In December 1998, a large package arrived at my door. It was a new and innovative tool called a bread machine. Fast forward 12 yeas later. A walk through any local Salvation Army or thrift store today produces several donated bread machines. They have become passe. But today I want you to rethink your bread machine. In fact, think of it as more of a dough machine. I own two now. Every Sunday morning, I throw the ingredients for my favorite french rolls into each pan and set the timer. Hours later, I reshape the dough, bake the rolls, and people are happy. (Now, here is where I will let you in on a little secret. When I shape my rolls, I dip each one in melted butter, then sprinkle the lot with kosher salt. The salt on top adds a nice touch–it’s impressive and it tastes yummy.)
My very easiest loaf/baguette/roll recipe and how to do it in a bread machine:
12 ounces (1 ½ cups) water
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 heaping teaspoon salt
4 cups flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons yeast
Place all ingredients in your bread machine “can” in the order above (liquids always go first). Set the bread machine to it’s dough setting. Once complete, shape your dough to desired serving. I usually shape the dough into rolls or long baguettes. Once shaped, let dough rise an addition 30 minutes then bake according to its shape.
Rolls–375 for 12 minutes or until golden on top.
Baguettes (recipe above makes at least 2, possibly three)–375 for 2o minutes or until bottom sounds hollow when knocked.
Loafs–350 for 30 minutes or until golden on top.