During the last six weeks stuck in bed resting, I yearned for homemade bread! Even with my KitchenAid mixer and Folding Proofer, I did not have the energy to make anything because I was so sick. I mourned my old breadmaker’s demise.
A Holiday Treasure
We bought Reg’s parents this breadmaker during our first Christmas here. That was a while ago and it has been gathering dust. When Lorraine heard that my breadmaker was dead and I was too sick to make some myself, she insisted I have hers. Breadmakers are quite large so it was taking up space in her home and she knew I would get more use out of it. In honour of Lorraine’s generosity, I put it to work immediately!
The first thing I did was test it with my Rich White Dinner Rolls with Thyme recipe first. We were getting low on milk so I substituted vanilla rice milk and it worked perfectly! As a result, I used it in this oatmeal loaf making it totally vegan, completely by accident. You’re welcome!
In the microwave I warmed up 1 1/3 cup of rice milk so it was just above body temperature (but not hot!) and added it to the pan. Then I added 1 1/4 tsp of salt, 3 tbsp packed brown sugar and 2 tbsp shortening
I topped it with 1 cup of whole wheat flour, 2 cups of all purpose flour and 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats.
Then I added 2 tbsp of wheat germ and 1 1/2 tsp of yeast. I no longer had breamakers’ yeast so I just used regular. I put the breadmaker on dough cycle. I stayed and watched. Sure enough, it was too dry and needed more warm rice milk. I was very generous.
The key to making a good dough is to make sure the dough is neither too wet or dry. Be patient! After about 15 minutes it should be in one glob, all the flour picked up and getting pounded into a ball by the paddles.
I took the dough out of the pan, moved it to a lightly floured cutting board, covered with a large clean towel and let rest for 10-15 minutes.
I wanted it to be a free-formed hearth loaf so I shaped it 10″ x 3″ with a slightly flattened top. I placed it on a lightly greased baking sheet and let rise in a warm spot covered for 45 minutes. I brushed the loaf with milk and sprinkled some oats on top. So pretty!
Then I baked it at 375F and the original recipe (which I totally changed) said to keep it in there for 35-40 minutes but I knew it was done at around 27 minutes. I could smell it, it was dark brown and sounded hollow when I tapped the bottom. There is nothing I hate more than over-baked bread!
Turns out I was right, it was perfect! Sometimes it is good to trust your foodie instincts. This was a surprisingly moist, earthy but not too wheat-y loaf of bread. I made paninis with it, French toast and even slider buns! We lived on this bread over the weekend.
It is funny, it brought me back to the basics of my foodie journey. My dad and his wife gave me the same breadmaker as an engagement present. My kitchen was so small at the time, I had to make bread on the kitchen floor. When we moved to Vancouver, someone stole it out of our storage locker. I gave up on breadmaking until I moved to Nova Scotia and bought another breadmaker with birthday money Lorraine gave me. Funny how things come full circle.
No Breadmaker? No problem!
Of course you do not need a breadmaker to make this loaf. Warm up your milk to just above body temperature and add some of the brown sugar and all the yeast and let it sit for 10 minutes. Combine the dry ingredients, then add the milk, yeast and shortening and knead into a dough for 10 minutes. Put in an oiled bowl, slide the dough around to cover it with oil, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for an hour. Then follow the rest of my instructions on making the free-fromed hearth bread.
I lived a few months without a breadmaker but was not a happy camper. I do love making bread myself and have tools that can help but a breadmaker is like having foodie elves in my kitchen doing all the hard work when I need rest.
Thank you Lorraine and my foodie elves!