Hello/question about mixins from new bread machine user/best bread for hummus
My name is Tony, I'm a 41-year-old guy who has been getting more and more into cooking the past couple years after going most of my life pretty much just using the microwave for everything.
My wife and I just bought a Zojirushi BBCC-X20 bread machine. I love the hands-on aspect of cooking and baking, but since I'm experimenting and learning so much with other aspects of cooking (and making a mess every night doing it) we thought the machine would mean time was available for working on other things (plus we have one small oven, so it also means the ability to work on another project at the same time). I saw there was a bread-machine forum but this is also my introduction so I wasn't sure in which to post...hope this is OK. (the question about hummus is way down after all this about proper mixin adding).
My very first loaf attempt was making cinnamon raisin bread. I followed the instructions as I understood them, but the resulting loaf only had raisins (actually currants because that's what I had handy) at the bottom, and also a big clump of them were huddled along one side/corner of the loaf. The cinnamon was distributed only to about the same areas. So, I'm coming here to ask experienced users (particularly of that machine) what I might have done wrong. The bread still tasted great, but I certainly wouldn't have served it to guests.
The instructions with this machine are a little vague. They say, "the Add indicator will blink for 5 minutes," but also say, "you should add the ingredients after the beep." I was expecting the machine would stop at the point where I was supposed to add ingredients, but I never noticed it doing so. I finally decided that I might have missed the exact moment where I should add them and went ahead and dumped them in while it was still running. I noticed at that time when I lifted the lid that the dough was all wound up around only one of the blades, and I wondered if that was a typical thing that happens during the overall mixing process, or if that meant something was wrong. The instructions didn't say anything about a proper angle for attaching the blades--if they should both be facing the center, one facing in and one out, or if it just didn't matter. I assumed (dangerous thing) that if it did matter, they would have been specific.
It's certainly possible that I did more than one thing wrong. I read somewhere while searching for an answer that raisins and other sticky mixins should be dusted with flour before adding them to keep them from clumping together--is that smart or does it add too much extra flour?
Should I have opened the lid and added the mixins right away when the first beep sounded?
Is there a best way to insert the blades to get the dough to mix, or does that matter? Is it typical for the dough to spend some time stuck on one blade, or was that an indication of something going wrong?
My other question is what would be a good bread-machine recipe to make for dipping in hummus? We love eating hummus with crackers or veggies, but I have always loved it with fresh-baked pita at a restaurant. We can't exactly make pita loaves in the machine, but I am certain there are other forms of bread that also taste great with hummus. I figure, whatever loaf we make, it might need to be lightly toasted just prior to dipping so it holds up, but maybe there's a more dense loaf that wouldn't require it? I suppose some kind of veggie-loaf might be cool?
Thank you in advance for any advice. I've already seen some great recipes on this forum that I'm dying to try out, once I get used to adjusting the traditional-method ones for the machine :)
Oh, I forgot to mention--I'm in Northern Virginia.