I love having a bread machine since it does all the kneading and rises for you, but I just hate that once it bakes it has a giant hole in the bottom from the kneading paddle. I looked through a cookbook I have and found a method that I could combine with my bread machine to make my dough and bake it in loaf pans to prevent that hole in the middle. As my 2 year old would say, “Score!”
This recipe makes 2 1lb loves (or if you just want to use your machine, one 2lb loaf).
- 1 1/4 cups water (80*F)
- 3 Tbsp oil (you can olive oil or even apple sauce to make this soy free!)
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 4 cups bread flour (you can use AP, but bread flour works best)
- 2 tsp yeast, warmed to room temp. I use Fleishman’s bread machine yeast that’s in the refrigerated section.
Warm you yeast to room temperature. Place all the ingredients into the machine in the order suggested by your bread machine’s manufacturer. Use the dough setting. When the machine is finished, punch down the dough and divide it into equal portions. I use my kitchen scale to weigh them out.
Grease your loaf pans. I use olive oil rubbed around with a paper towel to keep this soy free, but you can use spray oil. Using a rolling pin and a floured surface, roll each ball into a rectangle no wider than your loaf pan. Rolling out the dough squeezes out all the air bubbles that can create holes in your loaf. Roll the dough up jelly roll style starting with the short side and place seam side down in your greased pan. Repeat for 2nd loaf.
You want to let your bread rise in a warm place until it’s the size you want it to be (I usually go to just above the edge of the pan.) Since we keep our house cooler in the winter and spring I end up warming my oven slightly (to about 80*) and putting my towel covered loaf pans in to warm. It takes about 1 1/2 – 2 hours to rise completely. I check my ovens temp every half hour or so just to make sure it’s still warm.
When the rise is complete, remove loaves from oven, if using it, and preheat to 375*F. Bake for 30 mins and let cool in pans on wire racks. Remove from the pans by sliding a knife around the edges and cool completely before storing.
Loaves freeze well. I end up making 2 loaves and freezing 1. I just use a gallon size freezer bag. It comes out just as fresh as when it was made. I store all bread in the refrigerator in a gallon freezer bag and cut slices as needed.