[Sca-cooks] bread makers

Lady Celia CeliadesArchier at cox.net
Sun Feb 10 17:22:09 PST 2008

 Johnnae asks: 

<<Does it really matter why Cecelie would like a bread machine?>>

It might make a difference in which machine to recommend and whether or not
a dough hook might be a better option for her, so yes, I think it does

I bought mine largely for nutritional purposes and as a time saver. I never
learned to kneed bread, so never got the "feel" for what's the right
tension, elasticity, etc. (like I do with biscuits), and don't have the time
to take out to learn such things now.  I also find kneeding dough of any
kind to be too tiring due to my specific disabilities now-a-days, and the
energy it takes to do such things would prohibit me from having fresh baked
bread if I didn't have a labor saving device.  And finally, I want to
control the ingredients in my bread and have lots of options of what kinds
of breads to produce.

All of these things helped determine *which* kind of breadmaker I bought.  I
needed one with a dough only cycle (not all of them have such) because I
wanted to make things like cinnamon rolls and shaped loaves.  I also wanted
one with a "fruit and nut" alarm, so that I could add fruit and nuts to my
loaves with the best results.  I wanted a whole wheat cycle because I
planned to make whole wheat bread, and to be able to vary the darkness of
the crust because I enjoy both soft crusted bread (for sandwiches) and hard
crusted bread (like french and italian, to accompany soups, stews & pasta),
so my bread maker has those options as well. Do you want a "rapid" mode? Do
you want it to make different size loafs? How large a loaf do you need it to
make? Does it matter to you if it's a horizontal loaf or a vertical loaf?
All of these questions are affected by *why* you want the bread maker in the
first place. Even the reasons that Johnnea mentions for having her own
machine (labor saving, time saving and because it maintains the dough at a
constant temperature as it rises) are relevant to making this decision.
Indeed, that later... maintaining the dough at a constant temperature was
another one of the main reasons in my own decision to purchase a bread
machine (even though I *had* a dough hook at the time), because I was at
that time working in Minneapolis and living in Atlanta... Both of which
places suffered from extreme temperature differences. 

In my own case I can't really help with specific models, because my Regal
bread machine is 8 years old, and therefore out of date... So while it's
still serving me well, it's no longer available to purchase.  What I can
recommend, however, is that Cecelie does think about *why* she wants the
bread machine, and what she wants it to do as she makes her decision.  A
dough hook may suffice and will be much less expensive, but if she really
thinks about all the things she might want to do with a bread machine, it
may not be.  That's a personal decision.  And the newer models come with
even more bells and whistles... Timers which allow you to load the machine
the night before and awaken to fresh bread in the morning (Yumm!  And that's
fine as long as the bread doesn't contain certain ingredients!), many more
specialty cycles to give better results for different types of specialty
breads... Heck, I've even seen models which make non-bread items now, like
jam (and have to wonder how well those work!) 

So, yes, I think it does matter why she wants a bread machine... Not because
she shouldn't want one, but in answering her question, which is the best
model to buy.  I'm sorry I can't answer her question more directly by just
saying "I've been happy with mine and it's an x" beyond saying that it's a
Regal... But I can say that thinking long and hard about what options you
want to get an idea of which models you're interested in and then reading
reviews of how that model is being received really helped me make a good
decision when I bought mine.  And 8 years later I'm still happy with that
decision :) 

Respectful regards, 

More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list