Fresh, home baked bread for breakfast
Excellent fried bacon and fresh ground coffee aside, there are not many aromas more tantalising than that of warm, freshly baked bread wafting up the stairs. Especially when someone else has made it.
Fresh bread baked daily
Fresh bread baked daily
For the breakfast bread served at our B&B in Cornwall we 'cheat' and use a bread maker, but always make our evening meal rolls by hand.
'Cheat' is not the right word, is used to highlight the fact that breadmakers are viewed as producing inferior bread to that produced from scratch by hand.
This is not fair, for while it is true that a machine cannot produce bread to match the quality of that created by a truely skilled artisan baker, a good machine used properly can certainly produce better bread than someone with no flair for dough, and will produce a loaf of much greater nutritional value than cheap supermarket stodge.
We use a Panasonic SD-253 ( since superceded by the newer model ). It was recommended to us several years ago by a friend who runs the Food Technology department at the Duchy College, Stoke Climsland. It is not the cheapest machine, but is exceptionally good at its job, and will pay back its cost very quickly. Cheap machines are a false economy, because they tend, in general, to produce very disheartening results and are subsequently left to gather dust on top of a cupboard.
As with any cookery, ingredients are key, especially with something as basic as bread. There is no point in investing in a good bread machine, and taking the time to use it, if you are going to feed it cheap flour and expect miraculous results.
There are many excellent flours readily available from good health stores ( Shipton Mill, Marriage's, Doves Farm ), flours that can be experimented with to allow you to produce your ideal loaf. We spent some time playing with various combinations, eventually settling on a mixture of wholemeal and grained flours that produce a breakfast bread with good body and flavour.
We also frequently make bread for guests who have special dietary requirements. For instance, pictured is a chickpea bread that we made for some guests who were on a dairy-free diet, and gluten-free bread made in the machine is a much more palatable product than the solid bricks that are generally sold.
Toasted on the AGA, and spread with plenty of home made jam, good fresh bread is hard to beat.