Breadmaking machines ?
Am considering purchasing a SMALL one,counter space very limited.
Anyone have experience with this,any recs? pros & cons?
Is it really easier,how about the taste and consistency of the bread?
Any info greatly appreciated*
In my experience, the small ones aren't much good. I had a small one (don't remember the brand but it was supposed to be good) and it made very tasty but very dense loaves, regardless of the order of ingredients or what kind of yeast/flour you used.
You might be better of with a good mixer (Kitchenaid with a good sized motor) and a good breadmaking book if you're very limited for space.
Can you say what you want from a bread machine? What kinds of bread do you wish to make? Is a cooking timer function and your own home schedule crucial?
We got one as a wedding present. Used it a few times then sold it in a garage sale. One of the more useless gadgets I've ever owned. The bread was fine but had no shelf life. Fine also wasn't good enough. Clean up was a bit of a pain too.
All in all, my advice is to buy a loaf pan and some yeast.
re: grangie angie
Yes, unless you need the timer function or really just hate baking, it's better to go old school. That said, I have a bread machine and sometimes use it for kneading alone (I don't have a stand mixer). Then there's also no-knead bread approaches, if you have a good, tight-lidded pot.
I don't have a bread machine, but I did look into one recently. I have done my bread by hand for years and will probably stick to this method for the time being. Maybe I will get a kitchen aid mixer one day to help out.
Anyhow, I was going to buy/use the Zojirushi machine to prep the bread dough and then bake it myself. It is kind of a nice hybrid approach that gives you more control.
The people at King Arthur Flower are also pretty helpful when troubleshooting this brand of bread machine. You can read reviews and post on their site questions, and they will help out to improve the product.
Zoj also has a mini version (Zojirushi BB-HAC10 Home Bakery Mini Breadmaker). I didn't research this, but it is a smaller version and also seems to get good reviews at King Arthur.