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Does Anyone Have a Bread Maker?

I'm thinking about getting a bread maker...anyone have any feedback?
Can you get creative with them? Can you do a baguette? Bread flour readily available?
Is it worth it?

Thanks in advance for any information you can give me!

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  1. It depends on how often you will make bread. If it's only on rare occasions (like Thanksgiving) then I would not buy one. The cost/benefit ratio needs to be evaluated.

    You can get creative once you get used to the recipes, they aren't necessarily the same as a regular loaf.

    Bread flour is easily available in almost any grocery store. I've seen King Aurthur bread flour in Walmart.

    You cannot do a baguette... at least not a real one. A baguette is long skinny loaf of bread, not a square.

    9 Replies
    1. re: HaagenDazs

      I agree. If you are going to make bread often, I would go for the breadmaker. You can have it start so there's a nice fresh loaf in the morning. Ingredients are pretty available and there are a lot of varieties out there.

      1. re: bnemes3343

        Thanks for the info so far. I am guessing if I did have the breadmaker it would be on an every-other-day basis. Yeah--that was pretty dumb of me to think I could possibly do a baguette with some sort of attachment! CAN you get a decent crust on the breadmaker breads though? Perhaps a bread strong enough to withstand being on a panini maker?

        1. re: jarona

          I don't know about a panini maker, but I make a pretty good crusty loaf. As I said, I let the machine do the mixing and then I have a cple of those perforated pans that are specifically made for french or italian bread. I also have some old tiles that were leftover from a bathroom remodelling project that I line in the oven. Finally, I have a spritzer bottle of water that I hit the loaves and oven every 2 minutes for the first 10 minutes or so.

          The recipe I use starts with a "polish" and is pretty sticky. Need well floured board and hands to roll the shapes out.

          Perfect? no, but still pretty darn good with a nice crust and airy, chewy insides

          And, if you are doing bread every other day, I'd definitely spring for a machine. Fill it, set it and forget it. Four to five hours later, a really nice loaf!

          1. re: FriedClamFanatic

            Thanks FriedClamFanatic! I like the way you work. I also like that you use the breakmaker for mixing then do a bagette in the oven. Also--I had no idea that old bathroom tiles can be put in the oven. This is good--very good, as I live with a Frenchman who has gotten me into the habit of going into the grocery store and sniffing and squeezing every bagette until I find the one best-suited to his needs! He is very skeptical about my purchasing a bread maker--but I do think it would be fun!

            1. re: jarona

              If you like the way I work, wait until you see me dance! Seriously, if you have a French purist in the house, he will never be satisfied with the bread machine baguette. You really need a steam oven for that. But he should be happy about all the other amazing breads you can create quickly and easily with these things

              1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                Hey. I'm the mother of a competitive Irish Dancer--I'll betcha you can dance:)
                Thanks for that last sentence. He does need his fix of bread--perhaps I can broaden his starchy horizons the way he's broadened my wino horizens!

                1. re: jarona

                  If you go to the King Arthur site and get one of their Hamburger pans, you can make some really exotic rolls for things like sandwiches as well as hamburgers. Try a cornmeal and molasses roll with sliced turkey, bacon and cranberry sauce!

      2. re: HaagenDazs

        We used to have one. My husband used it to create the most perfectly shaped, golden, fragrant bricks.

        Then one day the d@mn thing died while kneading a load of dough and DH had to finish the bread by hand. The hand finished bread was not perfectly shaped. It was also not a fragrant, golden bread shaped doorstop. It was glorious. It was the best household appliance death ever.

        1. re: HaagenDazs

          I use mine constantly. But not home during the day and love fresh bread for dinner. I use my own bread flour and yes you can get very creative.

          I have also made a baguette. Well the mix while I was at work. Came home put in on some parchment on my cookie sheet and presto. A nice baquette while I grilled chicken. Now .. it may not be perfect or a qualified recipe of what a true baguette was. But it was pretty good and none was left. For me. I'm gone alot during the day and like fresh bread. Yes could do the grocery store but the bread maker is more fun, can put some interesting ingredients in mine and it is fresh and cheaper.

          I love mine.

        2. Funny you should post this just now. As I'm typing, my loaves are on their second rising.

          I have two machines, both Zojirushi, judged the best just not by me but the folks over at King Arthur Flour.

          Mostly, I use the machine to mix. I like baguettes and Italian style loaves, so I let the machine do most of the work and then I shape and bake. But I do make a lot of sandwich type bread that i let the machine do the whole thing. Including a 100% whole wheat loaf. (What I do, is let it go through the first knead, then shut it off and start the whole process over)

          The Zoji's make really good bread, but as the folks said, if you don't make bread that often, they cost a lot upfront. When my 2 kids were home, I was making one or more loaves a week. Now it's more like 2-3 times a month.

          And I definitely recommend King Arthur BREAD flour for the machines. In fact, King Arthur has a catalog and website for all sorts of tips and goodies to add in to bread. it's KingArthurFlour dot com

          1. If I had more space and bread pans, I would use mine more. I got it as a gift and it works just great, but I don't like the large, square loaf sizes it makes. Most of the bread we buy and eat is artisanal and odd shaped with various ingredients so I find it would require not only me buying a bunch of things I don't have, but then stopping the cycle after the rising and before the baking has started to take the dough out and shape it and put it into some pans or on sheets or whatever. I don't have the time or space do to that so I rarely use the bread maker. But it does work great. I think if I was a conventional wheat or white eater, it would be very handy.

            1. I have a Zojirushi mini, which I LOVE. The French bread setting, which takes about 5 hours, gives you a very crusty bread that does hold up to my panini press. The other great thing about this machine is that it has a timer.

              If I want baguettes (husband is from Italy), I make the ones out of the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day -- fantastic and very, very easy.

              1. I used it more back when we didn't have an acceptable bakery around here, but still haul it out a couple times a month to make pizza dough.