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Automatic Breadmaking: Waking Up to the Smell of Freshly-Baked Homemade Bread

by Brad Scott


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General Information

With today's automatic breadmakers, it takes only 10 minutes to throw a few ingredients together and you're all set to enjoy the smell and taste of freshly-baked bread, either a few hours later or upon awakening in the morning. You won't have the pleasure of preparing the dough by hand, but you'll save a lot of time both in preparation and clean-up. You can experiment with a new recipe every day, which most people wouldn't have the time for otherwise. And one of the biggest selling features is you can control what ingredients you put into the bread.

There are over 17 different models of automatic breadmakers on the market today. Each one mixes the ingredients and kneads the dough, allows one or two rising times, then bakes the bread. For a full description of the available models, see the December 1993, Consumer Reports (p. 790), which includes a complete comparison of features and performance. If you can, I recommend borrowing a machine from a friend before buying one to see what features are important to you.

There are a host of cookbooks specifically for automatic breadmakers. Check your local library or bookstore. My personal favorite is The Bread Machine Cookbook IV, by Donna German, (1992, Bristol Publishing Enterprises, Inc., San Leandro, CA) because most of the recipes include whole grains and natural sugars. Some of the recipes include eggs or dairy products, but these can easily be substituted for or eliminated. Soy milk can be used in place of whole or skim milk, and egg replacer for the eggs. I often successfully substitute applesauce or a little mashed banana for the oil. While the whole-grain breads are often denser than white-flour breads, I prefer them that way.

You'll need to experiment with recipes to see what works with your machine and your tastebuds.

Recipes

BASIC FORMULA FOR A ONE-POUND LOAF
(Serves 12)

This simple recipe can easily be modified to suit your taste.

1 cup liquid (water, soy milk, or apple juice for example)
1 Tablespoon sweetener
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour (a combination of any two or more white, oat, rye, or
whole wheat bread flour)
1-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

Total Calories Per Serving: 107
Fat: less than 1 gram

Most machines have you place the liquids in the breadpan first, then add the dry ingredients on top, ending with the yeast, but since some have you do it in the opposite order, check the manufacturer's instructions. If youşre so inclined, freshly ground flour can make a big difference in the flavor.

The following are some of my personal favorite recipes. Follow the instructions for your breadmaker. I eat the bread as is, fresh from the breadmaker.

PEACH BREAD
(Serves 12)

You can substitute one 16-ounce can sliced peaches for the fresh peaches and applesauce.

1-1/2 cups fresh peaches, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 Tablespoon apple juice concentrate, thawed
1 Tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups rolled oats
1-1/2 cups whole wheat bread flour
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup chopped dried peaches

Total Calories Per Serving: 127
Fat: 1 gram

GINGERBREAD
(Serves 12)

Great as a dessert bread.

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 Tablespoons molasses
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 dates, pits removed and chopped
1 cup rolled oats
1-1/2 cups whole wheat bread flour
1/2 cup bread flour
1-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

Total Calories Per Serving: 123
Fat: 1 gram

PIZZA BREAD
(Serves 12)

Cut back on the herbs if the flavor is too strong for your taste.

1-1/4 cups low-salt V8 (or tomato juice)
1 Tablespoon molasses
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons green pepper, chopped
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons wheat gluten
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons active yeast
6 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

Total Calories Per Serving: 135
Fat: 1 gram

PUMPKIN BREAD
(Serves 12)

Enjoy pumpkin pie flavor in the form of bread!

1 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup water
2 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1 Tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups whole wheat bread flour
1/2 cup raisins
1-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

Total Calories Per Serving: 133
Fat: 1 gram

BANANA BREAD
(Serves 12)

This bread is similar to banana cake without as much sweetness.

3 ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
1/4 cup water
1 Tablespoon molasses
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
2 Tablespoons wheat gluten
1/2 cup 7-grain dry cereal
2-1/4 cups whole wheat bread flour
1-1/2 teaspoons yeast

Total Calories Per Serving: 136
Fat: 1 gram

CINNAMON-APPLE BREAD
(Serves 12)

This bread fills the house with a wonderful aroma.

1-1/4 cups unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups rolled oats
1-1/2 cups whole wheat bread flour
1-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup raisins (or diced dried apples)

Total Calories Per Serving: 120
Fat: 1 gram

About This Article and the VRG

This article originally appeared in the January/February 1995 issue of the Vegetarian Journal, published by:
The Vegetarian Resource Group
P.O. Box 1463
Baltimore, MD 21203
(410) 366-VEGE
WHAT IS THE VEGETARIAN RESOURCE GROUP?

Our health professionals, activists, and educators work with businesses and individuals to bring about healthy changes in your school, workplace, and community. Registered dietitians and physicians aid in the development of nutrition-related publications and answer member and media questions about vegetarian diets. The Vegetarian Resource Group is a non-profit organization. Financial support comes primarily from memberships, contributions, and book sales.

The contents of this article, as with all The Vegetarian Resource Group publications, is not intended to provide personal medical advice. Medical advice should be obtained from a qualified health professional.

This article may be reproduced for non-commercial use intact and with credit given to The Vegetarian Resource Group.



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