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Plus my Best Bread Making Tips and Tricks
From my kitchen to yours
We had an excessively hot summer. Temperatures were 105 on average with high humidity. Turning the oven on to bake bread would cause the house to get hot and make the air conditioner run non-stop. This prompted me to adapt our favorite bread recipe for a bread machine. Sourdough yeast bread for the bread machine has become our summer favorite.
We make all of our bread. I don’t usually use a bread machine. Not that I’m against them, but I enjoy the whole process of bread making, especially the kneading. I also like to bake my bread in my cast iron dutch oven because of the artisan look it gives the loaf.
After a couple of disappointing loaves from the bread machine, I figured it out. I’ll share my recipe with you. Before I do, I want to share my best bread making tips and tricks with you.
- Add 1 Tbsp raw, organic apple cider vinegar to the dough while mixing. This will add vital enzymes and give you a lighter dough.
- Always start with the smallest amount of flour and work your way up. Your bread dough should be slightly sticky when you start the first rise. During the first rising the flour will absorb some of the moisture.
- Resist the temptation to knead the dough until it’s “smooth and elastic” with the first kneading. I know many recipes say to do this, but resist it. Trust me. Over kneading is the reason for “tough”, dense bread. Knead just until it starts to be smooth and elastic, but is still a little sticky, then stop!
- Reserve about 1/3 of the flour your recipe calls for. You’ll add it after the first rising. A second kneading may seem like a time consuming task, but it is well worth it. After your first rising, knead in the remain flour a little at a time. As soon as the dough can be handled without sticking to you or your kneading surface, stop kneading.
- Remember humidity levels directly effect all breads. You may have to adjust the amount of flour you use on a very humid day.
- I bake bread in my dutch oven a great deal of the time. This is how I discovered the importance of steam in the oven when baking bread. I put a pot of boiling water on the bottom shelf of the oven just before I put the loaves in. Fantastic results.
- Don’t worry about being perfect at making bread. Like any other skill, the more you do it the better you’ll get. You’ll even develop your own way of doing things.
- Don’t rush the preheat. Let your oven get to the correct temperature and maintain it for 20 minutes before putting your bread in. This is easily done by starting the preheat 35-40 minutes before you’re ready to bake. Of course, your oven times and temps will vary so adjust for your situation.
- Different “toppings” develop different crust types. For a crustier top, brush with water just before putting in the oven. For a soft top, brush with beaten egg just before baking. For a spongy, soft crust, brush with melted butter after baking.
- Be sure to allow yourself plenty of time for bread making. I set aside about 4 hours on bread making morning. It only requires 30-40 minutes of work, the rest of the time is spent waiting for the rise and the baking.
- Use high quality ingredients. Our goal is to buy whole grains and grind them ourselves to use as flour. For now, that’s just not an option for us. Buying non-gmo, organic flour is important to us. I also like to use sprouted grain flour because of its nutritional value.
- I also use butter, not oils, shortening, or margarine. It just makes for a better, lighter bread.
The Farmer’s Lamp Sourdough Yeast Bread For The Bread Machine
- This makes a 1 1/2 pound loaf
- Add the ingredients in the order listed
- I set my machine on Whole Wheat, Medium or Dark (just depends on how I feel)
- Let your loaf sit for 15 mins before you slice it
- If you don’t use whole grain flour, cut the liquid back to 1 1/8 cup starter and 1/8 cup water and use the appropriate setting on your machine
- You can use any flour you like 🙂
1 3/4 cups Sourdough starter (learn how to make your own)
1/4 cup warm water (I rinse my sourdough cup with 1/4 cup warm water and use that)
2 TBS Molasses or Honey
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup of all-purpose flour (I like to use sprouted grain flour)
2 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp (1 Package) active dry yeast
2 TBS unsalted butter – cut into pieces and placed in corners and sides of pan
Add the ingredients (in this order).
Set your machine and hit start.
Take a few deep breaths from all your hard work 🙂
When done, remove from machine and place on cooling rack. Wait at least 15 minutes before slicing – if you can. Sometimes I don’t! Of course the piece slices weird if you cut it too soon, but if you gotta have a slice with butter, you gotta have a slice with butter. Am I right?
I hope you enjoy this recipe for sourdough yeast bread for the bread machine. Let me know how you like it.
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Safe and Happy Journey,
Rhonda and The Pack