We have been baking bread with a bread machine for some time. My wife bakes a very nice sandwich-style loaf using a recipe adapted from one given to us by a friend. I found I still craved the occasional loaf of crusty, country-style bread. Itís a type of bread we donít know how to replicate in a bread machine, so I bought it at our local Whole Foods store in Wisconsin. Since we moved to Canada, and away from Whole Foods, I have not located a source for this type of bread. I decided to take matters into my own hands. After a certain amount of experimentation, I managed to create a sourdough recipe that produced the kind of bread I wanted to eat.
The sourdough was well-received and has become part of our regular diet, but another bread we missed was a cinnamon swirl bread from a store called The Bread Barn in Madison. I set out to produce a new recipe that was at least somewhat similar to that bread. After a false start last year, I tried again this year. It took four loaves to get it right, but the resulting cinnamon swirl recipe is pretty much what we were looking for. This will likely become our bread for special occasions and for treats to take to potlucks.
Bread is a very individual thing. These two recipes will not be to everyoneís taste, but I really like being able to produce a loaf so close to my ideal.