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Feb 24, 2012 08:36 AM

Are you using a bread machine?

I'm interested in getting a bread machine and wonder if there are any models out there that preheat the liquid to the right temperature before the machine starts. The first machine I ever owned did that and it seemed like it did a better job than the second machine I owned which didn't preheat. Any body out there using a bread machine? Recommendations or opinions?

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  1. I used a Panasonic one for a while. In the first 7 months the bread was very nice and unfortunately after that the bread kept coming out flat (didn't raise a bit). Not sure what caused this because I didn't change any settings, ingredients or routine. Waste of £100 in my opinion. The bread was really small as well and it lasted less than a day in our household of 2 adults and one child at the time. Some of the recipes were hit and miss as well.

    My personal opinion is to put that money toward a decent stand mixer that you can use to make the dough yourself and bake as much bread as you please or need. Just as easy and a lot better results.

    1 Reply
    1. re: iliria

      We have a Zojirushi Bread Machine, which preheats.

      I have a relative in Brasil who still remembers being awakened ihere n the morning to fresh, hot bread and coffee. I only added the ingredients ( yeast, dough mix, & water) and set the timer.

      But as I take a break with an early morning Nespresso, that machine is still sleeping in the closet. I am at the moment letting my hand-made Gros Pain loaves reach point on tne first rise, before another kneading and then baking. I prefer to make it by hand, at least on the weekends.
      Should be ready by daybreak.

      Simple comforts !

    2. What happened to my family when we got a bread machine several years ago is that we quit eating much bread. We didn't wish to buy bread since we had a bread machine but for some reason we were not satisfied with the quality of the bread we made with the machine and/or we didn't wish to exert the effort to make bread with the machine so we simple stopped eating bread. So if anybody is thinking about going ona low-carb diet, I suggest buying a bread machine.

      1 Reply
      1. re: John E.

        Pretty funny! I kinda wish that worked at my place with ice cream and the ice cream maker. But it doesn't. I still make it sometimes, and I still buy it sometimes! Sometimes in this particular case = fairly often = too often. ;-)

      2. I must respectfully disagree with the three answers so far. In fact, I could not disagree more strongly. I can't address the preheating issue (sorry), but to answer more generally: I love. love, love my bread machine(s). They are the fourth and fifth ones I've had (I could get by with one, but someone moving out of the country gave me hers).

        I make bread for sabbath in one every week; sometimes just the dough which I then braid or shape in some other way, and sometimes completely in the machine. I have been able to try dozens of recipes with all sorts of add-ins: olives, fresh herbs, nuts, dried fruit, millet, seeds (sunflower/pumpkin), and lots of other things, that I might not have otherwise tried. It's just so easy to throw everything in and push the start button. (For some mix-ins, I have to wait for the beep so they don't get too broken up, but that is far from onerous.)

        @ iliria--I have no problem with having a stand mixer, but there's no way that that is as easy as making bread in a machine. How can you beat dumping ingredients into a pan, pressing a button, and three hours later having fresh bread, without doing anything else? I understand that there are those that love to "get their hands dirty," both figuratively and literally, by actually kneading, shaping, etc., but you certainly can't use the word "easy" to properly describe that.

        @ John E.--There are literally thousand of recipes out there; I would think you'd try a bit harder to find one that would live up to the quality you are seeking, rather than just waste the money you spent on the machine. And "exert the effort"? Again, I can't believe people on Chowhound would call measuring out ingredients to dump them into a pan "exerting effort."

        2 Replies
        1. re: queenscook

          Actually, the main reason we no longer use our bread machine is that we found a commercial bakery that makes artisan bread loaves of various kinds that has an outlet store where they sell frozen bread priced at 3 loaves for $2. Some of the smaller loaves are .50 and ciabatta rolls at .10 each, so it doesn't pay to make our own bread, we just buy it.

          1. re: queenscook

            I agree!! I love, love, LOVE my R2D2 bread maker! I haven't used mine in a while (he's up in the cupboard, but only temporarily because I needed counter space for something...), but am getting a jones again for some home made bread. It's so expensive at the store to find decent bread, and yeah---how easy is it to just dump a bunch of stuff in the machine, push a button, and Voila! Instand bread! I've had the DAK R2D2 unit for years--I love it because it's simple and also because the shape is so darn cute. ♥ Kinda' like having a little friend sitting in my kitchen... :D I've made pizza dough in it (great, because I suck at kneading) and it's been really good, and several different types of bread. I'm now looking for a brioche recipe on here that is easy since I suck at actually having to knead stuff without it getting too rubbery. I made sourdough once and took the dough out and used a pizza stone to bake it on in the oven; most of the bread I've made from R2D2 has been really good. :) Love my R2D2!!!

          2. The BEST homemade bread I ever had - by a wide margin - was just done in an enamel cast iron piece in the oven - one of those Le Creuset french oven pots. The dough was very simple - something like this:

            I didn't make the bread - a friend did. It was ... AWESOME. Just as good as some of the best store bought artisan bread. I still have a Panasonic bread maker and it's been sitting in it's box for several years ... I really should just give it away! The stuff it produced was "ok" but nothing to write home about.

            1 Reply
            1. re: PepinRocks

              I own a West Bend twin-paddle horizontal bread machine, but I've also tried no-knead bread similar to what PepinRocks had. I like the "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day" method (make enough dough for several loaves at once & store in the fridge, then pull off enough for a loaf or two and bake - I use a pizza stone with an inverted disposable foil roasting pan over it); however, I've also tried the "Kneadlessly Simple" method (good for a loaf or two at a time, if you can plan ahead far enough to allow sufficient rising time).
              That said, however, I make bread-machine bread more often than the no-knead stuff - largely because a) I don't have the right kind of flour on hand for the ABi5 Master Recipe & b) there's still a certain amount of advance planning involved for even the ABi5 no-knead bread, and I often get busy & forget to get a batch of the dough started the night before.

            2. I've had a Zojirushi for over ten years, and it's as good as they get. I also like it that the loaf shape is horizontal rather than tower-like.

              Some posters here compare artisan loaves to bread machine loaves. That's two very different things. No bread machine can approximate the conditions of artisan baking. But they make several other kinds of breads pretty well and conveniently. Plus you can program them to work at night (though I seldom do that--cooking smells at night wake me up too early).