A few years ago, I received a bread maker for my birthday. From start to finish, I have completely baked one loaf in it. The artificial, odd shape that it made, brought no satisfaction. Then, I tried the dinner roll recipe from the provided booklet. It used setting number seven, “dough”. The machine did the work of kneading and proofing; shaping and baking was my responsibility. Together we made a perfect match. The messy, temperamental part of baking bread was solved. Finishing the process outside the machine, allowed my creative and experimental half to flourish. I could be a successful bread maker.
I probably am more hands on, than intended, with my machine. The lid stays open and I hover, with little spatula in hand, making sure my bread comes together neatly and is the right consistency before closing. I tweak recipes to taste and try to adapt them so that I am able to make two, one pound loaves from the dough created. After all, the first warm loaf is for tasting, right? For baking, I have found unfinished stoneware to give the best crust.
And my greatest delight in bread making? The satisfying “yum” when my family enjoys my creation.