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Ktgrok

Do I want a breadmaker?

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I want to make our own bread. I have a grain mill that attaches to the kitchenaid mixer, and am using that to grind the wheat. Not as good as a nutrimill, or as fast, but it works and cost about $100 less, so it is what I have. I also, obviously, have a kitchenaid stand mixer, the 600 professional series. (love that thing!) But the idea of throwing things in the bread maker, no flour flying around, no planning to stick around to deal with it, etc. And yes, I know I could do the artisan bread a day thing, I've tried that, but I hate the feel of the wet dough and it doesn't give a dense crumb for sandwiches. 

 

So, do I go with a breadmaker, which means sacrificing counter space, or just use the kitchenaid and plan accordingly? Remember, I'm making 100 percent whole wheat loaves. 

 

Also, the breadmaker is tempting for the jam feature, lol...but I know I COULD do that on the stove. 

 

I have a teen, 4 year old, and 18 month old here, so keep that in mind too, lol. 

 

I DID find a breadmaker for $19 at a thrift store, and have made 3 loaves in it. First was overdone and sunken. Second, using a King Arthur Flour recipe, was perfectish...sides a little browner than the top. Third I set the timer for overnight, with that same king arthur recipe, and the top is sunken but it tastes great. I used different measuring spoons for that loaf, I think a little less yeast would be the answer to the sunken crust. But the thing is ugly as sin, HUGE, the chime doesn't work so you don't know it is done unless you set another timer or are standing there watching it. And it doesn't make jam. And it's about 2 decades old, easily. (my husband, when he saw the monstrosity, said "wow...it's from the 90's! Did it come with a hypercolor shirt, too?"  So keeping this one isn't really something I want to do. It's going away regardless of whether I get another one or not. 

 

So...what would you do?

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Hard choice.

 

I'd say go with the KitchenAid, because that's what you have, and make it work.

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Hard choice.

 

I'd say go with the KitchenAid, because that's what you have, and make it work.

I should have pointed out that my birthday is in April, so I'm due a gift either way, lol. 

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I have a kitchen aid, but a zojirushi for making bread was worth it.

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I have a kitchen aid, but a zojirushi for making bread was worth it.

i think that ones is out of our price range. 

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It sounds like you really want one.  Go ahead and get you one.  I use mine more for making cinnamon roll and pizza dough and occassional french bread.  I do have to get it out each time but so worth it to put in ingredients and let it do the work and not worry about timing.

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It sounds like you really want one.  Go ahead and get you one.  I use mine more for making cinnamon roll and pizza dough and occassional french bread.  I do have to get it out each time but so worth it to put in ingredients and let it do the work and not worry about timing.

 

See..that's the big thing holding me back, other than the money. I won't get it out each time, it has to BE out or I won't use it. So it can't be a giant ugly thing like the current dinosaur I have. And it has to actually bake fairly well I think....hmm...

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Could you put it somewhere other than the kitchen? I know that sounds weird, but if you don't like the looks of it, perhaps there's a creative alternative to having it in the kitchen. 

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I would stick with the stand mixer.  I have a bread machine, but I only use it for kneading the dough, not baking it.  Most bread machines- at least the ones that aren't prohibitively expensive- do a poor job of baking the bread, and you're usually better off just baking it in the oven.  Not to mention they all make such awkward looking loaves.  

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I love my thrift store breadmaker, but I use a hint I read in a book of bread machine recipes.  You ignore what the manual says about the order to add the ingredients. Add dry ingredients first making sure just the flour is on top of the dry pile.  Use your normal yeast (not the bread machine kind) and proof it for 10 minutes.  

It isn't as much bother as it sounds.  I heat the water in the microwave to the right temp 105 I think.  I have the temp written on notes on the inside of my baking cabinet.  Put in the yeast.  Add the sugar.  Then I weigh the dry ingredients into the bread machine bowl.  Unload a few dishes.  Then the timer dings and I add the yeast/sugar/water mixture onto the flour and start the machine.  You make sure that just flour is on top because you don't want anything like salt that kills yeast.  

By doing it this way you make sure that the yeast has had a good start.

Dark loaves tend toward sunken/denseness.  Mine improved when I started to add an additive from King Arthur.  I forget what it is called.  It gives the loaf extra loft.  

I also have a kitchenaid that I have used for bread.  But the dough just seems to come out better in the breadmaker.  Absolutely best is dough from the breadmaker and then cooked in a pan.  

You can also make pretzel and pizza crust dough in the bread machine.  Only problem with the soft pretzels is that they disappear immediately.  

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I have a Kitchenaid breadmaker.  Sometimes I do still make three loves at a time the old way and freeze it, but sometimes I pull out my breadmaker.  Mine sits on the floor of my pantry most of the time, but I use it about once a week.  I had to tweek my whole wheat recipe some, but the loaf I get from the breadmaker is as good as ones I bake the standard way.  I also bake an oatmeal loaf that my family loves.

 

As a homeschool mom who works from home, it saves me time and money.  If I have a busy day ahead, I set up the crockpot and breadmaker while making lunch, and I can work all afternoon or do science labs with my teens.  By dinnertime, the teens and I can get dinner on the table in about 10 minutes.

 

I also can, but I just make jam the standard way.  During strawberry season, I'll do 8-10 batches.  Using the breadmaker doesn't make enough for my purposes.

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yes, you want one.  

 

if you don't like it, you can send it to one of us ;)

 

fwiw,

ann

 

LOL! I see what's going on here!

 

I'm wondering if the new ones with a convection fan do a better job of even crusts. 

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this site has some good reviews

 

http://www.atthebakersbench.com/

 

hth,

ann

 

ps.  this is the one we got this last time; its on the above site as the best machine for the frugal person ;).

i like it okay (ie. not as much as i liked the one that broke) 

http://www.atthebakersbench.com/sunbeam-bread-machines/sunbeam-5891/

 

however, the recipes that come with it are dreadful.  i use my old machine's recipe book or ones i find on line.

 

 

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I have a nice one now.  Well, I found a Zo at a thrift store for $7 and used it for a few years (not consistently) before it really had too many issues for me to fix.

 

One of my best friends GAVE me a very nice bread machine.  She wasn't using it, I think it had been used all of a handful of times.  I love it.  I love it even more because it was free for me!  :hurray:

 

It is a Williams Sonoma model. I don't think they make them anymore, but mine works great and makes loaves and not the stand up cylinder things.  I have also read that it is a Cuisinart made for WS.

 

Dawn

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I say stick with the kitchen aid. I am a bread maker and I looooove my zoji, but I have owned other bread machines and they were crap. That sunken top you get? Prob an issue with the temperature. It is causing the bread to over rise and then it collapses. I got that all the time with cheaper or old second hand machines, never with a zoji. 

 

I got the zoji because one year, days before christmas, KA had a huge sale. It was still a leap, but worth it. Three years later, and sometimes I have used it multiple times a day for days on end, it is still working perfectly. My 'Breadman' (I was told it was the top contender after the zoji) died after a year. And before it died we had months of those sunk in the middle loaves.

 

So, if you are new to breadmaking I say go with the KA and figure out if you even like making bread. You might decide after 6 months that bread making sucks and you have better things to do with your life. I know that we sometimes go for weeks at a time with store bread because I just can't deal with making it.  And making bread in the machine is still a job. You still have to do stuff. It can easily feel like one more thing in an already busy day and it is just easier to buy the darn bread. I certainly don't use the machine in the hot months.  And I don't keep my machine on the counter either. I only use it once or maybe twice a week so it is elsewhere. I pull it out when I need it.

 

I say you should see if you can incorporate bread making into your already busy life, and you get a feel for the process so can trouble shoot. Then you can consider getting a good machine. But, be warned that you really do get what you pay for. The cheaper ones all work for a while, but they end up in the landfill PDQ.

 

But, don't spend the $$ on a machine if you don't even know if you can sustain the bread making beyond a couple months. It is a big job, and it's not a moral failing if you don't like it or can't take on one more thing.

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I say stick with the kitchen aid. I am a bread maker and I looooove my zoji, but I have owned other bread machines and they were crap. That sunken top you get? Prob an issue with the temperature. It is causing the bread to over rise and then it collapses. I got that all the time with cheaper or old second hand machines, never with a zoji. 

 

I got the zoji because one year, days before christmas, KA had a huge sale. It was still a leap, but worth it. Three years later, and sometimes I have used it multiple times a day for days on end, it is still working perfectly. My 'Breadman' (I was told it was the top contender after the zoji) died after a year. And before it died we had months of those sunk in the middle loaves.

 

So, if you are new to breadmaking I say go with the KA and figure out if you even like making bread. You might decide after 6 months that bread making sucks and you have better things to do with your life. I know that we sometimes go for weeks at a time with store bread because I just can't deal with making it.  And making bread in the machine is still a job. You still have to do stuff. It can easily feel like one more thing in an already busy day and it is just easier to buy the darn bread. I certainly don't use the machine in the hot months.  And I don't keep my machine on the counter either. I only use it once or maybe twice a week so it is elsewhere. I pull it out when I need it.

 

I say you should see if you can incorporate bread making into your already busy life, and you get a feel for the process so can trouble shoot. Then you can consider getting a good machine. But, be warned that you really do get what you pay for. The cheaper ones all work for a while, but they end up in the landfill PDQ.

 

But, don't spend the $$ on a machine if you don't even know if you can sustain the bread making beyond a couple months. It is a big job, and it's not a moral failing if you don't like it or can't take on one more thing.

 

All good advice. 

 

I've made bread before, many times. My husband actually can't understand why I'd want a breadmaker, if I can make bread without one. What I'm thinking though, is that IF I get one, I should wait, save up more, and get the zoji. It's the only one that gets consistently good reviews by real bakers. 

 

 

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Another option is to instead get a better grain mill...the nutrimill. It's right about $200 on amazon I think. He was planning to spend up to $200 on a breakmaker. I could then sell the kitchenaid one, hopefully. 

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ugh! stupid grain mill keeps adjusting itself to a coarser grind, whenever my back is turned. really thinking the better mill is what I need. 

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I don't have one and see no need. I bake all our own bread (and we  eat lots, because we are German, LOL). I hand knead and don't use a mixer either - it really only takes a few minutes. All I need to do is to make sure to schedule baking for times when I will be home for a long enough period while bread is rising and baking, so it usually happens in the evening.

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I say go for the Zo.  Just look for sales.  (My DH is a dedicated online cheapskate,  errr, shopper.  I use my Zo for multi-grain breads and it's fab.  Latest loaf had 7-grain cereal, combo of spelt, buckwheat, teff, wheat, and all purpose flours, almond meal, flax, and chia.  Baked it in the Zo [you can also just use the dough cycle and free bake], and it came out fluffy and fabulous. :thumbup1: )

 

If you just can't swing it, I would avoid the cheaper ones.  They are an exercise in frustration.  IMO.

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I have a Zojirushi that I use for making dough, but I bake the bread in the oven. I don't like the weird holes from the mixing blades in the bottom, and I think the bread comes out better in the oven. Maybe try using the thrift store one as a dough maker before investing in another machine?

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I bought a panasonic breadmaker that I love.  My kids love homemade bread so I use it fairly often (much more than I made bread with my kitchenaid).

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I would stick with the stand mixer.  I have a bread machine, but I only use it for kneading the dough, not baking it.  Most bread machines- at least the ones that aren't prohibitively expensive- do a poor job of baking the bread, and you're usually better off just baking it in the oven.  Not to mention they all make such awkward looking loaves.

 

:iagree:

 

If you get one, I would recommend one that makes rectangular loaves. Mine makes those stupid big round cubes and the slices don't fit properly into the toaster.

 

But... as Mergath already mentioned, before you spend money on a new breadmaker, does your current bread machine have a dough setting? It's kind of the best of both worlds, because you don't have to deal with the nuisance of making the dough, but you can still make homemade bread in your regular oven.

 

That's what I do, too, and the bread made in the oven turns out to be a nicer consistency with a better crust than in my machine.

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If you want to make your own bread daily, I'd go for the bread machine.  Even young children can have the job of throwing the ingredients into the bread machine and turning it on.  I used to use mine every single day (when my kids were all home).  It was especially handy for the times when I knew mornings would be busy and we were already out of bread.  I'd use the feature where you set it to go on during the night and it's ready when you wake up.  (You smell it baking in your sleep!)

 

HOWEVER, I did get to the point of not actually baking it in my machine.  (Except when I used the night-time feature.)   I would make an extra-large loaf in the machine up to the point of baking, and then I'd take out the dough, split it in two, and hand-shape into loaves.  We liked the taste, texture, and looks of it a lot more that way.

 

We kept ours in the laundry room, which happened to be right off the kitchen.  :)

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I make bread about three times a week, and I LOVE my breadmaker.  It only takes me about 5 minutes to measure the ingredients and press start.  Clean up only takes a few minutes as well.  I get great results with my ancient, fairly inexpensive Oster breadmaker.  I don't see any reason to make things more work than they need to be.  ;)   I say go for it!

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Nope. The bread isn't as good. They don't last long; seems making bread wears out machines really fast.

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All good advice. 

 

I've made bread before, many times. My husband actually can't understand why I'd want a breadmaker, if I can make bread without one. What I'm thinking though, is that IF I get one, I should wait, save up more, and get the zoji. It's the only one that gets consistently good reviews by real bakers. 

 

as someone who has made bread both ways for years, that is like asking me why I want a dishwasher when I am capable of washing the dishes by hand.

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I'm not a fan of breadmakers. The product is just not as good. 

 

I find it just as easy to make bread and use a timer to remind me to refrigerate, form, or toss in the oven. 

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I bought this one a few months ago (no longer available at Kohl's). Up until then, I had been using my Kitchen Aid to make pizza dough & occasionally, bread. My biggest problem is that I'm not home for long stretches to deal with the rising, etc, when I make it by hand. With the bread maker, I put the ingredients in, set the timer if necessary (it needs to be removed within 1/2 hour of finishing), & let it go. It took a few tries initially but now I use my bread maker all the time! The loaves are taller than normal so I cut the loaf in half horizontally before slicing. Now, we make at least 1 white bread, 1 whole wheat bread (my DH does this), 1 pizza dough, and 1 cinnamon bread every week. We use this thing a LOT more than I thought we would!

 

Yes, homemade oven cooked bread has the best consistency and crust, but the bread maker still makes really good bread. I should also say that if I didn't have the bread maker, we would either eat store bought or do without.

 

 

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Could you put it somewhere other than the kitchen? I know that sounds weird, but if you don't like the looks of it, perhaps there's a creative alternative to having it in the kitchen.

Mine is in my garage because cluttered counters make me twitchy. I fill the pan in the kitchen, march it to the garage and retrieve it when it is finished. My grain mill is out there also. I keep them on top of an Ikea cabinet and cover them with dust covers I sewed for them.

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I think the "buy a breadmaker" camp is winning this argument.  I don't have any interest in making bread but a breadmaker now is on my birthday wishlist.  Sounds super easy and delicious.  

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I bought this one a few months ago (no longer available at Kohl's). Up until then, I had been using my Kitchen Aid to make pizza dough & occasionally, bread. My biggest problem is that I'm not home for long stretches to deal with the rising, etc, when I make it by hand. With the bread maker, I put the ingredients in, set the timer if necessary (it needs to be removed within 1/2 hour of finishing), & let it go. It took a few tries initially but now I use my bread maker all the time! The loaves are taller than normal so I cut the loaf in half horizontally before slicing. Now, we make at least 1 white bread, 1 whole wheat bread (my DH does this), 1 pizza dough, and 1 cinnamon bread every week. We use this thing a LOT more than I thought we would!

 

Yes, homemade oven cooked bread has the best consistency and crust, but the bread maker still makes really good bread. I should also say that if I didn't have the bread maker, we would either eat store bought or do without.

I'm not trying to hijack the thread, but could you share your cinnamon bread recipe with me? I love cinnamon bread, but the few recipes I have tried have been nothing to write home about.

 

If you don't have it handy, it's no problem, but I thought I'd ask, just in case! :)

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I had a breadmaker that my sister gave me.  It was a very good one, but I hardly ever used it and it wasted space in my kitchen.  I find using my mixer works just as well and doesn't take much more time than the bread machine.  Now if the choice was to mix by hand like my mom or a bread machine I would go with the machine.  I hate kneading dough by hand.

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I'm not trying to hijack the thread, but could you share your cinnamon bread recipe with me? I love cinnamon bread, but the few recipes I have tried have been nothing to write home about.

 

If you don't have it handy, it's no problem, but I thought I'd ask, just in case! :)

 

Sure! This is the only bread that I start in the bread maker & finish in the oven because I haven't mastered the perfect "swirl" in my bread maker.

 

Cinnamon Swirl Bread Recipe - Money Saving Mom

 

ETA: I add my ingredients to my bread maker differently as per my model's manual, including room temp water.

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Sure! This is the only bread that I start in the bread maker & finish in the oven because I haven't mastered the perfect "swirl" in my bread maker.

 

Cinnamon Swirl Bread Recipe - Money Saving Mom

 

ETA: I add my ingredients to my bread maker differently as per my model's manual, including room temp water.

Thanks!!!!!

 

That recipe sounds a lot better than the ones I have tried.

 

Guess what I'll be baking later this afternoon? :D

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As for places to put it...I don't think so...other than on the kitchen table, which we don't use for much. the kids eat their meals there sometimes, and color there. It's by a window, pushed against it, so only two seating places. I only worry that the kids would get burnt, as it would be easy to climb up on a chair and touch it. Might be able to put it on the other counter, that you don't see when you walk in, but would have to move some stuff around. 

 

OH, and I just mixed up dough in the stand mixer. Eh. If it comes out amazing, maybe I'll just say no breadmaker. If I didn't have littles I definitely wouldn't need a breadmaker. but when you have a toddler clinging to your leg, begging "up up up" and then wanting to stick his hands in the mixer as it is going...the breadmaker starts to have appeal. Odd looking loaf or not :)

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I detest making bread by hand, I end up with painful/numb hands (from nerve damage). DH bought me a mixer with bread hooks... NOT a KA but thought counts, right?  Anyway, it does okay not great at mixing and I still have to knead it for awhile.  So DH got me a very nice bread maker.  He thinks it's funny that I only use it to mix/knead the bread.  Then I pull it out, shape it. and let it rise. Makes great dough. 

ETA: I have a lot of cabinets so no issue with it taking up too much space.

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My husband bakes bread in our breadmaker (the Zo), but I refuse to use the thing.  Absolutely despise it.  Bread is just not the same with a breadmaker.  I grind my own grain and take pride in making all kinds of bread, including sourdough (my favorite).  A breadmaker simply cannot do what my brain and hands can do with mastering the art of bread making. 

If I could get him to give it up, I'd glady send you mine for free!  Anything to get that cumbersome thing out of my kitchen.  :laugh:

So if you ask me, I'd say to learn the art of bread making without a breadmaker, but not everyone feels that way, as evident here.  ;)

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I'm not a fan of breadmakers. The product is just not as good. 

 

I find it just as easy to make bread and use a timer to remind me to refrigerate, form, or toss in the oven. 

 

We are going to have to agree to disagree on that. I have been making bread a long time and that machine can make some beautiful dough. It keeps it all at the correct temp, everything is so beautifully kneaded... you can really get that warm and springy  'baby butt' consistency with a good machine. And you get it every time, not just on a day when the humidity is just right or your kitchen happens to be warm but not too warm. I can put the ingredients in there at my convenience and get beautiful pizza dough or whole wheat dough or andama dough. It makes the process beautifully consistent. I always know how long it will take and what I will get. And I am still in control of the process, I can tweak away at the ingredients to my heart's content.

 

I am sure it is possible to make lousy bread with a machine. My mom sure did. My mom bought a machine for fun. But, my mom hates cooking, hates baking. My mom doesn't cook, my mom defrosts and orders in, and that is her prerogative. Well, of course she made weird bread in the machine. First of all, it has a learning curve, like anything else. Second of all, she used the cheapest of ingredients and had no feel for the process. To her, what she ended up with was worse than what she could buy in the store and wasn't worth the effort. I would have to agree with her.

 

 

so, if you have a breadmaker and like it, which one do you have?

 

I have owned a Breadman and a zojirushi. The first lasted a year, but only worked perfectly for about 6 months. the second might be four years old and is showing no sign of stopping. I am thinking I need to buy new paddles for it, but that will be about 20$. I own the cheapest full sized model, but the exterior is not stainless. Right after I bought mine they discontinued it and replaced it with a stainless model. If I could I would also own the smaller model, the mini-breadmaker. I can see myself keeping my big model for holiday baking but using the mini when it is just dh and myself (all too soon!).

 

 

As for places to put it...I don't think so...other than on the kitchen table, which we don't use for much. the kids eat their meals there sometimes, and color there. It's by a window, pushed against it, so only two seating places. I only worry that the kids would get burnt, as it would be easy to climb up on a chair and touch it. Might be able to put it on the other counter, that you don't see when you walk in, but would have to move some stuff around. 

 

OH, and I just mixed up dough in the stand mixer. Eh. If it comes out amazing, maybe I'll just say no breadmaker. If I didn't have littles I definitely wouldn't need a breadmaker. but when you have a toddler clinging to your leg, begging "up up up" and then wanting to stick his hands in the mixer as it is going...the breadmaker starts to have appeal. Odd looking loaf or not :)

 

 

If I use my machine for baking, I don't find my machine gets any more hot on the outside than say.... a coffee maker? Maybe? I wouldn't let littles mess around with it, for sure, but its not like an iron either. In the colder weather I often use the machine to knead and bake in my own oven. In the warmer weather I am more likely to bake in my machine. It heats the house up much less than with the oven. I have even put my machine to work/bake on the back porch in hot weather. I keep thinking one day a squirrel is going to get a big surprise.

 

And that whole thing with the kids around etc is why I ended up with a machine. I could make my own bread with one kid. Two pushed me over the edge. It was just not worth the effort when I live a 10 min walk from a traditional European bakery.

 

When I got pg with #2 I told dh he had to get me a microwave and a dishwasher or he was going to have to quit his job and take care of the kids all day. I had both within the month, lol. Baby #2 was born in January. It's no mistake the bread machine arrived the month before his first birthday.

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Are you intending to use the breadmaker to mix only, or to mix and bake? I remember when they came out in the late 80s and everyone served their little homemade slice whenever you went over to their house? :lol: Not good memories. But I've heard they knead really well and some people take the dough out and bake it in the oven.

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ktgrok,

Your description of your sinful, ugly bread machine made me laugh. Thanks!

Dh got a bread machine upon graduation from college. I made good bread with it for a while. Then it stopped working. It simply difn't churn/spin anymore. I have been thinking of getting another machine.

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Well, I just poked around on Ebay, and they had new Zojirushi's on there for under $200. I posted about it on facebook, and DH made a comment about the silly brand name. Just checked Ebay again and that one is gone, someone bought it. I'm hoping it was DH :)

 

Yeah...the number of kids I have increases my desire for time saving devices. Kid number 2 was the Roomba, kid 3 was the Keurig :)

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Well, I just poked around on Ebay, and they had new Zojirushi's on there for under $200. I posted about it on facebook, and DH made a comment about the silly brand name. Just checked Ebay again and that one is gone, someone bought it. I'm hoping it was DH :)

 

Yeah...the number of kids I have increases my desire for time saving devices. Kid number 2 was the Roomba, kid 3 was the Keurig :)

I'm pretty sure Kid 4 qualifies you for the fully stocked mini-bar in your bedroom. ;)

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I'm pretty sure Kid 4 qualifies you for the fully stocked mini-bar in your bedroom. ;)

 

mm...maybe that's how I can talk dh into kid 4!

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I make 100% whole wheat loaves and my KA does all the heavy lifting. I just form the loaves and let them proof, then bake. Then eat!

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