Ok maybe not so much of a Nigela but I try. I love trying new things. Not so much for myself (if you've read my reviews you'll know my picky eating habits) but I have started to open up. My elderly neighbour when I was growing up used to always have something cooking in the kitchen. The aromas coming from her house were divine. I especially loved when she was making bread. Bread is something I will always eat happily so when I saw this Breville bread maker in the Debenhams sale I grabbed it. I picked it up for £30 and in a quick search can see that it is currently available between £40 - £50.
Of course the first thing I did was visited Sainsbury's on the way home to buy some packets of dried yeast (about 80p for a box of 8 sachets), skimmed milk powder and strong white flour.
When I got home I turned on a childrens movie to keep the children happy so that I could play with my new toy. The machine itself wasn't overly wrapped and basically came out of the box and plugged right in ready to go. I took the bucket from inside the machine and gave it a rinse as that is where your bread will be baking. Inside the box is a recipe book which little did I know was going to become a frequent read. I opened up the book to the basic breads and started getting everything out I would need. I had everything except bread improver. I wasn't even overly sure what bread improver was. I decided I would just go ahead without it and see how things go. The recipe book says to read the list and add the ingredients one by one so that is exactly what I did. With everything in I closed the lid and followed the next set of instructions. I turned the machine on by the switch at the back of the machine and the using the buttons on the front chose the crust colour I wanted to aim for, the loaf size and then away we go I pressed start.
About 10 minutes past by and I wanted to see how my bread was doing so I pressed the light button and peered in through the window at the top. My dough was being twirled around and looked really good. There was a bit of batter up the sides of the bucket so I opened the top and pushed it down so that the mixer would mix it into the dough.
Well some clunk noises and a loud beep later the bread is apparently done. Well not quite done really. The crust wasn't quite what I had expected and although the bread was nice it wasn't perfectly cooked. The kids seemed happy with it and asked for a few slices with butter. I was wondering around Lakeland a week or so later and found bread improver which sadly I got very excited about it (£7.99). For my next loaf I put all the ingredients in as before but this time I put the crust one higher to see if that would do the trick. I was quite happy when the bread was done. The crust was much better and the bread was a lot bigger than the first one even though it had been on the size loaf size setting. I made a note in the recipe book that the crust has to be set to a higher level than you want it to turn out.
Bread improver is basically an ingredient to speed up the bread production and aid the chemical changes needed to make bread in a few hours as opposed to years ago when bread could take up to a day to finish. Thankfully I live in these times because I am waaaaaay too lazy for that kind of thing.
Being American and hating the fuss involved in making cornbread this was my next cooking attempt. I used the Breville recipe which was quite nice. A bit dry for my liking but I easily altered that the next time by adding a bit of buttermilk.
My children love pizza (At their age I did too) and so I set out to make a healthy, veggie covered pizza. The dough was really easy to make and only took about an hour. I kneaded the dough for a little bit with some extra flour and then slowly made it into a pizza shape. I wiped the base down with a bit of olive oil and opened a tin of chopped tomatoes to spread and then got going with the cheese, peppers and onions. It was lovely and the kids kept saying how much they liked it. The next pizza had spinach and pine nuts on it which was a funky change. This week I'm going to have a go at recreating a pizza I had on our last trip home to the States which was a cheeseburger pizza (exactly what it sounds like). Can't wait to see how that goes.
There's a few gluten free and yeast free recipes should that be what you're after.
My youngest son is addicted to Soreen so my husband made some with the Breville and he really enjoyed helping daddy and eating his bread. The same day I made a herb focaccia that was as good if not better (if I do say so myself) as the one we've had at the Italian restaurant up the road.
Wouldn't mind giving the pina colada bread a try just to see what that would taste like. Sounds a funny bread flavour.
Get ready for this people ..... You can also make jam! I kept putting off trying this as jam always sounds like so much work but for a Pudsey fundraiser another mother and I were making jams to sell so she came over and we got the instructions out. We had to run out and get some preserving sugar (Available at most grocery stores). It did get messy but that's because we let the kids help. We ended the day with Fig, strawberry, plum and peach jam and we sold out!
There's also some recipes for glazes and spreads but I've not tried them just yet.
The front control panel is easy to use and lets you be in control of how long and it what way the contents will cook. The machine itself takes up quite a bit of space in our little kitchen so when not in use it's put under the work surface. Very easy to clean which is always a bonus because with two young children I have enough to clean up. Different settings for each thing you're cooking so no need to hang around and wait to see when things are done.
Much more than just a bread maker.
© oioiyou 2011