I live at the 3000'' level on top of a mountain in South Carolina and baking bread at this elevation introduces a lot of problems to the bread baker. I had been having a love/hate relationship with bread baking since we moved to this location, so I wanted to see if the bread...
I live at the 3000'' level on top of a mountain in South Carolina and baking bread at this elevation introduces a lot of problems to the bread baker. I had been having a love/hate relationship with bread baking since we moved to this location, so I wanted to see if the bread machine could bake a better loaf. This is the first bread machine I have ever owned, so I had nothing to fall back on. I used the hundreds of reviews to help make the decision on the Cusinart CBK-200 and I was not disappointed. I''ve baked several loaves since receiving the CBK-200 a few day ago and wanted to let others know about my experience.
The instructions in the manual are very clear and easy to follow. For the first loaf, I followed the directions to the letter for the 2lb, medium crust, White Oatmeal Bread on page 2 of the Instruction Manual. I wanted to remove the paddle before baking, so, after I pressed Start, I set the oven timer for 1:25 (elapsed time before the 3rd rise). After 15 minutes into the first rise, I pressed Pause, opened the lid and used a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the pan, then pressed Start. When the oven timer went off, the audible tone (explained on page 9) went off (not loud enough) and I pressed Pause (the manual instructs to use oven mitts to remove the pan, but I found that was not necessary, also, you have 15 minutes to remove the paddle before the machine continues), removed the pan, removed the dough ball and removed the paddle, rolled the dough back into a ball and inserted into the pan then reinserted the pan back into the machine and pressed Start. NOTE: The dough at this stage seemed too dry and too hard to me and I made a mental note to add more liquid to the next loaf. The machine continued through the 3rd rise and Bake cycles and issued the Baking Cycle Complete beeps. I pressed Stop (press and hold the Stop/Pause for 3 seconds) otherwise the machine will go into a Warming cycle.
Opened the lid, and with a kitchen towel, removed the pan by the handle and placed on the counter (pan will be very hot) to cool. The top of the loaf was light brown. After 15 minutes, turned the pan upside down and shook out the loaf onto a cooling rack.The sides and bottom of the loaf were dark brown and very crusty. After cooling. I sliced the loaf (see photo''s), and the crumb was a little hard, but acceptable.
The taste of the bread was a little floury and not sweet enough for me.
After making a few tweaks to the recipe, I tried another stab at the Oatmeal Bread, and this time the results were almost perfect. There was greater rise than the first loaf, the crust was the same as the first loaf and the crumb was soft. The taste was not floury and quite good.
My tweaks were to add an extra tablespoon of Buttermilk, and an extra tablespoon of Maple Syrup.
I have since made another loaf of the same bread with an additional tablespoon of sugar and it tasted absolutely wonderful.
In closing, even with my brief experience, I highly recommend this bread machine. With a little experimenting, I firmly believe that anyone can produce a loaf of bread that will satisfy any palate.