Apropos of nothing, here is my recipe for bread that I use with my Panasonic SD254 bread maker.

Put the yeast in first and cover with the flour. Then bung all the other ingredients on top, making sure that the water can’t get to the yeast. I use the measuring spoon I got with the bread maker to measure out the quantities, except for the water, where I use the scales and measure out 315g of water.

Yeast likes a slightly acidic environment, which is why some people add ascorbic acid. I find that acetic acid (vinegar) works as well, making the bread springier but not affecting the taste. The other additive – ginger, helps keep the bread fresh.

Other handy hints: cheapo flour is about 1/2 the price of the good stuff, but never works as well, producing heavy, stodgy bread. As long as you don’t use too much, adding a certain amount of cheap flour to the good stuff doesn’t have any discernible affect but saves a few pennies every day. I find 300/175 good to cheap works well.

It’s best to give the bread at least an hour to cool and dry out slightly before hacking inexpertly at it with the bread knife. If you can’t wait that long, you can make cutting over-fresh bread easier by cleaning the blade of the knife every other slice and keeping it nice and sharp. Electric knives are not worth the money unless you’ve got something wrong with your wrist.

That’s it. Here is a picture of one of the many failures that I created before I got this recipe right.