Friday, January 31, 2014

Baking With a Bread Machine

I love my bread machine and use it to make my pizza dough, high fiber multi-grain bread, and basic wheat bread.  This week I had a craving for cardamom, so I tossed together apricot chunks, pecans, wheat flour, and cardamom et voila:  le pain.

Using white/basic with a light crust setting, add these and bake according to the instructions:


1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups Silk Vanilla Soy Milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tb Earth Balance, cut into pieces
1 tb olive or canola oil


3 cups of AP or bread flour
1 cup of whole grain wheat flour
2 tsp salt
4 tsp sugar
1 envelope dry active yeast
1 to 2 capfuls of cardamom

2/3 to 1 cup dried apricot chunks
1/2 to 2/3 cups pecans whole or pieces

Add liquid ingredients first, make sure they are warm to activate the yeast.  Add dry ingredients and start the mixing process.  My bread machine's settings are not adjustable, and I found that substituting that 1 cup of AP flour for whole wheat made the dough ball a little dry.  I added extra milk and it came together, but i had to restart the process so that it would mix the dough again.  This was not a problem for me, but check your machine's settings.

Make sure you scrape down the sides of your bread pan during the initial mixing, this may reveal dry dough and allow you to add that extra 1/4 cup of milk if you need to before the dough comes together.  A good dough ball is spherical and evenly moist, not runny, flaky, or lumpy.  Add the fruit and nuts according to your machine's settings.

This recipe is not sweet like raisin cinnamon bread, but can be made sweet by toasting it and serving it with jam.  I prefer it steamed (in the micro) with a pat of Earth Balance to bring out the savory side of cardamom.  Substitute the fruit, nuts, and spices for your favorites and add more sugar if you like it sweeter.