Remember the bread machine I found a few weeks ago at a garage sale?

I finally tried it out! I’ve had two attempts thus far and am on a mad quest to get the perfect loaf of bread!

Attempt #1

It was a rainy, humid day (does this affect bread, anyone? I recall something about weather affecting some recipes from my old bakery-working days. . .)

Obviously I didn’t have the instructions since I got it from a garage sale, and it was very funny trying to figure out what to do! I began to simply put in all the ingredients from Jake’s recipe in there in the order (very important, he said) that they were listed. . . and then my husband suggested making a hole in the middle of the flour before adding the milk. . . it was a hunch of some sort, and so I did. . . (anyone heard of this being necessary for a bread machine?).

Then we decided to start just by selecting the setting to make the dough only so we could pull it out to let it rise more.

We hit start, and then heard lots of noises. . . tried peering in through the little window and didn’t notice any movement. . . after two minutes and still not noticing any movements, just a different pattern of “pulsing”  noise . . . I decided something was wrong.

Sure enough! I hadn’t pushed the plate with the ingredients down all the way! Duh! Once I did it began to mix. I didn’t stop and restart the process. Maybe I should have, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to continue. . .

After about a 40 minutes the noises stopped! So we eagerly pulled it out and let it sit out while we ran off to the nursery to buy a hanging plant for our deck before the rain came.

When we came back about an hour and a half later, the dough was HUGE! It had risen way past the height of the container! Sweet! A big, fluffy loaf this would be!

Then we realized. . . Uh Oh. . there’s no setting JUST for baking. . . so we stuck it in our oven to bake for 30 minutes as the recipe said. When the timer went off I eagerly ran to meet my first loaf. . . ! It looked. . . well, like a loaf! I was so proud! (Don’t ask me why- it’s not like I actually made the loaf with my bare hands ha ha! THAT will be an adventure for another day).

But. . . once I cut into it, I notcied it wasn’t fluffy or cooked thoroughly, and though I tried baking it for a bit longer, it still wasn’t right. *Sigh. It was great for toasting, though!

Attempt # 2 occurred the following weekend.

This time we let the machine run its full course  *Highly recommended.

And. . .

We got a huge, fluffly tasty bread.that looked beautiful! Tall, dark and handsome (Unlike our first albino one!)
. . only the crust was rather chewy. . .
No crust on my sandwiches this week!

Stay tuned. . . I am determined to get it just right,  and to try some recipe modifications or new recipes as well. All machines are different I daresay! Any suggestions?

Jake’s White Bread Recipe:

                                   1 ¼ cups water
                                2 tbsp butter
                                4 cups flour
                             4 tbsp milk
                         2 tsp salt
                              3 tbsp sugar
                           2 tsp yeast