We eat a lot of bread at home, meaning that we consume between 2 to 3 loaves a week. When we were living in London, were not very happy with the quality of bread there and did not want to spend a fortune on good quality bread. Therefore, 3 years ago my husband and I decided to invest some money and bought a proper breadmaker.
We got a Panasonic SD 2500 and we could not be happier with it! While there are many programs and functionalities available, we mainly use the breadmaker as a kneading machine, thanks to the choice of dough setting programs. Preparing homemade bread is so hassle-free this way! In fact, the breadmaker kneads the dough and allows it’s first rising. The advantage of this is that we can then shape the bread as we like – baguettes, ciabattas and many more types of bread – and we can bake it in our conventional oven.
The breadmaker is not a time machine, though: you still need to allow at least 4 hours’ time for the dough to be made and ready to be baked.
With breadmaking, you can also be creative and play with a variety of flours! Our pantry is full of spelt flour and strong white flour, but we also have buckwheat, semolina, and whole-wheat flour. You can experiment with the different types of flour until you find your favourite recipes.
I’d definitely advise you to always incorporate at least 100g of strong white flour: it is high in gluten content, allowing your bread to rise and get the right texture.
With this recipe (and video recipe), I will show you how I prepare bread with a combination of spelt flour, strong white flour, and einkorn flour (if you do not have the latter, just substitute it with more spelt flour). You’ll obtain a ciabatta-style bread, soft inside and with a crunchy crust on the outside.
Homemade Bread (with breadmaker)
Put the kneading blade into the bread tin. Place the ingredients in the bread pan in the order listed in the recipe (the yeast and salt must be on opposite corners).
Set the bread pan into the breadmaker's main unit, and plug the machine into the socket. Select a dough menu (I selected #17) and press Start. The machine will knead and allow the first rise to the dough (approx. 3 hours time).
Once the program is completed, switch off the machine, remove the bread tin from the main unit. Using your hands, transfer the dough on a large wooden board, dusted with flour (strong white). Knead the dough with your hands for 2-3 minutes and shape it as you like. Place it in a tray or pot covered with baking parchment and cover it with a dry tea towel. Allow it to prove until doubled in size (it will take approx. 1 hour).
Once the second rising time has passed, preheat oven at 220C (250C fan). Transfer the bread on a baking tray. When the oven gets to temperature, spray with water both the bread and the inside of the oven (to create steam) and bake for 10 min (15 min in a fan oven). Then reduce temperature to 200C, spray more water on the bread, and bake for another 25-30 min (200C fan oven and bake for 15-20 min) - See my notes below about baking techniques.
Place the baked bread on a rack and let it cool down before slicing it and enjoy it with some butter, jam or Nutella! :)