it, this is lovely on its own as a savoury bread, or excellent as a base to make toastie melt or mini pizza.
Rosemary and Potato Bread
Source : Bake For Happy Kids, with minor modifications
I halved the recipe for a 22x10cm loaf pan.
- 300g plain flour, sifted
- 1/2 tbsp dried yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 160ml warm water
- 2.5 tbsp olive oil
- Olive oil, to grease
- 2 small russet potatoes, peeled
- Some fresh rosemary sprigs
- Rock salt for sprinkling on the top
1. Add the flour, yeast, salt and chopped rosemary in a large bowl. Add in the water and 3 tbsp of the oil, stir until combined. Put into the breadmaker and set to "Dough". Let it knead for about 10min, then take out and placed in a bowl. Cover with a clean tea towel and place in a warm, draught-free place to prove for 45 min or until the dough doubles in size.
2. Without knocking back (deflating) the dough, place the dough into the greased pan.
3. Slice the potatoes into 20 thin slices and place in a bowl. Drizzle with some olive oil and toss to coat. Use a sharp knife to make 20 evenly spaced slits in the dough, and insert each slice of potato into each slit. Cover with the tea towel and prove for another 1 hour until the dough doubles in size again.
4. Preheat the oven to 180 Celcius. Sprinkle the top of the dough with sea salt and bake for 40 mins or until light brown. Remove from oven, turn onto a wire rack and set aside for 10 min to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
|I accidentally set the oven temperature too high and burnt the |
top of the potatoes :P