One of our loves is baking, including jobs which required rising early to bake bread, bagels and pastry. The baking courses in Culinary School were a joy.
While living in a small studio during our years working in kitchens, we were limited to a bread machine. Over the last 10 years we have developed our own recipe for a bread which is baked in a bread machine. There is no oven, there is no bread board or kneading, only a small container with a rotating paddle in the bottom.
Working within those constrains and challenges we developed a complex and unique loaf.
It utilizes both a sponge, reserved from the prior batch (and kept in the refrigerator) with dry yeast. An important element is white flour, which we found indispensable to achieve some rise and prevent a “brick” instead of bread.
It occurs over three (3) stages, which could occur over a couple days:
Create the Sponge (#1): Combinine sponge, beer and flour (this can sit overnight)
The remaining steps must not be interrupted
It starts with blooming dry yeast with a little sugar, which will eventually produce a full head of foam. Do not continue until the yeast is fully bloomed
At that point you can Build the Sponge (#2): Add Oatmeal (or Oat Bran), Yogurt, Whole Wheat Flour, Tumeric and Cayenne Pepper. When mixed, a handful is reserved and stored for the next sponge.
Finish the Loaf (#3): Add the yeast, now blooming with foam to the remaining sponge and add white flour to feed it.
Our bread machine has a “stop/pause” button which allows the dough some time to develop before proceeding. We press this button several times to stop the machine, delay the mixing to allow time for the dough. Eventually, the machine sounds a series of “Beeps” as notification to add the “Mix-ins” almost every type of dried fruit, seeds and meals (corn meal, malto meal, etc)
Though we never knead the dough with our hands, we stick our hands into the machine frequently, especially in the final minutes to ensure a smooth dough and break-up lumps and clumps. We add beer to provide a moist and less dense consistency.
The goal has been to combine whole grain ingredients, but still achieving a good rise. It is not a light airy loaf, it is dense but has a good crumb.