Breaking out the bread machine

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I really like baking and really love eating the results, but I don't have time to do it anywhere near as often as I would like. We've owned a bread machine for many years, but I just don't like the results as much as handmade bread, and it always seems like cheating to me. Last week, when I was unloading the groceries and pulled out a loaf of store bought bread, it occurred to me that the results still taste at least as good as store bought, and using a bread machine is cheating less than buying sliced bread from the store.

Yesterday I dug the old bread machine out of the garage and made a loaf of spelt bread. It was tasty and moist, but the crust was overdone, even on the medium crust setting. It also didn't rise as much as it does when I make it by hand. I think the kneading was too much for the lower gluten in spelt. I think I'll have to experiment with adding some wheat gluten to improve the loft.

I think with a little experimentation, I could make some really great whole grain breads in the bread machine. To force myself to spend the time doing this, I've decided I'm not going to buy any sandwich bread loaves through winter. I either have to bake them in the oven or the bread machine.

This'll be fun.