Never ever ever did I think that I would own a breadmaker, nor use one. Daily. Who would have thought you could not only live on a boat with a 1 and half square metre galley but whip up Sourdough in a Breadmaker in this tight spot as well?
This photo below was taken when we first got our breadmaker. We had a year of playing with the breadmaker before we moved on board and it was one of my first loaves. They never changed in shape but of course we started refining recipes and playing around. A lot!
So you wonder how did I manage to find room? Well, to start with, the oven was tossed out! It is hard to believe, but I chose stove top cooking as the only way to go to make room for the pots, pans and gadgets I most loved. Most of my Turkish friends get this. 95% of all Turkish cooking is done on top of the stove.
Our neighbours who have featured quite often hovering over their open fires cooking do not even possess ovens and so I felt, I too could do this.
Meanwhile, my breadmaker was squeezed into a tight fitting space under the sink. Sometimes, I know, personal priorities can be more than strange!
We have prided ourselves in our rustic loaves groaning under the kilos of seeds we smother them in. But somewhere down the track, I chanced upon a breadmaker in action at a friend’s house. She kindly offered for me to take it home and give it a whirl and I can tell you we were sold instantly, on the idea.
We love our rustic loaves that turn out haphazardly from the oven. BUT… Sometimes the constant cleaning up of flour that coats the kitchen counter top and often the floor, can drive me mad.
WEEKLY SHOPPING TRIP
Living 20 km out of town, as I did, I tried to keep it down to one trip a week in the car, getting all my errands done and the shopping at the same time. No matter what was on my To Do List, I could rarely get in and out of town in under 4 hours. I always found something else to do, bumped into someone or just plain, got stuck in the one-way system.
Not having to think about a dash into town for bread or pull it out of the freezer was a big plus for me. Making bread at home made total sense.
ACHING SHOULDERS AND FLOURY FLOORS CHANGED MY WAY OF THINKING!
As much as I love making all sorts of unusual loaves, the really tough kneading often played havoc with my shoulders and they could ache for days after a big batch. The cleaning up was rather a bore too. To say the least.
I have had recipes which have been so convoluted that the loaf has taken 30 hours of preparation before it has ever seen the inside of the oven. Admittedly, some of those loaves have been absolutely outstanding; Pieces of art really. But weighing up the energy involved in the whole process did makes me feel blessed to have a bread maker sitting on my kitchen counter.
After much contemplation we went out and bought a bread machine. It was not an easy decision as we are well aware of the restrictions of what you can do in a bread maker. On top of that, both Henrik and I love dark loaves with lots of seeds and we haven’t heard of a huge rate of success so far with those in a bread making machine.
We started playing with recipes and have now had some luck and are sold on this gadget. From the moment we bought it and lived on land (as opposed to being on water now…I dare not say the sea as we are yet to leave the marina!!!) it has been in constant use.
A KITCHEN BLESSING
There is absolutely no cleaning up apart from a spatula, the loaf tin and blade when the bread comes out at the end. The loaf tin has a special coating and hardly needs more than a wipe over. We cannot rave highly enough about it and even though it is Turkish and the instruction booklet has no translation with it, we have had so much fun.
THE DELAY BUTTON IS A GODSEND
The smell is more than enticing and stopping at one slice is very hard! Setting the delay button to have bread prepared for breakfast makes it so easy. At least we have an excuse at that time of the day to dig in and devour the whole loaf, nearly. Did I mention Henrik is Danish? Bread is his number one love.
SAVOURY AND SWEET LOAVES
Often we are turning out two loaves a day. This is because we make a savoury one and often a sweet one. The cakes have proven completely delicious and I will post some recipes for those later.
We have very kind neighbours who are often dropping in different types of village dishes and it is great to have cake on hand, as one should never return a plate empty.
For now, I am going to add my Sourdough in a Breadmaker recipe which we have had a lot of fun creating. The texture has plenty of bubbles in it and it stays fresh for days if you can resist it long enough! The loaf is not a pretty one, it doesn’t brown much at all but the flavour and texture are awesome. It truly tastes sour.
It is by rights, not really a proper Sourdough loaf as there should not be any yeast at all and a true sourdough would be created by using a starter. However, my starter died when we went away and the fridge decided to turn itself off. That was a nice homecoming!
I discovered that by using just a touch of yeast that I could create a loaf that was really very similar in taste and that we enjoyed a lot, and slowly it became our Fall Back Loaf.
THINKING ABOUT BUYING A BREADMAKER?
If you are thinking about getting a breadmaker, perhaps you can be lucky enough to borrow a friend’s first and give it a whirl yourself. It’s virtually faultproof!
Many people grow tired of their breadmakers or their lifestyle changes or they find they have gluten issues and just buying gluten-free is a lot more hassle free. Lots of breadmakers come up for sale second hand and they are very worthwhile looking at.
Ours is a Beko model made in Turkey. We thought it had scales on the top of it, but unfortunately it is just the design. It would have been super if the top were a set of scales.
Breadmakers vary a lot in looks but the outcome seems to be very consistent. Many of the newer machines have a handful of extra programmes but in the end, it’s the basic programmes that you really use. I have a jam making programme on my machine but quickly found that I far preferred the old method on the stove in a big pot.
If you are a kitchen appliance aficionado then check out the Zojirushi Bread Maker. It has twin blades, a gluten free setting amongst many others and the highest ratings of any bread machine.
It would be nice to hear back from you to see whether or not I should pursue adding some breadmaker recipes to the site.
And of course I am hoping that the breadmaker owners out there will give this loaf a whirl.
- Splash of oil
- 340g or 1½ cups of warm water
- 1½ tsp salt
- 440g or 3 cups plain flour
- ¼ tsp yeast
- 1 tbsp poppy, sunflower or any chosen seeds for top of loaf if desired
- Remove the tin from the breadmaker and make sure the blade is securely in place
- Pour a splash of oil over the blade, this helps it pull away nicely from the loaf once baked
- Add all the other ingredients to the tin in the order above
- Place loaf tin in machine and set to' Knead' or any bread program
- After about 5 mins check inside to see if all has combined
- If needed, scrape down the sides with a spatula but do yourself a favour and stop the machine first
- The belt is easily stretched and the machine will need an expensive repair if you slow the blade whilst running
- As soon as all ingredients are incorporated turn off machine completely
- In total kneading of 10 minutes works well
- Leave loaf tin to rest in a warm place with some cling film over it or you can leave it in bread machine with the lid closed, if the area is warm enough
- Wait up to 8 hours until the dough has at least doubled, if really cold it may take even longer
- Remove cling film, if bread has dried out on top and you want to add seeds then flick a few drops of water on it and sprinkle seeds on top
- Put loaf tin very gently back into the machine and do not let the bread machine knead the mixture.
- Set to Bake which is quite likely to be the Cake program
- The loaf will be ready in an hour.
- Remove immediately from tin, remove blade from loaf and cool on a wire rack
- This bread slices much better once cooled but we sadly can never wait that long!
White Sourdough (left) and Rye Sourdough (right) both with white cheese, tomato and black pepper.