Is a bread maker worth the dough? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 05-06-2008, 09:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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?
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#2 of 27 Old 05-07-2008, 12:03 AM
 
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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.

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#3 of 27 Old 05-07-2008, 02:14 AM
 
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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.
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#4 of 27 Old 05-07-2008, 02:24 AM
 
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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.

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#5 of 27 Old 05-07-2008, 03:43 AM
 
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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.
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#6 of 27 Old 05-07-2008, 04:05 AM
 
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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.

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#7 of 27 Old 05-07-2008, 04:18 AM
 
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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.
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#8 of 27 Old 05-07-2008, 05:00 AM
 
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I loooooove my breadmaker. I only use it to make the dough, then I pop it in the oven. Still worth the money though!

Maxime - Wife to Brian (08.11.2007) - Mommy to Lili Elizabeth (08.12.2008)
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#9 of 27 Old 05-07-2008, 11:31 AM
 
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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.
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#10 of 27 Old 05-07-2008, 04:04 PM
 
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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.

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#11 of 27 Old 05-07-2008, 04:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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?
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#12 of 27 Old 05-07-2008, 05:15 PM
 
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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).
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#13 of 27 Old 05-08-2008, 02:18 AM
 
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we got ours on freecycle, and it's wonderful.
I posted a wanted request for one and two people responded.
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#14 of 27 Old 05-08-2008, 03:50 AM
 
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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.
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#15 of 27 Old 05-08-2008, 08:01 AM
 
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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.
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#16 of 27 Old 05-08-2008, 10:17 AM
 
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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.
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#17 of 27 Old 05-08-2008, 10:31 AM
 
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: 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.

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#18 of 27 Old 05-08-2008, 11:52 AM
 
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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.
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#19 of 27 Old 05-08-2008, 02:48 PM
 
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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.
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#20 of 27 Old 05-08-2008, 02:51 PM
 
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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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#21 of 27 Old 05-08-2008, 04:11 PM
 
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I am another breadmaker hater...not really, I just prefer bread not made in one!

I have a kitchenaid mixer and would much more recommend one of those! It can do all the kneading for you! I work f/t and usually try to make 4 loaves for a couple of weeks as well as about 4 pizza crusts

You have to check out this website for recipes...this woman is awesome and all of her recipes turn out wonderfully! http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com
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#22 of 27 Old 05-08-2008, 05:33 PM
 
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If you have the money- I would go for the KA stand mixer. I had a bread machine that I used until I got my stand mixer. then I freecycled the bread machine.

Iowaorganic- mama to DD (1/5/06), DS1 (4/9/07), DS2 (1/22/09), DS3 (12/10/10), DD2 (7/6/12) and a new kid due in early 2014

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#23 of 27 Old 05-08-2008, 11:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maximeee View Post
I loooooove my breadmaker. I only use it to make the dough, then I pop it in the oven. Still worth the money though!
Why don't you bake it in the bread maker? does it come out better in the oven?

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#24 of 27 Old 05-09-2008, 08:41 AM
 
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I would recommend a KitchenAid over a breadmaker any day. There's really no comparison between the quality of bread.

dm
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#25 of 27 Old 05-09-2008, 09:09 AM
 
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I love my bread maker. My favorite part is I can make bread in the summer with out making my kitchen super hot turning on the oven!

Jenese Mama to Elliot 8/05 and Millie Jane 7/07 and Cecilia Kate 1/11
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#26 of 27 Old 05-09-2008, 01:47 PM
 
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If you want to see if it'll work for you, try getting a used one. I got mine at Goodwill for $10. I don't use it much, but it is great for some things, like pizza dough. I don't really like to knead bread (hurts my hands due to tendonitis), so I like it for that.

The gold standard is the Zojirushi, but my Sunbeam is great. You can find manuals online for most models, if your used one doesn't come with one.

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#27 of 27 Old 05-09-2008, 02:00 PM
 
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Haven't read thru all the responses so please forgive me if I'm repeating stuff already said. I would try to score one off Freecycle, another family member or for cheap at a thrift store. I see offer posts up on our Freecycle all the time for bread machines (and they get swiped up fast). I got mine from my MIL. I use mine to make all of my bread, haven't bought bread in a couple months now. I love that I can just throw all the ingredients in the pan, put in the machine, turn it on, forget it for a few hours and have fresh bread w/minimal effort.

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