I LOVE my bread machine. I love fresh bread, but I've never had the patience to wait for things to rise (and now, I don't quite have the shoulder to knead anymore. Getting old is the pits!), so I never really made anything other than quick breads. My family however, took pity on me last Christmas and bought me a bread machine. We went for several months without buying bread. I think we all gained a few pounds too though.. I've since gone back to buying our daily bread from the grocery store (sorry, but I don't think anything can top $0.88 loaves..), but every once in awhile I break out the machine and make a couple of loaves of GOOD bread. I found some mixes on close-out the other day, and that got me to bring it out. I made one of them, and then decided I needed to make a good from-scratch one too before I put it away again. I've always had an affection for honey wheat bread, an affection for beer bread, and an affection for oat bread. Why not combine them all? The machine I have came with a recipe booklet, so I found a beer bread recipe for the bread machine, and then tweaked it to my liking. Here's the result:
(2lb loaf recipe)
1/2 cup + 2tbsp water, room temperature
1 cup beer
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp + 1 tsp white sugar
1 1/2 tsp honey
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups white flour (bread flour, if you have it, otherwise AP works just fine!)
1 cup old fashioned oats
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
Place ingredients in machine in the order listed above. Make a small well in the flour for the yeast. Set machine to 2lb white cycle and then.. Leave it alone! Seriously. Watch it during the first mixing cycle to make sure you don't need to add a little more flour or a little more beer (or water, whichever. I added a little extra beer). Once it's done, try to resist and let it cool for at least a few minutes before slicing it up. You'll tear it. Do as I say, not as I do. I tore it. I can't help it. I love fresh bread!
Oh, and it also goes remarkably well with a plate of roasted veggie pasta:
Roast an assortment of veggies on a sheet tray at 425º with olive oil, salt and pepper until fork tender, dump into 1lb freshly cooked pasta. Add a drizzle of olive oil, dried minced garlic (or fresh if you have it!), a dash of Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce, and some salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm! And with a slice of fresh bread. YUM!