The Lowly Bread Machine

Nothing smells any more awesome that homemade bread baking. And nothing is more loved than fresh bread. Bread has received a bad name. Oh, the carbs! The wheat! But you can make your bread, and eat it too! In my family we love bread. Not the chemical laden bread sold on a shelf with a price that takes your breath away. But a piping hot fresh loaf, fresh from the oven or the bread machine.

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I am one busy woman. I can mix and knead bread by hand with the best of them, but I simply do not have the time. Several years ago I was laughed at by an in-law who looked down her nose at my using a bread machine. She informed me she made "real bread". And insinuated I did not know how to. Funny thing, she now owns two of them. :-)

I purchased my first bread machine years ago, it has long since worn out. Actually, through the years, I have worn out several of them. But I never purchased another one. I have picked them up in pristine like new condition for a song at thrift stores, or I have had them given to me. The one I am using now was purchased as a wedding gift for a couple and they decided they did not want it, and they gave it to me unused. Thank you!

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Most of the time I admit I use my machine to make dough, and shape them into rolls and use a conventional oven to bake it is, especially in the winter time. But in the hot weather I allow my bread machine to bake it for me. If you are too busy to make your own bread, you are in luck! You can set the timer and have wonderful homemade bread when you come home from work.

Do you like pizza? Me too! I use my bread machine to mix up a batch of awesome homemade dough that makes a melt in your mouth pizza crust! Using olive oil and wheat flour it is certainly a lot healthier than the local pizzeria fanfare. And for those with a sweet tooth, cinnamon rolls are a snap using your bread machine to make the dough. (Yes, you can actually make them fairly healthy using wheat bread and diabetic friendly sweeteners.)

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A search on the internet will find you scores of tried and true bread machine recipes that you can adjust to your liking and dietary needs. Jalapeno cheese, oatmeal raisin, the options are unlimited! Along with the machine you will need to make sure you have your supplies ready. I do not buy small packages of yeast, the cost per tiny pack is way too high. I prefer to buy a "block" of yeast; a huge one or two pound vacuum sealed package of yeast is enough to last me a long time. I store mine in a huge plastic jar in the freezer, so that it stays fresh.

I keep a supply of wheat flour, soft wheat flour, and a little all-purpose flour (just in case I choose to mix them). The cost is so much cheaper than store bought bread, the taste is SO much better, and unwanted preservatives are left out. So, if you are a bread eater, the next time you see a shiny bread machine beckoning to you from a thrift store shelf, consider giving it a good home.

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May 26, 20120 found this helpful

You are so right! Grocery store bread is outrageous - and not nearly as healthy as they want us to believe. We see loaves of dark brown bread there and think they must be whole wheat. But they are actually colored with molasses (if you are lucky) or with who knows what kind of chemical.
I make loaves of stone ground wheat with rye, and they are not as dark as store bought.

What is worse is the high fiber breads. The label tells you the bread has cellulose in it - guess what? that means wood. Yup, they are putting the equivalent of saw dust in our bread and charging and arm and two legs for it! We tend to think that food labels are complete - nope.

They don't have to put anything on the label that they call "proprietary" - in other words, if they say it is a secret ingredient that would give their recipe away to competitors, they don't have to list it.

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What is worse, they do not have to tell regulators what that secret ingredient is! They can put anything in so long as there is not a law requiring disclosure of a specific food, such as peanuts. Making bread for your family is truly a special gift that everyone will love!

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July 2, 20180 found this helpful

i too bought one from the thrift store; a Welbilt ABM 2H60 and it quickly became my new kitchen toy. I baked bread in it using bread flour and half stoneground wheat with rapid rise/fast acting yeast 1 tsp per 1 lb loaf and 1 tablesp of gluten (for the wheat bread to rise) and works wonderfully. I place it on wheat cycle as then the rise is correct and on Light crust as that is plenty crisp for me. I use olive oil and honey for sweetening which is placed with the water at the very first, then powdered ingredients, lastly 1 tsp of Rapid Rise yeast with 1/2 tsp of sugar (mixed in a separate cup) and sprinkled on the flour on top.

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I use warm water and not cold.
I always spray my baking pan with oil so that shaking bread out is easy. Use a rubber spatula if I have to. I do not open the lid at all after adding raisins or nuts (after the loud beep) and let it knead and do the rise, to completion of baking. Otherwise the heat for baking correctly even if slightly. Result is fresh bread which keeps for a week at least in the fridge inside an airtight container.

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