First I wanted to make a Jam Bread - which is bread with jam IN it. But Googling Jam Bread in a Bread Machine only brought up results for making actual JAM in a bread machine (who knew?).
So I walked away from the computer and into the kitchen and sliced myself a slice of yesterday's bread, where the smell of ripe bananas gave me another idea. What about Bread Machine Banana Bread?
Back to the computer.
Nothing matched what I wanted to make. A lot of them called for fancy settings on a bread machine - and I don't think Home Bakery II, circa 1989 does more than your basic bread cycle. And the real majority of the recipes were for Quick Breads - no yeast, no rising, just mix and bake.
So, what did I do? I went rogue.
Which is a pretty standard for me.
I decided I was going to work off the basic whole wheat bread, and make it my own.
Here is what I gathered:
3 Cups Whole Wheat Bread Flour
1/2 + 1/8 Cup of NonFat Milk
1/2 + 1/8 Cup of Heavy Cream (these were the two dairy products I had on hand - googling also taught me that the fattier your milk, the fluffier your bread - I want fluffy!)
2 Tbsp of Butter, Softened (I happened to use salted, because I bought way too much of it)
1 Tbsp White Sugar
1-2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 Tsp Salt
1 Package of Rapid Rising Yeast
1 1/2 Bananas Mashed
1/2 Tsp Almond Extract (Yum)
1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract (also, Yum)
1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
Dash of Pumpkin Pie Spice (not pictured)
Since I'm going rogue, I kept to the basics - liquids on the bottom:
I started with the wet ingredients on the bottom. The Milk, Cream, Butter, Vanilla & Almond Extracts, and Mashed Banana. I also added the Cinnamon & Pumpkin Pie spice at this point - not exactly sure if they will do anything to the yeast.
|You call it an egg masher. I call it a multipurpose tool.|
Then on top of the liquid layer I poured the flour, and on top of that the salt, sugars, and finally the yeast.
Home Bakery II does have a "light" setting. So I hit that, better to be safe than sorry.
And hit start.
I checked in on the dough - it seemed sticky (should I have put in more flour? too late anyway). A couple hours later, during the rise cycle I checked on it again.
The bread had risen almost all the way to the top of it's container! This was a first in my breadmaking history! Could it be the heavy cream? Could it be the extra volume of banana? Could it be the extra tablespoon of sugar? Who knows! I went rogue!
After this, I made a bit of a cosmetic error. I poked the top of the dough. I was curious how dense it was. Not very. And the middle caved in a bit. I was so close to the bake cycle that it never came back up and so my loaf has a little dent in the top. But really, it didn't effect anything. Just gave it a little character.
The bread came out super light, super airy, and super fluffy! Mission accomplished! I gently carved a few slices - and I mean gently, the crust is solid, but the insides are super light.
And brewed myself a pot of Cinnamon Spice Tea for One. And enjoyed the banana bread harvest.
In the end, I think it turned out really nicely. I probably would add even more banana next time. The banana smell was great, and flavor was light. I wouldn't have minded a little more of it. I also wouldn't have poked the dough (whoops). I might have added a bit more of the spices - I was worried about overdoing it. And I love walnuts in my banana bread. Home Bakery II does not appear to have a nut setting. I hear most modern day bread makers do - so if yours does, I would encourage throwing those in. Yum! :)