by Texas Homesteader ~
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I’ve had several different brand of bread machines over the years. The bread they made 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.
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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 figured 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.
Uses For A Bread Machine
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 and also waaaaay too busy a time for me to be able to make it for him. Oh how he hated store-bought bread!
But now? Oh now I can use an amended version of my oatmeal bread recipe along with this bread maker to continue baking RancherMan that homemade bread he loves. Even in the summer months!
Bread Machine Simplicity
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!
Making The Bread
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)
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.
Of course I’d have preferred to store this pre-mix in glass jars, but the volume just wouldn’t fit in the largest jars I have. Oh well, at least I’ll be able to reuse these baggies several times. It’s my own convenience mix!
UPDATE: 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…
Simpler On Bread-Baking Day
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.
Of course I’ll first allow it 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. (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
The Bread Characteristics
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!
Thicker Crust Issue
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 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.
OK, so y’all want my 2-lb bread-maker Oatmeal Sandwich Bread recipe? Check it out!
Oatmeal Sandwich Bread - 2-Lb Loaf
A 2-lb oatmeal sandwich bread recipe for an Oster ExpressBake Bread Machine.
- 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 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 until it's mixed in by the machine)
Choose your settings - 1 for the type of loaf, choose a 2 lb loaf and choose light, medium or dark crust.
The machine defaults to the last setting you used, so typically all I need to do is press "START"
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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