Change is Good! Cream of Wheat? Not so much…

Oatbran Bread

Oats are not JUST for horses!

Since this is our first of many posts that will be about bread, we had better start with some ground rules. The UnChef is also the Lazy Chef. Making bread was never on our radar until the invention of the bread machine. We got our first one about 20 years ago. It was a Citizen and did us fairly well. The main problem was that its loaves were small and were also round, resulting in awkward slices. Nevertheless, off and on, we used it in fits and starts and enjoyed its results.

 Black & Decker Bread MachineAbout a year ago, on a whim (and because it was on special), we bought a new machine (pictured at left). It allows three different sizes and results in a traditionally shaped loaf. Although cycle times are longer, the product is far superior and consistent than with our previous machine. Unless otherwise noted, all breads discussed on these pages will be for this or similar machines. With both machines, we have found that with a little jiggling, any recipe both conventional and bread-machine can be adapted to fit your own machine. From our personal experience, the most critical factor is the amount of liquid. In most recipes, we find ourselves slightly increasing the amount of liquid called for. Once the dough has been thoroughly mixed in the machine before the first rising, the outside of the dough should be slightly sticky to the touch. If insufficient liquid is present, the dough will not rise as much and may not cook thoroughly throughout. Your own results may differ. There is no substitute for experience.

Today’s Recipe – Cream of Wheat Bread

Small Medium Large
milk 2/3 cup 1 cup 1 1/3 cups
marg/butter 2 1/2 tbs 1/4 cup 5 tbs
eggs 1/2 1 1 1/2
sugar 1 1/3 tbs 2 tbs 2 2/3 tbs
salt 1 1/4 tsp 2 tsp 2 1/2 tsp
gluten, optional 1 tbs 1 1/2 tbs 2 tbs
bread flour 1 1/3 cups 2 cups 2 2/3 cups
cream of wheat 2/3 cup 1 cup 1 1/3 cups
yeast 1 tsp 1 1/2 tsp 2 1/2 tsp

As you will soon learn, if you begin to follow this blog regularly, I am a huge fan of substitution. There are some that are virtually standard for me. In most of my breads, I substitute molasses or honey for sugar. In brown breads I usually add molasses and in white breads I use honey. Normally, I use grapeseed oil instead of margarine or butter. Here I used half oil, half butter, simply because I had a small piece of butter to use up. Not having cream of wheat in the cupboard, I used oat bran which we did have. I almost always add the optional gluten because it lends a better consistency. Finally, I also add a couple of tablespoons of ground flax seed for good measure. The resulting loaf is shown in the picture above.

1 comment

    • Marius on March 28, 2010 at 7:48 am
    • Reply

    Hi Roy,

    Thanks for sharing your recipe. We’re thinking of buying one of these machines for ourselves. Yesterday evening we had dinner at some friends’ place, and they offered us home made bread with traces of rosemary leafs inside, it was very good. Now that I’ve read your blog, I’ll start looking around for one of these machines. I’m a bit puzzled though, what is the liquid you keep mentioning in your text above? In Netherlands we are used to cooking with beer, is this a good substitute?


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