A happy Summer Solstice to everyone! School let out today (way too many snow days had to be made up). It is sunny today and I am enjoying it. There are ripe strawberries waiting to be picked, when Walker gets up from his nap.
Last weekend was Kirk and mine’s wedding anniversary and my super awesome husband got me a new bread machine!
A long story it turned out to be. Kirk tried so hard to get me a gift I’d love and make it a surprise. Until the phone rang and I answered it. It was a customer service rep from King Arthur babbling on about how the bread machine I had ordered wasn’t available. Ouch. Kirk’s surprise was gone and he couldn’t get me what he wanted to order. No one had the Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso Breadmaker in stock. I wasn’t mad….but I posted on their Facebook page about Kirk’s disappointment and they listened, getting in touch with me via the blog. After talking it over I decided I’d be just as happy with the other model, the Zojirushi BB-CEC20 Home Bakery Supreme 2-Pound-Loaf Breadmaker. As a bonus it comes in white, which matches everything in my kitchen. They offered free shipping and sent it 2 Day, plus sent me a goodie box of flour, yeast, cinnamon, a dough scraper, dough whisk and more. Wow. So maybe his surprise was ruined but they did make up for it! Their boxing of the bread machine comes with a KA cookbook and tip sheets as well.
The new machine does have a learning curve. First, you don’t use the whole wheat cycle. Ignore it and use basic. Second there is no difference between 1½ and 2 lb loaves. Just set and go. Since I use warm water and don’t chill things like honey and molasses, the auto warming cycle is overkill. What I do is put the machine on, set it, start and then putter, adding the ingredients. By the time I have done that, cleaned up and put away everything the first kneading cycle is on. I do babysit the dough and make sure it isn’t too dry or wet (which should be done with any machine) until the first kneading is done, then I ignore it.
What I love is having a normal looking loaf of bread. It makes for easy sandwiches. No tall loaves of bread. The double paddles make kneading a snap.
This loaf of bread is amazing tasting. I put it on before breakfast, took it out at 10 am and we ate it at Noon. Yum! And this brings me to something. Kirk and I were at the grocery store, walking through the bread aisle and we both noticed something. What used to smell good doesn’t anymore. That smell of bread, carby goodness? Instead it is replaced by a chemical, stale odor that hangs in the air. All it takes is 2 to 3 weeks of daily bread making and you become spoiled. Bread can be as simple or fancy as you like, but why eat chemicals if you don’t need to?
With Ford out of school for the summer I can now go to making bread in the morning, instead of at night, as I was doing during the school year.
Honey Whole Wheat Bread
- 1¼ cups warm water
- 2 Tbsp sunflower or other neutral oil
- ¼ cup honey
- 3 cups white whole wheat flour (plus more if needed)
- ¼ cup Bob’s Red Mill Brown Sesame Seeds
- 1½ tsp kosher salt
- 1½ tsp active yeast
Add all the ingredients in order listed. Set for a Basic Loaf, medium crust in a Zojirushi machine, whole wheat 1½ lb loaf in other machines. Once baked, remove promptly and cool on a wire rack. Use with 24 hours for best taste.