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Quick Bread machine advice please

I went to 5 stores pre-Succos to finally purchase a bread machine (after years of refusing to do so and making less than stellar Challah). My family wants the exact recipe of Mrs. N's Challah, our lovely neighbor and friend. It seems you cannot purchase a bread machine in the store anymore so I am online now and ready to order. Which brand will be reliable and will make enough for one Shabbos (three loaves) or a bigger crowd when Yom Tov comes? My neighbor's brand has been discontinued. Also, which site should I order from?

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  1. I don't know where you are located............
    I don't use a bread machine, in fact we have two out in the garage
    I was in Target and Bed Bath and Beyond this morning and they both stock bread machines. Target had three and BBB had 5 models in the store I was in.

    Try mass merchandisers and you should have no trouble finding one.

    2 Replies
    1. re: bagelman01

      The following stores did not have any bread machines:
      Sears, Macys the Cellar, Walmart, Target. I was told that BB and B did not have it. I was pretty surprised. I am in the Monsey/Paramus area. I tried both places. I did not post on the baking thread because I wanted to know which one would be best for the amt of Challah I would need. I am a novice and I did not want to get the wrong one for this particular job. I am so surprised that this isn't a simple question. Thanks for your help. I need more suggestions please.

      1. re: cappucino

        I am surprised by these results as we enter the 4th quarter and stores stock up for holiday buying.

        I have two in the garage, both were gifts. We didn't like them much because one made loaves that were much too small and the other took too long to bake.

        I make my dough in a KitchenAid and usually make a 3 or 5 braid challah. I then bake on a stone in my oven. I have an outdoor pizza oven that would be perfect, but it's dairy.

        The biggest bread machines I saw in the store make a 2 lb loaf, this doesn't seem like it would be big enough for your needs. There seem to be a number of bakers on this board who make challah, but I don't think many use bread machines.

    2. Did you try asking advice on the home cooking board, there are good threads there on baking/cooking equipment

      1 Reply
      1. re: AdinaA

        There's actually a cookware board which, for this question, is more appropriate than the home cooking board.

        That said, here's my 2 cents . . . I make challah/bread every week for shabbat, but the most flour that can go into my machine is four cups . . . in other words, a recipe that uses four cups of flour; there is room for the other ingredients, of course. It depends on the size of loaves you want, but you would not be able to make three large loaves from any machine I am familiar with. (I'm on my fourth or fifth machine, so I do have some experience.) However, the dough cycle takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes; you could do two or three batches of dough, and then combine them, or just make one loaf from each batch.

        Believe me, I'm the biggest fan of bread machines, but if you never plan to bake the loaves in it, you may be happier with a big mixer.

        1. re: MartyB

          I've had several over the years, a Panasonic, a Bradman, an Oster and Zojirushi. The Zojirushi was my favorite, albeit the most expensive. I found it easy to use and I liked the regular 'loaf of bread' shape. I no longer have a bread machine, but if I were to buy one, I'd read onlinecreviews. Check Consumersearch.com it's sort of a digest for different review sites. I use it often.

        2. if you are making 3 loaves at a time i'm not sure a bread machine is big enough for you. i used to have a zojurushi which i eventually wore out (it was that great!) but i only could make one loaf at a time.

          also, if you are going to be braiding it, maybe you want a mixer instead of a bread machine?? i had a bosch mixer which i got from pleasant hill grains online. it would easily handle 3 loaves at a time.

          3 Replies
          1. re: rmarisco

            Okay. I just bought the only bread maker on the shelf at a Target in my area (not the Target I went to before the holiday). It is a Black and Decker and it states it is 1.5 lb. I think it is not going to be enough, but I will try. This is a big concession for me because I have always made it by hand, but mine is never as good as anyone else's. I will report back. Again, I posted here not on the other boards because we all know what I mean when I say 3 loaves of Challah for Shabbos and I just want to copy the success of others at this point. I aim to be a shameless copycat.

            1. re: cappucino

              I have a 1 1/2 lb bread machine for a few years. Love it. The ease of cleanup, and have a delicious recipe for bread machine . 1 1/2 lb makes 2 small loaves for about 3 people or one loaf enough for approx 6 people .

              1. re: cappucino

                What do people not like about your challah? Depending on the issue, it could be your recipe, not your technique.

            2. I have this one (which I purchased on Amazon). I am very happy with it. When I bake challah- I use 14 cups of flour- I remove the dough from the machine after it's finished kneading. I then let the dough rise in a separate bowl and continue from there. I don't think that the machine would hold any more flour than the amount that I use, but you do it a few batches if necessary. The kneading cycle is not that long.
              I find Cuisinart to have very good customer service if something goes wrong...

              3 Replies
              1. re: EmpireState

                EmpireState, thanks for posting about this machine! I 've been rhinking about getting a machine but they never make enough dough for our purposes. This one sounds just right!

                1. re: Miri1

                  Just don't forget to take the dough out of the machine before it rises!

                2. re: EmpireState

                  What kind of yeast do you use? Do you have a challah recipe you recommend for that Cuisinart bread machine?

                3. I have a Sunbeam which makes 1 & 2lb. loaves. I never bake in the machine,,,if i want more challahs or bread dough I take out the dough before the first rise and then add my ingredients for the next batch and rise them at the same time.Doing this allows you to mix a larger dough because you will have a large capacity since you're not rising it.The beauty of the bread machine is that it makes a really fine dough and so easy to remove and clean since it has a non-stick surface.

                  12 Replies
                  1. re: goldZ

                    You let both batches rise outside the machine? Or inside? If inside, how is there enough room?

                    1. re: cappucino

                      I have an update. I bought the Black and Decker 1.5 lb model at Target, called my friend and had her talk me thru it, watched the instructional video on You Tube (yes, i actually did that and it's 20 minutes long) and then went forward with great trepidation. It went extremely well. I used my friend's recipe and chose the dough cycle. After 1 hr 30 min, I took out the dough (great consistency) and formed Two challahs. Let it rise for one hour in a warmed up oven (old kitchen) and then baked it for 20 minutes. I also prepared another batch with cinnamon filling. The reviews on one of the loaves were stellar. I am so pleased. I should have been less stubborn about this and caved years ago.

                      1. re: cappucino

                        I'm curious about the cinnamon-filled recipe . . . care to share?

                        1. re: queenscook

                          Unfortunately, my friend does not have a recipe. She just takes her usual recipe (1 cup warm water, 1/2 cup oil, 4 cups flour, 2 tsp salt, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 1/2 tsp yeast) and she lets the dough knead and rise in the breadmaker. then she takes it out and puts a mixture of cinnamon, sugar and oil on the dough (she rolls it out jellyroll style but thicker than jellyroll thickness). I just winged the amts of cinnamon and sugar. I won't know till Fri night if it was the right amt. I will let you know on Sat night or sunday. she also buys shachar something chocolate spread from israel and uses that inside her braids when she makes chocolate challah which is absolutely heavenly (for my kids).

                          1. re: cappucino

                            Did you use bread flour or something else? Which yeast? What oven temperature? Finally, did you bake them in a pan, or open on a cookie sheet?

                            1. re: helou

                              I copied my friend detail for detail. I used King Arthur's bread flour, recommended by the instructional video too, and Fleischman's yeast in a jar which I only found at a regular supermarket, the kosher ones don't carry it. My friend buys it in large quantities at Costco. The video recommended that particular yeast too. Active dry. Not rapid rise. Not wet yeast. Oven temp 350, baked in aluminum loaf pans greased but no parchment was necessary. Uncovered. The bake time for her is under 20 minutes. She has a new oven. I would check the bake time with your own oven to be sure.

                              1. re: helou

                                one final thing. i have used the yeast packets that are more common. they have not been as successful for me. the lady in the video says it's ok, but not preferable.

                              2. re: cappucino

                                Well, that's still a recipe then! It's actually pretty similar to the recipe I use, though it has a bit more oil and sugar. But I'm surprised there's no egg; my recipe uses one.

                                And just to confirm . . . it's baked in the jellyroll style?

                                1. re: queenscook

                                  Oh my gosh. one egg and a yolk. i forgot to mention the egg!!! yikes. sorry.

                                  1. re: queenscook

                                    it is baked rolled up like a jellyroll but very thick so it's not really a jellyroll. when it's done, you don't notice the jellyrolling, you just see a swirl of cinnamon.

                              3. re: cappucino

                                If you rise the dough in the machine you can only prep a small amount. I remove the dough once it has completely been kneaded into a perfect ball and rise it in a bowl, covered with a towel or plastic wrap. This way I can make a larger amount!

                                1. re: goldZ

                                  So that would mean that I could double the recipe for dough without worrying about it. I see. The problem is that then the bread machine is no different than a kitchen aid mixer. I appreciated that the dough rose by itself the first time. I have a drafty kitchen so one less rising cycle is helpful to me.

                          2. I don't have insight into which model to buy, but I can tell you that the Kosher on a Budget blog posts deals on them on Amazon from time to time. If you're willing to wait, I would shop around and see what she posts.

                            You can also set a price alert for a particular one and see pricing history with the website camelcamelcamel.com - they also work with Amazon. That way you can get an idea of what constitutes a good deal and then make sure you get it.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: bethanyshondark

                              Looks like you missed the post in which the OP reported that she had bought a machine and has used it already.

                              1. re: queenscook

                                Reviews are in: The plain Challah was very good (very nice consistency). The Cinnamon was well-received. The chocolate was well-received. I felt that the only negative was that I could taste a bit of salt in what was actually a very sweet recipe. I will lower the salt content, but I'm wondering if it may be this particular yeast. I also feel that if it isn't warmed up it isn't that spectacular. Either way, it was my first successful sweet Challah attempt in 18 years. Next, I will use the timer function and have the machine do all the steps including baking.

                            2. Cappucino,
                              Most of the bread makers only make one loaf at a time but you can make up to 2.5 pounds for one loaf. It depends on how big of a loaf you want to make. Buying appliances online can be scary at first but once you have done it you wont ever want to go to the store again. A good brand for bread makers is Zojirushi. They are on the upper end when it comes to price thought. A good bread maker for a reasonable price is Cuisinart. You cant make as much bread but you will spend about 1/3 the amount of money in the end. Hope this helps you out!


                              7 Replies
                              1. re: KitchenReviewer

                                I appreciate the info. I will keep it in mind in the furture. I am now knee deep in double oven research.

                                1. re: cappucino

                                  Me, too. I have been very happy with the Shabbos mode on my Kitchenaid, but otherwise it has needed too many repairs. my previous Kitchenaid was more reliable, but was purchased prior to Shabbos mode ovens. So many of the brands are from the same manufacturer and are basically the same. I had ultimately decided to go with a GE Profile, but I want white and do not like that the white glass doors have no protective edging and seem subject to chipping. And I cannot see the white anywhere as all the displays are in stainless. My current Kitchenaid has white glass doors but there is a framework around the glass edges. My current oven goes into pf mode frequently but can be turned back on without a problem. I was very nervous through the last round of chaggim and all my food was fully cooked beforehand so I really just hand to reheat in the Shabbos mode.

                                  1. re: susiejane

                                    It's proving to be so complicated to get a good recommendation on this. The GE Cafe was also not rated well by people I asked. Now, I am stuck. Not sure what to do. Hope it works out. It means a lot to me. I've been suffering with these dying ovens for years now.

                                    1. re: cappucino

                                      my research was a couple of months back before I gave up for a while. At that time I had contacted both Electrolux and Frigidaire through their websites inquiring about new models. I received replies from the same person. I was told that Frigdaire would be releasing new models around the beginning of the year. I was interested, as I recall, because their current models had a smaller oven capacity than GE or Kitchenaid/ Whirlpool/ Maytag. BTW, I require 27 inch width, which is more limiting, as is my preference for white.

                                      1. re: susiejane

                                        I require the same narrow width. Yes, that is limiting. I will update if I get one.

                                  2. re: cappucino

                                    Might I suggest you start a new thread about ovens; anyone looking for this info in the future will have trouble finding it if it's part of a thread about bread machines.

                                    1. re: queenscook

                                      I think I already did. I have to check.

                                2. I am replying to "fbsut"- I use Red Star Quick-Rise Yeast.
                                  This is the recipe that I use:
                                  I halve it (using 3 lbs flour) and I am able to make 4 medium sized challahs. I put 1/2 of the batch in the bread machine to knead, take it out and then put the other 1/2 in. Just make sure to take each batch out before the rising cycle (the machine should make a series of beeps). I let each batch rise in a large bowl.
                                  Let me know if you have any other questions.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: EmpireState

                                    Thank you, EmpireState. Do you follow recipe in terms of adding ingredients (i.e. proofing yeast in water first) or do you follow bread machine rules of adding wet ingredients, then dry, then yeast?

                                  2. I follow the recipe instructions. Good luck!

                                    1. I recently bought a Zojirushi that makes 2 lb loaves. It even includes a challah recipe! One can take the dough out of the machine, shape it, then put it back into the bread maker pan and bake it. It IS a spendy machine, but worth the price if you bake a lot. You don't even have to worry about the temperature when adding yeast to recipes! The machine even bakes cinnamon rolls and meatloaf. The reviews on it are great :) I had to buy mine on Amazon. Chef's Catalog sells them also. It's best to compare prices from different sellers - find coupon codes online and apply them if you can for more savings.

                                      1 Reply