My Mother-In-Law gave me a Breadman bread-machine for Christmas last year, and I absolutely love it. It’s my first bread-machine, so I don’t really have a good point of reference to say it’s better than others, but she has the same one, and it’s her second one. The first one was a different brand, and she said it just didn’t hold up as well.
My mom had a bread-machine when I was a teenager, and all I remember about it was that it didn’t seem to work very well. It kind of put me off of the idea of bread-machines for a while. But last year, I had a fairly big health scare, and have been trying to avoid soy since then. Trying to avoid soy is a monumental task because it’s in pretty much everything, even most breads. I finally found two different breads in the grocery store that didn’t have soy, but they were about $6.00 a loaf, and they really weren’t that good.
I’ve also started reading a lot of blogs about cooking, cooking on a budget, and making slightly better food choices. Quite a few of them mentioned bread-machines, and I found some bread-machine recipes that looked really good. The idea of making home-made bread seems a little intimidating, and very time consuming to me, but the idea of dumping ingredients into a bread-machine and coming back to fresh bread in a few hours seemed wonderful. So I put a bread-machine on my wish list.
|French Bread w/ Rosemary|
The bread-machine has been wonderful. The breads are delicious, and the ingredients are all things I can pronounce. I really hate math, so I haven’t taken the time to figure out the cost per loaf based on the ingredients. I do know that a bag of flour isn’t $6.00, and we get a lot more than one loaf from a bag of flour, so I think it’s definitely cheaper than the bread I was buying before.
You have to measure very carefully, and the machine moves around a little bit (don’t put it on the edge of the counter) during the kneading process. It’s largely just put your ingredients in, push a few buttons, and come back later, which I love. Oddly enough, you have to stir the ingredients during the Quick Breads cycle. I didn’t stir the first time I used that cycle and ended up with a floury mess, but it has been fine when I follow the instructions and stir.
This bread-machine has a delay feature that I love. You can delay the baking by up to 24 hours as long your recipe doesn’t have dairy products, or anything else that can spoil quickly. I always make a lot of soups and stews in the slow cooker during the colder weather, and it’s wonderful to be able to set the timer on the bread-machine so that we come home to hot soup and fresh, warm bread.
All in all, I have to say if you’re considering a bread-machine, go for it. It seems to be a good investment, especially if you’re trying to avoid certain ingredients in your food. Breadman seems to be a reliable brand, and has some great features including the delay setting, a fruit/nut dispenser, and the ability to customize and program your own settings.