September 23, 2012

Question of the Hour

freshly baked bread in breadmaking machine
(Can be clicked to enlarge)


  1. Yum! This is looks fantastic. Bread is my weakness! I could eat it all day, every day. I love the little note you've written on the machine. :-) My husband started making home made bread with a machine. Now, he makes it by hand, using his own recipes. It's a killer on the waistline! But still, when I smell that heavenly aroma, I can't resist!

  2. If you did moisten the top of the leaf and sprinkle with sea salt...

  3. When I had a bread machine it never made bread like that!

    Who wrote that on the machine?...sounds like something I would need to do.

    Have a sweet Sunday. xo

  4. I have my mothers bread machine but I have never used it....shame on me!
    Looks delicious!

  5. Bernadine, I'm spoiled with mine. I love it for both bread and dough making for pizza. I especially like that it bakes the bread for me. It saves electricity plus doesn't heat the house up in summer.

    Nancy, ah, but it's never the same, is it. ;)

    Sherri, I wrote it LOL. I was terrible for forgetting the salt for some reason, especially when I'm multitasking, which is often. The little note has really helped. :)

    Linda, I cannot buy store bread anymore because of that machine. There's something about becoming accustomed to one's own bread. Yummy.

  6. I've never used a bread machine, but then I didn't bake bread the "old-fashioned" way all summer either because of our unusually HOT weather. Even with just basically the two of us, it's hard to keep a homemade bread supply on hand. I've got to get back into it pronto here now that we have real fall weather.

  7. heehee! I've forgotten the salt a few times, too. It's amazing how tasteless bread is when you leave that out. But is sure does rise impressively!

  8. I'm going to check our thrift stores for a bread machine.

    I could probably use it to make pretzel dough also.

  9. I was given an old bread machine and wasn't horribly impressed with it, although I tried lots of different recipes. The texture of the bread was always the same. I much preferred the variety I could get with hand kneading. Perhaps it's because I was making bread before I was 15 and for many years, made all the bread my family ate.
    Now however, I'll admit to sometimes using the Kitchen Aid mixer to help me knead. I can still get the variety I like. Although I have to let it rise, shape and bake myself, it really seems like less like a chore since I enjoy it.

  10. Hmmmmmm...I always had the idea of a bread making machine as something that was a wasteful duplication of something that could be done without. However, your point is well taken about the energy taken and heat given by using the oven to made it.
    Mind you - this is all academic for me, since I've rarely taken the time to make bread.
    Yet, in my quest to become more self-sufficient, it is something on my list to learn. Perhaps a bread maker is in the future for me.
    Love the handy question you leave yourself.

  11. We have three bread machines, all from yard sales. But we rarely used them anymore since Tramp 1 started making the popular no knead bread. I miss the fun of the bread machines - am going to have to start using them again, if only for dough. Thanks for the reminder!

  12. Mama Pea, it is hard to keep homemade bread on hand. Summer is worst not only because the heat of baking, but it gets moldy faster. And I find it gets dry when stored in the fridge. Consequently, we eat a lot of toast. :)

    Bettina, YES! (The note on the machine helps a lot :)

    Kari, I've done it so many times it isn't funny. Dan was actually the one to suggest I write myself a note. And it works!

    Renee, ooo, pretzels. What a great idea. Most bread machines have a dough setting, which is perfect for pizza, hand shaped rolls, and pretzels. :)

    Nina, I find the texture unpredictable with this particular machine. Sometimes dense, sometimes light as a feather. Dense mostly, so I've taken to adding an egg (of which we have plenty) to the ingredients. Mostly I find it just a matter of routine. I used my KA mixer to death for kneading dough! It is true though, that things we enjoy don't seem like chores at all.

    Norma, that is true in a sense. I find it a time saver mostly, and like I mentioned, an electricity saver. In winter I bake in the oven, several loaves at a time. In summer, I use my toaster oven a lot, to save electricity. Every little bit helps. :)

    2 Tramps, it goes back to what works for us, doesn't it? I haven't tried the no knead bread, maybe I should. Even a bread machine requires planning if I want fresh bread for dinner, 3 hours and 10 minutes on the medium size loaf.

  13. So, do you have a favorite recipe for your bread machine? I like that no knead artisan bread, but we eat too much of it, so I don't make it very often. :-) T.

  14. I toyed with the idea of a bread maker than decided to use what I already trusty old kenwood chef & its dough hook.
    I try and time it so the bread is ready to bake when supper comes out of the oven. :)

  15. Ha - I have notes like that in numerous places all over the house, because I can be pretty forgetful. I'm thinking of getting a bread machine for Christmas. It sounds like you're not crazy about the consistency of the one you have - do you have any other brand recommendation?

  16. Michelle, yes indeed!

    Tina, my recipe is very plain. Basically, 1/3 cup of liquid for every cup of flour, about 1.5 - 2 tsp yeast, 1.5 tsp salt, a swig of oil or a blob of palm shortening, and a swig of molasses. I have to check once it's been kneading for a few minutes, to adjust the flour/liquid ratio. Depending on the humidity, sometimes it's too sticky, sometimes too dry. Lately I've been substituting part of the liquid for an egg. I find it helps make whole grain breads a little lighter in texture. I need to try that no knead!

    Mich, welcome and thank you for the comment! When my old bread machine died, I used my Kitchen Aid to knead all my bread. It was great. Then the KA died, but it was cheaper to buy a new bread machine off craigslist, so now I have this one. I miss having a stand mixer though. Love fresh bread with supper!

    Debbie, I think all bread machines are about the same in that regard. I really have no issue with the texture, but I do find it densest if made in the quick mode. The longer bread modes let it rise longer, hence a lighter texture. Getting the right ratio of flour to liquid makes a difference too. It needs to be dry enough to hold shape when it rises, but moist enough to make a soft bread. It's just something you have to experiment with. Whole grains always tend to make a dense bread, so that's why I started adding an egg.

    Longevity is the main concern I have with bread machine brands. When the kids were small, I'd go through a bread machine per year. I've tried them all, but the Breadman always lasts the longest. Even longer than my Zojirushi!

  17. Hahaha. I think you have to have made a few hundred loaves of bread to relate to this. Terrible biting into bread without salt!

  18. Stephen Andrew, so nice to know I'm not alone. ;)


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