I adore baking cakes, but my bread making skills are definitely below par. I’ve tried many times to bake bread from scratch and the thing I found hardest was finding somewhere warm enough to prove the dough. I also hated having to clean all the flour off of the worktop once I was done; it seemed to get everywhere and everything in a 2-foot radius was covered in a thin film of flour. But I still wanted to branch out so I had a look at bread makers to spend my birthday vouchers.
Bread makers seem like a luxury item, so when I thought about buying one I sat down and looked at the cost per loaf. It’s actually much cheaper in the long run as you buy big quantities of ingredients which then last a long time. For example, fast action yeast will set you back about £1.50 but the amount you get in a pot means you will probably still be using it in 2030! Strong white bread flour is your biggest consumable, it is around £1 and will last for 3 loaves on average, depending on the size of the loaves you’re choosing to bake. If you’re thinking about getting a bread maker, I honestly couldn’t recommend them enough. There are loads on the market, like these Panasonic Bread Makers, and are lots to suit any budget – I only paid £44 for mine so you can shop around in places like Panasonic for high-end models, and Amazon for cheaper ones.
Let’s get baking.
The instructions always tell you to keep to them carefully, so that you don’t run the risk of your bread being flat or overbaked. However, I like to be the exception to the rule and have come up with a lovely recipe for bread that will be ready when you wake up in the morning.
Delicious 4 herb and cheddar cheese bread.
2 tbsp olive oil (or any vegetable oil)
325ml water at room temperature
505g strong white bread flour
200g strong cheddar cheese grated or small cubes
2tsp (each) basil, sage, thyme and rosemary
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp fast-action dried yeast
- Put the wet ingredients into the bread pan first (or if your maker prefers the dry ingredients first, put them in as recommended).
- Measure approximately half of the flour and cover the wet ingredients (making a makeshift barrier from the water etc).
- Add the cheese and herbs over the flour then put the remainder of the flour on top to cover completely.
- Put the measured salt in one corner of the bread pan and the sugar in another.
- Make a small well in the middle of the flour and add the yeast making sure that it doesn’t touch the sugar or the salt.
- Put your bread maker on to the white bread setting for a 1.5lb loaf.
- Press start, or if you want to delay the start so you can wake up to fresh bread, set the timer accordingly.
- Once baked remove from tin asap so as not to let the bread get soggy.
Show me the pictures of your loaves on Instagram and Twitter (both @mumsymidwife). They should be utterly scrummy!
If you fancy leaving comment, please do, they always make my day!