I want a bread machine? any sugestions on favorites?

Flagler Beach, FL(Zone 9b)

I've been reading alot about homemade bread, and lots of other homemade stuff, as in dog shampoo, laundry supplies, and any other items you need to save dollars at the store and away from these big advertisers who run commercials all day long on TV, so help me out here ! I want to buy a bread machine, and would like to see comments about your bread machine and what you like about it. Thanks, Jami

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

I had a Zojirushi and it was wonderful.
Even textured bread (I even baked a pound cake in it) and nice horizontal/squared loafs. Cleaned up nice too. My daughter has since 'borrowed' it (several states away) and I suspect she will hold it for ransom.

Glendale/Parks, AZ

I have had several machines and was not really satisfied until I got my Zojirushi which I rescued from my neighbor as she was loading it into her car to take to Goodwill. I only use it to make dough though. I prefer pan baked bread.

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

In my one-person household, I opted for a West Bend unit called Just for Dinner. It's not very complicated, and I find it fascinating that the loaf is finished exactly 45 minutes after activating the start button. Quite a few recipe variations that I can put together quickly. No need to buy the boxed versions but I could make them fit the one-pound capacity by holding back a third of the mix. Yuska

Flagler Beach, FL(Zone 9b)

thanks alot for the info, I'll let you know what I decide on after reading some reviews. quite alot of them on the market, with lots of different prices, whew, lots to decide :)

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

I've been following your request too. I am toying with the idea of a bread machine, primarily for better quality food with less preservatives etc. We used to own a 2nd hand store and had a number of really nice bread machines come thru. Sold them cheaply too. I think I will look for a used one or unused 2nd hand one till I see that it will appeal to everyone at my house.

Does anyone have a prefered recipe they care to share?

Mission Viejo, CA(Zone 10a)

When my children were younger I used to bake bread in the bread machine every day. It was a wonderful thing to wake up to fresh bake bread in the morning. However - and I'm only bringing this up because this is in the Frugal Living forum - I also noticed that my electric bill was MUCH bigger after I got the machine. I guess it all depends on how effiicient the machine is, and how much you pay for electricity. Just something else to consider.

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

You may want to check at yard sales or on Craigslist, I got one for free about 6 months ago....

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

podster - be sure you get the owner's manual with it. Hard to find a copy after the unit has been available for a while.

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

Manuals are usually available online, even for older models. That is where I got mine.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Do y'all have a favorite recipe you use?

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

I first used the cookbook that came with the bread machine - my daughter has that too. Later on, I just bought the raw breadmix in the box - like a cake mix. It made a good bread - savory and sweet types. Sometimes I added to those mixes - raisins etc. but you have to be real careful with messing with a prepared bread mix --very measurement sensitive.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

O.k. ~ you know, I've never even noticed bread mixes at the store. Wonder where they are...

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

Not meaning to be critical, but isn't controlling what goes into your bread one of the reasons for making your own? Buying a mix just means you still end up with additives etc. Plus I bet it's more expensive to buy the mix than to buy the individual ingredients.... back to frugality...

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Makes sense to me... I guess because I still work I lean toward easy, quick and lazy. Yet, due to my age I want healthy. Go figure! lol

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

Here is how to make it easy: figure out the bread you prefer, mix all dry ingredients together in a large jar; use the mix for your bread machine.

Clay Center, KS(Zone 5b)

Here is my basic bread recipe, I sometimes add oat bran, or exchange some whole wheat flour for the white flour. Although the overnight starter or "biga" adds another step, it also gives a little complexity to the flavor. You can skip it if you wish. Also, I purchase the larger packages of yeast and store it in a quart jar on the freezer door, it cuts the cost of bread making considerably and a jar will last nearly a year without any problem.

Simple Crusty White Bread

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
Overnight Starter
3/4 cup Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or Bread Flour
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/8 teaspoon instant yeast
Dough
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon honey
2/3 cup water
2 3/4 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or Bread Flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
Topping (Optional)
1 egg white beaten with 1 tablespoon water
sesame seeds

The Starter: Mix the starter ingredients in a small bowl, cover, and let rest at room temperature overnight. If I get side tracked, I just refrigerate the starter for a day or two until I'm ready to bake bread.

Manual Method: In a large bowl, combine the starter and the remainder of the dough ingredients, stirring till the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands, and knead it for 5 to 7 minutes, or until it's supple, but the surface is still somewhat rough. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise for 90 minutes, turning it over and gently deflating it after 45 minutes.

Mixer Method: Combine the ingredients as above, using a flat beater paddle or beaters, then switch to the dough hook(s) and knead for about 5 minutes; the dough should have formed a ball, but its surface will still be a bit rough. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise for 90 minutes, turning it over and gently deflating it after 45 minutes.

Bread Machine Method: Place all of the ingredients, including the starter, into the pan of your machine, program the machine for manual or dough, and press Start. (I usually monitor it closely the first 5 minutes, adjusting water/flour ratio to make a fairly soft dough.) When the cycle is finished, remove the dough, deflate it gently, and let it rest, covered, for 30 minutes.

Work dough into a long baguette, place on lightly oiled cookie sheet and allow to rise (about 45 minutes or until indention made in the top does not spring back). Make several diagonal slashes in loaf and bake in preheated oven (4oo degrees) 20-25 minutes.



Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

I like the bread machine because I like fresh and hot - just out of the machine bread. A bread mix does the trick for me. You can buy breadmixes and check the ingredients to sort out those with too many additives for your tastes. I also like the bread mix because to me it is mistake proof - in comparison to self measured ingredients. A lot of research has gone on to get the amounts just right so that you make a nice loaf consistently. I don't find that with self measured. It is worth the extra cost to me to get consistency and good results.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Edens_gardener ~ thank you for sharing that recipe and information. It is appreciated and I will save it if I may.

Question ~ how often do y'all use the bread machine? Daily, weekly, monthly?

Clay Center, KS(Zone 5b)

Usually once a week, we seldom buy "store bought" bread! LOL

Tamworth, NH(Zone 4b)

Here's the recipe I use most often in our bread machine. Add the following in order:

1 cup plus 2 Tbsp warm water
1 Tbsp butter
splash of vanilla
2 cups bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
about 2/3 cup 7-grain cereal (like long-cooking oatmeal, but has multiple grains in it, or just use oatmeal!)
scant 2 tbsp toasted wheat germ
2 tbsp sugar (or honey if you prefer)
1 and 1/2 tsp salt
1 and 3/4 tsp dry yeast

I think my machine is an Oster. I found the manual online, as I got the machine free and it didn't have the manual with it. I took the white bread recipe and played around with it until I came up with this.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Thanks for sharing that recipe. I've all the ingredients but a bread machine. I'll save your recipe till... I wondering why so many machines are free or used and cheap. Lazy people? Uninspired? Don't want it sitting out?

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

I think it's one of those things that - people think it's a great idea, then end up not using it because it's easier to just buy bread at the store.

Tamworth, NH(Zone 4b)

I got the machine when I started renting a house. It was in the basement on a shelf. I called the prior renter and asked if she wanted it and she said, no, keep it. I don't think she'd ever used it, or maybe only once. I think she said it was a gift.

I was happy. :)

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

And it WAS a gift ~ to you! That's great. How often do you use your machine?

Tamworth, NH(Zone 4b)

Lately I've gotten out of the habit of using it, but I was using it at least once a week. There's just two of us, so we don't go through a loaf that fast. I have to get back to it.

Flagler Beach, FL(Zone 9b)

he everyone, thanks for the great advice,, I went to wally world and bought a food processor and haven't used it yet. I got it to make home made laundry soap, and than found out I didn't need it for that. Can I make bread in it? As for the laundry soap, here's a laugh, my DH had a tool, or thing you put on the end of your power drill to stir cement, paint etc. and after making my laundry detergent, and using zote soap and ivory and the other ingredients, my mixture poured into milk jugs ok, but the next day, they ended up so gelled and I couldn't shake the mixture up, so he went and bought me a big 5 gal. bucket with a lid, and I used his mixer attached to his drill, stirred the crap out of it, did a load of laundry and was so pleased with myself on the end results, smell good clothes, line dried, soft and just so clean looking. So, now I have this food processor and a few recipes in the book that came with it, but I want to use it so ....any ideas or resipes to get going on this? Thanks so much for the input here! I love it, Jami

Shenandoah Valley, VA

Well, if you want to save money and can't really use the food processor, Walmart will take it back. I have a good grater and a mandoline, which do just about anything I would do with a food processor. I have a very good, high horsepower blender for anything else. You can probably knead in it if you have the right attachments but you can't bake bread in it. I would think even with kneading attachments a food processor would work the dough to death. You'd be better off with a stand mixer with a kneading hook.

That is one strong suggestion - if you're ever going to buy a blender, get a good one with lots of hp. You can get a good one for around $100 and it's money well spent. You can use it to make juice, much better for you than with a juicer because you're getting the pulp and skin, make homemade smoothiea, plus all the other blending you might need to do in the kitchen.

I know people rave about the Zojirushi bread machines but they're very expensive. I've had two bread machines and never paid more than $50 for them and they were both just fine. The only thing I regret is not getting one that makes two loaves at a time. That would be handy. I'd also suggest getting one that has a window, a feature my newer one has, and that will let you open it to add ingredients during the process. My old one wouldn't and that was not good but bread machines have come a long way since then. And look at the loaf size possible in your machine. Some only make smaller loaves.

In fact, my old one, which I think was about $30, held up just fine for over 15 years and was still working fine when I bought the new one to get more features.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Hmm, glad to see this thread surface. I just picked up a bread machine at a garage sale for 4 bucks. It is a Procter~Silex (like new) and will make 1#, 1 1/2# or 2# loaves. Complete with a cookbook and owners manual and DD loaned me another cookbook. I made my first loaf today. Whole wheat and it was good. It took a bit longer than I expected and I am in the learning stage but need to tweak the recipe at bit.

Jamibad ~ I made the liquid detergent and it jelled the same way but I had put it in gallon jugs and it was impossible to pour. Since then, I've been making dry detergent and like the results and the ease of making and using it.

I think the problem with these bread machines, food processors, blenders, etc. is they take up too much space in my little kitchen. I will have to find a spot to store it. Thanks all for the recipes. I look forward to trying a few... pod

Flagler Beach, FL(Zone 9b)

I'm laughing about the gallon jugs and not being able to shake them, thats what I meant when I said I used milk jugs, I had to cut them open and pour them into the 5 gal. bucket, and than use the cement mixer, a long tool that looks like something you use to whip mashed potatoes, only this attaches to a power drill. Now I pour what I need into an empty pounder plastic coffee can, and I can use my hand mixer to stir it before use. Also, thanks for the really good info on the food processer, I belive I'm going to return it, and look for a bread machine, which is what I really want anyway. Duh! why didn't I think of that. LOL, thanks for that suggestion Hart, and podster, I'm jealous, I wish I could find a deal like that. Thanks for the info all !! happy breading !!

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Jamibad ~ do look thru the 2nd hand stores or garage sales. We had a 2nd hand store a few years ago and had lots of them come thru. Most were in excellent condition, some with the box even. Worth a look...

I wonder why our detergent gelled and I haven't heard many complaints about that.

Mulberry, FL

I have had quite a few make sure the paddle is in it if you are getting used. People don't eat the whole thing and paddle stays in the bread when you pull it out. So they throw it out and paddles gone I have seen a few machine that are long up and down so theres no crust would not like want this kind think its a cheap one. If and when you do get one try the egg bread thumbs up for this one happy hunting

Flagler Beach, FL(Zone 9b)

danasplants, thanks for the additional info on the bread machine, never would have thought of that, never had one , so duh! Thanks from a grateful person, as I will check the 2nd hand shops first, and make sure the paddle is included. Great Advise for sure, thank you ! And podster, our laundry soap gelled because it was supposed to be gelled, No one bothered to post a way to stir it after the stuff was made, as far as I know, but me, being the rocket scientist I am, investigated and figured out a way, I would like to hear from others as to how they handled that part, you make so much that you do need a way to shake it, or stir it, and I just used what I had available after pouring the stuff into jugs, that by the next day, you couldn;t pour the stuff out of, LOL, we learn as we go!!, LOL

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

I added marbles to the jug help stir it when shaken. They are still glommed in a wad of hard gel liquid soap ~ LOL Need to cut that jug open I guess.

Mulberry, FL

another option is ebay

Flagler Beach, FL(Zone 9b)

No, a hand mixer that you use for mashing potatoes, works ! and it cleans it's self, LOL, for real, When your ready to do laundry, mix up your detergent and your good to go!!!

Langley, WA(Zone 7b)

I love my zojurishi.

Flagler Beach, FL(Zone 9b)

OK, everyone, there is a hand mixer that I think your supposed to make milk shakes with, Well, after a month of a 5 gallon bucket of laundry soap in it, I've been using this little hand mixer to mix it up, I mix it up, in the 5 gallon bucket with the hand mixer, than I transfer a portion to a gallon bucket, and than when ever I use it, I again stir it, and so far everything is working out. And I still have lots of laundry soap waiting to be used. This is awesome, I haven't spent a dime since I made my own, and to mix it up is simple! And with what I spent to make the laundry soap, I still have many supplies to make many gallons moe, and I love my laundry, and I'll never use store bought crap again, and vinegar is my softner, and my laundry is awesome!!!! No more expensive " detergents/chemicals, I'm a believer!!! and Gwen, what is Zojurishi, I love new ideas, things, Thanks!!!!

Flagler Beach, FL(Zone 9b)

Oh , I just goggled it, it's a rice machine? Am I correct, and tell me, I just bought a food processor, a cheap one, $30.00 BUT I haven't used it yet, and am considering taking it back , But the reason I bought it was to flake soap bars into homemade soap, for laundry soap, lol,and than I didn't need it for that, than I told myself I'd need it for the vegetables from my garden, which I haven't gotten anything big from the garden LOL, so now what do I do! Please help me here, I just want to be self sustained, as in frugal!!!!!!

Langley, WA(Zone 7b)

No, it's a bread machine. Wasn't that the title on this thread? LOL

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