Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Whole Wheat Bread (with a touch of peanut butter)

Quite a while back I received a Panasonic bread machine for review, and I've been working on some recipes for it.

The biggest difference with using the bread machine, for me, is that when I'm using a stand mixer or kneading by hand I can adjust amounts as I go. If the dough is too wet or too dry, I can fix that.

But with a bread machine, you're supposed to measure everything, put it in the machine, slam the lid shut, and let it go.

Oh, sure, you can open the lid and make minor adjustments if you absolutely have to, but the ONE time I tried to add more flour to a dough that was obviously too wet, the machine unceremoniously threw the flour in my face. Oops.

You can slow down or stop a stand mixer to do a little hand mixing, but a bread machine has to run though its program. You can't pause it. If you stop it, you have to start from the beginning, which is probably not what you want to do. So I tried to add flour to my wet dough, and when the mixing paddle swung around, there was flour flying.

Really, it's smarter to design recipes outside the bread machine and adapt them to work in the machine later.

Of course, you can use this same formula and do your kneading by hand or with a stand mixer. Or, let the machine do the work, then take the dough out, shape it, let it rise the last time, and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

This recipe uses one of my favorite ingredients - peanut butter. But unlike my peanut butter bread recipe that uses a LOT of peanut butter, this one uses just a little. The bread smells nutty, but the flavor is much more subtle. More a compliment to the nuttiness of the whole wheat flour than a punch-in-the-face flavor. And even though there's a significant amount of whole wheat flour, the bread is soft.

Whole Wheat (and peanut butter) Bread Machine Loaf

1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups (9 ounces) whole wheat flour
1 cup (4 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 egg, plus water to equal 1 1/4 cups of liquid

Place all the ingredients into your bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. If there are settings for the crust, choose light rather than dark.

Bake using standard bread settings - not special sweet dough or other custom settings.

When the bread is done, remove it from the machine and let it cool completely on a rack before slicing.

This has been submitted to Yeastspotting. Do you like yeast breads? Go there for more!