Our Favorite Breadmaker Bread
I posted this recipe in my original site: The Kitchen, and later on Graced by Christ. We still use this recipe often, in fact it is the recipe I use more than any other. My girls both know how to make it themselves and Issac is well on his way.
My kids love to help measure for this, get out the ingredients, and watch the bread “dance” as my middle child calls it.
*3 cups unbleached white whole wheat flour (we purchase ours in 25 # bags from a coop as it is much cheaper this way, refridgerating it helps maintain freshness.)
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*2 teaspoons active dry yeast (cheapest to buy in the larger containers instead of packets, keep it in the fridge to retain freshness.
*1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten
*1 tablespoon sugar
* 1 tablespoon oil (we use olive oil or canola for health reasons)
*1 cup slightly warm water (warm to the touch is fine)
*Place yeast, gluten, oil, sugar, salt , and water in the breadmaker.
* Add the flour.
*Set the timer either to regular or rapid bread or if you plan to form the bread and bake it in the oven rather than use a traditional loaf set to dough.
*Remove bread immediately when done as letting it stand causes it to form a hard, dry crust.
* Store in an airtight container.
*For bagels: Make dough on the dough setting. Boil donut shaped dough for three minutes at a full boil then transfer to a 350 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. ( Adding different seasoning such as onions, dried tomatoes, or blueberries makes for the flavored bagel one finds in the gourmet section at the store.) These can be frozen in plastic bags and stored for several months, if they last that long.
*For pizza dough: After making the dough form it into a ball and coat with a thin layer of oil (for crispiness). Flatten ball into a large circle about 1/2 inch thick (or several small if your family prefers personal pizzas and place on a large baking pan. For the sauce I mix 1 can of tomatoe paste with 1/2 tablespoon of dried onions, 1 teaspoon garlic, 1 teaspoon italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon sugar (season to your own families taste). I then allow everyone to add their own favorite ingredients -my kids prefer to decorate theirs with frozen vegetables of varying sorts rather than the more traditional pizza toppings while my husband goes all out adding peppers, onions, cheese, and meat, meat, meat to his.
For rolls or bread sticks: For pan rolls place dough in a muffin pan (using cupcake papers if you like) make sure you oil the pan or the dough will stick and be hard to get out. For regular rolls or bread sticks shape dough on a well oiled cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees or until bottoms start to brown. (My kids love to add different toppings to these like a little sugar, granola, or cinnamon and sugar or if you are having it with pizza or spaghetti brush with oil and sprinkle with garlic salt and italian seasoning or parmesian cheese.) You can also leave out 1/4 cup of the water and add egg for egg bread.
*For donuts: Add an extra 1 teaspoon oil to the ingredients and remove 1 teaspoon water. Make sure your proportions of wet to dry ingredients stay the same as well as the final amounts : about 3 1/4 cups dry ingredients to 1 cup wet. (For instance if you would like the dough to be a bit sweeter you could remove 1 tablespoon of water and add 1 tablespoon honey, molasses, or maple syrup.) Mix dough as usual. Form into small balls if you do not have a donut pan if you plan to bake the dough in the oven. Bake dough as mentioned above, adding any toppings prior to baking (i.e. sugar, powdered sugar, cinnamon and sugar, honey) then do a mild spinkling with the topping when it is done baking.
*For fried donuts, follow the above donut recipe. Heat oil on stove so that a small amount of dough sizzles when dropped in the oil but not so the oil is smoking. (If you have a deep frier set it to high.) Have a paper towel covered plate ready or strainer with a paper towel inside and a plate underneath. Also prepare your toppings prior to deep frying (dry toppings especially as icings must wait until donuts have cooled. Honey or maple syrup topping must be added immediately.) Drop 1 inch balls of dough (or form into donut shapes if you feel adventurous) into the hot oil removing them as soon as they turn a golden brown on the outside (if the center is uncooked try making smaller balls or turning the heat down.) Immediately place donuts on the paper towel and then cover with topping before cooled. Obviously this is not an activity that is safe for children but the kids will appreciate the results.
*For the maple or honey topping: Heat 1 cup water with 1/2 cup honey or real maple syrup and 1 cup of sugar, until boiling and all sugar has disolved. When bubbles begin to slow and get larger remove from heat. (You can use the ice water method to see if it is a consistancy that your family will enjoy- place a couple drops of the syrup in a small clear glass of ice water, if the drop stays together and forms a flattened ball at the bottom it should make a nice glaze, if it is a hard ball it will be a hard shell and you might want to add water, if it dissperses you might want to either boil it a little longer or add powdered sugar or tapioca flour once it has cooled slightly to make a more icing like glaze.) And regardless of the results have fun.