Zojirushi bread machine bonanza, plus DAK Turbo Baker II owner’s manual

I had another bit of great luck about a month ago. At a veteran’s group garage sale, I found a Zojirushi BBCC-N15 breadmaker for $10. Zojirushi products are awesome and their bread machines are Cadillacs of the appliances. Even an older model like this was something I’d never turn down for that price. Even if it hadn’t powered on, I could have parted it out and still turned a great profit. However, it DID power on and it bakes a mean loaf of bread.

Some day, I’d love to get the double-paddled Zojirushi BB-CEC20WB Home Bakery Supreme, but I like my latest find a lot…And I only paid $10. 🙂

On the subject of bread machines, I’ve had several people ask if I have the manual for the DAK Turbo Baker II (FAB-200) bread machine I wrote about a while back. It so happened I had the printout, but couldn’t find my original file. However, I did a little sleuthing (gotta love the Goog) and hunted it down so I could offer it for my readers here.

DAK Turbo Baker II FAB-200-User’s Manual

Let me know if you have any questions!

Italian herb bread, kneaded by hand this time

The fallen loafTomorrow’s our annual Beast Feast with our friends. For the uninitiated, that’s our annual dinner and gift exchange with our best friends and their kids. We make a big turkey dinner with all the trimmings, and they bring dessert.

So, today and this evening have been prep time. I have the brine ready for the turkey to go into and am getting as much done ahead of time as possible since we have a breakfast with friends in the morning.

Considering my track record with the bread machine and the Italian Herb Bread recipe in my Oster 5838 manual, it was with some trepidation that I began my breadmaking when Howie asked me to make that loaf for tomorrow.

So, I decided to try the recipe again, but to make it by hand this time. A friend told me the garlic might have interacted with the yeast and to try adding it later, so that’s what I did (more about that later).

Here’s ingredients again:

Italian Herb Bread
Adapted from Oster 5838 ExpressBake bread machine user manual

1 1/4 cups water
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons dried onion flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons active dry yeast

I more or less followed the kneading and other instructions on a forum post I found while searching for French bread recipes.

Step 1: In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast into the warm water. Let it stand until bubbly- five minutes.

Step 2: Add 1&1/2 C of the flour, and 1 t salt, and beat it by hand for a few minutes. Slowly add in the remaining flour until a soft dough forms.

Step 3: Flour the countertop and knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is springy and elastic.

Step 4: Place the dough into a greased bowl. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise until it doubles in size. This should take between 1 and 2 hours.

Step 5: Using the floured countertop, punch the dough down. Then roll it out to a 12″ by 6″ rectangle.

Step 6: Using the 12″ side, roll the dough up very tightly. Pinch the edges so that there are no gaps and gently roll the bread on the countertop so that it lengthens slightly and it is thicker at the center than on the sides.

Step 7: Sprinkle a cookie sheet with cornmeal. Put the loaf of bread onto the pan seam side down.
Step 8: Cover it and let it rise again until doubled in size. This will take about an hour.

Step 9: Gently slit the top of the bread loaf with a knife in three places.

Step 10: Bake the bread for 425 degrees for 20-30 minutes. The bread will be golden brown and will sound hollow if you tap it. Remove the bread from the cookie sheet and let cool slightly before serving.

The dough ball after it had doubled in size.I didn’t do it quite right at first. I put active dry yeast into tepid water while I measured out all the other stuff, put it all in my big bowl and stirred it with a wooden spoon until it was kind of sticking together. Then, I unceremoniously dumped the whole lot onto the lightly floured tabletop and began kneading it. I added a sprinkle of water every now and then until the dough ball began to feel more elastic and silky.

Italian herb bread before second rise.I put it in the bowl to rise, but it didn’t seem to be doing anything. I kneaded it just a little more, just for the heck of it, put it back in the bowl and covered it. I had an MRI today, so I left it rising while I was gone.

When I got home, the dough ball had done just what it was supposed to do: It had doubled in size. Yeah!

After its final rise, before baking.So, I punched it down as best I could figure since it was my first time doing so. Since I don’t have a rolling pin  (wish list!), I sort of smushed the dough outward using my fingers like you would with pizza dough. Just guessing there. I sprinkled the garlic flakes on the dough then and rolled it up into the loaf as instructed. Then, I  put it on my pizza stone atop some cornmeal and let it rise in the unheated oven, covered with a kitchen towel, for an hour. It’s fun seeing how the dough grows! I’m a kid at heart.

Okay, a drumroll please…Here is the finished loaf! Not bad looking for a first attempt at hand-kneading and all. 🙂

Finished Italian herb loaf!

I’m glad I looked when I did, because it was getting pretty brown. It is softer-crusted than the loaves I made in the bread machine, though, even though they had the same ingredients. We won’t be eating it until tomorrow, but I think should taste good since the loaves I made in the bread machine both did…Even if they did look pretty funky!

Gruesome breads

It’s no secret that some of the world’s most colorful pop culture phenomena hail from Asia. This man’s hobby is no exception. These gruesome bread creations of severed body parts just might turn me off of baking.

Nah. But they’re still really gross. In deference to those with weak stomachs, I won’t include a thumbnails of the “loaves” themselves. Just click through if you’re curious: Thai Artist Shares Little Slices of Life (how’s that for a title?).

Applesauce Whole Wheat Bread

I got this recipe from a Google search that led to fooddownunder.com, a website that’s no longer in existence. Fortunately, Google had a cached copy, so I copied it!

Applesauce Whole Wheat Bread
For the bread machine.

1 1/2 cup Applesauce
1 1/4 cup All-purpose flour
1 cup Whole wheat flour
1/2 cup Oatmeal (grind to coarse flour first)
1/4 cup Wheat Germ
1/4 cup Oat bran
2 tsp Gluten
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ginger (optional)
1 tsp Salt
1 1/2 tsp Yeast

The combination of oatmeal, wheat germ and applesauce is deadly!

Add the solid and liquid ingredients and the yeast in order according to the machine’s manufacturer*. Be on hand to observe the first mixing cycle and add flour or water as needed as the moisture content of applesauce varies dramatically from batch to batch. Because of the applesauce this bread needs no sugar or butter/oil.

*Most bread machines call for you to first add the liquid ingredients, then your dry ingredients, and wait until last to add the yeast. My Oster 5838 breadmaker’s instruction book says not to let the yeast come in contact with the liquid ingredients. I’d imagine most of them are the same way. If in doubt, search for your brand and model and you may find the manual available in PDF format online like I found mine.

I like that this recipe doesn’t call for any fats like butter or oil. I use olive oil in my bread, but cutting out the fat sounds like a winner to me. Plus the applesauce ought to make it a sweeter wheat bread. Sweet is good in my book!

Okay, now for my tweaks to this recipe. I didn’t have any oat bran, so I substituted Kellogg’s All Bran cereal that I ground into a coarse flour like I did the oatmeal. I know it’s not the same, but you make do sometimes! Additionally, I used KAF white whole wheat exclusively rather than using part all-purpose flour. Lastly, I opted for fresh grated ginger since I keep a tuber of it my freezer.

You’ll definitely want to keep an eye on the dough ball as it mixes and goes through its first knead. I had to add a little flour because the dough was too sticky.

I used my Pampered Chef Food Chopper to grind up the oats and cereal. I’d really like a small food processor like this kind. That and a cheap blade coffee grinder just to use for grinding herbs.

I’m going to have to replace my big food processor before too long; the bowl has a crack in it and the chopping blade housing has some cracks forming, too. I tell ya, these small appliances are a not just conveniences, but a godsend and I use them! Since I have tendinitis in my hands and wrists, doing a lot of prep work by hand can cause flare-ups. The food chopper works well, but pounding on the thing isn’t something I need to be doing.

Okay, so back to the bread! It’s still in my bread machine, now in its second kneading cycle. I’ll update this post with the results. If it’s good, I’ll take it to home group tonight to share.

UPDATE: The bread turned out well. Owing to the sugar in the applesauce and my decision to use the medium crust setting, it browned more than other breads I’ve made; however, the crust wasn’t overly crusty and the bread is still tender inside. You can taste the apple, but it’s not overpowering. The white whole wheat gives it a wheat taste, but a mild one. Howie and I both like it, so I’ll make it again. I never got a photo of it – next time I make it, I will.

I ended up going to bed instead of home group because I had a terrible headache. After 3 hours’ sleep, my head felt better. I awoke to find Howie bringing home a care package from group – a bag with some mini chocolate eclairs and mini banana muffins. Oh, my! If you must have a headache, having some love sent in the form of sweet treats helps. 🙂

Italian herb bread for bread machine

I made this for our Thanksgiving dinner and it was delicious. I realized after the bread was mid way through its cycle in the machine that I needed to move the machine so we could sit down at the table for dinner. Thing is, with bread machines, you can’t interrupt them if they’re past the very first mixing phase or they reset. I had the turkey in the oven, so finishing the loaf in the oven wasn’t an option.
So, I left the machine plugged in and gingerly moved it over to an inverted Rubbermaid tub used as a makeshift table. But, alas, the machine was bumped while it was baking! My beautiful, gently rounded loaf ended up rather deflated. Cue  waahhhh-wahhhhhhh trumpet sound.
Still, it was tasty served hot with butter melting into it! Aside from this little snafu, I’ve found this little Oster 5838 bread machine works great with every recipe I’ve tried in it. I just love it.

Italian-herb-bread01

My smarty-pants family had fun speculating about what happened to cause this flop. They also came up with alternative uses for the loaf. After I turned it cut-side-down after slicing off some warm pieces, mom said I could put a nativity scene in it since it so closely resembled a creche. Everyone’s a critic.

Italian-herb-bread02

I thought the sliced loaf would make any dolly an attractive and delicious, edible chair. Look at that nice texture inside, too.

Italian-herb-bread03

I hope tonight’s loaf turns out a little perkier. But, if it doesn’t, we know it’s still great-tasting bread. This recipe includes instructions for use with my bread machine, but it applies to any bread machine that has a French bread cycle.

Italian Herb Bread
Adapted from Oster 5838 ExpressBake bread machine user manual

1 1/4 cups water
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons dried onion flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons active dry yeast

1) Measure and add liquid ingredients to the bread pan.

2) Measure and add dry ingredients (except yeast) to the bread pan.

3) Use your finger to form a well (hole) in the flour where you will pour the
yeast. The yeast must NEVER come into contact with a liquid
when you are adding ingredients. Measure the yeast and carefully pour it into the well.

4) Snap the baking pan into the breadmaker and close the lid.

5) Press “Select” button to choose the French setting.

6) Press the “Crust Color” button to choose light. medium or dark crust.

7) Press the “Start/Stop” button. Cycle takes 3 hours, 45 minutes total.

Boy does that garlic smell good! A few tips about bread machine recipes…

This first tip applies to measuring flour, regardless of what you’re making. When measuring flour, don’t scoop with the cup you’re using to measure! Aerate the flour a little in its container (fluff it up) and use a spoon or scoop to sprinkle flour into your measuring cup until it is heaped above the top of the measuring cup. Then, take a straight edge and scrape the top level. If you don’t do this, you can have as much as a tablespoon too much flour per cup, which impacts how your recipe turns out. Been there, done that!

With this recipe, if you don’t have all the herbs, improvise. For instance, I didn’t have any onion flakes, so I used about 2 teaspoons of garlic flakes and omitted the garlic powder. It’s really a to-taste kind of thing when it comes to spices, anyway so no biggie.

As I mentioned, my first attempt at this loaf tasted good, but wasn’t exactly your picture perfect loaf. Make sure you don’t bump your bread machine while the dough is rising and baking.

Update: Well, this loaf turned out worse than the first one! This one could be a Barbie bathtub…

Bread bathtub for Barbie?

And placed cut-side-down, it’s even more cavelike than the original loaf. This one has a doorway. Hey, it could be Jesus’ empty tomb. Maybe I can re-create it for Easter. 😉

The empty bread tomb

But you know what? This bread still tasted great, even if it is an ugly loaf! When I peeked in during its cycle, I could tell the dough had been too wet. It was too late to do anything about it, though, since the knead cycles were already finished. If I’d caught it in time, I could have sprinkled in a little flour so the dough ball would have been a little more firm. Live and learn!

Review: Progressive International measuring cups and spoons

A few weeks ago I was browsing the kitchen stuff on Amazon and saw this Progressive International 19-Piece Measuring Set and snatched it right up. As regular readers know, I enjoy cooking and have recently begun baking bread at home, too. I’ve been using this set several times a week since they arrived and I am so glad I got them!

What’s unique about this set is, it’s not just the standard dry measures you see in typical sets of measuring cups. Oh, no, kids —  This one has handy oddball measures, too! Check them out:

Measures included

Spoons Cups  
1/32 tsp - Smidgen (.15 ml) 1/8 cup (30 ml)  
1/16 tsp - Pinch (.3 ml) 1/4 cup (60 ml)  
1/8 tsp - Dash (.6 ml) 1/3 cup (80 ml)  
1/4 tsp (1.25 ml) 1/2 cup (120 ml)  
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) 2/3 cup (160 ml)  
1 tsp (5 ml) 3/4 cup (180 ml)  
1/2 Tbsp (7.5 ml) 1 cup (240 ml)  
2 tsp (10 ml) 1 1/2 cups (360 ml)  
1 Tbsp (15 ml) 1 3/4 cups (420 ml)  
  2 cups (480 ml)  

The entire set is made out of a tough, hard plastic.  Yay, no rust and no weird oxidation and powder on aluminum. They wash up great in the dishwasher. And did I mention they’re in The Ohio State University colors – scarlet and gray –  plus white? This matters more to Howie than it does me, but I’m just sayin’.

Wide range of sizes

Those odd-sized measuring cups are proving very handy to me as I measure stuff out for baking. With my little kitchen, space is at a premium and I try to keep my work area as neat as possible as I measure out my various ingredients. A lot of my bread recipes seem to take 3 1/2  cups of flour. I love how I can measure that out in two steps using one 2-cup measure and one 1 1/2 cup measure. It makes the job go faster.

The form factor

Not only that, but the cups are broad and shallow, making all but the 1/8 cup measure stays upright when put on the counter. I find myself using the cups as ramekins for my yeast, spices, and other ingredients. Anything that does double-duty like that is a winner in my book. The cups also nest very well, nice for storage.

Unlike the cups, the spoons lean toward being deep. If you’ve used old-style, nearly-flat metal measuring spoons, you know deep spoons work a lot better for both liquid and dry measuring. I keep the spoons hanging by their loop inside my cupboard door. Speaking of the loops, these snap together with a simple reclosable clasp. It makes the spoons a snap to separate from one another.
Stamped, not printed

Another thing I like about this set is, the labels are molded into the handles rather than just printed on them. Additionally, as you can see in my table, the measurements are expressed in both fractions of cups and milliliters. They’re accurate enough for everything I’ve made using them; every recipe I’ve made has come out great.

The only thing they’re not good for. Heh.

I did figure out that these are not good for melting butter. It was actually my fault since I let the microwave go for too long and that butter got really hot. The cup is fine, but you can see where the hot butter was in it. I know to use glass receptacles for melting butter in the future!

The lowdown

Anyway, if you want a really versatile measuring set for your kitchen, these are a great bet. They’re a super value for the price. When you buy your own, grab a set or two for giving as gifts. They’ll make great Christmas gifts, but would really rock as part of a wedding present or for anyone just setting out on his or her own for the first time. They’ll last a lifetime. I’d buy them again in a heartbeat!