Because baking by hand isn't for everyone.
With a breadmaker you are in control of what goes into your bread, so choose ingredients that will give you the kind of loaf you want to eat.
To avoid the additives that are sometimes hidden in packet mixes, use simple flours, preferably organic, stoneground and from a local mill. You can always add a handful of whole grains, seeds, nuts, fruits and spices to create different natural flavours and textures.
The longer dough ferments, the more tasty the bread will be. There is a growing body of evidence that it might also be more digestible and nutritious. Choose the longest available cycle, always remembering that you may need to reduce the yeast a little to prevent the dough rising too quickly and then collapsing before the loaf is baked.
There are many makes of bread machine on the market so use this recipe in conjunction with the instructions that came with your model.
Pan sizes vary. This recipe is for a medium-sized pan.
500g Flour (wholemeal or a mix of white and wholemeal)
5g Dried yeast*
15g Butter or olive oil (optional – makes bread slightly softer)
* or 10g fresh yeast, or 3g easy-blend yeast - though see the note below
Unless your machine’s instructions say otherwise, pour the water into the loaf pan and, if you are using it, add the fresh yeast. Disperse the salt in the flour and then sprinkle this over the water. (If you are using dried or instant yeast and/or butter or oil, place them - not touching each other - on top of the flour.) Secure the pan in the machine, close the lid and press the start button.
Follow any other instructions and prompts that may be required by your machine’s instruction manual.
When your loaf is baked, let it cool - hot bread is harder to slice. Slice with a sharp knife and enjoy the flavour and texture of real bread made with simple ingredients and no additives.
Easy-blend, quick or fast-action yeasts often have additives in them - always read the label!
Take care to add the ingredients in the order recommended by the bread machine manufacturer.
The dough cycle of most machines can be used simply to mix and prove this dough. This is useful if you prefer to shape the dough yourself and bake it in an oven.
Baking times will vary, depending on the size and shape of the Real Bread you produce but as a guide, for baking the above dough as a bloomer or large cob, set your oven to 230-240°C and bake for 30 – 40 minutes, reducing the temperature to 200°C after the first 10 minutes.
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