I’ve told you before that cooking is not really my thing, but I am a pretty good baker. Especially desserts for special occasions, like holidays and birthdays. I have some awesome Christmas cookie recipes that we only make at the holidays and occasionally I bake biscuits or cinnamon rolls. But I have never baked a loaf of bread before in my life. And I wanted to do that.
So I asked Santa for a bread machine for Christmas and the big guy came through with a beautiful Cuisinart, not too expensive and probably lots more bells and whistles than I need. I chose a medium sized (1-1/2 pound loaf) of cinnamon swirl raisin bread for my first attempt. How hard could that be, right?
Well, I perused the directions and got my ingredients out. I warmed the milk to room temperature and had bread flour and a new jar of fresh yeast. I put everything in exactly as the recipe said, chose the settings and started the machine.
When it dinged five times I opened it and took out the dough to roll it out, sprinkle with cinnamon, sugar and raisins and roll it up and tuck it back into the machine. It kept dinging annoyingly the whole time until I hit stop while I rolled out the dough. Then I turned the machine back on but instead of resuming, it started kneading my dough again! Because it had gone back to the beginning of the cycle instead of resuming. Because I had shut it off.
I didn’t want to waste the whole unbaked loaf, but I wasn’t sure what to do. Then I realized there was a bake only setting and changed the machine to that, to bake for an hour. But then I panicked because I didn’t know if the bread should rise again, so I turned the machine off (again!) And let the loaf sit for an hour or so. It did rise some more, I’m not really sure how much. So I finally just baked it.
All in all, the bread came out looking and tasting okay. In reading the directions more carefully, I found the five dings signal when to add in ingredients, six dings would have signalled when all the kneading and stuff was done and I should have rolled out the dough. I should have just left the top open and not turned the machine off to finish rising and baking.
Tomorrow I might try just a plain white sandwich loaf and see how that goes before I work my way through the recipe book. 🙂