As well as National Vegetarian Week this is Real Bread Week. A time to promote homemade bread made with love and no hidden nasties.
I've not made homemade bread for such a long time. I've had bread makers in the past and I've gone through periods of making bread by hand too, but I got out of the habit. I think the last time I made dough by hand was probably pizza dough.
I do love the process of making bread by hand, but I can never seem to make the time. Between my job, my blog, the websites and magazines I write for, my family and housework, it's really hard to fit it all in, hence no bread making.
I have a new bread maker. Sage kindly sent me their Custom Loaf Pro. I hummed and hawed over it. Did I really want to try another bread maker? I've had two before and gave them away after getting totally frustrated with them. For some reason I said yes and I'm totally won over.
So why did I hate bread makers before, but love this one?
|Custom Loaf Pro leaves a small blade hole.|
- I struggled to fit the pan.
- I struggled to take out the pan
- The loaves were pretty small.
- I could never get out the paddle and when I did they left a stonking big hole.
- I was underwhelmed with the loaves and the crust.
Custom Loaf Pro
- The pan slips in and out with ease.
- There is a choice of 4 loaf sizes from 0.5kg up to 1.25kg.
- This is the best part and I don't know how they do it, but the paddle folds flat in the second part of the bake and doesn't leave a big hole.
- The loaf slips out the pan quite easily and there is only a small hole.
- There is a choice of different crusts.
This is super easy to use with it's light up display. You use the big button to scroll through your choices and then click it to set your choices. The book that comes with it has a great range of recipes that are easy to follow. It even tells you what order to put everything in. You can start with these then tweak them to create your own recipes.
The automatic and manual programs include basic, whole wheat, rapid (bread in under 2 hours), gluten free, crusty loaf, sweet yeast free, bread dough, pizza dough, bake only, jam and 9 custom programs to create and save your own bread settings.
The coolest thing (apart from the collapsible blade) is the automatic dispenser where you add all your extras, then the machine adds them at the right moment. And ...... you can set the program to bake, so you can wake up to freshly baked bread.
The loaves I've made so far are so, so fluffy, but really crisp on the outside. It's hard not to keep eating it.
This loaf is a sundried tomato bread. I tweaked the recipe from the book that came with the bread maker. I made it half and half white and wholemeal and used dried parsley and chives. It was fabulous.
Sundried Tomato Bread
This is a simple, but flavourful loaf made in a bread maker.
- 375 ml warm water
- 2 tbsp oil (from the sundried tomato jar)
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 1 ½ tbsp caster sugar
- 300 g white bread flour
- 300 g wholemeal bread flour
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp dried chives
- 1 ½ tsp active dry yeast
- 50 g sundried tomatoes
1. Pour all the ingredients into the bread pan, bar the sundried tomatoes. You must put them the ingredients in, in the order given and don't let the yeast touch liquid.2. Pop the pan in the bread maker and shut the lid.3. Chop and dry the sundried tomatoes on kitchen paper, before adding to the automatic dispenser.4. Set the maker to basic loaf & medium crust.5. Start and leave it to bake.6. Remove the pan with an oven glove, then ease the loaf out of the pan and leave to cool on a baking rack.7. Enjoy!
Yield: Makes 1kg loaf
The Sage Custom Loaf Pro comes in at £249.95, but John Lewis have it on sale for £199.95 just now, which is quite a saving.
Disclosure: Sage sent me a bread maker to review. I was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.