Macaroon and the Bread Machine

Before Artichoke left for work yesterday, he said “I bet you’re going to make something in bread machine. You can’t wait.” I just stared at him, as if to say “Whatever.” Then again, maybe I just didn’t want to admit that I had an urge to use it the minute to pulled off the first piece of wrapping paper. Nevertheless, I couldn’t wait to play with it after he walked out of the door. So guess who made some bread?!?!
Thanks to Mommy Macaroon, I now am the proud owner of a Cuisinart BMKR-200 Series Automatic Bread Maker. It looks like a big heavy steel box, but it’s surprisingly lightweight. It fits on the counter top with decent length cord to plug it into the wall. It offers multiple settings based on how you wish to use it. Of course, it makes bread (up to a 2lb loaf), but it also bakes cakes, preps dough for pastas and pizza. It also makes jellies and jam! There are about 12 settings to select, which includes an option to just bake if you prepared your dough/batter without the machine. There’s also a “rapid” option which can cut down the process by 2/3.
The instruction manual is pretty straightforward. It explains how the parts operate, the different settings, the process of bread-making and baking, cleaning and troubleshooting. The instructions are so simple that they make up for about 10 pages of the manual. The rest of it is a recipe book for a variety of breads, cakes, doughs, etc.
The machine comes with a removable pan that sits within the baking chamber. The pan is where all of the ingredients go. You have to put your wet ingredients in first, then your flour, then your yeast and baking powder. There’s actually a chart in the manual that shows you how to layer your ingredients. Cuisinart actually suggests using the manual as a reference whenever using the machine.
There’s also a small removable bread paddle that can be removed after the machine kneads the dough. Along with that are a measuring cup and spoon. So you really don’t need much extra to get the job done.
So what did I make, you ask? Well I decided to try out the True 100% Whole Wheat Bread. It was a basic recipe with all of 6 ingredients: water, salt, honey (I used agave nectar as a substitute), whole wheat flour (I used unbleached all purpose flour), vital wheat gluten and active dry yeast.
What I really liked about this recipe and the others was that Cuisinart listed you the measurements for each ingredient based on the size of the bread. They provided a chart with measures for a loaf, weighing between 1lb to 2lbs. I got really ballsy and decided to just make a 2lb loaf.
This recipe was so easy. All I had to do was “layer” the ingredients in the order they were listed, and select the options for whole wheat and the color crust I wanted (dark). Then, I just had to press start. It was totally a “Set It and Forget It” process.
With this loaf, it took about 4 hours and 38 minutes from start to finish. You can also let your loaf sit in the machine for up to an hour. Any amount of time beyond that will cause the bread to become soggy.
The end results was like an artisan bread: crusty on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside. Mommy Macaroon had a slice with butter and then came back for more! Artichoke had a couple of slices last night and took more with his lunch today. Mission accomplished!
Now, I’m planning my next adventure…PRETZELS! I’ll post how that goes soon!
Here are a few photos of my bread and my machine

You may have noticed that I didn’t post the recipe. I’m such a novice with bread machines, I have no clue if the recipe from Cuisinart was just to use with their products. Sorry!

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