Freshly baked bread right from your kitchen has never been easier than it is today! With a few ingredients and a trusty bread machine, you can have warm bread in just a couple of hours. And in those couples of hours, you are not kneading the dough, transferring it to a baking dish, or making sure it’s not burning in your oven. You simply add the ingredients to your bread machine and let it do the rest! My Oster bread machine mixes the ingredients, allows the bread to rise, and finally bakes it to a perfect light brown (although I have the option for medium and dark as well).
While I certainly enjoy not doing most of the work in making my homemade bread, there is an even bigger benefit to this little machine: I choose the ingredients for my bread. I can be sure that there is no high fructose corn syrup or any other item foreign to my pantry in it. In fact, the healthiest bread I could find at my local grocery store has 23 ingredients (and mind you, I searched this loaf out for about fifteen minutes and it was the very best offered).
The recipe I recently tried with my bread machine is the Old-Fashioned Buttermilk White Bread from Tom Lacalamita’s The All-New Ultimate Bread Machine Cookbook which calls for only water, buttermilk, vegetable oil, salt, dark brown sugar, bread flour, and yeast (see below for exact measurements). This resulted in a soft, moist bread that I can feel better about eating.
Since there are no preservatives in this homemade bread it will stay fresh for only a few days, but keeping it in the refrigerator can help extend the life. I personally find the bread so delicious that it normally disappears in a few days anyway! The exact measurements for this recipe are as follows; just be sure to add them in the order required by your particular bread maker.
1/3 Cup Water
1/4 Cup Buttermilk
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
4 Teaspoons Dark Brown Sugar
3 Cups Bread Flour
2 1/4 Teaspoons Dry Yeast