Saturday, January 05, 2013

Adventures with my bread machine (part 1)

I have had my bread machine for about three years now. Up until this point I have been quite happy just making bread with it. It makes a perfectly acceptable loaf without all the nasties in commercially produced sliced white.
The timer function is brilliant too. Waking up in the morning to the smell of a freshly baked loaf is almost enough to convince me I actually live in a cute little apartment above a boulangerie in a hip Paris back street . . . (then the Little Man jumps on me and says 'Wake up Mummy!' and it all comes flooding back! But I digress.)

Sometimes I use the bread machine to make the dough before shaping it and popping it in the oven. Some might say that's cheating but I disagree. My bread machine is like my assistant baker - it does all the hard work and lets me do the fancy creative bit and take the credit!  But I have often wondered what else my bread machine could do. I mean there are about 15 different settings on it from basic bread to wholemeal to fast bake, super fast bake and even jam. Luckily for me I got a bread machine recipe book for Christmas and after trying the basic white loaf (which came out lovely) I thought I would have a go at a fruity tea bread.
How it SHOULD look...

This no fat recipe is stuffed with cinnamon spiced raisins soaked in earl grey tea over night then added to the bread pan with egg, self raising flour, sugar and baking powder. I knew it wouldn't rise fantastically well. I also knew it would take a lot longer than just baking a cake in the oven (best part of two and half hours actually) but I'm a firm believer in trying anything once.

So was it worth it?

In a word - no!

It didn't rise at all and felt like a water logged slab of clay when I had finally managed to get it out of the pan. The cake crust was chewy, the inside was stodgy.  I didn't even get the benefit of lovely baking aroma throughout the house while it was cooking.  In all a complete waste of ingredients!

Out of the pan. Eventually!
hmmm not looking much like the one in the book!

You may wonder why I even bothered posting this to my blog but I thought it would be nice to show you that not everything we make and bake turns out wonderful! To be fair it didn't taste *that* bad, more like bread pudding (not a fan) than tea bread.
I haven't completely given up hope of getting more out of my machine - there are plenty of savoury and sweet bread recipes (using bread flour rather than self raising flour) to try but I think I'll shall avoid the 'cake' recipes in future. It really is just easier to whip up something by hand and in the oven.

In the meantime I shall continue to enjoy my 'Breakfast in Paris' early morning day dream . . .

Maybe you have some tried and tested bread machine recipes that are rather more successful than this one? I would love to hear about them!


  1. Eeeek! Well at least you can have fun experimenting :) I'm going to be making tea bread next week - got the recipe out of my mum's ancient Mary Berry Book, will have to let you know how it comes out :)

  2. This is my favourite Cinnamon Rolls for the bread maker..

    1. Nice recipe but almost cheating cos all the machine does is the dough... I am interested in trying stuff where you pile all the ingedients in and let it get on with it for a few hours before going back to the finished article!! (I will probably give this one a try though - LOVE cinnamon buns!)

  3. If something doesn't work my mother always ayes 'Chalk it up to experience & move on.' But at least you had fun doing it!

  4. I do love tea loaf, but never tried making it in the breadmaker - sounds like it's best to stick to the oven. I make pizza dough, malt loaf and occasionally jam in mine as well as normal bread. It's great to set the breadmaker up at lunchtime say on the timer and have the pizza dough ready to make pizza with when my son comes home. He enjoys putting on his own topping.

    1. Oh yes we love to make pizza too!

  5. Wow, I'm impressed, a no fat recipe that looks delicious!


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