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Is a bread maker worth the dough?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
No pun intended. I was thinking of investing in a bread maker. it's something that I have thought about for a while but I've never really baked any bread to be honest. So is a bread maker worth it. Those that have one do you use it regularly? ANd are all brands/kinds created equal or is there something I should be looking for?
post #2 of 27
I asked this question about a year ago and a summary of the responses I got is:

If you already bake bread by hand and you enjoy it, you probably won't like a bread machine. If you are not a bread baker, a bread machine may be a good choice for you.
post #3 of 27
I love mine. I don't use it as often as I should, which is mostly because of how our kitchen is arranged (and we'll be fixing that in the coming year). But everyone LOVES the bread that comes out of it, even though it's all gluten- and dairy-free.
post #4 of 27
My uncle gave me one last year and I finally started using it last month. I LOVE it. It's super easy to use and clean. I cleared a spot on my counter to keep it out all the time since I"ve made a loaf a week for the last month. I baked bread by hand years ago but I'm not crazy about kneading. This I can do every week.
post #5 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReadingMama View Post
I asked this question about a year ago and a summary of the responses I got is:

If you already bake bread by hand and you enjoy it, you probably won't like a bread machine. If you are not a bread baker, a bread machine may be a good choice for you.
: I HATE breadmaker bread, though I do bake a pretty mean loaf by hand (well, KitchenAid). If you want some super easy recipes that make good bread, I have one white and one brown with seeds (or not) that will make you ask yourself why you didn´t do it sooner. PM your email address and I´ll pass them on.
post #6 of 27
I make bread by hand sometimes (no mixer, really by hand), but with the bread machine I make it a lot more often. I usually use the dough cycle and make rolls since my kids prefer rolls to bread. Plain loaves of bread are cheap here and I don't think it would pay to just make white bread, but I make WW rolls and it's really easy w/ the breadmaker.
post #7 of 27
Get it from a thrift store. I see them in the thrift store all the time - people buy it, realize they don't really use it, and then pass it on. I got mine for $5, and while I still prefer making it by hand, I'm sure it's paid for itself - I only have to make several loaves to be saving money over buying store bread.
post #8 of 27
I loooooove my breadmaker. I only use it to make the dough, then I pop it in the oven. Still worth the money though!
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReadingMama View Post
I asked this question about a year ago and a summary of the responses I got is:

If you already bake bread by hand and you enjoy it, you probably won't like a bread machine. If you are not a bread baker, a bread machine may be a good choice for you.
That's true. I REALLY love bread made by hand. My problem is that I work FT. And with two little ones, just don't have the time to babysit bread to let it rise and then throw it in the oven for the length of time I need. That being said, my breadmaker is the next best thing because I can load it up at night, set the timer on it and wake up to that wonderful fresh-baked smell in the morning. A machine with a time delay on it is key in my house.

Thrift stores always seem to have them and are a good source to try before you really spend the big $$$ to buy. Make sure the breadpan isn't scratched and that it has the paddle in it. Also, keeping the machine accessible is key for the frequency of use. Don't hide it away on a shelf that can only be accessed with a step stool, you definitely won't use it.
post #10 of 27
I would check freecycle, garage sales, etc. before shelling out for new. You will either love it or hate it. We loved ours - so much that we gained weight! So I gave it away.
post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 
All the ones I have seen at the TS are only the machine itself, is that all it comes with. Someone mentioned somethinga bout a paddle it shoudl have,what's that?
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeca View Post
All the ones I have seen at the TS are only the machine itself, is that all it comes with. Someone mentioned somethinga bout a paddle it shoudl have,what's that?
Essentially, there are three parts to a bread machine:
  1. The machine
  2. The bread pan
  3. The paddle (look inside the bread pan, there should be a little rotor or paddle that stirs the flour/dough).
post #13 of 27
we got ours on freecycle, and it's wonderful.
I posted a wanted request for one and two people responded.
post #14 of 27
I've gotten both my breadmakers on freecycle, and I use them every week. I never bake the bread in my makers, but use the dough cycle and then bake in the oven.

I LOVE my breadmakers.
post #15 of 27
I wanted a breadmaker but couldn't justify it (wanted a v. expensive model but knew I wouldn't use it frequently). Then I found out you can use a food processor to knead dough, and we already had one sitting in the cupboard. I've only tried a couple of things but had great results.
post #16 of 27
I see them a nearby thrift store all the time for $5. Of course, I don't know if they work or not, but my guess is they do. Some people buy one and then never use it.

I use ours all the time. Mine is one that makes regular-sized loaves. If you are uncertain, try to score one for cheap or ask a friend to borrow theirs for awhile. I think there are differences in quality, so maybe that would be a problem if the one you use isn't a good one. Still it would give you an idea of whether you would use it or not.
post #17 of 27
: Our thrift stores have a lot of them for sale, too. I love mine, but I use it almost exclusively for making dough, which I then shape and bake in a regular oven. We have one of the cheapest ones on the market and have been using it with good results for four years now.
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sadystar View Post
If you want some super easy recipes that make good bread, I have one white and one brown with seeds (or not) that will make you ask yourself why you didn´t do it sooner. PM your email address and I´ll pass them on.
I would be hugely interested in the bread recipes. My bread never comes out good and I have also been thinking lately of buying a breadmaker. Could you share your recipes with me? Thank you.
post #19 of 27
They're also great for making pizza dough. It makes it so easy to make pizza at home that's both cheaper and so much better than the takeout places nearby.
post #20 of 27
I bake almost all our bread, and I would recommend getting a good dutch-oven (mine is Le Crueset) or cast iron pot with lid instead. This is what I bake my bread in, to mimic the wonderful crust you can get only at good bakeries. My bread is so little effort, that I cannot imagine buying an appliance to do it. I used to use more traditional recipes, and used my kitchen aid mixer to knead, but now I use a no-knead bread, and use only a bowl and the dutch oven.

Here is the bread recipe, also known as "no-knead bread" on several sites on the internet. Mark Bittman wrote the original New York Times food article about this bread.

For each loaf I want, I use:

4 c. flour (usually 1 - 2c. whole wheat or whatever, the rest all-purpose)
1/2 t. rapid rise yeast
scant 1 T. salt
2 c. water
2 T. honey (optional, used more when higher % whole wheat)

In large bowl (big enough for contents to double), combine flour and yeast, then add salt and stir/whisk in. Then add water & honey and stir with wooden spoon until all flour is wet. (You will modify this for your kind of yeast.) Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temp 12-18 hours. It will develop bubbles on surface. Yay!

(If it sits only 8 hours, knead by hand for 30 seconds or so. If it sits 12-18 hours, no kneading.)

The dough will be on the wet side, so flour the counter and your hands. (I use a dough scraper to help fold the dough, but a large metal spatula could do the same.) Use a little oil to coat the inside of a pie plate (or any rising container with some sides to contain the wet dough. Use one plate per loaf.)

Dump the dough onto the floured surface, then fold into thirds, then into thirds from the other ends. Now, you will have one side (up) with lots of cracks, and one smooth side on the counter. Plump the dough into the oiled pie plate with the crack side down. Let rise 2-3 hours, covered with a dishtowel. (If you do a high % of whole wheat, punch the dough down and refold after an hour or so, then let rise again.)

30-60 minutes before baking, preheat oven to 450 with pot & lid in oven. Plop dough from pie plate into hot dutch oven, put hot cover on, shake a little if dough isn't centered, then put in oven. Bake covered for 30 minutes, uncover and bake 8-15 more minutes until top is nicely browned.

(If I bake more than one loaf, I either heat up two pots, or just use the same pot and bake one after the other. The lidded pot keeps the humidity high in the baking area, which is what produces the nice crust usually hard to get at home.)

Let me know how it turns out! I have been doing variations on this recipe for many months, and I love the simplicity. I don't even usually have to wash the pot because it is so hot that the dough doesn't stick.)
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