Prep 10 mins
Cook 4 hrs
I used to live near sea level, where I had wonderful success with breadmaker breads. Back then, I'd just estimate the amount of yeast, salt, and sugar, and I'd toss in all sorts of extra ingredients. Once even a bread made with yellow cake mix and some leftover spinach. However, after moving to a mile-high altitude, I had to stop casually adding ingredients. In fact, I couldn't even turn out a decent loaf of white bread. I was about to donate my breadmaker away, when I came across tips for high-altitude baking on the internet. I stayed up late one night reading. Then I started experimenting. My breadmaker is the Welbilt Model #ABM-100. [That's the breadmaker that's shaped like R2D2.] I played around with ingredient amounts until I found a combination that uses regular flour at high-altitude. Now, I've never tried this at OTHER high altitudes ... maybe what works in my altitude/temperature/humidity will fail dismally in another part of the world. And I don't know what would happen if you choose to use bread flour. Here's the basic French bread that works for me. But I haven't dared to add spinach to it.
- Add ingredients to breadmaker in order listed.
- Select French bread setting.
- Push start.
- Four hours later, slice and eat.
- This is best when freshly-sliced; it doesn't seem to keep particularly well. But, if you have teenagers, the question of needing to keep leftovers is irrelevant anyway.
I live at about 8,500 ft above sea level. I have had a terrible time baking bread at this altitude. This recipe worked great. I did not use my bread machine, but kneaded it for about 5-10 minutes and then allowed it to rise for 40 the first time, punched it down and let it rise another 20 minutes. Then I shaped it and let it rise another 20 minutes. Then, I baked it at 375 for 20 minutes. Perfect bread!
I was very excited about using this recipe since my breads have collapsed in my bread machine due to high altitude (4,600 ft.). This recipe was a disaster. To me, there is too much water to flour, it was a puddle in the machine. I left it finish nonetheless and it not only collapsed, but the taste was terrible. Won't be doing this one again.
After many sad attempts in Edmonton AB, (2,201 ft) to use the recipes that were tried and true on the coast, I tried this one. It baked up very nicely and will be my starting point from now on. I started it in my breadmaker for the first two rises, and then let it rise one more time and moved it to the oven at 375 degrees to bake.