Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bread a Baby Prefers...

Yesterday afternoon, I took some bread I'd made over to a friend to sample.  She gave a small piece to her one year old daughter.  We were both surprised when her daughter chose the bread over a sugar cookie!  The bread happened to be Anadama Bread made from my bread machine with a recipe from a new cookbook, The Artisan Bread Machine by Judith Fertig.

I tried these recipes from this cookbook:  Old Fashioned Buttermilk Bread, Oatmeal Honey Bread, and Anadama Bread

I primarily bake whole wheat bread.  I was especially curious about how her recipes worked out with my Zojirushi Bread Machine.  So, first I'll address her whole wheat recipes.  She says that you either need to use part bread flour and part whole wheat or add Artisan Dough Enhancer (there's a recipe in the cookbook) with 100% whole wheat.  I use a recipe that allows me to only add Wheat Gluten to my whole wheat flour.  I couldn't find the ingredients for the Dough Enhancer at my local grocery store and I do live in a large metropolitan area.  I believe I'd need to go to a natural foods store.  Since I didn't have the dough enhancer, I chose to make the Anadama Bread using my usual fresh whole wheat modification.  Ms. Fertig adds that you need to watch the dough and add 1-2 Tbsp of flour as needed.  I usually get my bread set up and leave it.  I have found this substitution to work really well for me:
In a recipe that calls for whole wheat flour, 
1 cup whole wheat flour = 1 cup + 2 Tbsp. fresh whole wheat flour
This substitution works with this book as well.  The Anadama Bread is the bread my daughter's little girl held tightly onto.  My 7 year old raved about it.  I loved it's molasses, cornmeal crunch mixed with the wheat flour.  It was surprisingly not too dense.  It wasn't airy, though.  It was just right.  

The Oatmeal Honey Bread was served to the guests at my son's birthday party in the form of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  Everyone said, "This is homemade bread, isn't it?!"  I answered affirmatively.  It was well liked.  I thought it turned out a little too moist though.  It would need to be eaten that day--which is pretty easily done in my home.

The final bread I made is the Old Fashioned Buttermilk Bread.  It involves a buttermilk sponge--a type of  sourdough starter.  My sponge did not double in size in 24 hours, though I covered it and followed all the directions.  I used it as is and made the bread.  The bread looked almost undone on top, but when I took it out of the pan and sliced into the bread, it was perfectly done.

My conclusion is that this is a great bread machine cookbook if you like to do part whole wheat breads, are interested in making sourdough breads from scratch, or like to make other all white flour breads.  The Anadama Bread recipe is a keeper for me.  I am looking forward to trying one of the other sourdough recipes.  The directions for all of the recipes are very clear and it makes this cookbook very easy to use.  Just don't lose your place as to what you've already put in your pan like I did once and had to correct.  If you have dough enhancer that you can get at a store nearby, then the 100% whole wheat recipes may be feasible for you.  They aren't for me at this point, but I liked the other recipes enough to say that I really like this Bread Machine book.  If you like using your bread machine at home and are always tempted to buy fancy breads from a bakery, this cookbook would be a blessing.  You can try all the breads you've been curious about without having to spend $4-$6 a loaf!

Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this book from Robert Rose Publishing for review.

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