The breadmaking machine might be condemned as the lazy way to bake but the current fashion for them is encouraging a lot of people to eat better, healthier and fresher bread. Load the machine in the evening and set the timer instead of your alarm clock. Waking up in the morning to the smell of freshly baked bread has got to be the height of decadence!
- 500 g wholemeal wheat flour
- 1 tsp dried yeast
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 280 ml water
Exact quantities seem to be important for a good machine loaf, and as machines seem to differ a few tries may be required before the perfect bread is achieved. If you find yours comes out dry and lumpy try adding a dash of extra water next time. If it has a flat or dished top it may improve with a little less water. Replacing even as little as 50g of the wholemeal with strong white flour will lighten the loaf considerably if you prefer.
Grease the tin with butter (not oil or marg.): if it hasn’t got a non-stick surface this will help release the cooked loaf and if it has it will reduce the amount of non-stick teflon that you eat with the bread. Don’t forget to put the mixing paddle in place and then pour in the water followed by the dry ingredients and program the recipe and timer. Machines vary but in general the longest program will give best results – on ours it is called “wholemeal” – although the “quick” and “rapid” programs do work too. Leaving the cooked bread to cool for a few minutes in the tin makes it easier to tip out. Let it cool on a wire grid and enjoy with grapefruit marmalade and fresh coffee.