Old-Fashioned Potato Bread, Pg. 65, September 15, 2018

Time for another loaf of white bread and I happened to have a potato left over, so I thought this was the obvious choice.  The potato breads I’ve baked previously have always called for instant potato flakes, this one starts with an actual potato. Ms. Hensperger actually states she think this is the best bread for sandwiches.

Besides . . . potatoes are kind of great.

Finally-a-diagram-describing-all-the-most-choice-potato-cutsThe first step for this loaf was to prepare the potato.  I took one medium russet potato, peeled it, and cut in into chunks.  I then placed the chunks in a small saucepan with 3/4 cup water.  I brought this to a boil, reduced the heat to low, covered the pan and allowed the potatoes to simmer for 10 minutes.

After the 10 minutes were up, I mashed the potatoes and cooking water together. (You can also puree them, if you prefer.)  The potato/water mash was then poured into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup and I added enough water to make a total of 1 1/3 cups.  The mash was then set aside to come to room temperature.

After the mash reached room temperature, I put my ingredients in the bread machine pan in the following order:

1 1/3 cups room temperature potato/water Mash

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

3 cups bread flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoons gluten

1 3/4 teaspoons SAF yeast

This loaf made use of the basic/white cycle and the medium crust designation on my machine.

tater This is a really tasty loaf of bread, the potato flavor is present, but hardly overwhelming.  It rose perfectly and has a chewy crust.  It toasts well and holds together nicely.

The author was right, this is a really nice sandwich loaf.

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Sunflower Pumpernickel Rye, page 142, September 9, 2018

My folks are headed home tomorrow, so I thought I would make a loaf for them to take when they leave.  I like baking with whole grains, nuts and seeds for others because I cannot eat those kinds of things myself and still want to try out the recipe.   So Pumpernickel it is. . .

Ms. Hensperger notes that this is a great loaf to spread with cheese and use for tomato and red onion sandwiches, but it also pairs well with all sorts of wursts and mustards.

The ingredients went into the bread machine pan in the following order:

1 1/3 cup water

3 1/2 tablespoons molasses

2 tablespoons melted butter

1 1/2 cups bread flour

1 cup medium (you can also use dark) rye flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup cornmeal

3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk

1 1/2 tablespoons gluten

1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder

2 teaspoons caraway seeds

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 1/2 teaspoons SAF yeast

I then started the whole wheat/medium crust cycle on my bread machine.  When the machine beeped between kneads 1 and 2, I added 1/3 cup unsalted sunflower seeds.

pumpernickel

Well, this loaf baked up tall and lovely, and smelled heavenly.  I could really smell the notes of cocoa and coffee during the baking process and afterward.  Mom and dad each had a slice before the loaf had cooled completely, mom with butter and dad with peanut butter.

The flavor and texture were both a hit.  Mom especially liked the slight crunch from the sunflower seeds throughout the loaf.

Crescia Al Formaggio, page 373, September 6, 2018

This is going to be a busy weekend here in Long Beach.  The annual “Rod Run to the End of the World” car show and cruise is scheduled.  My parents are coming down and dad is bringing one of his cars for the show.  My sister is also planning to come down and other relatives will be in town as well.  I thought this was the perfect time for a simple eating loaf of bread.

The recipe says that this is:

“A great picnic bread eaten out of hand with cold meats and fruit.”

I think that sounds just about perfect for nibbling at on the deck as we watch the classic cars cruise by.

The recipe further states that you can vary the taste of this bread by varying the cheese you use for it.  The ingredient list calls for Asiago or Locatelli, but I am using Parmesan because it is another hard grating cheese and  I happen to have it on hand.

Into my bread machine, went these ingredients (in order):

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon room temperature water

3 large eggs

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 1/4 cups bread flour

3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 1/2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons gluten

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons SAF yeast.

 

I set the machine for the Basic cycle and a medium crust.

The machine is a little noisy. Because I bought it used, that may just be something I have to deal with.  It is still baking beautifully, so I will gladly deal with some noise.

This loaf baked up tall and beautiful and smells wonderful.

Formaggio

This is a really tasty loaf of bread, I made beef stew for dinner and served slices of this with butter.  It was delicious.  Just enough parmesan flavor, slightly chewy crust, with a tender interior.  I think this would make great garlic toast served with pasta, or even toasted slices with tapenade.  This recipe is certainly a keeper.  (And I am loving the results with the new bread machine.)

Time for an Equipment Change

I was looking over my previous blog posts and realized I have been dealing with A LOT of cratering issues.  I have tried changing the order of ingredients into my machine, the placement of the machine in my house, the freshness of ingredients in the machine, even tried changing up some of the ingredient amounts.  What I haven’t tried is . . . a new machine.

Being without much money, I knew I couldn’t afford to buy a new bread machine, but someone locally posted that they had a “gently used” Zojirushi they were selling for $30.00.  I figured I wouldn’t be out too much money if it didn’t work.

The sky has cleared and the birds are singing.  I have done 3 test loaves with this machine (just for my own use, not for the blog) and each has been perfectly lovely, with a tall, rounded top and beautiful crust. Hooray.  I am now ready to get back on track with this blog.

The Zojirushi also has some features that my Oster doesn’t.  There are “Jam” and “Cake” settings.  To attempt the jam and quick-bread recipes before, I had to wait until I was visiting my parents so I could use mom’s machine.

I will definitely keep my Oster around as a back up, but I feel better using the ZO at this point.

When I finish up the loaf I baked yesterday (Basil White Bread), I will get baking for my blog again.

Franskbrod, Page 74, March 24, 2018

First of all, this loaf is actually “Franskbrød” but I could not figure out how to get the correct character in the title.  This is the most common white bread found in Scandinavia, and although the name literally translates to “French Bread,”  it contains an egg, so it technically doesn’t qualify as a true French Bread.  Ms. Hensperger notes that she adapted this recipe from one written by Beatrice Ojakangas.

I am in the mood for a simple white bread, I am out of both milk and butter, so I needed a recipe that calls for neither.

I placed my ingredients in the bread machine pan in the following order:

1 cup water

1 large egg

1 1/4 teaspoon salt

3 cups bread flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon gluten

2 teaspoons SAF yeast

I am using the French bread cycle on my machine, although the basic cycle could be used as well.  I am also using the “medium” crust setting.

Please note, that because this loaf contains an egg, you should not use the delay timer.

This is a lovely loaf of bread, light and chewy on the inside with a crunchy, golden crust.

IMG_9402

I have tried it a couple different ways, so far. I had my first slice, still warm, dipping bits into Tastefully Simple Roasted Garlic Oil.  Wow.  Now, I’ve just had another slice drizzled with wildflower honey and served with a cup of tea.  I can understand why this is a popular bread in the Northern European countries of Scandinavia; it is simple and hearty, with a crust that should stand up nicely to being dipped in a bowl of hot soup or stew.  (Hmm, guess I know how I will be eating my next piece.)

 

Venetian Panettone, page 523, December 24, 2017

I am making this recipe for our family’s Christmas Brunch. There are instructions in Ms. Hensperger’s cookbook for baking a single large loaf or 2 smaller, freeform loaves.  I am making the smaller and will only include those instructions in this post.

In a small bowl, I placed:

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/3 cup minced dried apricots (could also use orange confit)

2 tablespoons candied citron (could also use minced dried pineapple)

I tossed the dried and candied fruit with 2 tablespoons of flour and set it aside.

Into the bread machine went the following:

1 cup water

2 tablespoons honey

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

3 large egg yolks

2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (could also use Fiori di Sicilia)

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

3 cups bread flour

3 tablespoons vanilla sugar

2 teaspoons SAF yeast

The machine was programmed for the dough cycle and started.  I then set a kitchen timer for 10 minutes.  After the timer went off, I unplugged the machine and allowed the dough to rise for 1 hour and 15 minutes. While the dough was rising, I lined a baking sheet with parchment paper and prepared a lightly floured mat to work on. According to the cookbook, the dough should have risen until it was nearly to the top of the pan.  It hadn’t, so I have it another 30 minutes of rising time before progressing to the next step.

After it had risen, I turned the dough ball out onto my floured mat and patted it into a large rectangle.  I sprinkled the floured fruit of the dough and folded it over, kneading gently to distribute the fruit.

The next step was to divide the dough into 2 equal pieces and to form those pieces into 2 tight round balls.  I placed the balls onto the parchment covered baking sheet 3 inches apart and using kitchen shear, but an “X” 1/2 inch deep into the top of each loaf.

I then covered the loaves loosely with plastic wrap and let rise another hour.

About 20 minutes before baking, I preheated the oven to 375 degrees.

When the loaves had sufficiently risen, I used the kitchen shears to “redefine” the X on each loaf.  I then inserted a 1/2 tablespoon piece of butter into each cut. The loaves were then baked for 30 minutes.

panettone

These loaves have a golden brown crust and chewy interior.  It was not too sweet, and the flavor was lovely.

 

Portuguese Sweet Bread, page 514, December 22, 2017

Yet another loaf for gifting at Christmas, this loaf is supposed to be reminiscent of a Portuguese holiday bread known as Pão Doce. Ms. Hensperger recommends serving it toasted for breakfast with jam or lemon curd, but mentions it is also good with a sweet wine for dessert.

Into the bread machine, I added:

2/3 cup evaporated milk

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoons water

2 large eggs

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

3 cups bread flour

1/3 cup light brown sugar

1 tablespoon instant potato flakes

2 teaspoons gluten

2 1/2 teaspoons SAF yeast

This loaf requires the dark crust setting and can be baked using either the Basic or Sweet bread cycles.  I used Basic.

portuguese Sweet] Oh, boy, this one really reminds me of Hawaiian Sweet Bread.  The lemon and vanilla flavors marry well and this texture is tender and slightly chewy.

Here are my cousin, Faye’s thoughts:

“The next time you make your Portuguese Sweet Bread, try is as bread for French Toast. AWESOME!  I tried it as is and with jam, and the flavor was so good as it but also made great French Toast. Yum!”