Today I got a bread maker! That definitely calls for a blog post. I wasn’t really in the market for a bread maker. I did make rolls the other day and was thinking how nice it would be to make all my own bread, but since my mother always made her bread the hard way, I didn’t really think about the possibility of getting a bread maker to do the task for me.
However, all this changed while I was wasting time on the Two Peas in a Bucket message boards. A fellow pea mentioned that she was looking for a bread maker and was hoping for some recommendations and general advice. Well this got my wheels turning and I thought, gee it would be nice to have a bread maker, but they are so expensive, maybe one day. And then as more people posted to the thread, many ladies were telling the original poster to get hers second hand either from goodwill or craigslist. Of course since I had my very own internet handy, I went right over to craigslist to check things out. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I promptly found a beautiful stainless steel Cuisinart bread machine for sale!
It was listed as only used twice, purchased for $130 and sellnig for $50. Not too shabby, I offered $40, cause well it is craigslist and you’re supposed to haggle a bit. The guy still had it and was home all day. So Mr. Project took care of the whole thing, correspondance, atm, money/product exchange at one shady apartment building in downtown San Francisco. The whole deal. A few hours later, I was a proud owner of a bread maker! Happy Valentine’s day to me.
Of course I had to make bread immediately, so after a quick run to the grocery store to pick up a few key ingredients. I decided to start with classic cinnamon-raisin swirl bread. Yum-o!
The whole process was very quick – which I do believe is the point. I cleared off some counter space, grabbed the recipe and all the ingredients. The cinnamon swirl take a bit more effort since it has “Mix-Ins.” The first step on the recipe was to mix sugar, cinnamon, and a whole lot of raisins in a small bowl.
Once that was mixed, I put it aside and got down to business! Putting the remainder of the ingredients, very carefully in order and according to directions, into the bread maker’s bread pan. This was a basic white bread recipe, all the expected ingredients, sugar, salt, egg, butter, bread flour, yeast.
Then I just let it do its thing. Since it was my first time with a bread maker, I watched for quite awhile and even gave it a name. Henceforth the Bread maker shall be referred to as “Gina the Bread Machine-a”. Or just Gina for short. Once Gina was finished kneeding the bread, an alarm went off and it was time to add the raisin mixture. I pulled out the smoooooth dough and plopped it on my cleaned and floured counter and then rolled it out. After rolling it out, I spread the rasen mixture on like so:
Next, I rolled it up, yes this is just like cinnamon rolls, super easy.
Finally, I pinched all the edges – top and sides – and placed it ever-so-gently back in the bread maker for rising and baking.
I realize now that I probably should have put the bread in upside down — making the completely smooth underbelly face up instead of the pinched top, but It still looked yummy! After replacing the bread pan, I pressed start again (it had been paused). and then just sat back and let Gina do all the work. About 2.5 hours, I had this beautiful loaf of yummy, warm, and practically perfect raisin bread to show for!
YUM! it was seriously so good and a great late night snack for this super late night blogger. The moral of the story: craigslist is awesome.
I have a batch of ingredients in the bread maker which has a timer on (so cool) to have a loaf of honey whole wheat bread all kneaded and baked by the time I wake up tomorrow. Yeah, I’m living the dream. Now I really have to find my running shoes.