If you have a bread machine, you know that it takes a bit of hit and miss to find a good recipe that isn’t going to produce a hard-as-a-rock loaf. I’ve tried the tricks – bread flour vs ordinary flour, more vital wheat gluten, instant yeast vs traditional yeast – and nothing seemed to work.
This recipe flies in the face of all instructions from my bread maker’s producers. They (fairly strongly) warn about letting the yeast touch the liquid before the machine does the mixing, but this recipe has you activate the yeast beforehand, as you would making a loaf the old fashioned way. What a difference! (Of course you can’t set a loaf to bake overnight this way but it’s worth the pre-planning).
This loaf raises high… so high I sometimes worry it’s going to hit the top of the machine. It’s light and airy.
I play with it a bit … replacing some of the white flour for whole wheat, using unbleached flour from the local mill instead of bread flour (how many types of flour can a person keep laying around?!). I’m sure you could use honey in place of the sugar, throw in flax seeds, etc.
Here is the original recipe, so you can do what you like with it:
Yield: 1 1/2 pound loaf
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 Tbsp white sugar
1 .25-oz pkg of bread machine yeast
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 cups bread flour
1 tsp salt
Place the water, sugar and yeast in the pan of the bread machine. Let the yeast dissolve and foam for 10 minutes.
Add the oil, flour, and salt to the yeast.
Set your machine to the White Bread setting and press Start! (Remember – it’s a 1 1/2 pound loaf!)