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Old 12-25-2011, 02:38 PM   #1
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I unexpectedly got a bread maker for Christmas! Now what?

I hadn't asked for one (thinking we didn't need another appliance on the counter!) but I got a Cuisinart bread maker for Christmas!!

I've never used one before, and don't know where to start really. The recipe booklet says I need to get bread flour. Is that something I should get at Costco?

We go through sandwich bread really fast at our house. Is there a good recipe for that?

And also, what are your other favorite bread machine recipes? I'd especially like some kinds that we can have for breakfast (like banana bread or something?).

Thanks!

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Old 12-25-2011, 03:33 PM   #2
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Re: I unexpectedly got a bread maker for Christmas! Now what?

I'm not big on home made bread. I just prefer the nice crusty stuff from the bakery. If I had to make bread I would make the dough in the bread maker and bake it in the oven. But that is just my personal preference. So in my bread maker I like to make dough for sweet rolls, pizza dough, and also jam/jelly/preserves. Oh man, is a bread maker awesome for homemade jam!!
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Old 12-25-2011, 04:05 PM   #3
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Re: I unexpectedly got a bread maker for Christmas! Now what?

I have had a Cuisinart bread machine for about 9 years now. I've used it almost every single day since I got and and I LOVE it! I have always used the recipes in the instruction book. And when I got comfortable I started to add in my own ingredients. You can get bread flour from costco but if you want the healthiest best tasting bread grind your own wheat! I can't remember the last time I bought bread. My kids will only eat mine
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Old 12-25-2011, 04:32 PM   #4
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Re: I unexpectedly got a bread maker for Christmas! Now what?

Yes, I can definitely see myself using it to make the dough and then baking it myself also!

I guess I will try out some of the booklet recipes. I know nothing about grinding my own wheat. Could you tell me a little about that? Do I not specifically need "bread flour" for my recipes?

Thanks!
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Old 12-25-2011, 07:01 PM   #5
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Re: I unexpectedly got a bread maker for Christmas! Now what?

I would use bread flour if the recipe calls for it. It makes a big difference.
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Old 12-25-2011, 09:53 PM   #6
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Bread flour contains more gluten, the protein in wheat which helps with elasticity of the dough and it's ability to trap the bubbles formed by the yeast. (or something like that!)
Some recipes call for all-purpose. Maybe search for one of those to try your machine out!
If your machine has a "batter breads" setting that you can use for quick breads (using baking powder/soda, not yeast,) I have a bread machine banana bread recipe I could share. Actually it is from allrecipes - let me know if you can't find it there. It uses all purpose flour.
Enjoy your new kitchen toy!

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Old 12-25-2011, 10:22 PM   #7
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Re: I unexpectedly got a bread maker for Christmas! Now what?

So bread flour just has a little barley malt added ( I am pretty sure). I don't think it is necessary bc when I grind my own it isn't 'bread flour'...and my loaves are great. I have bought barley malt to add but honestly don't think I need it. The honey wheat recipe in the book is my fave. ( but i only use my fresh flour) The white loaf is good but I always add about 1/2 c. Flax meal for nutrition. I don't make it often, the kids like the whole wheat better. If you do buy a bread flour I really prefer king Arthur brand. All USA wheat...
Wheat grinding... I have a whisper grain mill. If you grind fresh and use right away it it higher in nutrient, and enzymes. Plus I can buy organic wheat berries in bulk and save a TON of money !! The better quality ingredients you use, the better your breads will be. Oh and invest in some good bread bags. If you store in ziplock or Tupperware you will get a plasticky taste.
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Old 12-25-2011, 10:25 PM   #8
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Re: I unexpectedly got a bread maker for Christmas! Now what?

And the times option on the machine is wonderful for waking up to fresh bread in the morning!
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Old 12-26-2011, 07:01 AM   #9
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My favorite recipes are in a book called bread machine magic. Save cash by buying your yeast in bulk from bjs or sams. It costs about $2 for 2 lbs! I love our machine and use it almost every day
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Old 12-26-2011, 07:18 AM   #10
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Re: I unexpectedly got a bread maker for Christmas! Now what?

I have a bread machine cookbook, but usually the booklet that come with the machine is a great starting point. Make sure to precisely measure all ingredients. Unlike making bread by hand you can't adjust as easy if the moisture level is too high or too low. You can do small adjustments if th humidity of your ingredients make the dough too sticky or too dry, but again its harder.

Also, I bought vital wheat gluten and would use it with all purpose flour since I had a huge 25lb bag of regular flour. This wasn't the most thrifty choice, but since I wasn't sure how much I would like making bread in the bread machine and didn't want to spend twice as much on bread flour for an experiment this was a good option for us. When I make bread by hand I use all purpose flour and let it rise longer to develop the gluten.

Bread flour (makes 1 cup)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp vital wheat gluten
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