kruizing with kikukat

Monday, July 9, 2012

Bread Machine: Plain Not-So White Bread

The Help has discovered the bread machine!  Prior to his discovery, he was under the impression that the bread machine was a useful tool for preparing dough.  He never imagined it would be any good at actually baking a loaf of bread.  Imagine my surprise when he asked me, "can that thing actually make an edible loaf of bread?".

As an educator, I know first hand that people learn best when they can actually "do" something.  So for teaching purposes, I suggested that The Help try to make a loaf of bread by following a recipe.  He wanted something simple and plain, so we decided on a basic white bread recipe.  The Help did the measuring and dumping, interjecting his work with several "I don't think this is gonna come out" lines.  I explained the control panel on the bread machine and taught him how to set the machine for basic bread with a medium crust.  For dramatic purposes, I made him press the start button.

Three-and-a-half hours later, he was blown away by the golden brown loaf nestled in the bread pan.  He was tempted to cut into it, but I explained that bread needs to be cool before it can be sliced.  He was totally shocked to find out that the inside of the loaf was not a gooey, doughy mess.

Since then, The Help has replaced buying bread from the supermarket with buying the giant bag of bread flour from Costco.

click on recipe title for printable recipe
Bread Machine White Bread
(2 pound loaf)

     1 1/2 c water
     2 tbsp butter, cut in chunks
     4 c bread flour
     3 tbsp dry milk
     2 tbsp sugar
     2 tsp salt
     1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

Place ingredients into bread pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer of your bread machine.  Use basic or white bread cycle with crust color set on medium.  When bread is done baking, remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

If you don't already have a bread machine, here are some things to consider:
  • For maximum versatility, purchase a machine which can accommodate a 2 pound loaf.
  • If you like the idea of an elongated bread pan, look for a model with at least 2 mixing paddles.
  • A hopper for holding "mix-ins" is very convenient to have.
new digs
 A few weeks ago, I actually made it to Honolulu for an quick, overnight trip.  While there, The Help went to check out his parents' new digs.  I got to enjoy some much-needed delicious food.
shrimp look fun and taro puffs

char siu bao, har gao & siu mai
joong, lo bok gao & more har gao

scallion pancakes...better than what I'd make at home

honey walnut shrimp

fried string beans

peking duck
 I don't know when I'm going to get to go on a trip again.  I was supposed to go in to the office today, but I was "saved" by D2, who convinced me this was a good time to have her bff Kara over for a sleepover.  I'm attending a workshop on Friday, and I officially begin work in a week.  I was supposed to go to Kona on Saturday, but Mr. Dependable pulled a fast one on me and I ended up with the kids this weekend.  We made the most of it and actually went to a bon dance.

Puna Hongwanji
While the picture above may seem benign enough, there was a definite cost to this outing.  Somewhere between the church and my car (parked on the side of the road), I stepped in dog shit.  I drove off smelling a faint odor, but it got stronger as the foot heaters began working.  Before I even hit the Panaewa stretch, I was gagging violently.  I ended up pulling off to the side of the road by Mauna Loa Mac Nut.  Cleaning my black patent dkny slippers proved futile, as there were deep treads in the sole of the slipper and there was no way to dig out every morsel of crap.  Knowing there was no way I could make it home otherwise, my slippers got hurled into the bushes, never to be seen again (hopefully...I hope nobody is THAT desperate).  I bought those slippers years ago in Connecticut. 

I can't believe I'll be at work in a week...when most of the public school teachers in the rest of the state will still have a good 2 weeks of vacation left.  I hope that when I receive my paycheck (reflecting a 17% raise) this will all seem worth it.  I had planned to buy a fisheye converter with my first fat paycheck, but now I need to use it to pay my credit card bill with the replacement slippers on it.   I still plan to go through with purchasing that fisheye converter eventually, but in the meantime, I gotta stay away from bon dances.

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