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Bread making -- recipes, best machines, techniques, etc.

Bread making -- recipes, best machines, techniques, etc.

Old Feb 27, 11, 10:05 am
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Bread making -- recipes, best machines, techniques, etc.

I made bread yesterday (seemed the best thing to do on a snowy, gray February day) and while the results were delicious, it took too long for me to want to do it with any regularity.

When I was a kid, we had a bread maker that was great - throw in the ingredients and forget about it until it's ready. Now that I've reacquainted myself with the joy of homemade bread, how will I go back to store bought?

Who here has a bread maker? What brands/models do people recommend? I saw on Amazon a Zojirushi model that got very high reviews.
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Old Feb 27, 11, 10:45 am
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The Panasonics all consistently seemed to be rated best.

Bread making is a slow process machine or not. The best breads made manually are from sour dough which arguably can take a hundred years or more ...... so machine pread taking 4 hours plus is no issue! The great thing is that you bung it all in and it makes perfect bread EVERY time.

The secret with a machine is to get into a routine so for example if you want bread every morning you prep it last thing at night. Also develop your own recipes. It takes some time to do but well worthwhile. I developed my own cholla recipe which is very rich (has egg, honey, milk etc) and once developed you then have your own perfect loaf. It seems to last without going stale and is great with smoke salmon and also great toasted.
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Old Feb 27, 11, 10:48 am
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I have an old one, a cast off from my parents.

I don't rate it for classic bread but it is a good way to use up leftovers and I like making breads with things like chick peas (very filling) and vegetables such as beetroot or carrots. I tend to use it most on the few occasions we have leftover rice. We love the fact that we can make waste food taste good - white bread made with rice is particularly delicious.

I have an basic unsophisticated Hinari model, the bonus is that as it's about 500watts, more powerful than a KitchenAid, I recently discovered it makes beautiful mochi quite effortlessly ^
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Old Feb 27, 11, 10:56 am
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I'm still using the Breadman that I bought at least 12 years ago at a department store sale - in the area of $75, if I remember correctly. It's used about once a week for dough making, less often for bread baking, as I use it mainly for either pizza or french bread dough.
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Old Feb 27, 11, 5:32 pm
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I don't. Kneading is one of the best forms of stress relief - why give the pleasure of it to a machine?
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Old Feb 27, 11, 5:55 pm
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We have a Zojirushi. It's great. We first got it when my wife wanted to cut Bromide from her diet. Most commercial bread uses bromated flour. King Arthur flour is not bromated, and I recommend it highly if you're making your own bread.

We also have a Zojirushi rice cooker. I really like it.

joe
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Old Mar 2, 11, 1:02 pm
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Originally Posted by stut View Post
I don't. Kneading is one of the best forms of stress relief - why give the pleasure of it to a machine?
Exactly. What's up with the need for these kinds of uni-taskers? Bread machines, rice cookers, etc.?
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Old Mar 2, 11, 1:30 pm
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Originally Posted by dchristiva View Post
Exactly. What's up with the need for these kinds of uni-taskers? Bread machines, rice cookers, etc.?
Second thread - same post. There's no law which says you have to "get it"
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Old Mar 3, 11, 6:45 am
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The Zojirushi is the very best I believe. I have a cheap-o that I bought on a whim for 59€ at LIDL a couple of years ago. The printing has all worn off the front of it so it's no longer clear which cycle does what, but I remember that number 8 is the dough cycle and I use that a couple of times a week - pizza dough, cinnamon rolls, etc. King Arthur Flour's blog has tons of recipes and ideas for using one: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/tag/bread-machine/
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Old Mar 3, 11, 8:29 am
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We had one we used for ages till we moved, it was OK, but it didn't fit the counter space at the time, so it's probably still in a box somewhere in the basement or garage.

It had some type of delay button, so we could put the stuff in when we left, and at noon or whatever it would kick in and finish just as we got home. Had to make a well in the flour to keep the yeast from the liquid or something, it's been a while.

It will probably never see the light of day again though, there's a great bakery a few miles away that makes wonderful old world breads, so every weekend we just buy there. We prefer the hard crust bread, something a machine isn't that great at.
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Old Mar 6, 11, 8:33 am
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i bought my wife and my mother in law a a Zojirushi from amazon. both get run once a day, and have been in use for a couple 3 years. most of the flour is king arthur. wife even shops for sales of king arthur.

both make special breads for people with dietary problems in addition to specialty breads with non standard grain flours
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Old Mar 7, 11, 1:23 am
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I love having a breadmaker, although it's not a perfect adaptation to good bread - decent flavor (to my taste) takes two passes, a wet pass on the dough cycle to make sponge and then a pass with more flour to actually knead and make the dough (and usually bake it if I'm feeling lazy, as I usually am - doesn't produce as nice a result as a hot oven and a stone, but it's a lot less work.)

I've got a single-paddle model, a Breadman of about 13-15 years old, whenever they were finally dropping under $100. The dual-paddle models (eg the full-size Zojirushis, although I think they are a few others) look really nice.
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Old Mar 7, 11, 8:58 am
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Originally Posted by uk1 View Post
Second thread - same post. There's no law which says you have to "get it"
Informative response. Care to explain the appeal of something that only does one job? What's wrong with an oven? I'm guessing nothing based on the fact that you couldn't explain the value of a bread machine.
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Old Mar 7, 11, 10:03 am
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Originally Posted by dchristiva View Post
Informative response. Care to explain the appeal of something that only does one job? What's wrong with an oven? I'm guessing nothing based on the fact that you couldn't explain the value of a bread machine.
Strange question. Lot's of things you own have a single use.

But, if you bothered to follow the responses to the same question you posted elsewhere you would have discovered I tried to answer your question.

But ..... as I said .... you don't have to "get it" it does for some and doesn't do for others.
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Old Mar 7, 11, 12:53 pm
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Originally Posted by dchristiva View Post
Informative response. Care to explain the appeal of something that only does one job? What's wrong with an oven? I'm guessing nothing based on the fact that you couldn't explain the value of a bread machine.
An oven only bakes the bread; the bread machine handles most of the lifecycle of bread production in an automated manner (the only manual part left is measuring the ingredients!)

Making bread with a bread machine is a 5-10 minute loading process, and then the machine handles everything for 3 or so hours. Making bread without the bread machine, even if you've got a food processor or stand mixer with a dough hook is a whole bunch of 5-10 minute process (or much longer for a few of them, with manual knead) spread over several hours.

If that time saved doesn't seem of value to you, or if the quality of the bread produced doesn't seem better for you than what comes out of a bag at the store[*] then a bread machine is not for you.

(* that's even quicker for those of us who don't have to get in a car to go to the store, although I could see the bread machine being quicker for those who do)

To the more general point of "only does one job," why do people still buy MP3 players when you can now buy a smartphone or a little wifi tablet? Sometimes a more specialized tool can be better at the particular job (in the case of a bread maker, doing more of it), or it can be cheaper, more portable, etc (both of those in the case of an MP3 player OR the breadmaker), and one may not need the more versatile tool or see it worthwhile to own both.
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