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Bread Making
Old 09-20-2008, 03:58 PM   #1
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Bread Making

I make a few loaves of bread from scratch once in a while; maybe on the order of 2 loaves per month.

I don't own a mixer, and every so often I contemplate purchasing one. I've read that the new KitchenAid mixers are now poorly manufactured with plastic gearboxes and have a high failure rate (similar to that of the low quality Roomba products that iRobot releases, but that is another thread ).

I've read some great reviews on the Bosch Universal mixer, but I'm skeptical. I have to wonder if it is so great then why don't I see it widely owned or offered in retail outlets.

Anyone out there own a Bosch mixer or another brand that they would (or would not) recommend for kneading dough?

Thanks
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Old 09-20-2008, 04:19 PM   #2
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We have had a KitchenAid mixer for 4 years. No problem. However, we have a kitchenaid range, and it is a piece of c&(p. Turn it to 325. It will heat to 450, turn it down, it will go to 200, turn it to 325 it may go to 475. Took 20 min to 'preheat' to 325. Kitchenaid sent a repair person out and they said 'That's normal!' Range is a $2,000 gas range! Going to get another repair person to look at it!
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Old 09-20-2008, 05:01 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reminder, Slouch, I've been into making bread on and off and plan to do more of it now that I'm retired. It's fun to get a feel for it by making it totally by hand; I did some of that and it really is awkward to raise it around a work schedule. The loaves I've done usually come out really flat. I've got the ingredients on today's shopping list.

I now use a VitaMix which can grind the flour and mix and knead the dough; I haven't mastered this technique but will try again. In the meantime, I've been grinding grains and mixing quick breads in it: banana bread, zucchini bread, and muffins. I love the VitaMix, it is my second one, the first wore out after about 16 years. It's also good for soups, sauces, dips, blender drinks, and ice cream.
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Old 09-20-2008, 05:21 PM   #4
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Before Kitchen Aide was available I wanted a big mixer. We found one in a restaurant supply house 31 years ago. It is a Blakeslee and I now bake all our breads (6 to 8 loaves at a time and freeze). For most of the 30 years it just kicked butt with doughs for a couple thousand cookies every November and 8 loaves of banana bread at a crack. It has NEVER been serviced and the only issue is I broke one of the paddles that came with it, but the whip and dough hook are still good. Every now and then I look at newer models and shudder at the lack of quality. I may have to go back to the supply house when this one croaks.

I just checked online and their smallest is a 12/20 qt cart or counter model. Now if I can get them to call me when a new one comes back from a restaurant failure!
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Old 09-20-2008, 05:32 PM   #5
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Back in the 1970's and 1980's, I used to bake all of the bread for my family. It wasn't that hard, since I used a pretty plain and simple recipe, and I did all the kneading myself. You know, kneading bread is a great emotional outlet. Mad at your spouse? Tired of listening to the baby cry? Hand the baby to your spouse and go knead bread.

The reason that I made my own bread was that I was able to lower the sugar content of the bread to a more reasonable amount than I was finding in most affordable commercial breads at that time. Even though you need a little sugar for the yeast to get it to rise, using a mixture of flours I didn't need all that much.

Maybe like CuppaJoe, I would like to bake bread again after ER.
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Old 09-20-2008, 05:46 PM   #6
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not much better in life than fresh from the oven homemade bread.
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Old 09-20-2008, 06:32 PM   #7
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I make all our bread using our trusty bread makin' machine. We like it because the bread tastes great, I can control the sugar and salt levels, it's much less expensive than grocery store bread, and boy does it smell good bakin'
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Old 09-20-2008, 06:40 PM   #8
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Same here. Step up to the 21st century, guys. Bread machines are where it's at. We wake up to the smell of fresh bread every third day or so. Bread machines are < $10 at garage sales.

Also great for making the dough for pizza.
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Old 09-20-2008, 06:45 PM   #9
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Yes, the power of home-made, freshly baked bread! I got my AC repaired for free labor once because I had just baked bread that morning and gave a loaf to the guy (an independent contractor)
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Old 09-20-2008, 08:34 PM   #10
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I make fresh bread every 2 days (I am making a batch of French baguettes right now). I have been using the same basic kitchen aid mixer for the past 7 years to mix the ingredients and start the kneading process. I have found that I get better results if I finish the kneading process by hand. But the Kitchen aid is still working fine. The only thing I would recommend is to make sure that you knead the dough on the lowest speed possible so that you don't strip the gears (as noted in the user's manual). I am not crazy about bread machines. I sold mine at a garage sale...

Homemade bread for tomorrow's breakfast...
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Old 09-20-2008, 09:18 PM   #11
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I find doing bread by hand to be very relaxing. That said, the company I retired from passes out a catalog from which one can select a retirement present. I picked a Hamilton Beach mixer. It works wonderfully.

I have years of experience with Kitchen Aide, but none recent. I went to Amazon.com and read the reviews on the Kitchen Aide and Hamilton Beach before selecting. I was planning on buying another Kitchen Aide until seeing the catalog. Baking on cold winter days is a pleasure one should not miss.
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Old 09-20-2008, 09:38 PM   #12
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For many years all the family ate was my home made bread. My recipe uses dry milk and bread flour so it is reasonably economical. Also there is a very good book on the art of making bread at home.
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Old 09-20-2008, 10:49 PM   #13
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I feel awful. I buy Costco multigrain bread for $1.50 a loaf (its delish) and warm it up in the microwave for that "fresh from the oven" smell and delightful warmth.
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Old 09-21-2008, 03:07 AM   #14
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We have a kitchenaid, don't use it as often as we would like, but it works fine. A friend of ours has both the kitchenaid and the bosch, and they say the bosch is the hands-down winner for bread making, although they use the kitchenaid for cookies amd other stuff.

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Old 09-21-2008, 03:11 AM   #15
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I have heard of folks using a bread machine just for the mixing/kneading part (using their own recipes rather than the bread-machine ones) and then forming the loaves and finishing in the regular oven.
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Old 09-21-2008, 08:54 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina View Post
I have heard of folks using a bread machine just for the mixing/kneading part (using their own recipes rather than the bread-machine ones) and then forming the loaves and finishing in the regular oven.
that's me!
i have a 15 yr old Toastmaster 2 lb bread machine. i use it so much i had to get a replacement for the inside when the non stick coating wore off.
the dough only cycle is 1.5 hours vs 3.5 hours for full bake inside. i find the dough bakes more thoroughly and consistently in the traditional oven.
i use regular all purpose flour vs the bread machine flour for white breads. more cost effective for the volume of bread i make. but if i see a good deal on the mixes, i use those too.
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Old 09-21-2008, 09:53 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina View Post
I have heard of folks using a bread machine just for the mixing/kneading part (using their own recipes rather than the bread-machine ones) and then forming the loaves and finishing in the regular oven.
We do that whenever we make pizza. Half the dough is used for the pizza, and half for bread.

Our most common bread is made with two cups of whole wheat and one cup of regular flour.

It takes me less than 60 seconds to load the bread machine.
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Old 09-21-2008, 10:09 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
We do that whenever we make pizza. Half the dough is used for the pizza, and half for bread.

Our most common bread is made with two cups of whole wheat and one cup of regular flour.

It takes me less than 60 seconds to load the bread machine.
Al, What's the recipe for your pizza dough? Do you let it rise in the bread machine or separate it after mixing? Also, do you bake the half not used for pizza in the bread maker or oven? Thanks
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Old 09-21-2008, 11:30 AM   #19
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Quote:
I have heard of folks using a bread machine just for the mixing/kneading part (using their own recipes rather than the bread-machine ones) and then forming the loaves and finishing in the regular oven.
Me, too. The mixing and kneading seems pretty reliable and quite heavy duty. Since I don't intend to bake the bread in the machine, I can use it to mix a larger batch of dough than the machine could normally make anyway. I've been working on some recipes that require sit times between kneadings of 24 hours or refrigeration before baking. Its very convenient to pull the pan out of the machine and then pop it back in to do the next step. You can also use the machine for convenience in mixing ingredients, then dump the dough out and do whatever you want by hand to finish the process. Mine is an older machine (16 years) but the mechanics seem very heavy duty and I expect it to last forever.
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Old 09-21-2008, 12:49 PM   #20
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this discussion truly inspired me...i just put together a cinnamon raisin bread loaf, full cycle.
mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

hub sez thank you!
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