Sunday, 26 October 2008

Bread Machine Pumpkin Nut Bread

This Pumpkin Nut Bread is a celebration of the Fall Harvest.

You can make this bread completely in your bread machine for a wonderful loaf of yeast pumpkin bread. Or, the dough can be made in the bread machine and then shaped into a loaf or festive pumpkin shape and then baked in a conventional oven. To make preparation really easy, I used a combination of both methods.

Pumpkin Nut Bread Recipe

The recipe for this bread is courtesy of ACH Foods.

  • 3/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons canned pumpkin*
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons evaporated milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons bread machine yeast

To make the bread completely in the bread machine, add the ingredients to bread machine pan in the order suggested by manufacturer, adding pumpkin with milk and nuts with flour. Then select the appropriate cycle and crust setting, Press Start and you're all set!
Recommended Cycle: Basic/white bread cycle; light color setting, if available.
*Pumpkin varies in moisture content. If dough is too dry or stiff or too soft or slack, adjust dough consistency. After mixing for a few minutes, the ingredients should turn into a dough that forms a soft, smooth ball around the blade. If your machine seems to be straining or if the dough appears too dry or stiff, add more liquid in 1-teaspoon increments to achieve the proper consistency. If the dough seems too soft or slack, add additional bread flour in 1-teaspoon increments until the proper consistency is reached. Do not add more than 3 to 4 tablespoons of liquid or flour.
Or, if you prefer, make the dough in the bread machine like I did.
Add the liquid ingredients to the bread machine pan.  Add dry ingredients on top of liquid ingredients and make a well for the yeast. Make the dough, then follow the instructions for shaping below:
For a pumpkin-shaped loaf:
Set aside a 1-inch square from each. Roll each half to 10 x 11-inch oval. Place 1-inch square on top of pumpkin as stem.
With side of wooden spoon, make 4 symmetrical curved creases from top to bottom of oval to resemble a pumpkin.
Cover; let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Brush with egg white mixed with 1 tablespoon water.
Bake at 350oF for 25 to 30 minutes or until done. Remove from pans and cool on wire rack. Drizzle with Powdered Sugar Glaze, if desired. I didn't drizzle with the glaze. The bread doesn't need it.
Happy Baking! 
Pumpkin Bread Recipes:

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Bread Machine Beer Rye Bread

I made this honey and beer rye bread to celebrate Oktoberfest. My friend from Romania loves German food so we decided to create our own Oktoberfest meal this weekend. The rye bread went well with the other menu items.

For this bread, you make a rye starter in a separate bowl and let it sit for a few days before making the dough in the bread machine. Letting the sourdough starter develop over 3 days will enhance the flavor of the bread.

If you're looking for a basic recipe for Pumpernickel Rye Bread that can be made completely in the bread machine,
click here.

Honey and Beer Rye Bread (using the bread machine)
Makes 1 loaf
From: Bread Machine: How to prepare and bake the perfect loaf by Jennie Shapter


For the starter:
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup rye flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon rapid-rise active dry yeast

For the dough:
  • scant 3/4 cup flat beer
  • scant 2 3/4 cups unbleached white bread flour
  • 3/4 cup rye flour (medium grind)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon rapid-rise active dry yeast
  • whole-wheat flour; for dusting


Step 1: Mix the milk, flour and yeast for the starter in a large bowl. Stir, then cover with a damp dish towel. Rest in a warm place for 3 days; stir once a day.

Mixing the rye starter

Rye starter on day 2

Rye starter on day 3

Step 2: Make the dough. Pour the starter into the bread machine pan. Add the beer.

If the instructions for your machine specify that the yeast is to be placed in the pan first, simply reverse the order in which you add the liquid and dry ingredients.

Step 3: Sprinkle both types of flour over, ensuring that the beer is completely covered. Add the honey and salt, placing them in separate corners of the bread pan. Make a shallow indentation in the center of the flour (but not down as far as the liquid) and add the yeast.

Step 4: Set the bread machine to the dough setting; use basic dough setting (if available). Press Start. Lightly oil a 6 1/2 inch square pan that is fairly deep.

Step 5: When the dough cycle has finished, remove the dough from the machine and place it on a lightly floured surface. Punch it down gently.

Step 6: Roll the dough into a rectangle about 3/4 inch thick. It needs to be the same width as the pan and three times as long. Fold the bottom third of the dough up and the top third down, then seal the edges with the rolling pin.

Step 7: Place the folded dough in the prepared pan, cover it with lightly oiled plastic wrap. Leave in a warm place for 45-60 minutes, or until the dough has risen almost to the top of the pan.

Step 8: Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425°F. Dust the top of the loaf with a little whole wheat flour.

Step 9: Using a sharp knife, slash the loaf with four long cuts. Repeat with five cuts in the opposite direction to give a cross-hatched effect.

Step 10: Bake the bread for 30-35 minutes, or until it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.

We had German potato salad, sausage patties and a cucumber salad and this yummy rye bread.

Happy Baking

You might enjoy these additional resources for making bread machine bread:

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Bread Machine Italian Olive Oil Bread

The dough for this Italian Olive Oil Bread or PANE ALL'OLIO is made in the bread machine and baked on a baking stone to create a crisp, golden crust with a chewy interior.

All you do is make a sponge in the bread machine pan, let it stand for 8 hours to overnight, then make the dough using the dough setting. How easy is that!

Italian Olive Oil Bread (using the bread machine)
Recipe from Rustic European Breads from Your Bread Machine by Linda Eckhardt & Diana Collingwood Butts

Makes: 2 large rolls or 1 medium free-form round loaf

  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fruity olive oil


In the bread machine pan, combine half the flour, all the yeast, and half the warm water. Process on dough setting. Let the sponge sit in the bread machine for at least 8 hours or up to 24.

Break the dough ball up into 4 pieces, put it back into the machine, and proceed to make the bread. Add the remaining flour and water, the salt, sugar, and olive oil. Process on the dough setting.

At the end of the dough cycle, remove the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for a few seconds.

Dough in machine after dough setting is finished

Divide the dough into two pieces, cover with the bread machine pan, and let it rest for 5 minutes or so.

Preheat the oven with a stone in place on the middle rack for 30 minutes to 450°F.
Sprinkle a peel generously with cornmeal.

I used a baking sheet covered with parchment paper (greased with cooking spray and sprinkled with cornmeal) to transfer the dough rather than a peel. The baking sheet only has a rim on one end so the loaf on the parchment paper will slide off easily.

Now, shape each piece of dough into a cigar-shaped roll about 8 inches long, fat in the middle, and tapered at both ends. Alternately, make one round free-form loaf or a 12-inch cigar-shaped roll. I decided to make one big cigar-shaped loaf rather than two smaller loaves. 

Place loaves on the peel for the final rising. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place until the loaves are nearly doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Just before baking, make a single, deep slash at a 45° angle in the top of each loaf with a razor blade or sharp knife. Spritz the loaves with water. Give the peel a trial shake before you open the oven door, then pop the loaves onto the stone to bake. Bake for 12 minutes at 450°F., spritzing the oven 5 or 6 times with water, then reduce the temperature to 375°F. and continue baking for 40 minutes more.

Remove the golden loaves immediately to cool on a rack. Store in brown paper.

I served this wonderful Italian bread with Italian Pot Roast and vegetables. It sure was good!  The slices have a crisp crust and chewy interior.

Happy Baking!

Additional resources for bread machine bread:

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Crusty Bread Machine French Bread

The dough for this crusty French Bread is made in the bread machine and baked in a stoneware baker for a crust that is thin and crispy. The crumb has a moist and chewy texture that melts in your mouth.

French Bread Extraordinaire!

This French Bread recipe is from Linda Rehberg's and Lois Conway's
The Bread Machine Magic Book of Helpful Hints. According to the authors, this method produces a wonderful loaf of bread that is comparable to the ones baked in France.

Ingredients: (medium-size loaf)
  • 1 1/8 to 1 1/4 cups Water
  • 3 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast


1. Place dough ingredients in bread pan, select Dough setting, and press Start.

2. When the dough cycle ends, the machine will beep. Set a time and allow the dough to rise 1 more hour. Open the machine, punch down the dough, set the time again, and let dough rise another hour in the machine.

Turn off bread machine, remove bread pan, and turn out dough onto a lightly floured countertop or cutting board. Form into a smooth, round ball then flatten it with your hands.

Note: If you want to bake your bread in a La Cloche, follow the steps listed under Variation. If you prefer not to bake your bread in a La Cloche, follow steps 3 - 5.

3. Place a clean kitchen towel (not terry cloth) in a around wicker basket that's at least twice the size of the dough. Dust the towel liberally with flour. Place the round dough in the center of the basket. Place basket in a warm place and let dough rise, uncovered, about 45 minutes until doubled in size.

4. Gently turn dough out of basket upside down onto a greased baking sheet. With a very sharp knife held almost parallel to the loaf, carefully slash the top of the dough at sharp angles in a # pattern.

5. Preheat oven to 450°F. Carefully place a small pan on the floor or bottom shelf of the oven. Add at least 1 cup boiling water to the pan. Place dough in oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and place on cake rack to cool 1 hour before slicing. To preserve the crisp crust, do not store in plastic wrap or bag. Bread can be loosely covered or left out for up to 2 days before it dries out completely.

VARIATION: (This is the method we chose.)

To make French bread with a crust so thin and crispy that it crackles when you remove it from the oven, try baking this bread in a
La Cloche clay cooker.

1. Omit steps 3 through 5. Liberally cover the base of the La Cloche with cornmeal and place the rounded dough onto the base.

2. Slash the dough as indicated in step 4. Cover it with plastic wrap, then place it in a warm oven to rise until doubled in size, about 30 to 45 minutes.

3. While the dough is rising, soak the lid of La Cloche upside down in a sink of water. (Cushion the handle with a dishcloth or sponge.)*

* The manufacturers of La Cloche do not recommend soaking the lid before baking because the absorption factor of stoneware is less than 1 percent. However, the authors preferred the way the bread turned out when they soaked the lid so I decided to try it this way as well.

4. For a dark crust, preheat the oven to 450°F. Place the wet lid over the dough; bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, until dark brown.

5. For a lighter crust, preheat the oven to 450°F. Place the wet lid over the dough; bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 400°F and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden brown.

Happy Baking!

Additional resources for making bread machine bread: