Photo credit The BFD.

I’ve enjoyed making bread (with a bread making machine) for years. With varied results, I might add.

Since I’ve been ill and robbed of most of my energy, I’ve returned to this pastime, spending time trying to learn some of the techniques to get better results. YouTube has been great; there are many videos on bread baking, and what does and doesn’t work.

My recent effort ended up with me injured, although the loaf I produced was the best I’d ever managed. How could you get injured, I hear you ask? Simple. I had the ingredients placed in the receptacle, switched on the machine only to find it had decided to expire. So hand kneading was the order of the day. And this upset my long term spinal problem, returning me to a walking stick. The loaf was baked in the oven.

Long story short, a replacement machine was acquired from Noel Leeming. A Breville BBM100 with a good discount because of my membership of SeniorNet. Don’t spurn those discounts; they can be worthwhile. (This was the least expensive machine on offer; why pay for features I will never use?)

I have used commercial bread mixes as well as recipes. While the bread mixes are easy, they are more expensive and have never given the results I wanted. Just a tasty, white loaf (call me racist if you must, but I like white bread best of all).

With my new-found YouTube knowledge, I hunted around and found a recipe in the instruction manual for the recently expired bread maker, and adapted it a little. And here it is, my current easy white loaf recipe.

This is for a 680 g loaf made in our new Breville Bread Maker.

Photo credit The BFD.

Measuring is important, so don’t go all Jamie Oliver with a pinch or two of this, a slosh of that and two handfuls of the other. I use the same measuring cups/spoons etc. each time, and the back of a knife to level out the ingredients. So a cup is a cup, not a guess.

  • Place paddle in bread maker pan
  • Place ingredients in the order listed.
  • Water 1 cup. Warm but NOT hot. Warm will activate the yeast, hot could kill it.
  • Sugar 2¼ tablespoons white table sugar (feeds the yeast)
  • Yeast 1 sachet (Edmonds Instant Dry Yeast) (provides the rising)
  • Stir to activate the yeast
  • Flour 3 cups (Premium High-Grade Countdown flour) (High-grade flour has more gluten, trapping gas and making a well-aerated loaf)
  • Bread improver ¾ teaspoon (Wallaby Bakers Bread Improver) (helps texture, keeps better)
  • Milk powder 2½ tablespoons (Pam’s Whole Milk Powder) (tenderer, more flavourful loaf and helps browning of crust)
  • Salt 1½ teaspoons table salt (salt helps with the taste)
  • Vegetable oil 2½ tablespoons (cooking oil) (Helps to keep the bread tender)
  • Set crust darkness, press the Start button. The above photo was medium crust.

After second punch down (after 1 hour 10 minutes) tip out dough into a lightly floured bowl, remove paddle, sprinkle a little more flour onto the top, to stop your hand sticking to the dough, and drop dough back into pan. Then punch down to remove more gas, and even out the dough. This will prevent an unsightly wound in the base of your loaf when cooking is complete, and make your loaf less like the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

A note to Greenies. Yeast in bread making produces CO2. That awful carbon di-poison. As does yeast in brewing beer. So that’s another two industries to blacklist and de-platform.

Don’t open the lid during the cooking period. That would allow the steam to escape, steam being essential for a good result.

Photo credit The BFD.

Once cooking is complete, tip the loaf out onto a wire rack and allow it to sit for 15-30 minutes. Then, using a serrated bread knife, cut yourself a slice, or two, or three, butter or margarine, and enjoy.

We like ours with home made soup – a meal fit for royalty! With cooking, and resting time of three and a half hours, you do need a bit of pre planning.

***If you want to print out the instructions click on the print option at the bottom of the article.

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The Staff of Life

Peter is a fourth-generation New Zealander, with his mother's and father's folks having arrived in New Zealand in the 1870s. He lives in Lower Hutt with his wife, two cats and assorted computers. His...