Instant-Potato Bread, page 66, August 23, 2017

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I am craving a hearty, simple loaf of bread and came upon this recipe as I perused the cookbook.  I usually like potato breads, and have everything on hand, so this is the winner.   The author comments that she used to avoid the use of instant potato flakes in her bread baking until being introduced to this recipe.  Now she always keeps a box of instant mashed potatoes on hand.

One thing mentioned in the recipe description is that potatoes stimulate yeast. As a result this tends to be a high-domed loaf of bread.  I’ve had one or two issues in the past with bread rising too much and hitting the top of my machine, and will be sure to keep an eye on this.  Another note about working with the potato flakes is that they will quickly absorb liquid. To avoid  a dry dough ball, be sure to add the flour to the liquid ingredients first.  This separation ensures that the potatoes will not soak up too much of your liquid ingredients while you’re measuring and adding the flour.

Into my bread machine pan I added 1 1/2 cups of water and 3 tablespoons of instant buttermilk.  (If you are using fresh buttermilk, change measurements to 3/4 cup water and 3/4 cup buttermilk.) Next, I added 2 tablespoons, each, of olive oil and dark honey.  Following the author’s suggestion, I next added 3 cups of bread flour, followed by 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon gluten, 1/2 cup instant potato flakes and 2 teaspoons SAF yeast.

I am using the basic cycle and medium crust setting.  The cookbook mentions that the dough ball, when tested, should be nicely formed, slightly sticky and stiff.  The stickiness it to be expected so there is no need to add additional flour.  ( The potato flakes will continue soaking up moisture during the rises.)

There is another note in the cookbook that I would like to share.

“This loaf can be baked on the Quick Yeast Bread cycle since the potatoes encourage the yeast.  (See your manufacturer’s manual for guidelines for adjusting the quantity of yeast when using this cycle.)”

As a reminder, the above quote is referring to the “Quick YEAST Bread” cycle, which is not the same as a “Quick Bread” cycle.

The loaf cratered again, but that didn’t affect the flavor.  This bread has a dense, moist interior with a crunchy golden crust.  Flavor-wise, it nicely combines honey sweet with buttermilk tang.

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Buttermilk Whole Wheat Bread, page 108, September 2, 2015

It has been a while since I made a whole wheat loaf and I will be giving this to a local artist, Karen Brownlee as a thank you.  During this year’s Peninsula Clay Artists Show and Sale she lead a ceramics workshop I participated in.  Unfortunately, the totem I made in class didn’t turn out and she graciously offered to have me come into her studio and try again.

In looking at the ingredients for this loaf, I noted the combination of buttermilk and maple syrup. I think that sounds delightful, so I hope she and her family enjoy the bread.

I added my ingredients in the following order:  1 1/8 cups water, 2 tablespoons canola oil, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, 1 1/2 cups bread flour, 4 1/2 tablespoons dry buttermilk powder, 1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon gluten and 2 teaspoons SAF yeast.  The recipe calls for use of the medium crust cycle and allows the baker to choose between the basic and whole wheat settings, I used whole wheat.

This smelled great as it was baking, the tang of the buttermilk was certainly evident.  It rose to a nice height and baked up without a crater, I call that a win.  I didn’t think to get a photo of this one though.

It was still warm when I was ready to deliver it, so I did a little research online and learned that the best way to transport bread that is still warm is in an open paper bag.  Wrapping a warm loaf in plastic or foil will trap too much moisture.

I hope Karen and her family enjoy it.

I spoke with Karen today. She and her husband enjoyed it; but it was “too healthy” for her kids. 

Gluten-Free Buttermilk White Bread, page 175, August 2015

After baking the other gluten-free loaf for Michelle and Elaine, I had enough gluten free baking mix to do another loaf for them as well.  The author recommends this one sliced and toasted fresh. (Which I realize now, I forgot to tell Michelle.  Oops.)

Ingredients for this loaf include:  1 cup buttermilk, 1/2 cup water, 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, 4 tablespoons butter (cut into pieces,) 4 large egg whites (beaten until foamy,) 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 3 cups gluten free baking mix (I used Bob’s Red Mill,)* 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar, 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum,  and 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon bread machine yeast.

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*In the cookbook, Ms. Hensperger used her own blend of gluten free flours, 1 cup white rice flour, 1 cup brown rice flour, 3/4 cup potato starch flour and 1/4 cup tapioca flour.  The Bob’s flour blend includes:  garbanzo bean flour, potato starch, whole grain white sorghum flour, tapioca flour and fava bean flour.  Apparently the loaf was pretty heavy, my flour substitution may be the culprit there.

Mom’s bread machine has a gluten-free setting I was able to use.  The loaf smelled very nice while it was baking and rose quite high for a gluten free bread.

I just got their feedback today.

“The buttermilk bread, although very tasty with very little to no chalkiness, it was very heavy.  I’m not entirely convinced that it wasn’t supposed to be that way. . . Aren’t all buttermilk breads heavy?”

Honestly, Michelle, I have no idea.  I want to thank you and Miss Elaine for being my guinea pigs on these gluten free breads.

Banana Sandwich Loaf, page 59, August, 2015

I know you have all been missing me.  I was visiting my mom and while I loved using her bread machine, I hated using her computer so I am going to post all the recipes I made, now.  (By the way, I didn’t think to take my usual photos.)

This first loaf is in the “Daily Breads” chapter of the cookbook.  The author recommends treating this onebananas_2 like a French bread, in that it is best served on the day it is made.  One thing that impressed me about this loaf is that there is no added sweeteners, the sweetness comes from just one banana.

Into the bread machine, I placed 1 cup water, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1 ripe banana, cut into chunks, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 3 cups bread flour, 1/4 cup dry buttermilk powder, 1 tablespoon gluten and 2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast.

This is a fairly simple, and straightforward recipe, using the medium crust and basic cycle settings.  I imagine that this would be good with nuts added, as well.

This loaf rose nice and high, with a rounded top.  It baked to a lovely golden brown.  The banana smell was very subtle, but it was there.  We tried slices toasted, with peanut butter, and it was delicious.  It was tender and slightly chewy, just the way I like my bread.  I imagine it will make tasty French toast as well.  As this is a loaf I can eat, I left half with my mom and brought the other half home.  It may have been best on the day it was baked, but was quite good on the next day as well.

Cornmeal Honey Bread, page 148, July 19, 2015 (Happy Birthday, Dad)

Mom will be leaving and headed back home later today, so I am making this loaf for her to take when she goes.  I went through the cookbook and gave her several options, but this is the one she chose. It can also be done using the Delay timer and we have plans to do some running around today, so that is a bonus.

Into the bread machine pan go:  1 1/8 cups water, 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter; cut into pieces, 3 tablespoons honey, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 2/3 cups bread flour, 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal (the author recommends using stone-ground cornmeal.  I used what I had on hand.), 1/3 cup buttermilk powder, 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon gluten and 1 3/4 teaspoons SAF yeast.  I am using the basic and dark crust settings on the machine, in addition to the delay timer.

When we were out and about, I did something wacky to my back and am finding it difficult to move, so we decided to come back home and relax.  I cancelled the delay timer and set the machine to start immediately.

As it is baking, it smells lovely.

IMG_4341 This loaf baked up to a beautiful golden brown, studded with dots of cornmeal.  When I removed it from the pan, there was a bit of the bread stuck behind on the bread machine paddle, so I tried a tiny taste and the sweetness of the honey blended so nicely with with tang of the buttermilk.  I will ask mom for more detail when she tries a while slice or two at home.

This isn’t the first time I have had bread stuck to the paddle,  or the paddle stuck inside my loaf.  This isn’t a huge problem, just a slight annoyance.  I went online and did some research.  I found a few suggestions if this is bothersome.  First, you can use a paper towel to smear a small amount of shortening onto the blade before baking each loaf.  The other recommendation was to wait until the final rise begins and take the dough ball out of the machine.  Remove the paddle from the machine and replace the dough ball.  Let the final rising and baking continue.  I will try the shortening trick with the next loaf I bake.

20150721_115757I heard from mom, she sent me this picture for sharing.  She said, “Very nice!  Good texture.  Just enough corn meal to make it slightly chewy.  Toasted with honey.”

I spoke to her again, later this afternoon and she had made a toasted cheese sandwich for lunch on some of the bread and really liked that, too.

Maple Buttermilk Bread, page 58, May 9, 2015

I wanted another simple bread today that would be good for sandwiches.  I came upon this recipe and it sounded perfect.  I decided late last night to make it, and because I was able to use buttermilk powder, it was a perfect loaf for my delay timer.

I loaded the liquid ingredients into my machine first: 1 cup plus 1 Tb water, 1 1/2 Tb melted unsalted butter, and 3 Tb maple syrup.  On top of the liquid ingredients, I added, 3 cups of bread flour, 1 Tb gluten, and 1 1/2 tsp salt.  Since I wanted to be sure to keep the buttermilk powder and yeast from mixing with the wet ingredients too early, I added them last.  1/3 cup dry buttermilk powder and 2 1/4 tsp bread machine yeast rounded out the ingredients.  I set my delay timer to have a fresh loaf for lunch today, and headed to bed.

This loaf has risen nicely and is baking now.  The tangy smells of buttermilk and yeast are filling the house and I am itching to get a slice.  IMG_3949

Ooooh, it just finished and I removed it from the pan to a rack to cool.  I haven’t mentioned it before, but be sure to remove your loaf from the pan promptly to keep it from getting moist and soggy.

After cooling to room temperature, the bread is ready for slicing.

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The bread is soft, with a nice, golden brown and flaky crust.  The maple flavor isn’t prevalent, which may be because I used a grade A maple syrup.  The buttermilk, however, has created a delightfully tangy and moist loaf.  This is a recipe I will certainly make again.

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