BR> Many, if not all, of the people on this list (or who post
BR> to this list) seem to be be working with bread machines.
BR> I'm interested in finding out something about these from
BR> a hand baker's perspective.
BR> As with many of you, I just don't have the time anymore,
BR> but I have spent years learning to bake well and,
BR> unreasonable as this may seem, I don't think I would
BR> be happy with a machine that didn't at least come near
BR> what I do (I'm not that terrific, just well-practiced).
BR> I don't particularly want recommendations on individual
BR> machines at this stage, more a guide as to whether I
BR> should be considering one or not. One pertinent
BR> point is that I almost exclusively use whole grain
BR> flours, and would like to know if a machine can do
BR> I'd be very pleased to have your experiences, either
BR> be email or through the digest, but in order not to
BR> clutter the digest if you email me I'll prepare
BR> a summary and post it to the digest myself.
BR> Thanks for your help
BR> p.s. I have checked what I can in the back issues and can't
BR> find anything that discusses this particular point.
You have struck at one one of the key areas in selecting a machine, its
ability to deal with the kinds of dough (make the kinds of breads) the
people who are most likely to buy such a machine would want it for - heavy,
whole grain doughs. Most of the top of the line models of the better
machines on the market have the powerful motors and the long rise cycles
these doughs need. That isn't always true of the lesser models in those lines
and seems rarely to be true of the lower priced lines now appearing
everywhere. I now have two machines (one was a gift after I already had the
other). I had a machine earlier on (I gave it to my daughter when I bought
a newer model). Two of the machines I've had were DAK (also sold as Welbilt).
The first (a Model II) could not handle these doughs. The second (a model V)
works them quite easily. My other machine is a Zojirushi (a BBCCS). It handles
these heavy doughs quite easily. I don't know if the smaller model (BBCCM)
will do so, but suspect it will.
I do know that the top of the line machines from Trillium, Panasonic/National
and the new (U.S. made) Toastmaster will also handle these doughs.
I have a number of 100% whole wheat, oatmeal, Pumpernickel and rye recipes
which work just fine in both my machines. These are tasty (really tasty)
breads with great texture. I can make these breads open and lofty textured
or close and dense, as I wish, simply by changing the amounts of yeast, gluten
and sweetener. About the only thing I cannot dependably do with a bread
machine is get a crisp, chewy crust, they tend to be soft or chewy-soft. The
problem is, a bread machine gives you no ability to get steam into the oven.
Other than that, I have been adapting "hand-made bread" recipes to the machine
with a great deal of success.
I think you'll enjoy what you can do with these machines along with the freedom
to make good bread and still have enough time to hold a job.
... I DID read the manual! That's why I'm confused!!