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For a while my bread-maker was rubbish and baking homemade bread wasn’t quite up to scratch. What it was producing was hard and heavy, and my whole family refused to eat it.
Now, on the other hand, we have light, airy, fragrant, new-baked, wheaty loaves which the family have been scoffing down with fresh salted butter and Nutella like there’s no tomorrow.
Great Tip for Baking Homemade Bread
Want to know why? Well, I’m afraid it’s down to my mother in law. And I’m saying this through gritted teeth. She suggested, when she was here for Easter, that perhaps my yeast was out of date. I harrumphed and bridled and told her that dried yeast went on for ever – like sugar. But when we checked the sell-by date it was… wait for it… 2005! At the time, that was 6 years out of date. So turns out yeast can just stop working when it gets too old.
So I chucked out that yeast (the 500g tub which I was never going to get through considering I only make bread about once every 3-4 months) and bought some new 7g sachets. I’ve made a lovely chocolate loaf with Nutella marbled through it. It’s irresistible. Even though I’ve sliced and frozen it (homemade bread goes stale quicker than shop-bought because it doesn’t have preservatives in) it’s still calling to me from the freezer. I wish it would shut up – I’m doing low carb.
Homemade Breadmaker Chocolate Bread
Ingredients (makes one loaf)
- 275ml lukewarm water
- 2 1/2 tbsp skimmed milk powder
- 2 1/2 tbsp sunflower oil (or other veg oil)
- 680g strong white bread flour
- 1 sachet dried yeast
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp Nutella or chocolate spread, or chopped chocolate
Basically add all the ingredients together then press the button. Three hours later you’ll have lovely bread!
- Follow your bread-maker instructions, but I find that adding the salt later helps the rise. Salt inhibits the action of yeast, although you do need it for flavour.
- If you want the chocolate to be marbled through rather than producing an evenly brown loaf (which will still taste chocolatey and delicious) then add the Nutella halfway though the kneading. The downside of this is it can collect on the outside of the loaf and not be fully incorporated, or even burn slightly.
If you enjoy baking homemade bread, why not try making your own cakes? Read our top tips and recipes.