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Old 06-09-2010, 01:14 AM   #21
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I have a bread machine moldering on a shelf somewhere. I used it some, then I became gluten intolerant and I have't eaten any bread of any type for 15 years now. I kind of miss it, but not nearly as much as I thought I would, even though I went kind of overboard about it before.

ha
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Old 06-09-2010, 01:25 AM   #22
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Somebody gave us a bread machine some years back. It got used some, but not enough to waste counter/cabinet space so off to Goodwill it went.

Recently, while smoking crack I was watching videos on WSJ and went crazy was inspired by a video on no-knead sourdough bread.

I love sour dough bread, and the real deal is hard to find around here, so I decided to give it a try. I mean, what the hell, I'm stupid retired and have time and money to piss away do stuff like this, right? And how hard could it be?

Ordered the sourdough starter from KA and grew that bad boy (which went well) and proceeded to make my first sourdough brick. It seems making good sourdough bread is something of an art form. And everyone has radically different recipes and techniques. I know because I tried about 20 of them. Now, I tend to go insane, overdo, rise to challenges, so it became an obsession a goal. Nobody stands in my way, not even 12 billion tiny flour-eating microbes!

God alone knows how much I spent on KA flour. And then there was the vital need to buy a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, but hey, I got it for a $100 off normal price and a rebate in the form of an ice cream making attachment (anybody got a good recipe for sugar free ice cream?). But in the end, I won and the microbes became my bitches. My kids eat the stuff and the neighbors are demanding more. That Pillsbury Dough-boy dude ain't got nothing on me.

So, I think I'll hold off on the bread maker for a while. I keep looking at the stand mixer with feelings that alternate between machine lust and self-loathing for spending the money. But I make some killer brownies with it.
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Old 06-09-2010, 07:39 AM   #23
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That King Arthur sourdough starter is a pretty incredible one. We carried one batch around for well over 10 years and I have a couple of bits in the freezer if I ever want to reconstitute it.

But we used it to mostly make sourdough pancakes, rarely sourdough bread. The pancakes were awesome - but another "bready" thing I just don't eat much anymore.

Yes, I think sourdough bread is an art form, and I think to get the best results it helps to be in the right geographic climate. There is a reason so much sourdough bread comes from San Francisco. But lots of experimentation is how you would get the best results possible in your area.

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Originally Posted by Leonidas View Post
S And then there was the vital need to buy a Kitchen Aid stand mixer.....

So, I think I'll hold off on the bread maker for a while. I keep looking at the stand mixer with feelings that alternate between machine lust and self-loathing for spending the money. But I make some killer brownies with it.
I think you're already set. The stand mixer is a really good sub for a bread machine. The paddle blade is perfect for the initial kneading. It really whips the dough and that helps the gluten threads develop. Then you switch to the dough hook for subsequent kneading. Bowl is plenty big for the risings until you do the final shape and rise. You have to do your own timing, but bread dough is very flexible in terms of how long you can delay between stages. Did you know you can just through bread dough in the refrig and bake the next day? Or even through in the freezer for some other day?

I took a bread baking class to learn to make several varieties of French breads and we used the stand mixer. Definitely give it a try.

Another excellent reference for home european style artisan bread baking (beyond the KA recipes) for me was this book:Amazon.com: The Il Fornaio Baking Book: Sweet and Savory Recipes from the Italian Kitchen: Franco Galli

Audrey
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Old 06-09-2010, 10:48 AM   #24
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Quote:
So there is the potential for substantial savings by making home bread again.
I once calculated the cost at <$1 per loaf, but you know you're not going to save money if you spend $214 for a bread machine.

Garage sales - $5 to $15.

I don't see any advantage to horizontal bread (you can rotate it after you remove it from the pan ), and it would mean you'll have two paddles to clean, which is the worst part of bread making.

Also, you don't want to make really large loaves unless there are a lot of people in your household. Yes, it will last, but it tastes the best soon after making it. I don't know if you can make smaller loaves with that machine. With a vertical pan, you can make a smaller loaf, and the slices are still the same size.
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Old 06-09-2010, 11:13 AM   #25
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I once calculated the cost at <$1 per loaf, but you know you're not going to save money if you spend $214 for a bread machine.

Garage sales - $5 to $15.

I don't see any advantage to horizontal bread (you can rotate it after you remove it from the pan ), and it would mean you'll have two paddles to clean, which is the worst part of bread making.

Also, you don't want to make really large loaves unless there are a lot of people in your household. Yes, it will last, but it tastes the best soon after making it. I don't know if you can make smaller loaves with that machine. With a vertical pan, you can make a smaller loaf, and the slices are still the same size.
I must confess that the horizontal loaf requirement is purely for aesthetic reasons. The cleaning is not really a problem (since DW is in charge of that ).

As for the savings, this is what I figure:

DW and I eat lots of bread, this is a major staple of our diet. Between us, we eat about 1 lb of bread per day. Given the fact that the Zo's machine has a 2lb pan, I suspect that the loaf would last us only about 2 days.
I currently spend roughly $3/day on bread, that's $1,095 per year. Assuming I make 1 loaf every other day for about $1/loaf, the bread machine could be paid off in a matter of months.
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Old 06-09-2010, 11:24 AM   #26
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I have 3 bread machines (2 bought cheap) and if I were buying a new one, the big Zojirushi that King Arhur Flour recommends is what I would get. They do all their bread recipe testing in machines - not the baking, but the kneading. They said it does a better job than kneading by hand.

The reason I have 3 - sometimes I want to make more bread for a big party... etc. One is a junky Oster, another is Breadman (I think) that works well, the original expensive one is Panasonic from 15 years ago. I like them all for different reasons. But I do usually bake in the oven and just use the bread machine for making the dough and rising.

Here are two very interesting books you might like if you are looking at making rustic breads. I tried some recipes in the rustic bread book but didn't have time... I plan to make more bread in retirement... in between going on a low carb diet to lose the weight from eating the bread...

Amazon.com: Rustic European Breads from Your Bread Machine (9780385477772): Linda West Eckhardt, Diana Collingwood…

Amazon.com: Crust and Crumb: Master Formulas for Serious Bread Bakers (9781580088022): Peter Reinhart: Books

This is a fabulous recipe - my S.O. drools in anticipation when I make it.

Tuscan Coffeecake: King Arthur Flour
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Old 06-09-2010, 11:28 AM   #27
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FYI - Every so often KA Flour has a sale where they give free shipping if you spend $75 (not on appliances) - if you get on their email list, you'll know when it happens and can buy specialty flours then without the expensive shipping costs.

They really have great recipes, too.
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Old 06-09-2010, 01:40 PM   #28
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Craigslist - by the shovelful, like other single purpose appliance.
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Old 06-09-2010, 03:10 PM   #29
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Too bad I didn't know...just got rid of one last week. Didn't use it for years.

+1 on the cost, the thrift store, and Craigs list.

Got one of these 23 years ago. It kneads bread, helps with all my wife’s baking, shreds cheese, grinds meat, chops vegetables, and it's pretty easy to clean.... Just check out all the attachments. And I can tell you from experience, it lasts.

Amazon.com: KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Stand Mixers: Home & Garden
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Old 06-09-2010, 05:41 PM   #30
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When I don't want to knead by hand, I use a food processor or a stand mixer.

If you want to use a food processor, do some research on technique. I use 20 seconds, let rest for 5 minutes, and then another 25 seconds. That's all it takes! You can't make large quantities of dough, but clean up is a breeze.
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Old 08-31-2010, 07:14 AM   #31
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Well, I decided not to get a bread machine for the new house after all. They are great machines, but the fact is that we just don't eat that much bread anymore since we reduced the starches in our diet many years ago. We rarely buy bread. We have an occasional frozen pizza at home (thin crust, of course), and I only very occasionally buy a frozen load of ciabatta or whatever that can be popped in the oven. HEB makes some awesome frozen bread if you want that nice home-baked artisan touch.

Anyway - I realized that my Kitchenaid stand mixer is all I really need, because for the last several years that I did a lot of bread making, I only ever used the bread machine for making the dough anyway, preferring to do the final shaping by hand, and baking the bread in an oven. The Kitchenaid is not quite as convenient as a bread machine as you have to pay attention to the time to take the dough through the stages, but it's still pretty minimal fuss.

Right now my mixer is buried deep in the bowels of our storage unit in another city. So I won't be able to get my hands on it until we rent the truck to bring that stuff down here. Patience, patience! I'm anxious to start making our own pizzas again now that we have space and a real oven in the house. Also need pizza paddle and pizza stone!

By the way, I got pretty good at adapting recipes to the bread machine. I even adapted my mother's Christollen recipe and always used the bread machine to make that. I use my Dad's bread machine as I am always at his place from Xmas.

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Old 08-31-2010, 07:22 AM   #32
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When I don't want to knead by hand, I use a food processor or a stand mixer.

If you want to use a food processor, do some research on technique. I use 20 seconds, let rest for 5 minutes, and then another 25 seconds. That's all it takes! You can't make large quantities of dough, but clean up is a breeze.
I may be trying the food processor soon, as I was able to retrieve that from storage recently as it was close to the front. I'm so happy to have my Cuisinart custom-11 back, even though it will need a lot of cleaning. I left it with my MIL for a few years and they kept it on top of the fridge next to the stove, and, well, clouds of greasy air must have settled on it over the years - yuck. I felt like I was doing an animal rescue when I retrieved it from her house after she passed - bless her heart.

I have used the food processor for pasta dough - perfect. Although I don't make homemade pasta anymore.

The food processor is awesome for pie crusts. I used it all the time to make the sweet cookie style pie crust required for my mother's plum tart (pate sucree).

Hmmm - I guess I'll be making my whole wheat pizza dough in the Cuisinart until I can retrieve the buried Kitchenaid.

Audrey
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