If bread-baking seems like a mystery or a complex scientific process, a bread machine can take out a lot of the guesswork. Even seasoned bakers can't argue with the fact that today's bread machines make loaves that are just as good as those you could create from scratch.
If you're still nervous about getting started, follow these easy steps to attempt your first loaf. Every bread machine is different, so read your instruction manual first. I'm using a Breadman Ultimate. Incidentally, although making bread in a bread-machine requires little work on your part, it does take a good amount of time. Machines and bread types vary, but most bread recipes take around 3 hours.
This recipe makes a 1.5-pound loaf of basic white bread. First, remove the bread pan from the machine and position the kneading paddle as indicated in your instruction manual.
Assemble your ingredients:
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoon nonfat dry milk powder
- 3 1/4 cups unbleached white bread flour
- 1 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (I use yeast specifically designed for bread machines; you can find it in most supermarkets)