Thursday, 26 April 2007

Everyday Bread

I have been mad about baking bread for the past week. This is already my third loaf this week! The bread maker has really transformed bread making into something so simple that I can't help but keep trying out new recipes. Even my boys couldn't understand why I have been making bread, bread, and bread! My elder boy questioned why I have to make bread since we can get it easily everywhere. I had to come up with some lame excuse that store-bought bread contains additives which is no good for health...I find the excuse quite lame as I have been eating these kind of bread since young ;) Anyway, he seems to buy that idea and didn't question anymore.

As I am still in my quest to search for an everyday bread, I tried this Farmhouse White Loaf recipe from the book "The Bread Book" by Sara Lewis. This is a really simple recipe which anyone can make. However, I didn't follow the recipe exactly, thanks to the bread machine, I am now very adventurous when it comes to bread making! I replaced water with fresh milk, and replaced 30g of bread flour with cake flour. I read from floggers that cake flour will give a softer texture, while the use of milk will give a tender crumb.

I shaped the loaf by following the instructions given in the same cookbook. This is done by rolling the dough into a rope and then tuck in the ends underneath the dough before placing it in a loaf pan. My loaf pan appeared to be slightly bigger than the 1 lb loaf size, as such, the dough didn't really rise fully up to the brim after the second proofing.

Nevertheless, the loaf still puffed up well above the loaf pan when it was done. I didn't use any egg wash on the surface, as I prefer the loaf to have a matte look...anyway it is also not called for in the recipe. Next time I may sprinkle some flour on top before give it a more rustic, country-style look.

The crust made the finished loaf appear rather like a baguette, but it didn't taste anything like a french bread. The crust is rather thin, and the bread was easy to slice.

The texture was light and fluffy. I tasted one plain slice and it reminded me of the usual sandwich bread we have for breakfast. The bread did not taste "yeasty" or sourish.

I had them toasted and served warm with my favourite blueberry jam. Very Yummy! This recipe is going to be a keeper, well, at least for the time being, before I chance on another everyday bread ;p


270g bread flour
30g cake flour
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
170ml milk
1 tablespoon (about 14g) butter

  1. Assemble the pan and kneader blade in the bread machine. Add in milk and butter, followed by sugar and salt. Spoon in the flour and make a slight indentation in the centre of the flour. Add the yeast in the indentation.
  2. Shut the lid and set to the "Dough" function. The machine will do the mixing, kneading and proofing within 1 hr 30mins (The setting and timing vary among different brands of bread machine).
  3. At the end of the programme, remove the dough from the pan. The dough should have doubled in size.
  4. Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and and punch to deflate it.
  5. Roll the dough back and forth with your palms to form a rope. Fold the ends of the dough under so that it is even width and the exact length of the tin. Lightly grease the pan (not necessary if it is a non-grease pan) and lay the dough in it.
  6. Cover with cling wrap and let it proof for another 30 mins, or until double in bulk.
  7. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degC for 25 ~ 30mins. The bread should be well risen, golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Cool on wire rack before slicing.


  1. I love your toaster!! lolz...and the bread looks so soft and delicate. Way to go, SH!! =)

  2. Hi, your breads are great, more so for a first timer! Thanks for sharing your recipes.I am also looking for a bread maker, what brand did u get, and are u happy with it?
    Thanks from Ipoh,

  3. Hi Jace, I like my toaster too! It comes in this sunshine yellow, which will brighten up anyones kitchen...furthermore, the slots are wider for toasting thicker slices :)

    Hi Siddhu, thanks for dropping by! I bought my breadmaker (Bluesky) from carrfour, I think it's the house brand. It's only S$69.90, cheap and good, and comes with all the functions similar to other brands. So far it is working fine.

  4. Hi, I've just bought a new breadmaker but I've never baked bread before. Will I achieve such good results as yours if I used the breadmaker to bake the bread automatically instead of baking in my oven? The bread recipes in your blog look so good I cant wait to try all but I thought I'd better start with something basic, tried and tested first.

  5. Hi MamaPanda, yes, you should try a simple recipe for your very first loaf using your bread machine. I am quite sure this loaf should turn out well if you use the full cycle of your bread machine. Otherwise, you can follow the recipes which are usually included in the instruction manual. However, do Read the manual carefully, taking care to follow the sequence of placing the ingredients into the bread pan. do also note the type of yeast that you will be using. For bread machine, based on my own experience, it is easiest to use Instant Yeast, which can be sprinkled onto the flour. Do take note of the temperature of the liquid. Some recipes will ask for warm/tepid water, whereas for my case, I usually leave the liquid (milk, water, egg) under room temperature before using. Too cold the liquid, the yeast may not activate, while too hot, it will kill the yeast. Hope these help. Do drop me a note after you have made your first loaf. Happy baking :)

  6. The bread you baked is so adorable!

    I have never made bread before I got my first bread machine 1 week ago. That bread machine is inexpensive but the reviews on Amazon are quite positive and it seems to be an Ok bread machine.

    But every bread I have made so far has very thick and tough crust on the sides and bottom. I have always measured ingredients and followed instructions carefully. Can you tell me where I might have done wrong? Or bread machine always produces breads this way?

    Many thanks!

  7. Does anyone have contact information for Bluesky? I have a bread machine but the manual is in French. I would prefer an English manual.

  8. Hi,

    Would like to try your recipe but a few questions.

    Can I use it to full cycle on my bread machine ?

    Btw,what's how do you punch and deflate it.

    Was quite curious why dont you let the machine bake instead of taking out and put in an oven again ?

    Thanks !


  9. Hi Ling, yes u can use the full cycle to bake the bread.
    The reason I don't use the full cycle is that sometimes I want to shape the bread into buns, or add fillings, or use my pullman tin to get a square loaf. The other thing is, my bread machine tend to give a harder crust after baking...especially the bottom, nearer to the heating element.

    To punch and deflate the dough, just put your fist into the dough to release the trapped air. You can also transfer the dough to a floured surface, and knead it to press out the air. Hope this helps.

  10. Hi,

    Thanks for your prompt reply !

    Everytime I make bread, my children doesnt seems to like it cos it gets harden after a day.
    Your blog makes me wants to take out my breadmachine again to give it a try.Another method I saw from another blogger is using tangzhong, wonder you tried it.

    But if yours is soft, I think your method is worth a try.

    Regarding the punching of dough, how long do you normally take before transerring to the tin.

    Thanks !


  11. Hi Ling, I have not tried tangzhong. Yes, homemade bread will not keep well as there's no additives used. I keep my homemade bread in air tight container. I will warm or toast it in the oven before serving. It tasted as good as fresh out from oven.
    I'm sorry I am not sure what you meant by how long to transfer the dough? You will only need to give it a light knead for 1 to 2 mins after punching it down. Maybe you can take a look at this site, it has got lots of information on bread making. Hope u will find it useful.

  12. Hi Ling, I have not tried tangzhong. Yes, homemade bread will not keep well as there's no additives used. I keep my homemade bread in air tight container. I will warm or toast it in the oven before serving. It tasted as good as fresh out from oven.
    I'm sorry I am not sure what you meant by how long to transfer the dough? You will only need to give it a light knead for 1 to 2 mins after punching it down. Maybe you can take a look at this site, it has got lots of information on bread making. Hope u will find it useful.

  13. evil and demented little cooker girl1/4/09 6:44 a.m.

    hi!it seems that i really want to try all your rec... hi!
    it seems that i really want to try all your recipes here, especially the breads. but i don't have a bread maker. but a dirty kitchen and mixer. what can i do?
    is it the same thing but longer processing time right?

  14. Hi Little Cooker Girl, You do not need a bread machine to make bread. You can refer to my post on 'Matcha Red Bean Loaf' where I have posted the instructions to make bread by hand. I have also made the 'Sweet Buns' by hand. Hope you will find it useful. You can also refer to sites such as for details on bread making.

  15. Hi, Is there a difference between instant yeast and dried yeast? are they substitutable? Thanks

  16. Hi Joy, yes there is a difference, you can read about the differences and how to substitute here: ( There).

  17. Hi HHB,

    I made this bread last nite. It was good out of the oven.
    But i noticed that when i was mixing the dough in the bread machine, it was very dry. It didnt come together to form into a soft dough. I had to add another 60ml of water.
    I measured everything accurately though. Wondering what happen??


  18. Hi SL, To add in additional 60ml of water is really alot. I am not sure what went wrong, maybe it is the flour you used? Certain types of flour tend to absorb more water.

  19. Hi HHB,
    Not sure. some recipe i followed from other blogs is ok. i dont have to add additional water. some its so wet. some too dry.. maybe i will try to make it again this weekend.
    Btw, i tried your almost sq recipe too and its really good. I didnt have to add in extra liquid.


  20. Dear happy home baker,

    I have been using my Bluesky bread maker but I can't seem to get the same results as you. I followed the recipes from the instruction menu, but my bread comes out hard and dry. Sometimes parts of the inside of the bread is sticky, almost like a cake. I don't know what's wrong. I follow the recipe very carefully so I'm at loss. What's your secret? Also, how do you adapt other recipes to your bread maker?

  21. Hi Fivedollar

    I am not sure what went wrong? but could it be due to the yeast that you are is not working well? Did the dough proof well, ie double in bulk?
    Or, could it be due to the sequence of adding in the ingredients...did you add in liquid before the dry ones? I don't adapt bread recipes...I usually follow the exact recipe and use my bread maker just to knead the dough, I prefer to shape the dough and then bake the bread using my oven.

  22. Hi happy home maker,

    I don't have an oven at home so I have to rely on the bread maker to do everything.

    I follow the sequence as you said: liquid followed by dry stuff. And I create an indentation and add the yeast. I use an instant yeast. Is it ok for the bread machine?

    Your bread looks so delicious. I wish mine is like that too. I am going to try your bread-maker only recipes and see if they work.

    By the way, I'm missing your blog. You have stopped blogging as often, which is a pity because I really enjoy your blog. I visit it almost every day to read about your adventures in the kitchen.

    Please keep blogging!

  23. Hi Fivedollar, I use Instant yeast too. Maybe it is the problem of the recipe? I have tried other recipes beside those printed in the instruction manual? I have not tried any of them from the manual.
    You can try this recipe "Crunchy Peanut Butter Bread" which I have posted in this blog. A number of readers have tried it and have gave very positive comments. You can also try this other recipe "Milk Loaf", although I baked it with my oven, I am sure you can try it with the bread machine. Just select the smallest loaf size and the lightest crust.
    Thanks so much for your kind support, due to some constraints at home, I am not able to bake or blog as much as I like. I will try to update my blog as soon as possible.

  24. Hi Happy homebaker, thanks for your suggestion. I will try out the Crunchy Peanut recipe this week! I have tried your Milk Loaf before. It turned out better than my other bread.

    I'll like you know how it turns out. Hope to read about your baking fun soon!


  25. Hi I love your blog! I have 2 questions and hope the creator of this blog (or someone else if they know the answers is welcome to do so too which I would appreiacte very much!)I would like to know what caster sugar is amd also your everday bread recipe has the ingredients is grams vs cups/teaspoons etc Can you please in the future give both kinds of measurements as well as give me the equivelents of the amounts given for this recipe? I dont know what grams are in terms of cooking the US we use the measurements I spoke about...cups/tspoons/tablespoons etc. Thanks! I will be frequenting your site!

  26. Hi Lisa G
    Caster) sugar is granulated white sugar that has very fine granules. You can read about the different types of sugar here:

    I am afraid I won't be able to provide both sets of measurements as I use a measuring scale to measure out the ingredients instead of using cups. However, you can refer to this site ( for converting measurements from grams to cups/teaspoons/tablespoons. Hope this helps :)

  27. Hhb any idea how to dismantle the kneader blade from the bread pan?

    I made bread yesterday think the dough may have been too dry, end up the blade stopped moving and now it 'hanged'. Its not moving at all.

    Tried starting the machine many times but yet the blade does not move.

  28. Hi dew, not sure which type of bread maker you are using? I didn't encounter such problem. Are you able to remove the bread pan from the machine? Maybe you can try soaking the pan with water to loosen the kneader blade?

  29. Hi, i just bought a blue sky bread maker and apparently it was only a display product. I don't know exactly what you said about the kneading blade because what inside the pan of my bread maker is just a single steel stick around 1-2 cm high in the centre of the pan. Can you help me posting what is inside the pan of your blue sky bread maker or can you send me via email ( the photograph of what inside the pan and the kneading blade it self as i'm gonna return the machine if my bread maker didn't have the blade. Thank you very much for your help and i appreciate it so much.

  30. Hi StarViolet, I am sorry my bread machine broke down since last year. I do not have a picture of the bread pan. The kneading blade is a detachable piece which is suppose to attach to the 'steel stick'. You can refer to this site ( it looks something like one shown in the picture.

  31. hey happy homebaker.... u r doing a really nice job.. i m luving this site of urs.. these recipes are amazing... could u plz tell the quantity of bread flour & cake flour in cups..
    thnx alot..

    Elusive Spirit

  32. Hi Elusive Spirit, here's a rough conversion:
    - 270g bread flour + 30g cake flour, makes around 2 cups of flour, 30g of cake flour is around 4 tbsp.
    You can first measure 2 cups of bread flour, remove 4 tbsp and replace it with 4 tbsp of cake flour. Hope this helps :)

  33. Hi HHB,

    Can I follow the same step as Matcha Red Bean Loaf when kneading by hand? Is it ok to replace cake flour with plain flour? Thanks,


  34. Hi Huixian, yes, u can use the same step. It is ok to replace with plain flour since the amount is not much. Happy baking!

  35. Hi, HHB. I loved yr blog especially yr homemade bread. Because of you, i jz bought my bread maker.�� i tried this by using full cycle basic function, light crust. My bread crust came out quite hard, should i using sweet function? Thanks.

  36. Hi sun sun, thanks for reading my blog :)
    You can try sweet function, and set to light crust. The problem with bread machine is, the crust usually turns out hard. If you own an oven you may want to use it to bake the bread loaf instead.

  37. I unfortunately had the same problem as some of the other floggers here. My dough was a bit dry with the specified ingredients and improved marginally with abt 20 mls of water. Tried to rest the dough for 1/2 hr and manually knead, but it did not get passed the gluten window test. It proofed beautifully and rose to the top of the pan. The baked product was very nice tasting but a little dense. Perhaps some water or egg will do the trick?


  38. Hi PC, i think it is best to stick to the ingredients amount especially for bread making. Maybe you can try other bread recipes if this doesn't work.