Vanilla Spice Bread (for the bread maker)

As you saw, my last post was about the awesome bread maker I got for Christmas. I immediately tried it and made a loaf of white bread just because I could. It was awesome. In less than four hours, I had a giant two-pound loaf and my house smelled nothing short of amazing. I did, however, learn a couple lessons from this first bread maker experience.

  1. A giant two-pound loaf of white bread is too tall to fit into a sandwich bag!
  2. A giant two-pound loaf is also far too much for two people to finish before it goes bad.

So, that said, I wanted to try to make a different kind of bread, and this time I’d cut the recipe in half so as to have a more “normal” sized loaf of bread. After scouring the interwebs and food blogs for a suitable recipe (of which I actually had the ingredients on hand), I decided to creat my own recipe, inspired by this Vanilla Spice Bread recipe I found from the oh-so-trusty allrecipes.com site.

The original recipe looked great, but it wanted me to just mix the dough in the bread maker, and then transfer it to a loaf pan for the proofing and baking. I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to throw my ingredients in the bread maker, walk away for a few hours, and come back to delicious bread. So, I adapted it a bit and played around with different ingredients.

The result was better than I expected (only because when I get  creative and stop measuring, the result isn’t always top notch). I ended up with a “normal” sized loaf of bread that smelled like vanilla and cinnamon. I was afraid it would be too sweet, but the taste was actually pretty subtle. My husband and I plowed through half the loaf (perhaps more…) in just a few minutes. I haven’t tried it any way but plain yet, but I think it would lend itself to a pretty spectacular PB&J. I think my favorite part of this bread is the fact that it’s nice and chewy and the crust has enough crunch to offer a good contrast, but not so much that it’s a pain to eat. Yum!

Ingredients:

3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon dry milk powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons apple sauce
1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1  teaspoon instant yeast

Directions

  1. Place water, milk, vanilla extract, brown sugar, white sugar, spices, apple sauce, and salt into the pan of a bread machine in that order.
  2. Pour the flour onto the other ingredients, and sprinkle the flour with yeast.
  3. Set the bread machine to your desired cycle; turn on the machine.

Zojirushi Home Bakery Supreme

Apologies for my hiatus! December and January are the busiest months for my job, and I thought it was a good idea to throw some freelance projects on top of that. Dumb. In any case, I’m back from a 5-day business trip in sunny Orlando and am ready to get back to some normalcy…and yes…some snow. So alas, I’m back!

I asked for a bread maker for Christmas and ended up getting this awesome supreme home bakery. This machine does far more than just make a loaf of bread! According to the box (I haven’t tried this yet), it makes pizza dough, meat loaf, jam, dinner rolls and more. There are 10 settings, you can choose your crust shade, and it has a fun little window you can look through to watch the different stages of the process.

 

I’ll be honest, I’ve only had time to make one loaf so far, but I plan on making it much more frequently. I made a loaf of white bread for sandwiches and it tasted way better than store bought. I also saw a bit on the news that looked into whether it was better (cheaper) to buy certain household staples or make them, and bread was one that was more economical to make. So, food for thought.

This particular machine will run you around $220 or so, but there are cheaper machines out there with fewer settings that can get the job done for you. If you’re a carb lover like me, this things pays for itself very quickly! From sandwich bread, to quick breads, dinner rolls, french loaves…and apparently meat loaf…how can you go wrong?!