We got a bread machine for Christmas. It took about a week before we got around to setting it up because we needed to clear some space in our small kitchen but now it’s in place it gets plenty of use. If we decide we want some fresh bread for lunch, we can start it off first thing in the morning and just let it do its job.

Our regular Saturday night home-made pizza is also a lot easier because the bread maker has a pizza dough setting. Following the instructions makes enough dough for 2 decent sized pizzas.

I thought I would have a go at making a sourdough bread. I used the quantities given for the 50% Rye bread. The day before, I mixed the pre-ferment by taking half the flour, the full quantity of water and most of my jar of sourdough starter. I used the ‘dough only’ pizza setting to mix it. Before going to bed I added the salt and the rest of the flour, then used the pizza dough programme again to mix it. In the morning I started the baking programme, so we could have fresh bread for lunch.

Since this was a first attempt, and I didn’t look on-line to see how anyone else might have done it, I didn’t know how well it would work.

The end result was dense and chewy, which is fairly normal for sourdough. It tasted good and toasted really well. Next time I would probably add less flour to the pre-ferment, because the mix was quite sticky and the machine needed a bit of help incorporating all the second batch of flour.

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