I have never been one to really putter around the kitchen. I do love cooking and baking, but my favourite recipes are usually quick and relatively simple. Even baking cookies (sheet after sheet), or anything that really takes a long period of my attention or precision is not my thing at the moment. To quote one of my favorite cookbook authors "I like minimum effort with maximum results".
I remember when my friend Helen introduced me to this recipe, a few years ago. I felt like my life changed that day. In a good way. It is the easiest way to make bread that I have ever encountered, and so delicious. If that wasn't convenient enough, I have discovered the most wonderful bread machine this past year and in a house full of carb loving boys it is a wonderful thing. It took me awhile to make the final decision to purchase because I have been trying to limit the number of gadgets and appliances in my kitchen.
But this one was definitely worth the price and the counter space. Let me introduce you to my Breville Custom Loaf Breadmaker. It is beyond amazing. It makes bread very unlike other bread machine bread I have tasted. There is a setting for crusty bread which produces a much more crusty, authentic bakery loaf similar to a french stick or italian bread.
It has a dispenser for add in's, such as olives, feta, sundried tomatoes, nuts or dried fruits.
And best of all, it has a timer which I can set the night before and wake up to this...
One of my favorite recipes for bread from Soulemama, can be found here. I usually play with the amounts of cinammon or other spices here and there, and it always works out perfectly. We love it slathered with butter and strawberry jam as an afternoon snack.
I know this will never take the place of the wonderful process of kneading and baking home made bread. But for a busy mama, this really makes me feel happy about what I am putting on the table.