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Topic: Bread Machine

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Subject: Bread Machine
Date Posted: 1/3/2011 8:26 AM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 335
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I received a brand new bread machine for Christmas thinking that I will save a fortune on bread and it will pay for itself. Do you think it's true? It would have to cover the cost of the machine plus the ingredients every time. I have only been making simple white, whole wheat or oat breads so the ingredients are inexpensive so far (except for my one splurge of kalamata olive/herb bread).

Bakery bread costs between $4 and $6 a loaf. Do you think it is worth it?


Date Posted: 1/3/2011 9:33 AM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2009
Posts: 255
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Oh, yes! We've burned out two machines over the last 15-18 years. When you get it down pat, you can get the ingredients into the machine in less than 3 minutes, set the timer & have fresh, hot bread for breakfast in the morning.

The best way to save $$ is to buy yeast in bulk from Sam's or Costco or somesuch. The little packets in the grocery store are waaaaayyyyyyy too expensive. The last time I bought some, it came in two 1-pound packages. I put one in the freezer, unopened & opened the other into a piece of tupperware, which I keep in the refrigerator. It keeps just fine, but even if you end up tossing some of it, it still costs much less than the packets in the store.

We tend to take it by spurts, though, & haven't used it much since we moved. Need to get started again!

Date Posted: 1/3/2011 2:11 PM ET
Member Since: 12/12/2010
Posts: 2
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Oh yes.  We frequently use ours.  We make lots of pizza crusts!  We sometimes use the 'dough' cycle for bread, rolls etc.  We think the bread 'tastes' better baked in the oven... LOL.  I got lots of ideas when I joined the King Arthur Flour forums.  I do like King Arthur Flour, but it is pricey.  I wait for sales of the all-purpose and bread (hard) flour of KA brand.  The bread has a better crumb when using KA flour.  The real cheap flours aren't as good for bread making, exp when making dinner rolls  (I use all-purpose flour).  I use the bread (hard) flour for regular bread... it has more gluten for rise.  Good luck and have fun.  Ue PBS for a good bread making book.

Date Posted: 1/4/2011 9:31 AM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 335
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Thank you Leslie and Anne for your responses. I want to try the pizza crust. And I'm sure that the bread does taste better after baking in the oven. I'm going to experiment with rolls and things next.

Buying the yeast in bulk makes a lot of sense. Years ago, I baked bread frequently using my KitchenAid mixer for the first several steps but when that burned out, I found bread baking too labor and time intensive.

Do you have any recommendations for good book titles?

Date Posted: 1/4/2011 3:43 PM ET
Member Since: 10/16/2005
Posts: 1,594
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I think you'll save money. We make pizza crust in ours all the time and we make a loaf of bread every week.  We use the dough cycle and cook it in the oven. I always buy the store brand bread flour.  I've had lots of problems with pantry moths from King Arthur flour.

Date Posted: 1/10/2011 4:09 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,367
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If you compare it to equivelent bread (not full of preservatives, etc) then you come out ahead.  I'm not sure I've ever made anything but sandwhich bread in ours...maybe someone gave us a bread machine mix once for something sweet.  Works fine, though you do have to learn to cut straight. My SO tends to cut the bread....he got tired of what I did to the loaf.  I make it, he cuts it. Works out!

Date Posted: 1/13/2011 11:46 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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anyone kn ow how to make bolillo rolls or french bread? something crunchy yet soft in the middle? I'm guessing that would require baking but I'm willing to try it...I'd like fresh ones..they make them where I live(bolilla rolls) but some are too soft on the outside and others are tough or not fresh like I'm wanting.

Date Posted: 1/15/2011 10:30 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2010
Posts: 262
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When you're calculating the financial effect of something like this, it's not enough to ask, "Is it cheaper to buy a loaf of bread or to bake it in the machine (taking into account the machine itself, power, and ingredients)?" Instead, the question has to be, "What will the effect of this be on our total expenditures?"

Everything we eat affects the other things we eat. For example, suppose you get a machine and find you don't enjoy baking with it. But because you feel guilty about the sunk cost, you keep telling yourself that you'll bake tomorrow. You therefore avoid buying bread at the store. With no bread in the house, you can't make sandwiches, so for lunches you start heating up frozen pizzas instead - and there go any potential savings.

Or perhaps you love baking the bread, and you love eating it. Though you would never have considered store-bought bread to be a part of the meal, you consider the home-baked bread as a dish that you can proudly set on the table. This simplifies meal planning and makes the family happier - thus keeping you away from fast-food places and cutting down some on prepared foods as well. Perhaps your meals are healthier and even slightly friendlier this way. In this case, the savings could go way beyond the difference between store-bought and home-baked breads.

Or perhaps - well, the scenarios are endless. The truth is, you can't tell what the effect will be on your particular family.

(edited for typo and clarity)

Last Edited on: 2/19/11 11:44 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
John B. (cwousn) - ,
Date Posted: 1/15/2011 7:22 PM ET
Member Since: 11/9/2010
Posts: 81
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Like others, I've used a bread machine for years.  I'm a caregiver for my bride and can't run to the store for fresh bread, rolls etc., on the spur of the moment so I've made dough for hamburger and hot dog rolls, pizza, and dinner rolls as well as all kinds of breads.  On the down side, I found that I liked my own bread so much that I was making toast and slathering it with butter and a slice of cheese whenever I felt like a snack.  Two years ago, I stopped making bread unless I was having company. Now I just use my machine for the occasional pizza or rolls. (I've lost over 30 lb by cutting out bread from my diet!)

My bread book is "The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cook Book", ISBN 155832156X. It has recipes for just about any bread you can think of. I bought mine years ago - before I found PBS - and got it for little money at one of the book resellers on line.

Last Edited on: 1/15/11 7:24 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/18/2011 7:20 AM ET
Member Since: 2/10/2007
Posts: 79
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What is the best bread machine?  I've had one for several years, but it doesn't mix well and the bread comes out lumpy.  It is awful!  I'm going to buy another machine and try again. 

So, which bread machine is terrific?

Date Posted: 1/18/2011 5:54 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 335
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Susanna S, to make crusty bread and rolls in the oven, put a pan of water on the bottom shelf of the oven during the bread baking.

Date Posted: 1/22/2011 9:06 PM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2006
Posts: 3,343
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French bread is very easy to make...I'll dig around and try to find my recipe, but it's something like flour, water, salt...throw in machine to knead/etc and allow rise, take out, shape, rise and bake for 40 minutes...done.  As Lynne said, a pan of water helps crustiness.  Also, you can make rolls in muffin tins.

Here's a similar recipe, although we don't use cornmeal with our bread.  Sounds complicated, but it's really quite easy.

We LOVE our breadmaker.  After burning out two, we splurged on a $$$ one a number of years ago.  It's held up beautifully, and been well worth the money.  Has jam, quick bread, yeast bread, dough cycles and you can set the options for each cycle separately.

ETA:  we just converted a recipe like the one above for our breadmaker.  We make the dough like normal bread, let it rise the first time in the machine, take it out, shape it and then cover and rise again manually.

Last Edited on: 1/22/11 9:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 2