> I do want a "full- featured" machine that can do 100% whole wheat,
> fancy breads with nut/fruit additions, and timed-start. What are other
> great-to-have features?
> We just saw a Sunbean maker advertised for $190 (Cdn) that said it
> could make 1 lb. and 1.5 lb. loaves. What about loaf size -- do you
> find you always make the largest your machine can do? There are just
> two of us I'll be baking for.
Barbara (and others),
I never use the 1lb size except if I want to make pizza dough and don't
want to have leftovers. Of course, most machines have it.
If you want a *lot* of features, go for the machine (Zojurushi? perhaps)
that has the programmable cycles. However, if you are more interested
in price, you might get a "less-known" brand with just the basics. I don't
think 100% whole wheat is a product of the machine, but of the other
stuff you add to the bread such as gluten, etc to make up for the lack
of bread flour. As for adding fruits/nuts, I have found that my machine,
which doesn't have a "beep" to add things add, works just fine. For
most things (raisins/nuts) I add them at the very beginning without
a problem. The only thing I add later is chocolate chips (since they
melt and you get chocolate bread if you put them in at the beginning)
and I just wrote down when the first mixing cycle ends once, and I
put them in 2 minutes before that, and it works fine (but I do have to
watch it instead of it beeping). So, I don't consider that a critical
feature. The last feature you mention, OTOH, is indispensible - there
is nothing better than setting the bread machine up for later baking,
such as right before you wake up!
Anyway, just thought I would let you know that I have been happy with
my no-name brand and that it works great for me (and it was much cheaper).
For anyone starting with a new, no-name brand machine I would also highly
recommend "Bread Machine Magic"; of all the books, it handles my machine
best. They said they tried recipes on lots and lots of machines and didn't
include any that only worked well on some machines. If you get a common
brand machine, it doesn't make as much difference what book(s) you get.