Friday, December 10, 2010

A Day I Never Thought Would Come: A Breadmaker Just For Me

I haven't ever used a breadmaker before. I don't have anything against them, I'm just too impatient to do the research and buy one and then learn how to use it. I'd just as soon do it the old fashioned way, because cooking from scratch seems so much more important when you do it without small appliances.

However, I have learned in the last few months that my life is pretty much completely out of control and sometimes I may not have time to babysit a loaf of bread just so I can eat a sandwich. Enter Grandma. My mom always gives great gifts, even to people she's not related to, and this year she wanted to get me something substantial as a gift that would also be practical. I told her I thought I needed a breadmaker, but I had no idea which one to get. I had been thinking of finding one secondhand from someone, because now I'm all about frugality, but then when I thought about cross-contamination, I didn't know if it was safe to buy one that had been used with regular flour. If you just wash the pan is it okay or do you have to do something special to the insides as well? Does anyone out there have an opinion on this? I decided to go with brand new just to be safe, and my mom found this West Bend model for only $79 from WalMart of all places. They shipped it to my door safe and sound...I also really am glad I waited to buy one because I've always hated how bread machines make square hunks of bread. (If you own a square-bread-maker, no offense. The bread tastes the same, it just looks like a block.) I really wanted to get one that made bread that looked like real bread. Ask and ye shall recieve...

I know the Zojirushi is the gold standard of breadmakers, but I just can't justify spending $200 on a bread machine to lazily make bread just for myself when an $80 one works just as well. There are some things to be aware of when making gluten free bread in a bread machine. The first thing I learned is that when you add the ingredients and it starts kneading in the first cycle, it's a good idea to take a rubber spatula and mix the dough a little bit, and even add a few tablespoons of water, as the dough can get a little bit dry and crusty on top. Gluten Free Goddess has a list of tips for using gluten free bread mixes in a bread machine here. I tried the Gluten Free Pantry French Bread Mix and used milk instead of water and it turned out to be delicious right out of the machine, but got dry fast. (Just like when I make it in the oven, may I add.) The one thing all bread machine users must be aware of? Don't forget to take the little paddles out of the bottom after you bake the bread! No one wants to crunch a piece of metal through their crust of bread.

So my paradigm is shifting and I've decided to give in to convenience...when it suits me.

Happy eating!

2 comments:

  1. This is convincing me to go the breadmaker route now. I currently eat Udi's bread. It is out of this world delicious, but I would like to lean more towards making my own bread. I am thinking it may be cheaper, too??? If you freeze the bread immediately does it dry as fast?

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  2. I haven't tried freezing it, because we usually eat most of it while it's fresh and the last 1/3 of the loaf is the part that dries out because I'm usually grabbing some Udi's bread, too! But I may have to slice a loaf and try freezing it to see how it does.

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