I Bake Bread…But I Cheat

I love to bake bread. I love watching raw ingredients: flour, water, salt and yeast, transform into dough, and then with the addition of heat, turn into something so wonderful. I don’t really like kneading dough though, it bothers my neck and shoulders, so I use a bread machine. I usually don’t bake bread in the machine, I just use the machine to knead the dough and get it’s first rise. So, I know that’s kind of cheating, and I know people talk about the “zen” of kneading the dough, but I’m happy with my machine. I knead it a little at the end and get to shape it, and that’s zen enough for me. Since I’m off of school for the summer (well, not really for the summer, since we go back to work August 2nd!), I have been reworking my way through on of my favorite bread cookbooks:

Rustic European Breads from Your Bread Machine

I used the recipe for Pain de Champagne, which begins with the making of a poolish. First the flour, water, and yeast go in the pan.

You run that through the dough cycle and you get a wet, yeasty smelling dough, which sits in the bread machine pan overnight.

The next day you add the rest the ingredients, and process on the dough setting.

Then comes my favorite part. You take the dough out of the machine, shape it, and let it rise. After it’s risen for about 30 minutes, you slash it and pop it in the oven.

No, wait, did I say shaping it was my favorite part! No, it’s taking it out of the oven and looking at this.

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  1. Rhonda Prince says

    I’m a bread baker too…but I use my Kitchenaid heavy duty mixer for most of the kneading! Looks great!

  2. Pam says

    Thanks Rhonda! I used my Kitchenaid mixer when I was between bread machines. It worked really well, but I like having the option of baking bread in the machine, if I want to. Sometimes I bake sandwich bread in the machine, just because it’s so easy.
    I check back regularly on your blog, waiting for some more of your fabulous photographs.

  3. madhatter says

    just looking at the picture makes me drool.
    think i will have to bake now…

  4. whitelacelullaby says

    Mmm. I usually make bread by hand, but it gets so tedious. It’s also nearly impossible to allow bread to rise in the winter! My husband has promised that when we move (and therefore have more kitchen storage) we can get a bread maker.