Just got my first bread machine for Christmas!
So far, I have made three loafs, all 1.5/2.0 lbs, two of which were quite tasty for simple breads and the third just completed a few hours ago (so it has yet to be devoured). I got a West Bend 41300 Hi-Rise bread machine for Christmas, and it's working out well so far. Being a baking noob, but an excellent taster with experience from my mom's many homemade loaves, I am having a lot of fun. The first bread I made was a Country White pre-made dry mix from the grocery store, with only water and active dry yeast added -- turned out a nice golden brown crust and a good crumb -- and that was on the Super Rapid 2-Hour cycle (I may be a bit impatient). The second was another pre-made dry mix, this time Sourdough (with no sourdough starter). Not as tangy as I like, but definitely a sourdough, with a nice, crisp crust. I made this one using the Super Rapid cycle as well. It calls for an extra tsp. of yeast for this setting.
After the sourdough, which we had with homemade savory egg drop cheesy potato soup, I used a recipe from a George Burnett bread machine book with healthy recipes. It is a cheesy bread, made mostly with unbleached flour with some whole wheat added in, and low-fat cottage cheese, egg, dry milk, extra sharp cheddar, and chives. I substituted part of the optional chives for a Knorr dry vegetable dip mix, glazed the top with an egg wash, gave it three good cuts, and topped it with chives and cheese before baking in the ABM. Since it was well after midnight when it finished baking and cooling, the bread it sitting in the kitchen, lonely and unsliced! I can't wait to try it tomorrow with lunch.
After a few more breads, I am going to try some dough only cycles with the ABM and then bake the bread in the oven to see if I can tell a difference in crumb or crust. I am a bit concerned about baking in the oven because our oven is AWFUL and does not have even temp or heating. It seems to run hot past 350 and not hot enough below 350. But I digress...
The bread machine is working well so far. I can't wait to try some sweet breads!