akh

“bread machine”

In challenge on November 19, 2009 at 2:15 pm

as you know, i love challenges, crazy recipes and trying new things in the kitchen. so when i saw this on the box of our (early) christmas present:

breadbakingfunction

(long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away…)

i, of course, had to give the “bread baking function” a try immediately.

did i mention the present was a rice cooker?

breadricecookeroutside

…how intriguing…

(also, please note here that i have never used a bread machine. my mother would die. she makes bread the old fashioned way. i promise to show you someday.)

so really more as a lark than anything else, one rainy sunday afternoon i decided to give it a whirl. uncharacteristically, i started by reading the instructions. i thought i should stick to them fairly closely because i didn’t want the newest member of our kitchen family to explode or anything.

first, you scald your milk. this means get it to bubble, but not quite boil.

breadscaldmilk

(it’s not there yet…) then add honey (we’re making “honey wheat” apparently), vegetable oil and salt.

since i obviously can’t stick to a recipe TOO closely, i didn’t think it would hurt to use molasses instead. of course, this will mean a darker, slightly bitter bread. okay by me. (also, i had no honey…)

breadmolasses

you let this cool to lukewarm, and add half a packet of yeast. if you add the yeasties when it’s too hot you will scald and kill them. much like yogurt.

when they are dissolved, start adding your flour one cup at a time.

breadflour

i didn’t think two cups would be enough, but… maybe i should trust the recipe.

breadstickyball

it was. turn this sticky ball of dough out on a floured surface, and with floured hands, kneed for 10 minutes. that’s a long time. really a workout.

do you know how to knead dough? start by pushing the ball with the heel of your palm.

breadkneed1

(both palms, of course, but someone had to take the picture, right?!)

then turn the dough 90 degrees

breadkneed2

be careful to not in any way pull or tear the fibers you are creating in the dough!

fold it over

breadkneed3

and repeat from the beginning

breadkneed4

for 10 minutes. it’s harder than it looks!

[a note on baking in acrylics. as part of my kick-ass halloween costume – and possibly because of some secret fantasy – yes, those are acrylic nails. while i was a little concerned about how kneading would go, this is actually a great lesson for beginning bakers: you should really not ever be using your fingertips when you knead. therefore, proceed in your fake nails. in case you were worried.]

once the dough is kneaded, you put it in the rice cooker and set to “bake.”

breaddoughincooker

40 minutes later, a nice little  buzzer goes off to tell you it’s done rising. doubled in size – perfect.

breadrisen

take the dough out, punch it down and… here, again, the rebel in me came out. instead of a single loaf, i’m going for rolls, so i cut the dough into four pieces

breadcut

and put them back in the rice cooker. (i was hoping they’d sort of fuse while baking, but break apart like rolls at the end.)

breadbackin

40 minutes later and the buzzer sounds again… it’s almost done.

breadfirstbake

flip the loaf over – be careful it’s HOT – and let it brown the other side for the last 10 minutes.

check it out!

breadsecondbake

delicious bread in a rice cooker. what will they think of next?

breaddone

so my tear-apart-rolls idea didn’t really work, but no one seemed to mind!

breadslied

[MH: thank you so much for the fabulous early christmas addition to our kitchen!]

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  1. MH is a champion of the kitchen. Much like AKP. I love it.

  2. i was wondering about those nails!

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