More and more people are taking to using their bread machines for dough kneading machines and then shaping and baking their bread in their ovens. Why? Simple, the bread baked in your oven is much different than that baked in the bread machine. If you don’t believe me try making the same recipe twice one on the dough cycle, shape, rise and then bake in the oven and the other from start to finish in your bread machine. Allow both loaves to cool and then taste them. While they will both taste the same, the texture, size and crust of the oven baked loaf will be very different from the loaf done in the bread machine. Why? I am not sure. But, this is why more and more people make their dough in the bread machine and then bake in the oven.
Baking bread in your oven isn’t really that hard or time consuming. The steps are as follow.
- Make your dough in the bread machine on the dough cycle.
- When the machine beeps indicating the dough is finished, remove the pan from the machine and the dough from the pan and place on a floured work surface.
- Punch the dough down dusting with flour if need be to keep it from sticking to your hands, it is important that you get all of the air out the dough, if it isn’t completely deflated you could end up with large ugly air pockets in your finished loaf.
- Once the dough has been deflated, pat it out in to a rectangle that is as wide as your bread pan and 3 times as long. Brush the surface with a bit of water or wet your hand and rub it around on the dough to moisten it.
- Roll the dough up jelly roll style so that you have a log as wide as your bread pan.
- Now turn the log over and seal the seam, then do the same to the ends.
- Finally tuck the ends of the log under and place the log of dough in the lightly greased bread pan seams down.NOTE: For a 1-1/2 pound recipe you want a 12-inch long loaf pan. You can get these from most department stores and even some large grocery stores. Or, you can order them here:
- Using a sharp knife cut a slit in the top of the loaf about 1/2 inch down. The slit should go from end to end leaving about 1 inch uncut on each end.
- Now you using a damp (not wet, but not too dry) light weight towel cover the pan of dough and place in a warm draft free place to rise. An oven with the bulb on works well or if you have an electric griddle that can be turned down to 100 degrees you can place a towel on it and then pan of dough on that and use the griddle as a proofing box. I do this myself as it ensures the dough is kept warm and this helps it rise faster.
- Allow the dough to rise until doubled in size, about 1 to 2 hours depending on how warm it is.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and then place you risen loaf of bread in the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes. If you want to make absolutely sure that your bread is done use an instant read thermometer to check the interior of the loaf. If it between 190 and 200 degrees it is done. Generally, by the time the 30 to 40 minutes is up the bread is done.
- Remove the pan from the oven and allow the bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then gently remove from the pan and place on a cooling rack to cool. It is important that the bread be removed from the pan after the 10 times and that is placed on a cooling rack to cool otherwise the escaping steam make the crust soggy.
- After a minimum of 30 minutes of cooling you can slice the bread. However, it is best to let the bread cool completely.
- See storing and Freezing Bread for information on storing your loaf of bread.
- Any loaf bread recipe can be done on the dough cycle and baked in the oven.
- Always let the dough rise until doubled. Anything less will give you a dense loaf of bread.
- Always remove hot bread from the pan after the 10 minute rest.
- Always cool your bread on a cooling rack.
- Never store your bread away warm. It will sweat and cause mildew.