by Texas Homesteader ~
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My homemade honey & oat sandwich bread makes a delicious 2-pound loaf of bread. Use your bread machine to simplify bread-baking day!
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Love/Hate Relationship With Bread Machines
I’ve had several different brands of bread maker machines over the years. The bread they produced was tasty of course, but I always got rid of the bread machines. They were just so big, heavy & bulky. It just wasn’t worth it.
But bread machines are apparently different now and I find I really love using them! I’ve even tweaked my own Oatmeal Sandwich Bread recipe to make a 2-lb bread-maker loaf.
How I Got A Bread Maker For FREE!
Here’s how I ended up with a bread machine…
During a recent visit with my dad, he mentioned that he wanted to get rid of his bread machine to clear the space on his counter top for another appliance. He said if I didn’t take it, he was tossing it in the trash.
I couldn’t stand the waste so I decided I’d take it home. If I found I still hated bread machines I’d make sure to get it to someone who could use it. So I decided to give it a go.
Using A Bread Machine During Hot Summer Months
Although I have a favored Sandwich Bread Recipe (with a KitchenAid shortcut), we typically have to buy RancherMan’s sandwich bread in the summer months.
It’s just too hot to turn on that blasted oven, and also waaaaay too busy a time for me to be able to stop everything to make it for him. Oh how he hated store-bought bread!
But now? Oh now I can use an amended version of my homemade oatmeal bread recipe along with this bread maker to continue baking RancherMan that homemade bread he loves. Even in the summer months!
Bread Machine Make Homemade Bread EASY!
My dad gave me an Oster Expressbake, but there are lots of brands of *bread machines out there.
Mine makes up to a 2 pound loaf & has 12 bread settings & 3 crust settings. And there’s an ExpressBake setting that bakes bread in under an hour, or you can use a 13-hour delay timer.
Plus this one has a smaller footprint and is much lighter weight than the bulkier, heavy models I’ve had in the past. And the paddle seems much smaller too. Those are huge improvements!
I started experimenting with my own oatmeal bread recipe. I needed to make it into a 2-lb loaf to work with my bread machine.
I baked several loaves, tweaking the recipe each time until I found what was for us the perfect balance. (The recipe is below)
Can You Premix Homemade Bread Ingredients?
To simplify bread-baking day, I’ve pre-mixed several batches of the dry ingredients. This way I’ve looked up the recipe & dirtied up the measuring cups, etc. only once. It’s my own convenience mix!
Baker’s Note: Mix all dry ingredients EXCEPT the the yeast. You don’t want the yeast touching salt or any moisture until you turn the bread machine on. So yeast is added only on bread-baking day.
At first I’d store my pre-mixed dry bread ingredients in plastic bags. But, you know, plastic…
But Joy of all joys – I found that a wide-mouth canning jar gives me juuuuust enough extra room to add my bread ingredients. It all just barely fits in these jars, but it fits.
Now I whip these pre-mixed dry ingredient jars all at one time. I put the jar on the scale, tare the weight to zero and add each ingredient, tarring to zero after each addition.
SO EASY, SO FAST!
Work smarter, not harder as RancherMan always says…
How To Bake Bread In A Bread Machine
On bread-baking day I’ll first place the wet ingredients into the bread machine’s pan.
I use the same shortcut as before – placing the container on my digital scale, tarring the weight to zero and then adding each ingredient by the weight of the measurement I’ve noted on my recipe card.
I’ll allow the wet ingredients to sit in the pan for about 30 minutes to attain room temperature before I add the dry ingredients. That will help the bread rise better.
Then I’ll add the dry ingredients, put a small indention in the top of the flour & add the instant yeast separately. (my machine recommends adding yeast in this manner)
In the colder months I enjoy the delightful aroma of homemade bread baking inside the house. But in the summer months to keep that Texas summer heat outside, I place the bread maker on our covered back porch.
Either way, setup is just that easy! Then since the machine defaults to the last setting I used – regular bread, 2-lb loaf and medium crust – I simply push the ‘Start’ button & walk away.
Yeah, that’s pretty simple, y’all. I can get used to this! LOL
Characteristics Of Bread Baked In A Bread Machine
Of course being bread-maker bread, the baked product is still a large square. And there’s still a paddle hole at the bottom, albeit smaller than years past.
So for our sandwich slices I simply cool the loaf & cut it in half at the paddle hole. This cut makes the resulting slices of bread not quite so large and square.
Then I lay each half on its side (cut side down) and slice the loaf using our *Bread-Slicing Guide. This will be our sandwich bread slices.
The section with the paddle hole is cut first. That end piece is always the piece that RancherMan & I enjoy hot and freshly baked. It’s always devoured, sometimes before the rest of the bread is even sliced!
Does A Bread Machine Make Bread With A Thick Crust?
Some people complain that bread machine bread oftentimes has a thicker crust. I found the crust that touches the bread pan is indeed a little thicker than when baked in my own pans in the oven. But the crust on top is light & fluffy.
To battle the thicker crust issue I place the hot baked bread on a rack & rub butter lightly over the surface of the crust to soften it. Then I immediately cover it with a clean (dark-colored) kitchen towel. The light steaming also softens the crust.
It’s still somewhat thicker than the crust I bake in my own bread pans. But it’s so slight that it’s not off putting to us.
Bread-Maker Tips From Readers
Marie gave this tip: Once the mixing has finished & it signals (usually with a series of beeps) you can go & take out the dough real quick, remove the paddle & replace the dough in the pan for the last rise. Gets rid of that big hole.
Kate says: I set my bread for the lightest color of crust. I found that if I set it on medium or dark the sides were far too thick and crusty. The top is really blonde which is not very breadish looking, but I found it really helped keep the sides nicer.
Solar Oven Option For Baking Bread
One sad day my bread machine went on the fritz. Everything worked properly on it except the baking temperature thermostat. So I went ahead & used it to mix, rise and punch down the dough. Then I removed the dough and baked the bread in pans instead.
Except I used the power of the sun to bake it! Yep, my trusty *Solar Oven! (mine is a Sun Oven brand of solar oven)
After that first rise and punch down I removed the dough from the machine. Then I kneaded it a bit and split the bread dough in half. Each half was rolled one into a log with the ends pinched to seal the dough.
Then I placed each dough log in a greased loaf pan and allowed them that final rise.
When the bread was ready to be baked I placed them in my preheated solar oven.
Cook times in a solar oven can vary depending upon whether or not you’ve preheated the oven, the quantity and thickness of clouds present to impede sunshine, etc. But my homemade bread baked in about 1 to 1.5 hours.
The King Arthur site indicates a perfectly-baked loaf of yeast bread will have an internal temperature of 190 degrees F. if you want to check with a quick-read or *Wireless Thermometer just to be sure. The bread crust will be lightly golden-brown.
Anyway, here’s the recipe I use for a 2-lb loaf from my bread machine. (or TWO one-pound loaves baked in the solar oven!)
Oatmeal Sandwich Bread - 2-Lb Loaf
A 2-lb oatmeal sandwich bread recipe for an Oster ExpressBake Bread Machine. #TexasHomesteader
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 Tablespoons honey
- 2 Tablespoons bacon grease
- 1/2 cup coarse oat flour
- 3 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
Mix milk, water, honey & bacon grease & warm gently in microwave or allow to reach room temperature before continuing. Then pour into the bread pan.
In separate bowl mix oat flour, all-purpose flour and salt.
Pour flour mixture into bread-machine pan on top of wet ingredients.
Make a shallow well in flour and add yeast. (it's said the yeast should not touch the wet ingredients or salt until it's mixed in by the machine)
Choose your settings - choose a 2 lb loaf and then choose light, medium or dark crust.
My machine defaults to the last setting used, so typically all I need to do is press "START"
NOTE: SOLAR OVEN BAKING OPTION - I often use a bread machine dough cycle to make the dough and complete the initial rise. Then I can use my my Sun Oven solar oven to actually bake the bread.
After the first rise in the bread machine I'll remove from the machine, knead the dough & divide the dough in two. Each half is rolled into a flat rectangle and rolled into a log, pinching the ends to seal.
Then I'll place the dough logs into greased loaf pans, turning to coat with oil. I allow the bread to rise until doubled in bulk (about 45 minutes), then place the loaf pans into my pre-heated solar oven. Depending upon sun intensity, cloud cover, my adjusting the oven to track the sun more closely, etc. the bread bakes outside in my solar oven in about 1 to 1.5 hours. (King Arthur site says internal temp should be 190 degrees F. if you want to use an instant-read thermometer to be sure)
The bread will be lightly golden-brown.
Other Favorite Breads
- Soft Sandwich Bread
- Oatmeal Sandwich Bread
- Making Pre-Mix Bread Ingredient Packets
- Bread Machine Recipe: Honey Oatmeal Bread
- Making My Own Oat Flour For CHEAP
- No-Knead Rosemary Skillet Bread
- No-Knead Boule Bread
- Jalapeno/cheese Yeast Bread
- Jalapeno/Cheese/Beer Hamburger Buns
- Basic Beer Bread
- Rosemary/Cheddar Beer Bread
- Pesto Beer Bread
- Homemade Country-Style Buttermilk Biscuits
- Leftover Biscuit Dough Cinnamon Rolls!
- Snappy Jalapeno/Cheese Biscuits
- Jalapeno Cornbread
- Corn Dodgers – A Delicious Accident
- Mix-n-Pour Tortillas
- Easy Corn Tortillas
- Sweet Pumpkin Bread
- Cantaloupe Bread w/Pecan Praline Glaze
- My Favorite Bread-Making Kitchen Feature
- Homemade Bread-Making Shortcuts, Tips & Tricks
- Our Favorite Bread Recipes, All In One Post
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King Arthur Internal Yeast Bread Temperature