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Recommendations For A Good Bread Machine Please

Discussion in 'General Discussions - USA & Canada' started by Amica, Nov 29, 2017.

  1. Amica

    Amica IL Hall of Fame

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    We need a good bread maker and I have no clue which one to buy.

    I hope to use it to make whole wheat, fat-free bread daily. And also to prepare dough for naans and the like.

    Is it possible to add stuff like cumin seeds, minced onion, etc to the bread dough in the machine?

    I'm totally at sea. Please help. Thank you.
    .
     
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  2. MalStrom

    MalStrom IL Hall of Fame

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    I had a Zojirushi which made lovely bread. Then I discovered the 5-minute bread method, so I gave that away. It's a nice machine but pricey. You can add seeds, nuts, dried fruit etc to the bread. I don't know about naan dough though.
     
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  3. uma321

    uma321 Platinum IL'ite

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    What's the 5 minute bread method?
     
  4. MalStrom

    MalStrom IL Hall of Fame

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    Look up the 'Artisan bread in 5 minutes' site. They have several books but Google will also bring up plenty of information.
     
  5. Amica

    Amica IL Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for replying, @MalStrom! I'll check out the Zojirushi. :thumbsup:

    I do the 5-minute bread, too. It tastes fine but mine always flattens out way too much.

    I'm hoping a bread machine will give me a proper loaf. I used to make bread the old-fashioned way for years and miss it — the loaves, not the kneading. :p
    .
     
  6. Sandycandy

    Sandycandy IL Hall of Fame

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    @Amica bread machine and air fryer ? Where’s the party ?
     
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  7. Nonya

    Nonya Platinum IL'ite

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    I have a bread machine. Use it only for making dough. For bread loaves, baguettes, and fruit-cakes. Also for making roti (pulka), and pastas.
    I would recommend that the bread machine is never used for the baking cycle. That is, let the machine knead the dough for you, and stop it right there. When you let it go past that, the dough rises to the "full shape of the bread machine's basket", and then the heating coils come on and the dough bakes to a bread. Every bread machine has a program that can be used for just mixing/kneading the dough, and not bake the bread.
    • When the machine is new, the heating coils would also bake the inner electronics of the thing, and one would get the distinct odor of burning PC boards.
    • The bread bakers are made compact, with plastic casings. After several baking cycles, the plastic casing embrittles. A slight bump here or there, well, you'd have a hole or gash in it, asking for a duct-tape fix.
    • In contrast to a regular convection oven (that is under a range, or in fancy kitchens, mounted on a wall), there is plenty of dead space for air to circulate (convect away). This makes for a uniform crust in the bread, and an even texture of the bread within. In bread makers, things are scrunched up inside, and if the coil heats the basket a wee bit more here or there, you'd see it in the crust. And besides, the texture of the bread would be non uniform.
    • The fancier bread machines that come with separate baskets for nuts, fruits and dry yeast, cost a lot, but still leave a lot to be desired in terms of the uniformity of distribution of these additives. In comparison, the dough taken out of the machine, flattened on a cookie sheet, nuts and fruits embedded in a nice pattern, rerolled, and allowed to rise within a nicely greased (buttered) bread pan, before baking it in a conventional convection oven, would give you the dream bread you want. You can take that to a potluck without subjecting yourself to public ridicule.
    • Bread machine paddles make an ugly hole underneath every loaf that it bakes. This would never happen if you only knead the dough in the machine, and take it out.
    • If you bake outside the bread machine, you are not limited to "one shape", that of the bread maker's basket. You can shape your dough to make a foot long baguette....or a round bread with sprinkled seeds (sesame, poppy etc..) stuck on top...etc. etc.
    Bread machines are nice to have, only to knead the dough, and not make breads. Use a simple recipe for the kneaded dough. (400 grams flour, 300 grams water, 4 grams salt, 8 grams sugar, 6 grams dry yeast is a good, easy to remember recipe). Bread makers keep the fingernails of the cook clean. They help avoid the flour getting charged (in dry climates of winter) and fly everywhere in the kitchen. Dough is made in a closed chamber, nice and clean.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
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  8. Amica

    Amica IL Hall of Fame

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    :lol: @Sandycandy. They've been on my to-get list for a while. Finally figured I should get on with things. :)
    .
     
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  9. Amica

    Amica IL Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for all the great info, @Nonya! I'm fine with baking in the oven so long as the machine does the kneading and proofing. :thumbsup:
    .
     
  10. Nonya

    Nonya Platinum IL'ite

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    If you need a kneader, for breads, cakes, roti, pasta, udon, etc..don't spend $200 for a zojirushi. You'll see bread-machines of other brands for $49.95 or even cheaper during holiday sales. Go with one of those. And never use its heating ability. Invest in a top-loading scale, and a few bread-baking pans of the shapes you like.
    My favorite posh appetiser is a rye baguette with caraway seeds, cut to get elliptical slices, toasted gently, and served with Argan oil for dipping. And an aperitif drink.
     
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