This is a great and easy whole-wheat bread! I did slightly modify the recipe, but this is something I do to all breads I make, manual or machine. First, I add 1 Tbl vital wheat gluten (I see some people here doing more, but I'm usually OK with this). Additionally, I replaced 1 Tbl water with 1 Tbl vinegar (so I used 1 cup + 1 Tbl water and 1 Tbl vinegar). I think this helps makes it softer and chewier. I also manually shape the loaf and remove the paddle right before the last rise cycle (my machine notifies me of this and allows me to do it, as do many). This ensures a good, even loaf shape and just a little hole in the bottom instead of a big hole for the paddle (which I still get even though my machine has a collapsible paddle).
My only issue is that the crust seems to be a bit thick, but that's a pretty common issue with all machine breads for me, so I think it's just something about how breadmakers work. Perhaps the "light crust" setting on my machine would help.
I usually prefer to use the machine to mix and knead the dough then shape and bake in my own loaf pan in the oven, so that's probably what I'll do in the future (at least once the weather cools down!). I imagine I'd get even better results this way, but I wanted to try the whole thing in the machine (minus slight intervention on my part) just to see how it works--and that is quite well!
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This is a great and easy whole-wheat bread! I did slightly modify the recipe, but this is...