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Anyone use a bread machine?

 
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I want to bake bread.  I do NOT want to have the oven on.

I'm toying with the idea of getting a bread maker.  Portable so I can put it on the deck and not heat up the house.  
Less electric use than the oven.
less time fussiness so I can use modern yeast.  I've been too forgetful these last few years to bake with yeast.

There's a lot going for it.

I had one about 20 years ago.  It was awesome for the first year.  But the loaves were too big.  And after a while, it didn't cook right.  And the inside got scratched and we could never get the stupid paddle out.
Has the technology impoved?  
 
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I make 3 loaves of bread a week with my bread machine.    I make about 15 bread mixes at a time which makes t so easy to set and forget till the smell of fresh bread is filling the home.

 
r ranson
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Oh, I forgot about bread mixes.  That's a great idea.

Do you have a make of maker you like?

 
Mart Hale
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My bread maker is this brand ->  

KBS Full Automatic Bread Maker 2LB,


But you can find bread makers on craigslist all the time.     I went with this one because it did not have teflon coating for the bread pan but ceramic.
 
r ranson
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Thinking about this some more.  The bread with ingredients I can eat starts at $4 a loaf.  The bread that tastes good starts at $6 a loaf (usually closer to $8 when we include gas to get to the bakery).  

The loaf size is too big and there is too much moisture inside the plastic bag.  Despite different attempts to extend the life of the bread, about a third goes to the chickens.

I'm guessing with ingredients and electrical use, I would be saving an average of $4 a loaf.  Or an average of $5 per week.  

AT that rate, I can see it paying for itself quite quickly.  But are the machines good now?  
 
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R said, Despite different attempts to extend the life of the bread, about a third goes to the chickens



If this were my loaf of bread, I would put half of it in double bags in the freezer.  I have lots of freezer space, though.  Or a person might put half a loaf in the fridge to be used for toast.

Back to the bread machine, I really like making bread, quick bread, and cakes in the bread machine.

I love the fresh hot bread though dear hubby is stuck on store-bought bread so I am not going to make the bread just for me, especially when I am not a bread eater.

My machine is fairly old so I doubt if it is made today.

I have been really careful not to damage the pan so I only use plastic things to loosen the bread.  When the paddle gets stuck I use some water to soak it for a short time.

In my opinion, a bread machine will pay for itself in the long run.

 
r ranson
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Can I bake cakes in it a bread maker too?  
 
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Yes, they are worth owning. We finally wore out our first one after 15? 20? years and bought a replacement.

With bread machines, plan on tweaking and adjusting the recipes and settings -- especially if you are using a variety of ingredients. The chickens will still get a few bits and pieces as you fine-tune the process.
 
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I make up a dozen bread mixes at a time with most of the stuff I use, but I don't add the yeast until I'm ready to bake as it gets too dry and less lives.

I'm on my second Zojirushi in about 20 years. You can get some parts replaced when they get old. Pan is teflon which is not great, but I don't let metal anywhere near it and the current model's been lasting better than past ones. It has 2 paddles, and I loosen with water.  I let the bread rest after I remove it from the machine for about 15 min and then turn it upside down and give it a couple of solid shakes and it normally comes out fine.

I cut the loaf in half and freeze half with our current heat waves so it doesn't go moldy or stale.

Yes - if it's really hot, it can be moved outside, although with where mine's plugged in, that's a bit of a nuisance, so we try to bake in the evening when the windows are open. I generates so much less heat than the oven, it's less of an issue.

The bread tends to get dried out if it goes onto the "keep warm" cycle, so we set an extra timer than just the one in the machine which is too easy to miss.
 
r ranson
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I adore the Zojirushi rice cooker I have.  The first one lasted 15 years (back when I had to go to Vancouver to get one) and it still makes great rice, the battery for remembering the time is the only thing gone.

I'm glad to hear you like yours as it's high on my list, but a bit beyond my price range.  I would have to save up for a few more months or see if others in the house would contribute towards it.  Wich might happen.  
 
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I know they have fancy ones now with ceramic baking chambers and such, but I have only ever used the teflon ones with the paddle that sticks in the bread.  Of these I have used two kinds: the one where the paddle is permanently affixed to the shaft (and thus your bread fights coming out of the chamber) and the kind where the paddle is loose on the shaft and tends to stay in the bread loaf when you take it out.  That way the bread comes out easy and you can tease the paddle out of your loaf with a fork.  That end won't make a pretty slice but if you're prone to eating some hot bread when the loaf is new, it's a natural place to start, leaving you with a clean sliced end surface on the cooled loaf that you store.  

Somebody mentioned Craig's List.  In the rural places where I go to garage sales, the 1980s-style bread makers pop up in sale after sale.  They are priced in two categories: "I paid $300 for this in 1992 so somebody's gotta give me at least $100, I only ever used it eight times" and "I don't have counter space for this, I haven't used it in five years, put a $5.00 sticker on it and get it the heck out of here!"

All of which is to say, you ought to be able to find a super cheap one somewhere if you nose about a bit.  Local Facebook groups are where I would start, but the culture of selling old junk is hugely variable across regions, so it may be different where you are.  
 
r ranson
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I will probably go with a new one because Canadian flour is different from most of the world.   It makes a different dough which can wear out parts quickly,  so I want the free repairs.  
Also, if I have to have nonstick pan, I don't want one with scratches.
 
Douglas Alpenstock
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After some research, we went with a Hamilton Beach, Type BM09, Model 29885C. High ratings, 5 year warranty. It makes bread. Time will tell as to its durability.
 
r ranson
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Some of the bread makers have a window in the top.
Often reviewers complain about the lack of windows.

But... wouldn't it mean more insulation in the lid and more efficient cooking?

Do I need a window in top?
 
Douglas Alpenstock
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I think the window is very useful when mixing the dough ball. You can see if it's sticking to the sides (too wet) or not mixing thoroughly (too dry) and carefully adjust.

A breadmaker isn't airtight. Steam has to escape. I suppose you could put a tea towel on top of the window, though I doubt it would do much for efficiency.

Besides, it's fun watch the bread bake. When nobody is watching, you might even speak words of encouragement and praise. Looking good, bread, don't stop now!  
 
Douglas Alpenstock
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It works, I swear!
fresh-bread.png
Pulled from the breadmaker 30 seconds ago
Pulled from the breadmaker 30 seconds ago
 
r ranson
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Reading reviews, one of the big complaints of the 1 pound loaf is that it's so small.
How small is it?  Is it like the size of a regular bread tin?

Also, if there is a cake setting, can I translate my grandmothers workmans cake to cook in the bread maker?  
 
Douglas Alpenstock
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Our loaves are approx. 7" wide, 5" deep, 6-7" high. It keeps the two of us in toast/sandwiches for 3 days or so. For us, it's an ideal size -- any larger and we'd end up tossing some into the compost due to mold.

The manual says there is a cake setting. We haven't tried it.
 
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A standard (if there is such a thing) loaf tin here is 2lb I did have a bread maker I hated it, the loaves were tiny and it was so much more faf than using the oven to bake several at a time.
 
Jay Angler
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I use 4 cups of flour in my Zoji and I think that's considered a 2 lb loaf. I wouldn't bother with a machine that made a smaller loaf than that myself. Usually only my son and I eat it, and in really hot weather we may get mold, but usually it lasts 3 days and is fine.
 
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We are on our second zojirushi in 20 years.  It has a Window, but we seldom use the window.  The machine is pricey.
 
r ranson
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I ended up ordering an AICook.  It is on the cheaper end and it looks like it might be a bit noisy, but it should do well enough for us to find out if we like it.  
 
Jay Angler
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John F Dean wrote:We are on our second zojirushi in 20 years. The machine is pricey.

Yes, it's pricey, but I'd heard too many complaints from people that their cheap bread machines barely lasted a year and parts were impossible to get. We got our current one off the web at a sale price, but still not cheap. It's had a lot of use with no problems.
 
John F Dean
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Hi Jay,

Exactly.  That is why we spent the bread.  The first machine lasted around 19 years.  We hope the second outlasts us.
 
r ranson
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We'll need a new thread for bread machine recipes soon.

Question: is powdered milk necessary?  
 
Dan Boone
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r ranson wrote:
Question: is powdered milk necessary?  



Absolutely not.  Hell, there are many bread recipes out there that don't even include any milk at all.  I have made the classic boat anchor whole wheat bread (flour, water, yeast, salt) in my bread maker.  Yes it was dense and chewy, but that's what I signed up for.  And the bread machine handles rises (rests) and kneading more thoroughly and scientifically than I do.

IMO it's perfectly possible to tweak any bread recipe that calls for powdered milk to use liquid milk instead.
 
Jay Angler
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Dan Boone wrote:

IMO it's perfectly possible to tweak any bread recipe that calls for powdered milk to use liquid milk instead.

I've read somewhere that if you use fresh milk in bread, you're supposed to scald it. I'm thinking that's because it may contain bacteria that aren't compatible with bread making (that's the reason I was given for needing to heat milk for a certain time at a certain temperature before cooling it and adding yoghurt starter). How true that is with modern processed milk, I don't know, so hopefully more people will chip in there experience.

R Ranson - were you thinking of fresh milk instead of powdered, or no milk at all. Milk helps to complete the protein available in wheat, so that may be one reason it's added. Most North Americans aren't short on protein, so that may not be an issue for you.
 
r ranson
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We don't keep powdered milk in the house.  I was wondering if it's a common ingredient for bread machines (and if so, what else?).  I am excited to start baking as soon as it arrives.
 
Douglas Alpenstock
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I don't think any of our multigrain bread recipes use milk. Eggs, yes.

Your machine will probably come with a book of reliable recipes that you can riff off of once you get a feel for it.
 
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Hi, I have never used a bread machine and found this post interesting.  I've been pretty old school just using the oven. Then a friend gave us a big toaster oven. It is a convection toaster oven and I have been using that for everything I used to bake in the gas range. I've even started to grill steaks, and I can cook a 16" pizza in it.  It has saved me a lot on fuel bills even with the higher price of electricity. In the winter it helps heat the house a bit, but not like the oven.

Thanks for starting this thread, I've enjoyed it.
 
r ranson
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The thread about recipes https://permies.com/t/164240/kitchen/Bread-Machine-Recipes-favourite-adapting
 
r ranson
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My AICOOK (North American version of AICOK) bread machine arrived a week early.

It seems like a good gateway machine at only $80CAD (at time of buying) whereas the Zo- make was about $400CAD.  They have almost the same features and the AICOOK makes a larger loaf.

The downside, The instructions are in Pidgin English.  The details aren't always clear.  For example, over half a page goes into different conversions for different types of yeasts, but the instructions call for "yeast" and don't tell me which one (so I used bread machine yeast).  

Before I use it, I'm supposed to do a pre-bake with it empty to burn off any manufacturing oils.  But it doesn't say if empty means with or without the pan inside.  I guessed with and it worked fine.

But you know, it actually looks like a good machine.  It doesn't feel like it belongs at the low end that the price would suggest.

The first loaf of bread is in.  Mixing away.  It says it will take 3 hours.  
 
John F Dean
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Hi Raven,

Your machine looks interesting.  Keep us updated on its performance.  
 
Anne Miller
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r ranson wrote:We don't keep powdered milk in the house.  I was wondering if it's a common ingredient for bread machines (and if so, what else?).  I am excited to start baking as soon as it arrives.



If so, what else?

In the book I mentioned earlier, he says that almost anything can go into a loaf of bread.  Especially when it comes to liquids.  He mentions using cider, tea, broth, etc.

He says, if you substitute broth for milk the loaf will not be as soft and tightly grained as the milk loaf.

And, he says whole milk and skim milk can be used interchangeably, though he prefers the whole milk as it gives a richer, softer crumb.

In general, he says water makes a crust crisper, and the loaf insides chewier than milk does.

Cream, sour cream, cottage cheese, and yogurt are other dairy products prized for their tenderizing role in bread making.

I am so glad to hear that your machines arrived and now we get to hear about the recipes you are trying!
 
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I have a Breadman BK1050S and don't recommend Breadman any more. The new model mixes poorly, eliminated program options that  I used, beeps loudly, and doesn't work well with my old, beloved recipes. I loved the Breadman Ultimate I had for 12+ years prior, but eventually I could no longer buy replacement parts. The Teflon held up fine, but the gaskets below the removable paddle did not. I would consider the availability of parts to be a reason to buy newer. I had a fun trip on eBay with a seller who mis-listed the part I needed.

Loaf size has never been an issue here, since the machine gives 2-3 recipe options, plus there's the freezer. When I need the bread to last longer at room temp, I usually pick one of the recipes with more sugar.
 
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I can't say enough for bread machines.  I pick them up at yard sales for $5 each.   I mix bread dough in them, pizza dough,  but more importantly gluten free bread .   I do Bake in them but I also let regular dough rise once then dump on to the table cut into shape like dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls.   If you want something to rise more like gluten free bread, unplug it when its on rise,  plug it back in when bread is desired height, be careful, it can fall if you let it go to far,  plug back in And set On BAKE SETTING.  Let bake .  Its pretty good.  
I use regular bread baking cook books for recipes.  Most machines have a 1 pound, 1 1\2 pond and two pound setting.  I look for ones that have settings you can program.  If yoh just want to mix , or rise or bake.  I don't like pre programming, really don't like fast settings, or shorter time settings.  
 
Vickie Shaw
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True to everything you are saying.  

I only buy them at garage sales, yard sales, etc.   The kind with the paddle that comes out and programming separate settings.  
 
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I use can milk or whole milk instead of powdered milk and water.  keep an one on it, you might need a biT more water if it looks dry.

I've added grated cheese,  thin sliced pepperoni and Italian herbs, let the machine do its thing. Bake into bread in the machine or dump it out when its done mixing, roll into pepperoni rolls, bake.   Slice cooled rolls, add mozzarella cheese , pizza sauce, and sliced pepperoni.    Yes, pepperoni rolls are a West Virginia thing!  
 
Wynne Kelch
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I never thought of that! I'm totally going yard-sailing to see if I can "upgrade" my machine for a discount.  I can always resell or donate the loser. Thank you!

Our favorite bread machine recipe is a roll too--orange rolls. It's a brioche-type dough, and then like monkey bread, you divide into pieces and roll in a mixture of melted butter and sugar, with a lot of orange zest. 2lbs makes about 18 rolls. I'm still working out how to parbake and freeze half the recipe for later. Sooo good. Uh, not healthy though.
 
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When buying used machines, how do you deal with scratched Teflon coating?

I don't like the idea of food touching aluminium or accidentally eating the coating.  Worse!  Scratches make the pan harder to clean.  
 
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