Saturday, December 10, 2011

Rich Egg Bread

Recently I found a bread maker for sale at a garage sale.  It was in very good shape and was only $20.  Can't beat that.  The problem was, there was not instructions.  After combing the internet, I finally found an electronic copy of the owner's manual which told me the correct order to place the ingredients into the bread maker.  I've baked a few loaves of bread in it now, and I will be sharing some of my favorites over the next few months.

The ingredients you use to make bread are very important.  In the United States, using bread flour instead of all-purpose flour will result in a loaf with a better texture.  I usually bring cold ingredients, such as milk and eggs, to room temperature before using them (I find 30-35 seconds in the microwave is about right for a cup of milk).  Not only do you want to use quality ingredients, but make sure you measure them accurately.  An extra tablespoon of water or flour could throw off the texture of the bread.

Placing the ingredients in the appliance in the wrong order is a sure way to fail when it comes to making bread.  For example, if the salt comes in contact with the yeast to early, the yeast will die and the bread will not rise.  My bread maker has me place the liquid ingredients in first, followed by any salt and flavorings, then the flour, and finally the yeast sprinkled over the top.  If you try this recipe, make sure to follow the recommendations for your bread maker.  You can also make the bread by hand if you wish.

Rich Egg Bread

1 cup milk
1 egg
1-1/2 Tbsp butter, softened
2 Tbsp sugar
1-1/2 tsp salt
3-1/4 cups bread flour
2 tsp active dry yeast

Place ingredients in bread maker in order recommended by the manufacturer (I have a Black and Decker All-In-One Deluxe Bread Maker, so the list above is the right order for me).  Select basic cycle and desired crust (I went with normal instead of dark).  Turn on bread maker and let it run through its cycle.

After the bread has been kneading for about 5 minutes, check the dough.  It should be a smooth round ball. If dough appears too sticky, add additional flour, one tablespoon at a time until the dough reaches the proper consistency.  If dough is too dry, add additional water, one tablespoon at a time until the dough reaches the proper consistency.

At end of cycle, remove bread promptly and cool on wire rack.  If bread is left in appliance too long, the top can fall and the bottom of the loaf will get soggy from the trapped steam.  Let cool at least 20 minutes on a wire rack before slicing.

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