Home Bread-Bakers v006.n068.2

manual v machine

Cherie Ambrosino <Cherie_Ambrosino@cch.com>
5 Feb 96 11:50:01
A few digests ago, Ron wrote :

>I see that there are a number of queries regarding bread machines.  I'm
>awfully puzzled.  We, my wife and I, have been making bread (we grind our
>own whole wheat) for many years and have done it, more or less, the old
>fashion way with a little help from our KitchenAid mixer, a work horse of a
>machine if ever there was one.  We make anywhere from five to six loaves at
>a time.  My question is, where is the advantage in using a bread machine?
>Certainly it's not in the time saved, because in either case you must
>prepare the dough; furthermore, it seems that you have to wait five hours
>and more to realize your efforts of one loaf of bread when you use a
>machine.  In less time than that we have five delicious loaves ready.

 Ron - I have to agree.  Before people get annoyed, let me just say that for 
many years I used my R2D2 Dak with delight, having never baked bread before.  I 
only stopped about 6 months ago [coincidentally, a few months after I 
subscribed to this list]  I think many people start with the machines because 
breadmaking seems mysterious unless you grew up with it around you [my mom's a 
great cook but never baked anything but "mixes"] The machines have really done 
a lot to bring back breadmaking, I think, it made it less scary for me to try.  
After reading all the great advice on this list though, from people who really 
understand bread and its components, I started [for the first time!] to bake 
bread the way I cook everything else - with less formality, a looser attachment 
to recipes, and more freedom to do the "little of this little ofthat" kind of 
cooking I like!   After experimenting alot it all finally crystalized in my 
head and I haven't used R2D2 at all since!  [yes, he's lonely, but he's going 
to my mom's house first chance I get!]  I think others may like the machines 
because you don't have to use any kitchen space - no counters for kneading, no 
extra pans  or anything - just throw it in!  And the timer function is nice, 
although I almost never used it myself.
   On another note, I'm planning to fill R2D2s old space with a mixer, so I can 
wimp out on some of the heavy kneading [and make more loaves in an evening!] 
but I'm confused.  I know theres a 4.5 qt[?] and a 5qt model.  I vaguely 
remember the frugal gourmet [who would never tell us anything but the truth!] 
saying he liked his 5 qt best because it had a stronger motor - his 4.5 qt 
didn't do very well with kneading dough - is this still true?  I know the 5 qts 
are always significantly more money than the 4.5 [which are often also on 
sale!] - I don't mind spending the extra if the lesser one won't work well, but 
I'm not sure I am right about the reason - any tips?  I'd appreciate comments 
from others who use this method as well - and thanks again to all of you for 
the great recipes - this is my favorite list!  Cherie