Post your bread machine tips & recipes
Bread is a great source of carbs and breadmakers have gotten very popular in recent years. Assuming mountain bikers have picked up on making their own bread, what are your tips & recipes for great machine-made bread?
Still starting as a cyclist, but I've been baking for over a decade...
Option #1: Accept the limitations of the bread machine.
As with all baking, you want recipes that dose by WEIGHT not VOLUME.
When scouring for recipes, the bread machine is pretty limited.... it's really designed for straight-dough recipes only. For better flavor development, you'll want a sponge (easy, fast), biga/poolish/patee fermentee (more involved, better flavor). Any bread book should have a number of good options. You should be able to adapt these for the bread machine, but you'll be doing some work by hand (e.g. making the biga/poolish the day before, then tossing into the machine).
Option #2: Stretch beyond the machine
1) Bread machines do OK for mixing, kneading, and rising. However, they tend to be LOUSY at actually baking. Take the dough out after the 1st rise, shape it, give it the 2nd rise, and bake in the oven.
2) Pre-heat the oven for AT LEAST 1 hour prior to putting the bread in. This is often the length of the 2nd rise.
3) For better oven spring, turn your oven into a steam oven; put an old pan on the floor of the oven during reheating. When adding the bread, toss a 1/2c of water into the pan to create steam.
Option #3: Get a better "bread machine"
My favorite bread machine is my kitchenaid stand mixer. When making a double-batch of bagels I pine for a large commercial mixer. No real bagel bakeries near me... but I have a great recipe.
Side note: My personal favorite intermediate-level bread book is "The Bread Bible" by Rose Leavy Berenbaum.
I will bake a loaf occasionally but not in a bread machine.
I have a nice thick baking stone I bought for the oven and will bake directly on their.
However, I kind of gave up because if I want superb bread nothing can beat the local wood fired bakery. If only I could achieve 900+ degrees in my oven.
I do turn out some pretty damn good pizzas though.
I'd like to try adding dried fruits, honey, and grains to bread and take some on the trail. The idea is to replace energy bars and get a kick out of eating fresh bread on rides. I found a fruit bread recipe but not much else.
My number one Bread Machine tip is to tell my wife what I want and she makes it in the Bread Machine.
"I may be old and fat, but at least I'm slow." - Me