Like a walk through the country side living on a small farm is full of daily surprises, sometimes wonderful and amazing, and other times puzzling and sad. I hope you will walk with me as I live out my dream of living on this tiny farm. You will come to know the dogs, cats, Shetland sheep and chickens that make up this farm and what goes into keeping them happy and healthy. Come and join the journey with me.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Apple Cider Bread

For those not to proud to use the humble bread machine I'm going to post a great recipe for Apple Cider Bread. It takes about a cup of Apple Cider so hence its name. It has a nice light sweet taste, but isn't what I would consider a 'sweet bread'. I use it for sandwiches and it adds a nice flavor.

Many, many moons ago, when I had the time and was actually at home more, I baked bread from scratch. I loved to make it and eat it. My Grandmother had given me several recipes for wheat, rye and mixed grains. I used those for years. But as time went on and I started working most days, I didn't have time (or energy) to knead the dough and let it rise so I quit making homemade bread.
Being the cheap (or perhaps to put it in a more positive manner--being the frugal) person I am, I didn't even dream of buying one of the much touted bread machines. Besides I was a bit of a snob about it----I can make bread from scratch after all! Ha So one fateful Fire Department Fundraiser day, I was cruising the tables for the umpteenth time (you do this when you are the one 'watching' the sale for the day and you are bored out of your mind), seeing if perhaps I had overlooked something I couldn't live without. I passed the bread machine, looked at it, passed it again, and again. Finally something snapped and I had to have that machine. It cost $5 whole dollars and looked new.
Now two years later, while I don't use it a whole bunch, I do 'bake bread' much oftener than I was. I have several recipes that I really like, several that I'm still fine tuning and nothing beats the smell of bread baking. The best most absolutely wonderful part is no fuss, no muss. Dump it in the pan, turn it on and later wash out the bread pan. Ta-da. Having a small round hole in and a funny shaped bread is a small price to pay, I think. :-)
Of course 'real' bread from scratch will always be better, just because anytime food takes time and love to prepare it has a better taste. But I think my homemade bread sure rates over store bought and I hope you enjoy this recipe if you are a 'bread maker convert'. The smell is lovely in itself!
Apple Cider Bread
1 1/4 cups Apple Cider
3 cups Bread Flour
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbls Brown Sugar
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
2 tbls butter
Assemble and bake as per your bread machine directions. Bake on white/light bread setting with desired crust.

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