Friday, January 22, 2010

Breadmaking and Juicing

Hallo there! Guess what?

The kitchen is still in tact! :-)

I was so excited to use the Oster Expressbake breadmaker last night that I started making a batch at 10pm, thinking it'd be done in 58 minutes as advertised. Well, let this be a lesson for me to read the instruction manual first because I ended up baking at the default setting which takes 3 hours.

I used this simple vegan recipe from Vegweb. (Novice me didn't realize the recipe called for whole wheat flour, while the one I bought was unbleached white bread flour, oops.) There are several stages to the cycle. After you put in the ingredients (wet stuff first, then dry stuff, then yeast while making sure it doesn't touch the wet stuff), you plunk it into the machine and watch it go to work. First it kneads the dough for 10 minutes, then lets it rise for 20 minutes, then it kneads it again for 15 minutes, and then lets it rise again for 20 minutes. At this point, I noticed it didn't get the flour in the right corner of the bin despite all the kneading. I was afraid to open the lid to scoop that part and add it to the rest of the dough in case the cycle reset itself, so I let it be. Next the dough is "punched down" for 30 seconds and then allowed to rise for the final time, which is what you see in the picture above. The bread is then baked for one hour. By this time, I was watching Conan O'Brien with one eye closed.

Now this machine makes much more noise than, say, a rice cooker. It's a little startling when it goes into kneading mode after the silence of the rising mode. Especially when it's near midnight and your body just wants to go hibernate.

At the three hour mark, the bell buzzed and voila!

It baked beautifully, with the exception of that little flour part in the corner that didn't get mixed with the rest of the dough.

And here it is sliced:The next morning (because I went straight to bed once it was done!), hubby toasted it with Earth Balance. It was a little denser than I expected so I will have to tweak the recipe to make it fluffier somehow (any tips?) but overall I'm thrilled that I made my own bread!

He also put our new Breville juicer to work and made pineapple, orange, carrot juice. So fresh and delish! My pics came out blurry so I'll try again next time with a more in depth review of the machine.

Laloofah, my EasySprout arrived yesterday so I just need to get some seeds to get started. I'm checking out my local store today. Will let you know how it goes!


  1. Hey, VW!

    Congratulations on your first loaf of homemade bread! I'm terrible about reading manuals, I have no patience for them. Why spend all that precious time reading instructions when you can just press buttons and see what happens? LOL

    Does your bread machine have a setting for whole wheat loaves? If you used unbleached flour but a whole wheat setting, the machine may have over-worked the dough and that could have made it more dense. If you haven't already, do peruse the manual, it will have a lot of helpful tips. Many things can affect the texture and rise of the loaf... the amount of water you add, the humidity in the room, the temperature of the ingredients, the freshness of the yeast, etc. You'll definitely need to match your flour and your settings, and may have to tweak some measurements, like we have to compensate for our altitude and dry climate, till you get the kind of loaf you want.

    We also keep an eye on the dough during the first knead cycle to make sure it forms a nice firm ball that's not floury/crumbly or too wet and sticky. You just add a bit more water in the first case, a bit more flour in the second (while it's kneading) till you get a nice consistency. This loaf might have needed a bit more water to get that remaining bit of flour mixed in.

    Your juice sounds great! Isn't fresh squoze juice the best? :-)

    I hope you had luck finding some organic sprouting seeds at your local store! Have fun experimenting with your bread machine! You'll be turning out sprouted breads and artisan loaves before you know it. ;-)

  2. Yay Homemade Bread!!! and congrats on your bread machine and all your new kitchen thingees!

    Like LaLooFah, I make sure I've got a perfect ball of dough on the first stir cycle... I use a rubber spatula to scrape the flour off the sides. If you have to add water: TINY, TINY amounts!

    And Funny! My Easy Sprout arrived this week as well!! (Thanks Laloofah!) *grins*

  3. rift, you got the Easy Sprout too? How fun we're starting out together!

    Laloofah, I found a small little bag of sprouts at my local store so I got started. It'll last me only two batches so hopefully by the time I'm done growing (and eating) those, the seeds will be in stock at Mountain Rose Herbs for me to order. By the way, they did email back saying:
    "We are hoping to have Broccoli seed back in stock in 2-4 weeks. As soon as it is available, our website will be updated to allow for purchase. I apologize for the long delay. We are awaiting the new harvest. Finding an ethically grown and harvested source is extremely difficult when our supplier runs out, and we simply will not carry a questionable product so as to keep our stock up."

    I support and appreciate their ethics. Can't to order from them (through you of course!). :-)

  4. Good morning, VW!

    Thanks so much for letting me know about MRH's reply. It's unfortunate they ran out and are having to wait so long to re-stock their brassica, but I'm glad you were able to find some locally so you could launch your new sprout farm! :-) I appreciate MRH's high standards too, I really like this company. And I really appreciate your future order through my blog! xoxo :-) I need to put another order together myself soon, for chia seeds, soap and little jars, and probably something else I haven't thought of yet. ;-)