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Experimenting with my Bread Machine


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I've had trouble finding powdered milk, too. Who knew!

 

The other day I made Sourdough Tomato Feta Bread in my old bread machine. I added fresh basil from my little herb garden. The recipe is from this book. I seldom bake in the machine, but did this time. It turned out great and that recipe makes wonderful garlic toast!

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Deb

Liberty, MO

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22 hours ago, Kim Shook said:

For my birthday, Mr. Kim got me a bread machine.  He told me ages ago that he was going to, but I completely forgot:

IMG_2810.jpg.4174558c4adb1dc9cd15e9ec207fcd62.jpg

A KBS MBF-010 Bread machine.  It seems to have a lot more functions than my old one and is intimidating me a little.  The directions are obviously translated and are a little odd:

IMG_2807.jpg.722ee1500d9d19b5e845b1a24b5d3d3d.jpg

 

For instance, I have NO clue what this all means:

IMG_2840.jpg.882dcae7cd03e3db3f1705bca99992e8.jpg

 

 

 

21 hours ago, kayb said:

I like "firmly earthed." I think they mean use a grounded plug.

 

That's exactly what they mean: 3-prong, and don't defeat it by tying the ground and neutral together, or by plugging into a 3-prong to 2-prong converter.

 

I'm sorry for your discomfort. You're quite right that the instructions are oddly translated. I think they're hilarious - but if I'd just reacted with "laugh" you might have thought I was laughing at you. :) 

 

It's a lovely-looking machine!

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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21 minutes ago, Smithy said:

 

 

That's exactly what they mean: 3-prong, and don't defeat it by tying the ground and neutral together, or by plugging into a 3-prong to 2-prong converter.

 

I'm sorry for your discomfort. You're quite right that the instructions are oddly translated. I think they're hilarious - but if I'd just reacted with "laugh" you might have thought I was laughing at you. :) 

 

It's a lovely-looking machine!

 

And it si upside down in hospitals - in case they fall out. Yelling at the boys when installing the outlets  "ground up!!!" Plus they have pretty red covers if "essential"  https://www.archtoolbox.com/materials-systems/electrical/groundorientation.html#:~:text=The story goes that hospitals,plug inserted in the outlet.

Edited by heidih (log)
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I made a loaf of what the directions call “Soft Bread” in my new bread machine:

IMG_2856.jpg.2c3581d08e667fe5c30b68591d43f6d9.jpg

 

IMG_2858.jpg.f2361edaad305eb9ef782478dfc82929.jpg

 

7/16/2020

Bread machine slice toasted for breakfast:

IMG_2862.jpg.a3158b625ec90a4cfc67357b40554551.jpg

I am happy with how this loaf turned out, but there are a couple of issues so far with the machine/directions.  For one thing, the display light doesn’t stay on for the full time that the machine is running.  In order to find out how much time you have, you have to QUICKLY push the “start/stop/pause” button.  If you push it for 2 seconds, it pauses.  If you push it for 3 seconds, it stops.  And you are screwed, I guess.  It has an automatic fruit/nut dispenser, but I’m doubting that it is big enough for the way I would want to use it.  At Xmas I make about a dozen loaves of fruited bread with about a cup of mixed candied fruit and nuts added to the dough.  My dear, departed machine had a beep at the time that you were supposed to do the add-ins.  I’ve read the directions multiple times and can’t see that this beep happens in my new machine.  But, like Mr. Kim says, by and large a bread machine is a bread machine is a bread machine.  I used my old directions to determine the temperatures of various ingredients and it turned out well.  I guess I’ll use it to time add-ins, too.  Really glad I kept those.  The directions continue to be somewhat impenetrable.  Reading them is an exercise in frustration.  They make me feel stupid.  I feel like I should be able to figure them out! 

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You'll get there, @Kim Shook. If you want to vent and laugh a bit,  feel free to post more of their instructions for our merriment. 🙂

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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15 hours ago, Smithy said:

You'll get there, @Kim Shook. If you want to vent and laugh a bit,  feel free to post more of their instructions for our merriment. 🙂

The hilarity continues.  I asked at Amazon if the display light was supposed to go off or stay on WHILE THE APPLIANCE WAS MAKING BREAD.  The response informed me that the bread machine had to be plugged in for the display light to come on.  😳😄

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39 minutes ago, Kim Shook said:

The hilarity continues.  I asked at Amazon if the display light was supposed to go off or stay on WHILE THE APPLIANCE WAS MAKING BREAD.  The response informed me that the bread machine had to be plugged in for the display light to come on.  😳😄

 

Almost as funny as the CSO manual that states to unplug the appliance before cleaning.  The cleaning procedure is to press the steam clean button.

 

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Used my new bread machine to make what the machine’s booklet calls “Milky Bread”:

IMG_2961.thumb.jpg.698b7dc3f0419859962ebd638e1f56a6.jpg

I’m awfully glad I only made a 1 1/2 lb. loaf.  Towards the end of the bake, it rose up so high that it actually TOUCHED the top of the machine.  The loaf has a slight dent (which you can see in the next picture) in the top!  But it is a lovely, soft, pillowy loaf:

IMG_2963.jpg.fcf1b634350512db12f997eb09a7d374.jpg

It will be the perfect loaf for open faced turkey and roast beef sandwiches with gravy. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Adding a really specific question to this thread -- probably a long shot for an answer but it's worth a try.

I currently have an older Zojirushi BBCC-X20 bread machine – I've been quite happy with it, but having just repaired it, I'm thinking it might be time to put a shiny new one on the Christmas list.

 

Zo currently has two (horizontal loaf) models. The "top of the line" is the BB-PDC20 "Virtuoso Plus" which has a second, small heating element in the lid for better crust color. There's some handwringing about this one because the manual recommends rapid rise yeast, and they removed the "quick dough" setting from the model it replaced. But all reports suggest it works fine with SAF Red, and I don't have a quick dough cycle now.

The other is the BB-CEC20 "Supreme" which is the current version of the older design -- it's outwardly identical to my X20. It's $50 cheaper, and also appears to use the same bread pan as my current machine. But no lid heater, and I'm not sure what other minor improvements the new design has that would be useful.

 

Has anyone used both "generations" of the Zo? Are the improvements in the "virtuoso" line worth the premium?

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Milky bread from the bread machine owner’s manual:

IMG_3272.jpg.11bd91443f06ba6d79d2a5ceb83910e6.jpg

It is fine.  Not a ton of flavor.  And I didn't like the uneven top.  I think that making a 1 1/2 lb. loaf works better in the machine.  I never heard the end of baking beeper go off and ended up with a very well done, almost hard, crust.  It makes decent toast, but not a great sandwich bread.  If this is supposed to be like Milk Bread, it is way off.  It is in no way fluffy and soft.  

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19 minutes ago, Kim Shook said:

Milky bread from the bread machine owner’s manual:

IMG_3272.jpg.11bd91443f06ba6d79d2a5ceb83910e6.jpg

It is fine.  Not a ton of flavor.  And I didn't like the uneven top.  I think that making a 1 1/2 lb. loaf works better in the machine.  I never heard the end of baking beeper go off and ended up with a very well done, almost hard, crust.  It makes decent toast, but not a great sandwich bread.  If this is supposed to be like Milk Bread, it is way off.  It is in no way fluffy and soft.  

Is this the same recipe (but smaller loaf size) that you used last time? The previous one looked lovely!

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47 minutes ago, DesertTinker said:

Is this the same recipe (but smaller loaf size) that you used last time? The previous one looked lovely!

It is!  The last one (1 1/2 lb. loaf) was so nice - fluffy and soft.  Just what I was expecting Milk Bread to be.  It was good enough white bread that I used it for tomato sandwiches.  

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7 minutes ago, Kim Shook said:

It is!  The last one (1 1/2 lb. loaf) was so nice - fluffy and soft.  Just what I was expecting Milk Bread to be.  It was good enough white bread that I used it for tomato sandwiches.  

 

I've had uneven tops like that too.    I now look at it when it is finished it's first rise to check the shape and adjust it if necessary.  I haven't a clue why that happens.  Maybe the good people at KAF have the answer?

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59 minutes ago, Kim Shook said:

It is!  The last one (1 1/2 lb. loaf) was so nice - fluffy and soft.  Just what I was expecting Milk Bread to be.  It was good enough white bread that I used it for tomato sandwiches.  

It looks like it might have been too dry. It’s hard when you’re dealing with such small

 quantities, and in a “no touch” situation.

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My daughter makes the Japanese Milk Bread from the King Arthur site on a regular basis.  Uses it as a base to make cinnamon rolls, savory rolls 

and pull-apart loaves like the one pictured.

She processes it in the bread machine on the dough cycle and can fit a double batch as long as it isn't baked in the machine.

It can be held in the fridge overnight and shaped, final rise and baked off in the morning.

I think it is a more forgiving recipe than some I have tried.  

I'm not making it now because I received a rather large supply of "ancient grains" flours, Spelt, Kamut, Emmer and Einkorn from a friend who had to stop baking for several months and am working my way through them right now.

Screen Shot 2020-09-01 at 1.48.40 PM.png

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I made a decent 1.5 lb. loaf of the "Soft Bread" from the owner's manual of my machine:

IMG_3349.jpg.bf0df6981937a7e8cdb6834e7b30ba5f.jpg

 

IMG_3356.jpg.fcb68b1b64f9cc69ec1ed1826e10c7a5.jpg

 

My frustration at this bread machine just grows and grows.  I was in the dining room when I was using it to make the Milky Loaf on 8/28 and never heard the “beep” at the end.  I think that the “keep warm” function allowed the loaf to overcook.  So yesterday, I set my phone alarm for a couple of minutes before it was supposed to be done, so I could be beside it and make sure that the “beep” sounded.  I checked the time left when my alarm went off by tapping the “Start/Stop/Pause” button less than a second (as the instructions seem to say).  I must have paused it, though, because when I checked it again, it had the same amount of time on it.  Sigh.  I never heard the beep because I just took it out at that point.  I really don’t know if I’m going to be able to make anything besides the basics.  No matter how much I read it, I can’t seem to understand how to change it from the default settings. 

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@Kim Shook  I wrote to King Arthur Flour about our (sometimes) uneven loaves and this is their reply:

 

Hi Elsie,

Thanks for contacting us here at King Arthur Baking Company.

We've asked Zojirushi about the sloped loaves that sometimes occur and they say it's a normal outcome for the machines.
You can even see some of the loaves in photos in the manual have a slope to them as well.

To help keep the loaves more even, try placing both of the blades in the machine facing in the same direction. They can both point left or right, that doesn't matter, but try to have them both face the same way. This makes for nice even kneading of your dough.

Please let us know if we can answer any additional questions or assist you further.

Kind regards,



MaryJane
Baker's Support Specialist II
(800) 827-6836
customercare@kingarthurbaking.com

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On 9/8/2020 at 3:58 PM, ElsieD said:

@Kim Shook  I wrote to King Arthur Flour about our (sometimes) uneven loaves and this is their reply:

 

Hi Elsie,

Thanks for contacting us here at King Arthur Baking Company.

We've asked Zojirushi about the sloped loaves that sometimes occur and they say it's a normal outcome for the machines.
You can even see some of the loaves in photos in the manual have a slope to them as well.

 

Having just repaired my Zojirushi, I think the mechanical design of the machines is responsible for that outcome. The two paddles aren't driven *quite* evenly. The paddle closest to the motor is driven directly by the motor; the second paddle is daisy-chained off the first paddle. Add in some (necessary) slippage in the belts, and I think there ends up being a strength and speed difference between the two.

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On 9/8/2020 at 3:49 PM, Kim Shook said:

My frustration at this bread machine just grows and grows.  I was in the dining room when I was using it to make the Milky Loaf on 8/28 and never heard the “beep” at the end.  I think that the “keep warm” function allowed the loaf to overcook.  So yesterday, I set my phone alarm for a couple of minutes before it was supposed to be done, so I could be beside it and make sure that the “beep” sounded.  I checked the time left when my alarm went off by tapping the “Start/Stop/Pause” button less than a second (as the instructions seem to say).  I must have paused it, though, because when I checked it again, it had the same amount of time on it.  Sigh.  I never heard the beep because I just took it out at that point.  I really don’t know if I’m going to be able to make anything besides the basics.  No matter how much I read it, I can’t seem to understand how to change it from the default settings. 

 

Your KBS looks very similar to the Cuisinart (CBK-100) I had before my current machine. Like, weirdly similar. Same bread pan design, same paddle design, very similar case design. Heck, per the manuals, they both apparently come with the same strange two-sided measuring spoon (which was long gone when I picked mine up second hand). I would wager the KBS is a further development of the same design. (The Cuisinart had fewer programs, and no nut dispenser.)

The layout of the display is almost *exactly* the same as well -- numerical menu selection in the middle, three loaf sizes from left to right at the top, three crust colors from left to right at the bottom, and current baking phase along the sides. 

 

The manual for the Cuisinart might be helpful to you -- it's at least a lot easier to read!

In any case — with that machine, I never had good luck with the recipes that came with it — and the key to not overbaking was the crust control ("color" on yours, I think?), not the keep warm cycle. "Color"  seems to just be a slight adjustment in the bake time -- so if the loaf is getting overbaked on the default "medium," you can hit "color" twice to cycle to "light" and it'll bake it a little less.

As an aside -- have you only made recipes from the recipe book that came with the machine, so far? If so, I would strongly recommend trying a solid loaf from a good cookbook or a website like KAF instead. You'd think the recipes in the manual for a given machine would be the closest to perfect, but I've found they're often really unreliable. I think it might be a different sort of translation issue — if the manual is translated from another language, you can bet the recipes were developed with different flour than we get here.

The source I go back to most often for bread machine recipes is Beth Hensperger's The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook; pretty much everything I've tried from it is rock solid (and you can buy a used copy for <$10). But I am pretty sure I successfully made this recipe from KAF in my Cuisinart a couple of times -- so it could be a good benchmark.

 

I also made this recipe a lot in that machine -- my partner grew up eating Health Nut bread and I was trying to come up with something with the same flavors. This is based on the KAF "100% Whole Wheat for the Bread Machine" but I tweaked it a fair amount. The below should be for a 1.5lb loaf:

 

300g lukewarm water
25g olive oil or vegetable oil
78g maple syrup
350g King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour or Premium Whole Wheat Flour
50g rye flour
25g cornmeal
25g sunflower, sesame or flax seeds, or a combination
35g nuts
1.5 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast (I always use SAF Red)

 

(I baked it on the wheat cycle, and just threw the nuts in at the beginning; they get broken up, but that's fine with me for a sandwich loaf.)

Edited by dtremit (log)
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On 9/1/2020 at 4:54 PM, andiesenji said:

My daughter makes the Japanese Milk Bread from the King Arthur site on a regular basis.  Uses it as a base to make cinnamon rolls, savory rolls 

and pull-apart loaves like the one pictured.

She processes it in the bread machine on the dough cycle and can fit a double batch as long as it isn't baked in the machine.

It can be held in the fridge overnight and shaped, final rise and baked off in the morning.

I think it is a more forgiving recipe than some I have tried.  

 

Tried to post this last night, but lost my post to the forum upgrade — oops!

I've also had great luck with this recipe (I assume you're referring to this one). Sometimes I am lazy and just bake it all the way in the bread machine — the texture is not as nice as it is when you hand form the four-part loaf, but it's still a really nice sandwich and toasting bread. My partner likes it enough that he asked me to teach him how to make it in the bread machine, so he will make it on weeks when I'm busier than he is.

One thing I was happy to discover is that the tangzhong can be made very easily in the microwave — I think I saw that in a Japanese youtube bread video. I just mix those ingredients in a Pyrex measuring cup, microwave for 30 seconds, stir, and give it another 30 seconds. Much less babysitting than stirring that tiny quantity in a saucepan or skillet, and once you get the right time it's the same every time. Plus I can even use the same Pyrex to melt the butter!

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12 hours ago, dtremit said:

 

Your KBS looks very similar to the Cuisinart (CBK-100) I had before my current machine. Like, weirdly similar. Same bread pan design, same paddle design, very similar case design. Heck, per the manuals, they both apparently come with the same strange two-sided measuring spoon (which was long gone when I picked mine up second hand). I would wager the KBS is a further development of the same design. (The Cuisinart had fewer programs, and no nut dispenser.)

The layout of the display is almost *exactly* the same as well -- numerical menu selection in the middle, three loaf sizes from left to right at the top, three crust colors from left to right at the bottom, and current baking phase along the sides. 

 

The manual for the Cuisinart might be helpful to you -- it's at least a lot easier to read!

In any case — with that machine, I never had good luck with the recipes that came with it — and the key to not overbaking was the crust control ("color" on yours, I think?), not the keep warm cycle. "Color"  seems to just be a slight adjustment in the bake time -- so if the loaf is getting overbaked on the default "medium," you can hit "color" twice to cycle to "light" and it'll bake it a little less.

As an aside -- have you only made recipes from the recipe book that came with the machine, so far? If so, I would strongly recommend trying a solid loaf from a good cookbook or a website like KAF instead. You'd think the recipes in the manual for a given machine would be the closest to perfect, but I've found they're often really unreliable. I think it might be a different sort of translation issue — if the manual is translated from another language, you can bet the recipes were developed with different flour than we get here.

The source I go back to most often for bread machine recipes is Beth Hensperger's The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook; pretty much everything I've tried from it is rock solid (and you can buy a used copy for <$10). But I am pretty sure I successfully made this recipe from KAF in my Cuisinart a couple of times -- so it could be a good benchmark.

 

I also made this recipe a lot in that machine -- my partner grew up eating Health Nut bread and I was trying to come up with something with the same flavors. This is based on the KAF "100% Whole Wheat for the Bread Machine" but I tweaked it a fair amount. The below should be for a 1.5lb loaf:

 

300g lukewarm water
25g olive oil or vegetable oil
78g maple syrup
350g King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour or Premium Whole Wheat Flour
50g rye flour
25g cornmeal
25g sunflower, sesame or flax seeds, or a combination
35g nuts
1.5 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast (I always use SAF Red)

 

(I baked it on the wheat cycle, and just threw the nuts in at the beginning; they get broken up, but that's fine with me for a sandwich loaf.)

Thank you so much for the link to the operating manual (I've bookmarked that) and the information and insight.  I will definitely veer away from the manual recipes and try some that I had success with when I had my old machine.

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3 hours ago, Kim Shook said:

Thank you so much for the link to the operating manual (I've bookmarked that) and the information and insight.  I will definitely veer away from the manual recipes and try some that I had success with when I had my old machine.

 

One other thing that occurs to me — are you doing liquid on the bottom, then adding dry ingredients, and finally adding yeast on top? I know there are a few brands that do it the opposite way, and it seems to really make a difference.

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30 minutes ago, dtremit said:

 

One other thing that occurs to me — are you doing liquid on the bottom, then adding dry ingredients, and finally adding yeast on top? I know there are a few brands that do it the opposite way, and it seems to really make a difference.

Yes! I've always done it with the liquid at the bottom and the yeast on top and away from the salt.  Do you mean I should reverse that?

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Loaf made in Zojirushi PAC20. I'm hoping for advice about the strange lump on the left and the dimple in the top. The crumb is okay, but not airy.

It's a change from my standard loaf because I cannot find white whole wheat King Arthur flour. My standard loaf uses

271g bread flour

113g white whole wheat

122g semolina

359g water

1.5 teaspoon yeast

+ other stuff (sugar, salt, dry milk, butter)

 

This loaf, contents above less wh whole wheat, and

82g barley flour

3g vital wheat gluten

+ .25 teaspoon yeast

 

Note that KAF's master list used to say barley flour was 4 oz per cup, now it's 3 oz (85g)

 

IMG_2546_cropped.thumb.jpg.c2622476cf3f2b2373a34a38dbe0493a.jpg

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      Start by taking the cold water, yeast and Honey and mix together and let sit for 10-15 minutes
       
      I know, some of you just freaked out, cold water? Won't that kill the yeast.
       
      Nope, the yeast just needs to re hydrate. I prefer using cold water to slow the yeast down. That way the lactobacillus in the starter has  a good amount of time to start making lactic acid, and really get to flavor town!
       
      While that is sitting, I mix the flour and the salt together(How many times I have forgotten to salt the bread).
       
      Now mix the two products with a kneading hook for 3-5 minutes, only until thoroughly mixed but not yet at the window pane stage of kneading.
       
       
      Instead, place into a bowl and set a timer for one hour. Then when that hour is up, push the dough down and fold all the corners in
       
      Repeat this step 2-3 more times, pending on the outside temperature.
       
      If you happen to have those cool bowls to shape round loafs! Awesome, use them. I would break the boules into 3 balls of about 333 grams
       
      If not then just put the dough in the fridge and do the steps below the next day.
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      Once you have bouled the bread, can put it into the fridge and let it sit over night
       
      Again, this lets the bacteria, really get to work(misconception is the yeast adds the sour flavor, nope, think yogurt!)
       
      Now on the next day, heat up whatever form of oven you plan to use. We used a brick oven but if you just have a normal oven, that is fine. Crank it to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
       
      If you have not bouled your bread yet, go back and watch the video and break the dough down into three balls of abut 333 grams. Then place the balls on a lightly greased sheet pan. Let sit for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

      If you have used the fancy bowls then turn the the bread out on a lightly greased sheet pan, without the bowl and let temper for 15-30 minutes.
       
       
      If your oven is steam injected, build up a good blast of steam.
       
      If not, throw in a few ice cubes and close the door or put a bath of hot water inside.
       
      The steam is what creates the sexy crust!
       
      Let it build up for a few minutes!
       
      Right before you put the bread into the oven use a bread razor to slice the top of the bread.
       
      Place the dough balls into the oven and douse with another blast of steam or ice and close the oven.
       
      Let them bake for 13 minutes at 450 degrees. Then turn the loaves and bake for another 10 minutes.
       
      Remove when the crust is as dark as you want and the internal temperature exceeds 190 degrees Fahrenheit.
       
      Now pull out and make sure to let cool off of the sheet pan with room to breath underneath. You don't want your crust steaming!
       
      Now here is the hardest part, wait at least 20 minutes before getting into the bread. Also, cutting into bread to early really seems to come out poorly. I would rip the bread until 1-2 hours has passed.
       
      Now serve it with your favorite butter, goat butter or whipped duck fat!
       
    • By andiesenji
      ANDIE'S ABSOLUTELY ADDICTING BREAD & BUTTER PICKLES
      Here’s the thing about pickles: if you’ve never made them, they may seem to be an overwhelming (and possibly mysterious) project. Our listener Andie – who has offered some really valuable help to the show several times in the past – has sent this recipe which provides an opportunity to “try your hand” at pickle-making without much effort. Andie suggests that making a small batch, and storing the pickles in the refrigerator (without “processing”) can get you started painlessly. Our Producer Lisa says that the result is so delicious that you won’t be able to keep these pickles on hand - even for the 3-4 months that they’ll safely keep!
      The basics are slicing the cucumbers and other veggies, tossing them with salt and crushed ice and allowing them to stand for awhile to become extra-crisp. You then make a simple, sweet and spicy syrup, (Andie does this in the microwave), rinse your crisp veggies, put them in a jar, pour the syrup over, and keep them in the refrigerator until they’re “pickled” – turning the jar upside down each day. In about 2 weeks you’ll have pickles – now how much easier could that be? If you are inspired, I hope you’ll try these – and enjoy!
      MAKES ABOUT 1 QUART.
      FOR THE PICKLES:
      4 to 6 pickling cucumbers (cucumbers should be not much larger than 1 inch in diameter, and
      4 to 5 inches long)
      1/2 to 3/4 of one, medium size onion.
      1/2 red bell pepper.
      1/4 cup, pickling salt (coarse kosher salt)
      2 quarts, cracked ice
      water to cover
      2 tablespoons, mustard seed.
      1 heaping teaspoon, celery seed
      FOR THE SYRUP:
      1 1/2 cups, vinegar
      *NOTE: Use cider or distilled white vinegar, do not use wine vinegar.
      1 1/2 cups, sugar
      2 heaping teaspoons, pickling spice mix.
      PREPARE THE PICKLES:
      Carefully wash the cucumbers and bell pepper. Slice all vegetables very thin, using a food processor with a narrow slicing blade, or by hand, or using a V-slicer or mandoline. Toss the sliced vegetables together in a glass or crockery bowl large enough to hold twice the volume of the vegetables. Sprinkle the salt over the vegetables, add the cracked ice, toss again to blend all ingredients and add water to just barely cover the vegetables. Place a heavy plate on top of the vegetables to keep them below the top of the liquid.
      *Set aside for 4 hours.
      PREPARE THE SYRUP:
      Place the vinegar, sugar and pickling spices in a 4-quart Pyrex or other microwavable container (the large Pyrex measure works very well)
      Microwave on high for 15 to 20 minutes. [if a microwave is not available, simmer the syrup in a narrow saucepan on the stovetop, over low heat, for the same length of time.] Allow the syrup to cool. Strain the syrup and discard the spices.
      ASSEMBLE THE PICKLES:
      Place one wide-mouth quart canning jar (or two wide-mouth pint jars) with their lids in a pot of water to cover, place over medium heat and bring the water to a simmer (180 degrees). Remove the pot from the heat and allow jar(s) and lid(s) to remain in the hot water until needed.
      *After the 4 hours are up (crisping the vegetables as described above) pour the vegetables into a large colander and rinse well. The cucumber slices should taste only slightly salty. Return the rinsed vegetables to the bowl, add the mustard seeds and celery seeds and toss well until evenly distributed. Set aside.
      Return the syrup to the microwave, microwave on high for 8 to 10 minutes [or heat the syrup on the stovetop] until an instant read thermometer shows the temperature of the syrup is 190 to 200 degrees.
      Place the vegetables into one wide-mouth quart jar, or in 2 wide-mouth pint
      jars that have been scalded as described above. Pour the syrup over the vegetables, place the lids on the jar or jars, tighten well and place in the refrigerator overnight.
      The following day, turn the jar upside down - then continue to turn every day for 2 weeks. (This is to insure that the pickles are evenly flavored)
      After 2 weeks open the jar and taste. The pickles should be ready to eat.
      Pickles will keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 months.
      ( RG2154 )
    • By prasantrin
      Tsubushian (mashed azuki bean) Shortbread
      Serves 48 as Dessert.
      This recipe was given to me by a Japanese co-worker, who in turn got it from a former Japanese-American co-worker. It's not too sweet, and is perfect with a cup of green tea.

      2-1/2 c flour
      1-1/2 c sugar
      1 c butter
      1 tsp baking powder
      1/4 tsp salt
      3 eggs, slightly beaten
      12 oz can tsubushian (mashed azuki beans)
      1 c chopped nuts (any kind)

      Preheat oven to 350 C.
      In a bowl, combine 2 cups flour and 1/2 cup sugar. Cut in butter. Press mixture evenly into a 13x9x2-inch pan. Bake for 20 minutes.
      Sift the remaining 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup flour, baking powder and salt. Mix in eggs, nuts, and tsubushian.
      Pour over baked crust and bake for 40-45 minutes. Cut into bars while still warm (I wrote 48 bars, but you can cut them larger or smaller if you like).
      *Tsubushian is mashed cooked azuki beans and is available in cans at Japanese markets or other Asian food stores. It's coarser than anko, so you can easily make your own if you can't find the canned variety. You can use a recipe such as this one.
      Keywords: Dessert, Easy, Brownies/Bars
      ( RG1955 )
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