Our cast of characters:
1 1/3 cups water2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons sugar (I used Splenda for baking)
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons yeast (I would suggest trying a teaspoon and a half for this loaf!)
1/2 cup walnuts halves
3/4 cup chocolate chips (I prefer Ghirardelli)
First, into the machine went the wet ingredients. My vanilla extract happens to be clear, but you can tell by the lovely smell of vanilla that doesn't transmute over the inter-webs that it is in the pan. As per usual, I used "I can't believe it's not butter" for baking, but you could use plain old butter or margarine. We prefer ICBINB in our house. I chopped the butter roughly to help it distribute in the bread, and let it come to room temperature.
Shortly after that I discovered a fatal error in bread making.
Oh no, almost out of flour! Luckily I had just enough for this loaf through scooping some out of the plastic bag I keep the bag of flower inside, but it was barely enough. How am I suppose to make 52 loaves if I let myself run out of flour? Harrumph! This will need to be fixed soon my dear readers, never you fret.
After that, all the dry ingredients go in except the chocolate chips and the walnuts. I happened to put the splenda straight into the liquid before adding the flour. It made a satisfying fizzle as it dissolved. It looked kind of like the bubbles when you pour lemonlime soda into a clear glass? An oddly strange and satisfying sound. Make a little volcano, and put your yeast in last. Set the machine to the sweet setting, and I set my crust setting to light.
By now, you might be wondering what about the chocolate chips and walnuts? Didn't we forget them? Ah dear reader, it's now time to discover the raisin beep. You may have noticed it before... You set the machine, walk away, and about half an hour later the machine starts beeping all crazy. You wander over to find out what all the crazy beeping is about, yet their seems to be nothing going on other than the dough is finishing kneading. Shrugging your shoulders, you wander away and hopes it doesn't set your kitchen on fire. (Not that I'VE ever done this before).
This strange beeping, dear reader, is the raisin beep. The raisin beep can be used for any ingredient you want distributed throughout the bread, but not pulverized to smithereens. Pretty much anything you put in the machine at the beginning will be kneaded and slammed against the sides of the machines until only crumbs are left. This beep is the right time to add ingredients like raisins, nuts chunks, or chocolate.
So keep your ears open, and when the machine beeps drop in the nuts and the chocolate chips. The second time the machine beeped, the loaf was done, hooray!
This particular loaf rose.... a lot... I was a little concerned that it might pop the top of the bread machine, or get stuck all over my nice see thru window. I would recommend decreasing the amount of yeast to 1 1/2 teaspoons to keep it from going quite so crazy.
The loaf was quite swirled on the bottom.
Swirled on the outside...
Upon slicing it open, I was met with a marbled squishy delight. Though their were no chunks of chocolate, their was a nice chocolate flavor, and the walnuts gave some texture. The bread itself was squishy, not cake like at all, and the vanilla mixed with the chocolate was lovely. I plan on trying it with some peanut butter later this week. Maybe with some banana too... yum! I give this loaf 4 out of 5 loaves.
I'm still waiting for the special loaf to blow my socks off to get 5 loaves.This one was close, but still missing something to push it over the edge...