Authors: Linda Rehberg
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To our mothers, Estelle and Dulcinea,
who were with us in spirit every step of the way
This book could not have been written without the assistance of Cheri Cotton Ginsberg, our associate baker and taster. She's allergic to yeast, so her efforts went far beyond what was asked of her. Cheri, you are incredible!
Putting our ideas on paper was made possible through the computer knowledge and invaluable assistance of Debbie and Rick Carlson. It was such a relief knowing you were only a phone call away! Mega-thanks to you both.
We are indebted to family members who offered their support and many good friends who tasted and critiqued each loaf we made, often several times over until we got it right! Thank you, Madelyn and Bob Robenhymer, Gary and Rita Gottshalk, Dave and Terri Brown, Sue and Steve Garfin, Gil and Carolyn Andrade, DeDe and Shareen Carlson, Susan Schelkun, Bill and Elise Mungovan, Elliot and Sara, Michael, Eric and Janey, Anita, Morris and Evelyn Schaffran, the wonderfully supportive ladies from the North Clairemont Library, the great cooks and connoisseurs of the Wrangler Square Dance Club, the fantastic faculty and staff of Poway High School, the ever-hungry Cosmo Club regulars, the hardworking real estate agents in the Clairemont Coldwell Banker office, coworkers at Smokenders, who had to put up with our incessant bread discussions, and our favorite tester, Briscoe, the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier.
We're grateful to Lou Ramsey, Max Hagan, and Janet Swanson for their special contributions to this book. By the way, Lynn Dominguez, you started it all! Most of all we wish to thank some very special friends: Margaret Smith, Lorraine Flora, and Irene Billingsleyâa team of coworkers that make each workday a delight. Your enthusiastic support, highly valued opinions, and marvelous senses of humor were an integral part of this project. Our heartfelt appreciation to Marilyn Lauer, who cheered us on from the sidelines. Now that this book is done, Marilyn, we hope you'll bake more than one type of bread in your machine!
Shayna (our “in-house editor”), you were a great help. Even though you're so much smarter than your mom, your gentle spirit prevented you from flaunting it. Thanks, kiddo.
We wish to acknowledge Dr. Nancy Gamble and Lucy Silvay Peluso, both authors, psychologists, and friends who have set an inspiring example through their own successes.
We extend additional expressions of gratitude to two men who helped us through the transition from wishful thinking to reality: Lloyd Billingsley, who gave us sound advice and guidance and a glimpse of the dedication it takes to write full time, and Frank Phillips, a legal consultant extraordinaireâthere should be more attorneys like him!
Bread Machine Magic
would not be a reality without our editor, Barbara Anderson. Her warmth, wit, and superb editing skills contributed greatly to the fulfillment of our dream. When Barbara retired, we were blessed once again with another very caring and competent editorâMarian Lizzi. Marian has patiently seen us through many panicky phone calls and e-mails over the years, and with much good humor, has been our guide through the intricacies of publishing and promoting a cookbook.
Our husbands, Dennis and Jim, deserve applause. They never flinched as we brought home one bread machine after another. They endured inaccessible phone lines and computers, numerous “courier” runs on their way home from work, nonexistent wives at several social events, and freezers crammed full of frozen breads and rolls instead of their marinated steaks. Pack up the RVs, guys; the book is finally done and it's time to go play!
Welcome to the world of bread baking made easy! With an automatic bread machine and 5 minutes of your time, you can create an almost endless variety of delicious, healthful loaves to please your family or shower on friends. You can skip the rolled-up sleeves, clouds of flour, and sticky countertops and go right to the final productâa beautiful, aromatic, incredible-tasting loaf of homemade bread. The 4 or 5 hours once spent tending a rising loaf of bread can now be programmed into the bread machine to suit our busy schedules. Will you be gone all day? No problemÂ â¦ just program your machine to bake that loaf 8 hours from now as you walk through the door. Did you forget to bake a bread for dinner? Nowadays, there are machines that bake breads in 1 hourÂ â¦ about the time it would take you to kick off your shoes, change clothes, and rustle up a meal for the family. But if you want to know the nicest bonus of all, it's waking up any given morning to the delectable, heady aroma of freshly baked bread. It's as though little elves had been busy during the night to leave you a special treat. How can any day go wrong when it starts like that?
Because freshly baked homemade bread has such a wonderful taste and texture, it's the perfect gift when you want to say a simple “thank you” or when you're invited for dinner and don't know what to bring. It's a gift that's always appreciated. We know a real estate agent who bakes a loaf whenever she meets clients for a listing. It's also a delightful way to greet new neighbors. When you have company over, the bread machine creates a special perfume of its own. Nothing says “come on in” faster than the smell of baking bread.
You probably already own a bread machine and are well aware of its many advantages. But, chances are, you picked up this book for the very same reason we were motivated to write it. For all their advantages, most machines come with just a few rather uninspired recipes. That's a major disappointment for those of us who have grand visions of creating an endless variety of healthful whole-grain breads, unusual fruit and vegetable breads, delicious white breads for sandwiches, European ryes and pumpernickels, luscious sweet rolls and coffee cakesâmaybe even a sourdough bread if it isn't too complicated.
With those breads in mind, we tossed out the recipe booklets and set out to create our own masterpieces. What we created, however, were a lot of disasters! We'd never seen so many ugly loaves of bread! How discouraging to discover that “blue ribbon” breads aren't easy to produce, at least for a novice.
We retrieved the recipe booklets and started again from scratch, but we had many questions that went beyond the basic instructions in our bread machine booklets. Since bread machines were still a novelty at that time, and there were no bread machine cookbooks on the market, it was necessary to back up and do a great deal of research on bread-baking techniques to find the answers to all of our questions. We've compiled much of that knowledge and our experiences in the chapter Tips for Baking the Perfect Loaf.
Once we had answers, our next challenge was to adapt all that we had learned to the unique requirements of each of the leading brands of bread machines. That could only be accomplished by purchasing the machines and testing more than one thousand loaves of bread! It's no wonder this book was more than two years in the making! The most trying part of the process was achieving a picture-perfect loaf in several of the machines but seeing it sink in one or two of the others. Our goal was to produce recipes that made consistently acceptable loaves in all the bread machines. We finally realized it was necessary to list the liquid ingredients with an eighth-cup range in order to overcome the idiosyncrasies of each machine. Also, rather than sacrifice a good recipe because one or two of the test loaves failed to meet our standards for height or appearance, we simply made a notation at the beginning of those particular recipes.
As you can imagine, all those loaves of bread needed sampling, too. We enlisted the aid of many valued, opinionated tasters: spouses, children, friends, coworkers, relatives, neighbors, even Lois's dog, Briscoe! Pavlov would have been proud of him. The moment a machine beeped that a loaf was done, Briscoe dashed into the kitchen, screeched to a halt in front of that bread machine, and waited for the first slice, his salivary glands working overtime.
Our cooking backgrounds and food preferences differ dramatically, and this book reflects that broad range of tastes. We both work for Smokenders, although our full-time occupation at the present seems to be bread baking! We have taught numerous bread-baking classes at local gourmet cooking stores. In addition, Linda taught basic cooking skills to both special-education and gifted students. Lois's forte is gourmet cooking. Easily bored, she prefers concocting new recipes. A good part of her weekend is spent in the kitchen creating unique and lavish meals. To Lois, heaven is a slice of crusty French bread topped with sun-dried tomatoes, minced garlic, fresh basil, and some crumbled goat cheese. Linda, on the other hand, is more the down-home, slapdash type of cook. She loves the recipes of her childhood, but if any recipe has more than 6 ingredients, forget it. Cooking at home is done on the run. A BLT on toasted sourdough with home-grown tomatoes is more her version of nirvana.
We are both convinced that in years to come, the automatic bread machine will be found on most kitchen counters. It meets two very modern needs: it's an appliance that is quick and easy to use and it enables us to put healthier, whole-grain and preservative-free breads on our tables.
This cookbook contains more than 130 fabulous new recipes for your bread machine. We know many of them will become family favorites that you'll find yourself baking time and again. Though the recipes for dinner rolls, coffee cakes, and specialty breads require more time and effort, we hope you won't overlook them. We believe many of the best recipes in the book are in those chapters. You'll find most of them take less than an additional 20 minutes to create. Even if you don't consider yourself a baker, we urge you to give them a try. If you've never made homemade cinnamon rolls or pita bread, you're in for a real treat!
Bread Machine Magic
in hand, we feel you, too, can strike out on your own, adapting or creating just about any bread recipe you desire. In the next chapter, we discuss the basic ingredients and provide more detailed information on the limitations and capabilities of this marvelous new appliance.
We've had great fun concocting recipes for so many types of breadsâeven the failures tasted yummy! Now it's your turn. May your days of bread machine baking be filled with miracles and magic!
Tips for Baking the Perfect Loaf