Sunday, 4 April 2010

even more fun with the bread machine - updated!

I've been enjoying making bread in the bread machine about once a week - we eat toast on the weekends so Friday night I'm usually throwing a loaf into the machine. I decided I wanted to branch out and not just learn to make better bread, but to see what kind of breads I can make. I've made pizza crusts, bagels, and the richest most amazing brioche imaginable (which made the most amazing French toast I've ever had). Whilst trying to find resources on bread making the name of one book kept coming up - an out-of-print book called "Rustic European Breads from your Bread Machine". The Easter long weekend has given me time to have a real play. first try was focaccia with garlic and sage. It didn't rise properly (I messed up and put olive oil on it before it rose instead of after) but the taste was absolutely amazing - rich, salty and olive-oily. The sage is from the garden which is my excuse for this rather non-gardeny entry.

If by any chance you own and love your breadmaker, take the extra effort to find this book online and order it. I can't wait to bake from it again soon!

EDIT: Two more creations over the long weekend. First I made bagels again using the recipe from the book and quite a few learnings from the first batch. They definitely turned out better this time! Look how plump and golden they are.
And finally, I made a fougasse which is a French flatbread like focaccia with green olives in it. I've got to say, leave the focaccia to the Italians - the French fougasse was downright bland in comparison. It didn't have the rich flavour of the focaccia at all, even though the olives were nice. I'll stick with focaccia.


Olivia Mayer said...

Hi.. I found your blog while I was researching the fruit salad tree company recently. I noticed that, about a year ago now, you had commented on the company. So I hope you don't mind me 'tracking you down' now and asking for your opinion and asking how your fruit salad tree is faring now. It's my younger sister's birthday in about a month and I love the idea of a fruit salad tree and I think she will too.. so would you advocate ordering one fron the fruit salad tree company? Any advice you could pass on would be much appreciated!

And I love your blog, by the way - it's just gorgeoous.

Alexa said...

Hi Olivia

My 'designer twig' is doing quite well. Search for 'twig' in this blog's search box and you'll be able to read my thoughts on it and see how small it was when it came in the mail. I haven't posted on it in ages so I took a picture today for you, see it here:

I reckon it's a good gift as long as you're not upset by it being so small when it arrives. Also it can take a long time to arrive so order it early!