The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

bread machine attribution irritation

varda's picture
varda

bread machine attribution irritation

I know it's stupid to get exercised by these things but...   I brought a 1.3K pain au levain to a potluck lunch today.  It came out very nicely and I was proud to bring it.   One woman asked me what type of bread it was.   As I was answering someone else piped up and asked if I had used a bread machine.   What?   I brought a large scored boule dusted with coarse rye flour, with a spiral pattern from the brotform and she thinks I used a bread machine?   What sort of machine would that be?   Geez.   And that's not the first time.   Every time I mention that I make bread as a hobby, someone inevitably asks me if I use a bread machine.   Why is that the default?  Ok.   Done now.  -Varda

Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

the work and time that goes into a loaf of bread, let alone an artisan bread.  They simply cannot picture people actually doing this, when there are stores and bread machines. 


It's not rudeness, but it is ignorance and lack of imagination. 

varda's picture
varda

Exactly that.  

copyu's picture
copyu

is probably: "Pardon me...Did you say 'Bread Machine'? What...what IS that? I've never even HEARD of a bread machine before. Please tell me more!"

I know I couldn't use that line, myself, because I'm basically too honest (as you also appear to be) and that sort of comment is like a 'bolt from the blue'...you can't prepare for it the FIRST time it happens, but you can be ready the next time!

I'm glad you 'ranted' here, though. You got many words of wisdom from TFLers and you 'got something off your chest'.

Thank you for sharing, Varda,

copyu

varda's picture
varda

Copyu, I'm sure I will be better prepared next time to say the right and extremely polite and educating thing.   I do appreciate your support and the wisdom from the great group of people on TFL.   -Varda

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

Maybe it's just simply lack of experience in baking.. not everyone bakes bread, even from machines.  Maybe it was a good opportunity to explain what you baked and how you baked it.  Who knows how many eyes would have been opened.

jcking's picture
jcking

How about offering for sale "I Bake Bread at Home and it has Ears" pin on buttons or some such. That would be a great conversation started, where us Loafer's could educate the public. I'd buy a button a T-shirt and a ball cap if they we're available. What say? Run a survey; it could help support the website.


Jim


Oh, and spell check would be nice; the letterz on mi keyburd keep muving.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

We've joked about doing TFL merchandise with slogans like "I really knead the dough" or "I bake therefore I am" or "I give good bread."   I'll look into what's involved in setting up a print-on-demand storefront.  Yeah, if people have slogan ideas, send them my way (either PM me or let's start a new thread about it rather than threadjack this one).


I've made some fairly major improvements underneath the hood here this week, putting proper version control in place as well as improving the backup and recovery process.  All of this is so I can do some upgrades soon, try a few new things out, and still have a way of backing out the changes if something goes south.  One of the first things on my list is to upgrade to the latest version of TinyMCE, the WYSIWYG I use here, because some folks who've upgraded to Internet Explorer 9 are having trouble with the version I'm running here.  When I do that, yes, I'll try to get their spellchecker plug-in working.


-FLoyd

Stephanie Brim's picture
Stephanie Brim

People use Internet Explorer?

Also, I'd wear the 'I give good bread' shirt. Most of my circle of friends would get it and giggle.

RobynNZ's picture
RobynNZ

You are not alone Varda - I get that a lot here in NZ too, and generally simply reply 'I don't use a machine, but I do use plenty of time', if that elicits a reasonable question they get a clearer explanation. The ones I find harder to deal with are those who issue an invite for the following day with the tag line 'oh and bring one of your breads',  (my response tends to depend on my schedule - just as well my starter lives on the kitchen bench though) and the ones who say something like  'oh could you make me a couple of loaves like that a week, I've got diabetes and I've heard that kind of bread is better for me'.  I usually offer to teach them how to do it themselves. Often for these people a bread machine is the means of making bread with known ingredients, in a manner that suits their schedules &/or interest level.


Cheers, Robyn


 

varda's picture
varda

but sort of a presumptuous one.   I think offering to teach them is a great strategy. 

Chuck's picture
Chuck

...asked if I had used a bread machine...


My interpretation of this (sometimes the remove of Aspergers provides insight into social interactions, other times it's just ridiculous) is "as evidence that I'm not a complete idiot, I'll actually say something about homemade bread...". They probably don't even realize then (and maybe not later either) that what they said does put them in the class of idiots. I'll bet they don't have any idea how to cook rice or artichokes either. Just respond by asking them how the Red Sox are doing.

varda's picture
varda

This was a "ladies" lunch, and people brought fabulous and beautifully presented dishes.   The woman who asked about the bread machine brought something she called "grilled french toast."   Vile.   So no knowledge of cookery there.  

jcking's picture
jcking

I would tell them "A bread machine is a luxury I can't afford.


Jim

varda's picture
varda

when I was practically sputtering with frustration and couldn't come up with a thing to say?

jcking's picture
jcking

Sorry, I was at the next table with the jelly donuts. My mouth was full - couldn't speak up.

mimifix's picture
mimifix

People don't know and don't understand. As with most everything in life, people don't know about details until a topic is explained. Breadbaking is important to us which is why we're here. So better that we educate those with the potential for caring. For everyone else, tell them about the Yankees.   :)


Mimi

varda's picture
varda

Not the Yankees.  

mimifix's picture
mimifix

I know you're kidding, but I want to take the opportunity here to make a statement: The world is made up of different people with all kinds of likes and dislikes. If we judge based on our preferences, and respond in a negative way, we have lost the opportunity to educate and lost the opportunity to gain a convert to our viewpoint.


And actually, I am not a sportsperson. Just teasing all you sports fanatics  :)

Candango's picture
Candango

Varda, Mimifix, et al.  I agree that shifting the topic to one on which they might be somewhat knowledgeable (So how about them Redskins?), is a wise tactic, regardless of the team.  When asked about the use of a bread machine, I usually smile and hold up my right hand and wiggle the fingers a bit, saying that it is my machine.  Of course, Varda, you are right; anyone who had the least clue as to what a bread machine was or how it worked would never confuse your artisan product with the cylinder or brick made by a machine.  But as you said, she makes a mean grilled French toast and I bet she might be able to fry water.


So jcking, where was that jelly doughnut table?  I must have missed it.


Varda, your bread sounded great. 


Bob

jcking's picture
jcking

Sharing your pain,


Today on TV M. Chiarello, whom I respect as a chef, is making focaccia saying he's added milk to his dough. Now a million TV viewers believe focaccia contains milk! Oh bother.


The other day I had the counter loaded with sourdoughs refreshing, open containers of water and flour and my wife decides it's time to clean the sink and counter; wildly spraying bleach clean-up all over the place. Well, your Honor, that's when I shoved her head in the oven... Case Dismissed!!


Jim

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

Did he preface it to say that "most" ciabatta does NOT contain milk?


The question begs... Why can't "his" version of ciabatta contain milk?  I really don't understand this "You can't violate or reinvent bread".. it sounds a bit bread snooty if you ask me.  I've seen lots of variations of bread.. one is just as good as the other and I would not criticize someone for opening up some minds.  I think it's a good thing, actually.


The positive side is a million viewers saw him bake bread and maybe a few of those viewers will want to know more or their imaginations or curiousity may spark and they will want to learn about bread baking.


There should be no rules - just fun. 

G-man's picture
G-man

I absolutely agree that there should be no rules, just fun, when inventing bread.

 

However, I must protest the suggestion that established standards are a bad thing. When I am trying what someone calls a baguette I expect a baguette. When I am trying a loaf of Columbia I have different expectations than when I try a loaf of Pain au Levain or a loaf of Rosemary Garlic bread. Without the already very loose standards we have, we would have utter chaos. When you order chicken at a restaurant you expect chicken and not steak!

 

/rant

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

Standardization in this case might be like trying to nail jello to a tree.

BTW, there is a Ciabatta variation that includes Milk for caramelization, flavor and is probably a regional formula.  It's called Ciabatta Latte to distinguish it from other Ciabatta's.  I'm not sure if there is that much of a difference since there is only a few Tablespoons of milk in the formula, but I don't know how many bakeries or bakers actually would distinguish it with a different name in the first place.  I wonder if you'd even be able to tell the difference.. it's very subtle.

But as to standards.. that's almost laughable.  Even Italian bakers can't agree on their standards.  In Italy, the Ciabatta loaf takes on many variations and it's all called Ciabatta - no matter what is done to it.  In Rome, they add salt, marjoram and olive oil as flavor enhancers... it's called Ciabatta, try arguing differently to any Roman baker.  In Tuscany, the Ciabatta has a thicker crust and a dense crumb.  I prefer the open crumb and the crisp crust but that's only because American Bakers have told us that THIS is the Ciabatta that defines all Ciabattas.  I think many Italian bakers might disagree.   In my Italian Cookbook Pane Fatto in Casa da Tutto il Mondo, the authors include olive oil in both starter and the dough as well as malt.  In other books, like from the Bread Bakers Guild, no olive oil is used.  Check out any number of Ciabatta recipes and you'll find any number of differences.

One thing they all agree on is the shape of the bread - where Ciabatta got its name.  The bread can take on any regional variation and still be a Ciabatta as long as the shape is the standard shape.  It may be the only standardization we'll ever see!  I think we tend to want to compartmentalize and neatly tuck things away because they make sense to us.  My point is - why do we feel that is necessary all the time?  Sometimes, it's just more fun not to.  All one has to do is ask any baker in any region of Italy and I am guessing you'll get the same argument that their ciabatta is genuine.. yet it can be completely different to other ciabatta's.  And I think by standardizing Ciabatta, we are stripping it of its history.  It seems rather vain for Americans to insist on standardizing an Italian bread.. they don't want it standardized.  Why should we care? 

There is even major argument where Ciabatta originated - Carol Field suggests it came from Lake Como region.  Erika Pignatti states that it originated in Trentino, according to The Artisan website.  It goes on to say that at least one type of Ciabatta can be found in every region of Italy - each distinctive to the trained palate.

I don't hold out much hope for standardization, but if you must distinguish Ciabatta made with milk, you now have a name for it at least.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

the judge most likely will let you join the rank and file of the steel barred bakery.   

No excuse for untrained personnel. 

Some flours aren't up to snuff and need milk's added fat and proteins.  Think of it as water that went thru a cow filter... cattle-ization.  :)  oops, that was bad!   

Bread machine?  Mine is as big as my kitchen and me is the motor and brains of the unit.  

jcking's picture
jcking

I just figured this was the complaint department. Sure you can make the loaf anyway you like. It just bothers me when people change ingredients and don't change the name. It's my hang-up. Some terms get thrown around so much, in bread lingo, sometimes confusion arises. Nuff said.

Had brunch today with Frequent Flyer (flyer refers to fishing) talking bread face to face; good time!

Okay, new baking term Cattle-ization. No snuff; pass water thru cow:)))))

 

Dave323's picture
Dave323

I take it you're not interested in the recipe for my rye and whole wheat sourdough rosemary all white bread?

 

:)

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

Better yet, let's invent the mythical "Artisnal Bread Machine" manufactured in a small village just North of the Tuscan city of Florence. The company "Regio Società di Attrezzature per la Cottura" or RSAC, is little known outside a select clientele but whose machines turn out the legendary "bread of the ancient gods"...,


Anyone care to add to this?


Sorry in advance, Wild-Yeast

varda's picture
varda

I think in your extra-TFL life you must be a marketing genius.   My husband already suspects I'm crazy, but when he catches me guffawing at my computer screen he's convinced of it.

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

"Why yes, as a matter of fact, I did".. then gave her the recipe.  LOL

Jessica Weissman's picture
Jessica Weissman

I mix some of my breads on the dough cycle of my Zo bread machine, then raise them in a basket which gives them the nice rings.  And I score and dust them and they come out nicely.

So, while your commenter was just trying to be friendly (I think), it IS possible to use a bread machine for artisan-style breads.  Just not all the way.  When people ask those questions, I answer and tell them as much as they want to know about the process, and about the other steps that go into it.  Every once in a while someone takes it to heart and starts baking bread.

Now jump all over me if you like!

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

I wouldn't jump all over you.. for what purpose does that serve?  I don't have a problem with people using bread machines for all or even part of the process.  I use my electrolux quite often and it's the same thing.. a means to an end.  But, the big difference with me is that I learned to bake bread with my hands.  For many years, I couldn't afford a machine of any kind.. and I baked bread for 20 years before I ever treated myself to a KitchenAid.

The problem I have is that people haven't learned to bake bread without a machine.. and then they call themselves bread bakers.  I guess they are bread bakers, but they haven't learned the art of baking or the joy of the feel of dough.  I just find it rather sad that someone learns to bake bread with a machine.. and never gets to experience the creativity the art and the science behind touching dough with your hands, forming, kneading and shaping.

With that said, I've kneaded enough dough in my lifetime and I know what good dough should feel like.  Whenever I try a new recipe, I do use my hands, only to get the feel of the loaf and it's personality or character.  I think machines rob us of being better bakers in the more inexperienced stages, but as you gain expertise, I think they serve a wonderful role, but they shouldn't be the only option. 

Today, if someone tried to take away my Magic Mill or KitchenAid, I'd probably fight them for it :)

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Jessica,

Don't you mean it is possible to mix dough for "artisan-style" breads using a bread machine?   Sorry, it may seem pedantic, but what you describe above does work as "artisan-style", but you are only using the machine for a single part of the process!

Best wishes

Andy

varda's picture
varda

I have nothing against bread machines.   Only my bread clearly wasn't made in one.    Certainly the woman asking was trying to polite and/or making conversation about something she knew nothing about.   I just wish the default ignorance position were different, that's all.    And as for what several have proposed as a "teachable moment" suffice it to say that it was not and a disquisition on bread making would not have been appreciated.   I would say that in the future I'll forgo using TFL as a place to rant, but in fact, my favorite post (ok, hyperbole) on TFL is a rant.   Just search on tamales and you'll see the one I'm talking about.  Oh, and one more thing... The Yankees are a (um, pause, swallow) great (just can't do it) serviceable baseball team.   -Varda

jcking's picture
jcking

Varda,

As long as the rant stays in a rant post, I don't have a problem. Do others?

Jim

(A legend in his own mind)

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

The problem with a rant is that oftentimes someone's feelings end up getting hurt and obviously the poster to start this discussion was offended by someone who didn't know much about bread baking.  I understand the frustration! 

Some of us can be oversensitive though.  All one has to do is read through many of the TFL posts to see how easily offended people can get if you have a different opinion of something.  A good example is the obvous gasp to my comment here when I asked.. "Why can't ciabatta contain milk?"  Please.. a definition of Ciabatta contains nothing about it not containing milk or if it does, it can't be called Ciabatta!  That's a bit over the top for me.. and if we really wanted to be sticklers for definitions, then the conversations can get interesting to say the least.  If the noun "Ciabatta" is translated, it means slipper or mule.  Defined as bread, it mainly says it contains olive oil.. but it says nothing about bread that cannot include milk in its ingredients list.  Enough said.

I wonder if the grilled French Toast was actually quite nice.. we are all judgmental to a degree.  We are only human and it is not meant as a criticism of the poster, just an observation.  I am just as guilty as anyone else.   

At the end of the day, however, if you don't like someones rant.. you can find other topics of interest. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

We are but a humble little minority, don't let it get to you that not everyone thinks as highly of bread as we do and is capable of recognizing methods or technique.   We are here to support you.  We would never ask you if one of your beautiful loaves was made in a bread machine.  We know you.   Bread machine loaves come out square-ish which was rather insulting to a round loaf (or is there a round loaf making machine I've not heard about?)  but maybe before the next person asks if you used a bread machine, you could practice to say, "Yes, in the new round loaf machine from VardaTech.  How did you know?"  

Think about the first time you saw a loaf with brotform lines...  didn't you wonder how that was done?  And when it all became clear, wasn't that a sort of revelation?    It had a wow factor.   I know I was wowed.   It looks too perfect to be hand made.  Maybe the concise lines of the brotform give the loaf a mechanical impression and that leads to the idea of a machine...  a bread machine.     I wouldn't be too hard on her or yourself either.   Take care, 

Mini

varda's picture
varda

Well Mini, thanks for adding some needed perspective.    And thanks for your support.  -Varda

Jessica Weissman's picture
Jessica Weissman

Oh, Varda, of course!  

But if a person asks "Did you use a bread machine?" after seeing one of the breads I'm referring to, the answer would be yes.  I did use a bread machine, if only to mix.  Which I explain to them immediately.  If someone asked "Did you make that in a bread machine?" I would say no, I just mixed the dough in one.  

On the other hand, I brought a sourdough boule in to work last week that never saw the inside of a machine.  One of the guys asked me if I used a stone to get the crust - he was an enthusiastic baker himself; he even spotted that I'd used some semolina in the dough.  So you never know where you're going to find One of Us.

What really bugs me is articles like the one that appeared two Wednesdays ago in the Washington Post food section.  It was all about some guy who discovered that he could use his bread machine to mix loaves and then bake them in the oven.  Unfortunately the book he hit on was Rustic European Breads from Your Bread Machine, which is full of odd and unreliable recipes.  To be fair, it has one standout -a glorious and easy version of chocolate bread.   While I hope people are inspired by the article to bake bread I also hope that they don't rush out to imitate the recipes he was using.

 

 

varda's picture
varda

***On the other hand, I brought a sourdough boule in to work last week that never saw the inside of a machine.  One of the guys asked me if I used a stone to get the crust - he was an enthusiastic baker himself; he even spotted that I'd used some semolina in the dough.  So you never know where you're going to find One of Us.

Jessica, That must have been great and unexpected.   Thanks for sharing.  And of course I used a bread machine too.   My handy Kitchen Aid for mixing.  -Varda

Dave323's picture
Dave323

a secret handshake  :)

sam's picture
sam

Hello,

About six months ago, I was wanting to make a good bread, and my first thought was to get a bread machine.  I had no idea of anything.  So I got the bread machine.   Some of my initial attempts looked like some cross between a brain and a poop.   Heh.  But I got better.   However, it was not the bread I wanted to make.  I didn't even know what I wanted to make, except for something better than the store-bought.   I had no idea about shapes and types, sourdough was some far-out thing to me.   I remember reading from my bread-machine manual that it took 7 days to make a sourdough bread and I thought, "jeeze, that's a long time, why bother.."

A friend referred me to this site, and I read and read, and looked at all the results.   Major eye-opener.  I then bought books and, I consider myself a total newbie still, but I just wanted to say that I can still remember when I was in the "bread machine" mode of thinking.

I once brought a sourdough boule into my office, and someone said the same thing, "Did you use a bread machine?", and I just said no.  I did not try to second-guess their mental state or attitude or anything.  I've been there too.  I think it is just a matter of not knowing..  not even being aware ....

 

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

I think in hindsight that asking if you use a machine is really a backdoor compliment.  Perhaps if you say yes, then the person asking can achieve similar results.. and wouldn't many machine bakers like to know how you get that great bread? 

I suspect bread machine owners who use it to go through the bake cycle soon learn the limits of what they have and will naturally branch out if they become curious.  When they do, let's hope they engage with a mentor or friend who shares the love of baking just like everyone else here has done..

We all started somewhere.

G-man's picture
G-man

My dad uses a machine, and he has for years. It is a very nice model. He uses it because he wants a specific loaf of bread, he can't buy that loaf of bread at the store, and the machine makes it perfectly. He isn't really interested in branching out yet, and he might never be. Certainly he hasn't mentioned wanting to diversify.

I think machines are great for people who don't want to get into very serious bread baking but still want to produce something they can't get at the store. I would never use one, but they do have a place, I think.

(And of course you said this very same thing further down the thread, Belles. :)

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

and any reason to use a bread machine is a great reason for the user!  My in-laws in Australia are the exact same way.  They would rather bake their own little loaves than buy them at the store.. so we bought them a bread machine.  Turns out they have a Kangaroo who comes around each day with a Joey in her pouch looking for leftovers!  So that bread machine gets used ALOT!

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

This thread has left me with the feeling that if things get rough [i.e. lack of civilization] a great majority of people will undergo a severe caloric reduction. To many, production of bread is unthinkable without the use of a machine indicates a real lack of understanding of a basic food stuff.  

Conversations with others lead me to believe that modern society is highly over leveraged by technology with little backup if it defaults. . . . ,

Wild-Yeast

Chuck's picture
Chuck

I too am afraid an awful lot of people would have no idea how to survive "off the grid" if the "grid" got hopelessly scrambled. It's not that I berate those folks or wish they would "get their act together" or even revel in feeling superior to them, but only that I simply feel sorry for them and hope my worst fears about the "grid" don't actually come to pass. (Actually, I suspect I'm in the same boat: when I tried laying out detailed plans for distilling my own water long term, I realized I couldn't do it:-)

My awakening was when in the aftermath of a major hurricane and power failure several years ago, a local radio station had a call-in howto show: Their answer to what to eat was to simply open the cans of beans in the cupboard. But then the caller asked incredulously "you mean eat the cold beans right out of the can?"

G-man's picture
G-man

And when the cans of beans are gone because the factories stopped pumping them out years ago, I suppose the idea will be to eat tree bark...?

Rick D's picture
Rick D

Not everyone can be an expert at everything. Because this woman could not clearly identify the beautifully crafted loaf as not from a bread machine does not make her an "idiot" or "ignorant." I've heard these terms thrown about in all walks of life. Whether we refer to great European art, music, auto-maintenance, basket-weaving, skiing, and so on, it's common for "experts" in their respective field refer to the person unlearned in that topic with derision.

I can craft lovely bread, throw down some mean licks on guitar, confidently join two pieces of wood, speak of (and drink) great Burgundy intelligently...I cannot spell very well, have not much of an idea how to repair a broken car, seem lack the intellect of how to avoid overcooking meat on the grill, and have no idea what I'm talking about in an electronics store. Does this make me an idiot and ignorant?

(boy, really set myself up here, while waiting for my next stretch and fold)

--Rick

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

I am glad you spoke up about that, Rick!

I think by the fact that she was asking about the loaf at all was a wonderful compliment actually and perhaps a missed opportunity to turn on another potential baker.  I'm very thrilled and flattered when somene asks me about my breads or for the recipe or method I used.  And, after reading more of the story.. yes, the bread was made using a "machine"... a KitchenAid, not a Zo.. are we just talking semantics?  Personally, I don't own a bread machine, per se.. and I wouldn't.  I simply don't like the end result from them, and if I want to mix dough I have both a KitchenAid and a Magic Mill, but whenever I hear about or see someone baking from them I really love knowing that they have a budding passion and perhaps that passion will naturally follow more challenges and eventually break free from a Zo.   So in that regard, I think Bread Machines are great!  On the flipside, a Zo or other brand provides many people with what they want and all they need - I have learned that they aren't really interested in my opinion about them.  Because they don't need or want Brioche bread or a French Baguette, doesn't make them any less of a "baker" than those of us who appreciate the art of baking them. 

And before anyone rails me - I'm not saying I'm perfect.  When the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day book came out, I was a bit peeved that they would have the audacity to call it Artisan bread and I enjoyed pointing out that it takes far longer than 5 minutes a day.. and so on.  Then I tasted a loaf that someone had made in my baking club and while I had tasted better loaves, I must admit that the bread I tried was pretty darn good. 

It's odd that we don't question other methods - Richard Bertinet's Slap and Fold method isn't criticized.. people think he's a genius and I do too - after making his gorgeous cinnamon rolls.  But it's all in the perspective.. and I learned a valuable lesson. 

G-man's picture
G-man

I suppose technically it does make you ignorant, but I feel like the association of "ignorance" and "idiocy" is extremely unfortunate. Ignorance is not idiocy or even stupidity. Ignorance is simply lack of knowledge. I'm ignorant about quantum physics, among countless other subjects, many of which I'll happily admit to before demanding the party calling me ignorant relieve me of the burden of ignorance. Everyone's ignorant about some things. That "ignorant" has become an insult is kind of sad...

That said, I do agree with the OP. I've been frustrated before as well by people and their perceptions of bread. My biggest peeve is folks who think that, since bread is a staple and is pretty much everywhere, it is easy to make. Once my friends started asking for bread on a regular basis I invited them to come help me make some bread. I even started the pre-ferments the day before. After a full day spent covered in flour they haven't asked again. Baking bread is fun but it's hard work, and non-bakers shouldn't take their bakers for granted!

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

I don't think bread is hard to make.. it's time consuming, but the task is easy and enjoyable.  I don't have friends who ask me for bread on a regular basis - but they do drop big hints.  Part of my joy of baking is sharing.. however,  I'd have to say that if someone were to start being that rude and begin asking me to bake them bread, I'd simply tell them NO.  It's still a part of our vocabulary and I'm not afraid to use it when I feel I'm being taken advantage of. 

 

gcook17's picture
gcook17

You should reply with a thick Arnold Schwarzenegger accent, "I am the bread machine."

Bread Breaddington's picture
Bread Breaddington

That is such a good retort that I feel the need to post and make it clear that I think it is good. It's very good, and I'll remember it.

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

That would make a great T-shirt...., 

Wild-Yeast

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

When asked if I have a bread machine, I hold out both hands and wiggle my fingers.  That usually elicits an "Oh!" followed by some inane comment.

Paul

cgmeyer2's picture
cgmeyer2

i do not have a stand mixer so i use a bread machine to knead my bread. this is because i have had major fractures to both the right & left distal radius (wrist) which makes hand kneading very painful. however, i do proof, shape, raise,  & cook my bread products the conventional way.

maybe it would be nice to ask the person if they have a disability first & then educate them on artisan breads

claudia

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

Rose Levy Beranbaum also has arthritic wrists.. from years of kneading dough.  She says she does like to do a knead every so often and when someone criticizes her about using a machine to mix bread, she makes no apologies and reminds them of all the loaves she's kneaded in the past. 

To be honest, however, it wouldn't occur to me to ask that question.  I think if you can make a great end product using the quickest most efficient means necessary, then go for it.  Anyone who doesn't like it can go knead a loaf.. lol.

cgmeyer2's picture
cgmeyer2

thank you. your comment was perfect; make no apologies.

claudia

RuthieG's picture
RuthieG

I loved reading this interesting thread where so many have comments.  I also have arthritis issues and a lot of kneading stirs up the myalgia too so I use my KitchenAid.........and........... I often use my bread machine to knead  .....I'm 72 years old and I have a bread machine that was given as a gift, to thank for my love of baking bread these days.......I wonder if I would really be into bread if I hadn't received mine.......

 

I do understand the   question and the answer because so many times people ask me too.

msbpopejoy's picture
msbpopejoy

Very well said!  I too have issues with my hands; severe osteoarthritis, and can not knead anymore.  Thank you for pointing out what some never considered.

Dave323's picture
Dave323

Wow, the freelings are all over the place on this topic.

I bake bread. I bake MY bread. I bake it MY way.

I know other people who bake bread. They bake THEIR bread. They bake it THEIR way.

We all bake bread. No better, no worse, just different ... bread.

Some of us do it totally by hand. Some of us do it totally by machine. Some of us do both, and to varying degrees. But,

WE ALL BAKE BREAD.

I can learn from every baker I meet, even the ones who use a bread machine; even if it's totally online, and we never meet, face-to-face.

Ain't it grand!

jcking's picture
jcking

Home bakers just don't get no respect :)))

Jim

RuthieG's picture
RuthieG

My thoughts are just that the feeling from kneading that bread with your own two hands, even if it came out of the bread machine or the kitchen aid and whether or not we get the respect we want.........it's a wonderful thing...........

day2day's picture
day2day

I love the feeling of the warm bread just out of the bread machine. I used to knead my own bread, but with bad wrists it's alot harder now, but I take time to shape my bread...I love the rustic look.

day2day's picture
day2day

Can anyone give me a tip on how to make my rustic bread crusty on the outside.  I made two loafs of Rustic Italian today and baked it in my double French pan, I sprayed my pan with olive oil and sprinkled some cornmeal, because my last ones stuck to the pan.  It didn't stick this time and I baked it at 375 for 21 minutes.  The texture on the inside was great, but it was not as crusty as I expected.  Thanks, Lynn

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Hi Lynn, 

I get a good crust if I remove the pans and let the loaf bake on the oven rack for the last 5 to 10 minutes.  This dries out the crust a bit and opening the oven releases any steam that may be still in the oven and gives a good crust color too!

Mini

day2day's picture
day2day

Thanks, That's a great idea, I will try that one also. 

jlewis30's picture
jlewis30

I have a GREAT bread machine, my two hands... I don't even have a power mixer after I killed a kitchen aide on the first run - though I do have enviable biceps now.

Tyro's picture
Tyro

I underwent heart by-pass surgery and was obliged to give up my pastime of bread making.  The grand kids came to my rescue by getting me a bread machine.  It did all of the hard mixing and kneading saving my chest from further stress.  I can again follow my hobby.

I  started over with trying new recipes, methods and procedures.  I only let the machine bake my loaf once, make that twice, first and last.  I set it for dough and then finish it off by hand.

I'm healed up enough now to go back to making my own dough.  I do have an electric mixer I let do most of the work.  The bread machine is still put into use for special items such as when I make animals for the great-grand kids.

Ty

varda's picture
varda

enough to make bread.   And what wonderful grandchildren you have!  -Varda

Tyro's picture
Tyro

Hi Varda,  thanx for the kind words.  I'd like to send pix but don't know how.  My facebook page has a few and of the great grandkids.  Ty

MangoChutney's picture
MangoChutney

I sympathize with your anger.  We have a 12' x 72' free-standing elevated deck on the back of our house.  I designed it from scratch, using engineering tables from various construction books dealing with wooden structures, so that it a) doesn't look like something made from popsicle sticks and b) doesn't bounce like a trampoline when I walk on it.  My husband says we could park the cars on it, it is so sturdy.  I'm not so sure about that, but it is really sturdy.  People who admire it inevitably ask my husband who designed it, and when he tells them I designed it, they ask me what book I got it from.  It used to make me furious, because I thought they were indicating they thought a woman was too stupid to design a deck by herself.  My husband had to explain to me that they probably didn't think he could design a deck either, and that they liked my design so well that they wanted to use whatever book it came from for their own decks.  The woman who asked you if you made that bread in a bread machine probably hoped you had used a bread machine, so she could hope to make something like that herself.  It's kind of a hope on their parts, in vain as it happens, that they too will be able to do something of a professional quality without either knowledge or effort.  It's a complement, even if it doesn't feel like one at the time.

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

I am so glad to see that you "used" to feel that way and I presume, no longer get upset about people's assumptions.  But honestly, don't you think we're being a tad bit oversensitive?  There are gazillions of things to be upset about, but I honestly could say that this wouldn't be one of them.  If someone asks me if I used a bread machine... and believe me, they have - it has never even occurred to me to get peeved in the slightest.  Wow, this post has enlighted me in the most interesting ways.  I always kind of hate telling them I don't use a machine because I am usually sensitive to their feelings.. wondering if, when I say no to their question, they are disappointed that they can't recreate what I did that easily.  I actually sometimes hate telling them the truth...  like I've dashed their hopeful ideas.  LOL

And let's at least be honest.. MOST women do not design decks.. probably most men don't either, so someone asking you about your design should not be seen as a slam against you or your womanhood.  I think its fantastic and would have a totally new respect for you.  But, that's a fairly natural assumption and even though women have evolved, sometimes the world is slow to catch on.   I would actually find it flattering that they #1 noticed your deck or your bread in the first place, #2 - that they were so impressed that they actually asked delving, diving and deeper questions about it and #3 and the best part of all.. enjoying the look on their faces when you tell them with a smug smile that it was you who baked, designed, built or invented it.

And please I hope no one takes this the wrong way.. but wow, alot of people with such frail egos.. how we deal with real-life disappointment?  I just find someone's assumptions and questions about my bread to be so very flattering.. that it doesn't bother me at all when they ask.  It's exciting to know that someone liked it that much or it made such a deep impression that they felt the need to say something, even though their assumptions may have been wrong.  Take it with a grain of salt, and remember, there are two ways of looking at life!

varda's picture
varda

to add here, but you've managed to do it.   I think your husband comes out looking pretty good in this story.    I originally posted this a couple of months ago, and my irritation has long since evaporated and I wish my bread baking posts created a fraction of the interest of this post.   But I guess this touched more than one nerve based on the diverse responses that have gathered here.    BTW, my daughter,  who is an engineering student, designed and led the construction of a roof deck on top of the three story student housing where she was living.   I went to see it after they finished, and  it looked like you could have landed a helicopter up there.   Little by little attitudes will change about what women can and cannot do, one deck at a time I guess, with hopefully similar awareness growing about artisan bread. 

Just Loafin's picture
Just Loafin

And on the other side of stereotyping...

Little by little attitudes will change about what women can and cannot do, one deck at a time I guess

As a male baker, whenever we bring my baked goods to gatherings, picnics, etc., anyone with questions or compliments for my breads, cookies, or cakes -always- approach my wife first. It's curious how specific some stereotyping really is... it astonishes nobody that men can be great chefs and/or bakers, but that seems only if they are in the professional realm. Home bakers and hobbyist outside of the industry are always presumed to be the woman of the household. These things both exist and persist, but although I realize that, I never let it bother me or ever feel 'insulted'.

- Keith

varda's picture
varda

I would probably want to rip their throats out but that's just me... -Varda

highmtnpam's picture
highmtnpam

You must be a wonderful listener...I just start and explain how there are so many different flours, and moisture contents, and different traditions from different countries etc,etc,etc. And then, I go on and on about how bread machines can only do this and that, but I want to do that and this.  After 15 minutes or so, they are really anxious to tell me how beautiful my bread is and to stop my flow of words.  I  never have problems again (at least from that person). I've actually made a convert or two.   In the end, I'm obviously just not as nice as you are!

Pam

varda's picture
varda

I'm a great listener.   That must be it.    Beat them into submission with erudition.   Now why didn't I think of that.   -Varda

Tyro's picture
Tyro

I love my bread machine.  I underwent a heart bypass and couldn't follow my hobby without doing more damage to my chest.  I have my own method of making bread now.  First, I proof the yeast and then put it in first, not last as they say.  Here is a recipe that I use as a base for others.  It calls for 1 cup of sour cream but for health reasons I us low fat "sour cream", which I think should be called sour milk.  If it has no butterfat then it is no longer cream!

Dinner rolls,   1 cup sour milk, 2 tbs shortening. Heat the sour milk and melt the shortening in it, add 2 or 3 tbs sugar.  Set aside to cool.  When cool beat in 1 egg.  In 1/4 cup warm water proof yeast.  When it's all happy and foamy add to sour milk, egg mix.  pour into bread pan.  In a sifter put 3 cups flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp soda.  Sift into bread pan.  Set machine to dough and turn on.

I turn this dough into all sorts of fancy rolls and buns.  It is easy to work and very forgiving.  Take 1/2 the dough and roll it into a ball, flatten and roll out to about a 12 inch circle.  With a pizza cutter cut into 8 wedges, roll into creasent rolls, proof until doubled insize, bake until done.

I get the grandkids to help me.  They make little balls about 3/4 inch across and put 3 in a well buttered muffin tin, proof and bake.  I let them roll the dough out thin.  When we have 4 sheets I butter them, place one on top of the other and cut out with a round cookie cutter.  Place stacked 'cookies' in buttered muffin tins, proof, bake, enjoy.

Ty

MangoChutney's picture
MangoChutney

That's a warm and happy image.  *smile*

seddy5's picture
seddy5

Maybe pull out one of those childrens toys where you fit the shape into the appropriate hole. Uh-oh! The round bread shape doesn't go into the retangle bread maker hole! ;)

 

I started making bread in a bread maker years ago because it was too daunting any other way so I have nothing against them. However,  I doubt that I'd ever use mine again. I agree with the posters that said she was just looking for something to say about your bread but had no bread-knowledge to work with.

MangoChutney's picture
MangoChutney

But my bread-machine is round!  I just don't see how she patched the holes in the bottom and the side.  It doesn't look as if the paddle and the hook were ever there.  Amazing!  *grin*