Home Bread-Bakers v006.n071.14

manual vs machine

emily@goblin.com (Emily Woudenberg)
Wed, 14 Feb 1996 23:38:39 -0700
On Feb. 5 Cherie Ambrosino asked about  chosing between the two different
sizes of Kitchenaid mixers. If you can possibly afford it,Cherie,  I
recommend purchasing the larger, 5 qt, machine.  The engine is stronger and
I find it easier to use when lifting out the beaters (the K-5 lifts the
beaters straight up.)  I'm sure others have comparable stories, but I have
been using (and abusing) my K-5 for everything, particularly bread-making,
since 1970! And it doesn't even look any different than the new ones!
They've kept it looking just exactly the same, which for some reason I find
extremely comforting.
Regarding using a bread-machine vs the Kitchenaid or the manual method:
aside from its obvious advantages for those with arthritis, fibromegalia,
or other joint -problems, the bread-machine is a champion of neatness!
Everything is self-contained--no flour flying around, no counters to
scrape. Sometimes this is so important to me.
But the total amount of flour you can use, at least in my larger machine,
is 3 to 3/12 cups of flour.  In my Kitchenaid I can mix 6 cups, which makes
more loaves at once. I have discovered that if I drape my Kitchenaid mixer
in a big old kitchen towel (sort of shroud it completely) when I am adding
the last few cups of flour, it doesn't send out flurries of flour all over.
 Finally, I regard the manual method of mixing and kneading like I do
driving in my old stick-shift car--it feels good to do it; the experience
is authentic; but it's just not very convenient.  However, I do tend to
hover over my bread-machine while it is kneading so I can keep an eye on
the relative dryness or wetness of the dough--and I almost always shape it
and bake it in the oven myself rather than using the complete baking cycle!
So who's fooling whom about "convenient"?
BTW, could someone (re)enlighten me about how much vital wheat gluten to
add to all-purpose flour to make it approximate bread flour?  I read this
recently , but can't recall exaxctly where.  Was it 1 Tablespoon per cup of
all-purpose flour?
Thanks for a tremendously enlightening forum!
- --Emily

Emily Woudenberg