Breadman Bread Machine is Finally Dying

Well I wrote about this previously, how my Breadman bread machine just stops working when I’m loaded up and ready to make dough.

I’ve now learned to check if it’s working first before I add my ingredients to the bucket. Mike has tried fixing it several times. He has to manually turn the paddles or lever so the motor turns. It must be ceased up, and he has to release it. I don’t know how long it can keep being fixed like that, so the time has come to just buy a new machine!

So, which model to purchase and how much to spend?

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First Bread Dough Kneaded By Hand

INSPIRATION from the Kitchen Bootcamp – this month’s challenge is yeast breads. I tried to think outside the box and try something new…very timely since I think my wonderful (and old) bread machine died this morning. I don’t know if it’s recoverable, we’ll see if DH can fix it.

The ingredients were in the machine bucket, and I set it for “dough” and NADA. I could hear a slight clicking noise coming from the motor underneath the paddle, so initially I thought that maybe it was jammed or not placed correctly.

I tried, but I couldn’t get it to work, so I thought, well, maybe this was a sign. A sign to try something new and get out of my comfort zone.

So, I transferred all the ingredients into a large ceramic bowl and started to mix with a spoon. It was so dry; I started to mix with my hands. It was horrible. My hands were immediately clumped with sticky dough. I was trying to remember all the advice that I previously learned in books, on web sites and from other bread bakers. I decided that instead of dusting with a ton of flour, I would keep wetting my hands and try to knead that way.

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Whole Wheat Rye Sunflower Caraway Bread

I found a great “cooking challenge group” called Kitchen Bootcamp. The challenge this month is yeast bread, so I’m trying to bake out of my comfort zone.

It’s tough because when I bake bread (twice a week), I just don’t have the time to experiment with new techniques, but when I realized my loaf pan was in the dishwasher, it forced me to improvise.

I baked 6 smaller loaves. Two in smaller loaf pans, and four rolls in 2 small glass baking dishes. I need more experience with baking smaller rolls, and this was good practice. Next time, I am going for real rolls!

This recipe isn’t 100% whole grain, but it’s still a very good source of fiber! No added sugar, except for 3 Tbsp of Orange Juice.

improvised with baking dishes

I didn’t have much trouble shaping the dough, but they did stick to the pans slightly, even when they were oiled. The bread tasted delicious though, and that’s all that matters in the end, right?

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Mixing Bread Dough in Food Processor – Best Bread Ever Book

(For Kitchen Bootcamp. The challenge this month is yeast bread)

I found a copy of the book “The Best Bread Ever: Great Homemade Bread Using your Food Processor” at the library. I was intrigued because he introduced a technique for mixing bread dough in a food processor.

The book is currently out of print (it was originally published in 1997), but there are used copies for sale on Amazon and you can also find the original recipe & specific instructions online if you want to try it.

I decided to try the technique today. As usual, I was nervous and hesitant, but I got all my tools and ingredients ready to go before I started.

food processor bread dough

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100% Whole Grain No-Knead Bread Retry

When will I learn? Hahaha. I just don’t seem to be meshing with the no-knead bread craze!

Whenever I try, it always seems like more work to me, and always makes me feel intimidated by the sticky flimsy dough! Very frustrating. But I keep trying. I’m sure this will not be my last attempt, especially now that I think I know the error of my ways!

I googled and found another no-knead recipe for 100% Whole Wheat Bread –

Of course, being in a semi-rush, I didn’t read the recipe notes, I just threw myself into the ingredients. sigh.

Looking back at the recipe now, it clearly states that a 1:1 ratio of flour & water is necessary. And she used a regular loaf pan, something I probably should have done as well, since I like the shape better. And of course I didn’t dust with more flour to make the dough less sticky and easier to work with!

I won’t even bore you with my baking notes, since it really wasn’t a triumph. In the end though, the bread was tasty, and I guess that is all that matters. It was just a bear to work with and I would love to say ‘NEVER AGAIN’ but I’ll probably be trying another batch of no-knead when time permits!

I found two no-knead books at the library: Jim Lahey’s My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method, along with the Kneadlessly Simple: Fabulous, Fuss-Free, No-Knead Breads book.

So, here are a few photos from my no-knead experience earlier this week:

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A Bread A Day

I found the most interesting fun blog yesterday.

A Bread A Day

The author set a goal to bake one bread per day for a year (except Sundays) and she blogged about her journey. There is so much to read, and I haven’t even scratched the surface, but I am looking forward to learning from her experience. I’ve already found a bunch of recipes that I would love to try!

Crumb & Crust Troubleshooting

Sometimes my bread comes out pretty good, and sometimes it has small issues. For instance, my oatmeal bread from yesterday. The first slice looked and tasted fine…but then this morning, when I sliced a few more servings, I noticed the crumb was a little too crumbly and the crust was coming unattached.

I have had this problem before and I am pretty sure in this instance, it’s due to incorrect shaping. I must not have formed it properly; I was having a bit of an issue with the dough kind of getting too large, and I had to kind of quickly reshape it. Another reason could be over-proofing, and yeah, my dough rose pretty quickly yesterday. I think I am going to experiment with adding less yeast next time, so it will require a longer slower rise. I might try taking the dough out of the bread machine right after the knead, and allow it to rise in a bowl.

And I was thinking last night, and I might have figured out how to use a more traditional autolyse even with the bread machine. Adding all the liquid and only SOME (maybe half) of the flour. I’ll try allowing the bread machine to mix for 3 minutes, then shut off the machine. After 30 minutes, I will add the rest of the flour, salt and yeast, and allow it to mix normally. Or…I might add the yeast initially. We’ll see.

Anyway, I always go to this web site to troubleshoot my bread issues: – yes, it’s a sourdough web site, but there is a list for general baking troubleshooting and I find it very helpful!

Transitional Whole Wheat Oatmeal Bread Recipe

My DH asked me if next time, I could make a “whiter” bread for him, so this “transitional” bread recipe is for my wonderful dear husband. Even though it’s not 100% whole grain, it still offers a good amount of fiber!

A loaf of whole wheat oatmeal bread

Inspired by the Oatmeal Bread recipe found on King Arthur Flour’s web site.

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Nancy Silverton’s Breads – Book Review

A commenter on the Fresh Loaf web site mentioned the book Nancy Silverton’s Breads from the La Brea Bakery: Recipes for the Connoisseur so I borrowed it from the library.

While reading the author’s summary for Whole Wheat Flour, I knew this book wasn’t for me:

…Whole wheat flour does contain more nutrients than white flour, but our bodies can’t absorb most of them because whole wheat flour works its way through our system too fast. Most of the vitamins in white flour do get absorbed, so the battle between white and whole wheat turns out to be a draw.

This book was published almost 15 years ago in 1996, so maybe whole grain research was lacking.

But we now know that whole grains absorb slower in the body, plus they offer a whole heck of a lot more fiber than stripped white processed flour. Whole wheat is definitely more nutritious! In the authors defense, I would guess her attitude toward whole grains have changed by now! How could it not!

So, the book is going back to the library, virtually unread. At this time, I’m not so much into sourdough (which is the main subject of the book), but maybe in the future, I will revisit the book if I ever want to learn more about it.

100% Whole Grain Wheat & Rosemary Sunflower Bread Recipe

Made a new bread this afternoon. Just had a slice, and it’s hearty and wheaty tasting!

Modified from my regular 100% whole wheat recipe that I based on the Walnut Whole Wheat Bread recipe from King Arthur Whole Grain Baking book.

slice of 100% whole wheat rosemary sunflower bread


  • 2 Tbsp Almond Oil (olive oil or any other vegetable oil)
  • 2 Tbsp of molasses (or honey)
  • Approx 1 cup plus 3 Tbsp lukewarm water (IMPORTANT: the molasses is mixed into the water to equal a total of 1 cup plus 3 Tablespoons)
  • 1 tsp salt (I use sea salt, and lowered the amount from my previous recipes; I’ll probably lower it even more next time)
  • 12 oz or 3 cups – mixture of traditional and white whole wheat flour.
  • 2.5 tsp instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup wheatgerm
  • 1/2 cup raw hulled (unsalted) sunflower seeds
  • 1 Tbsp dried Rosemary herb

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