The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bread maker for home

satimis's picture
satimis

Bread maker for home

Hi all,

I'm preparied to make my own bread at home because healther and more tasteful (less additive).  I don't have electric oven, but microwave oven, nor experience.

On searching Internet I found;

Ah it is so easy making loaf at home !!!
Kenwood Bread Machine: home-baked is best
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ER_4kuW0Rkc


and then;
Kenwood BM450 Bread Maker review
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaDY_C-4GK0

BM450  Stainless Steel Breadmaker
http://www.kenwoodworld.com/uk/Products/Cooking--Baking/Breadmakers/BM450/


Making loaf at home is so simple and straightforwards?

Any folk on the forum has experience?  Please shed me some light.  Is Kenwood BM450 Bread Maker a reliable machine?  TIA


B.R.
satimis

Graid's picture
Graid

Hello there, 

 

Breadmakers are easy to use yes.  It's basically a case of measuring the ingredients into the pan and pressing the right button.  You should follow the recipes in the booklet that comes with it, though you can also use bread books/online recipes for breadmakers.  The Kenwood sounds like a decent model- I find it interesting it has an 'artisan dough' mode with a longer fermentation method.  I have a Morphy Richards 48271.  Which does not have that feature but does have a 'handmade' function or something like that where you can set how long it spends on each stage of the cycle.

 

I was actually surprised that the 'French bread' recipe for my breadmaker, when made in 'French bread' mode, was actually pretty good despite the blasphemously bad and extremely un-French bread like ingredients (sugar, lots of oil), and better, sadly, than what I've achieved without my breadmaker. 

 

The use of breadmakers is not only for baking bread within the breadmaker though. You can use the breadmaker to produce dough for any recipe, simply by putting it on a 'dough only' cycle. After this cycle is done, you can take it out, shape it or simply put it in an oiled bread tin, and bake it in the oven for 35 minutes at 200C after letting it rise for about 40 minutes or whatever is suggested by the recipe. 

 

Most of the time I use mine that way- basically to take the work out of kneading the dough.  Sometimes I will aslo have it knead the dough for only a short time- enough to make it into a cohesive, elastic dough, and then simply cancel the programme and take it out and rise it myself instead of letting the breadmaker do the whole thing.  

 

Edited to add- oops, I see you DON'T have an oven. Disregard the advice about the dough then! You would need to do everything in the breadmaker.  They're actually decent at baking bread though, I mean, they are not inferior to ovens at baking bread, you just get more control over the temperature when it comes to an oven. And I've never had the breadmaker bake anything that wasn't perfectly cooked. The only issue I had with it was that a couple of times with the granary bread recipe in the book the dough over-rose and then collapsed a bit, but this still produced an edible loaf. Not quite sure why that happened, but I have to be careful and use less yeast or sugar than the booklet says when making granary bread.

Chuck's picture
Chuck

To me, a breadmaker is a lot like a toaster. It's a ubiquitous appliance without any strong brand association. All of them are fairly similar, and they all have a tendency to break down after a several years.

Breadmakers were enabled a few decades ago by two things:

  1. "instant" yeast granules that wake up very quickly as soon as wetted and are very vigorous (different brands have different names, just look for the words "for bread machines" on the container)
  2. the "style" of bread changing toward higher hydration (a 55% hydration dough would probably "burn out" a breadmaker)

Some things to keep in mind when selecting a bread machine:

  • Look for one that has cycles for all the kinds of bread you care about. (Some only have cycles for "white" and "wheat"; an "artisan" cycle sounds nice.)
  • One that allows you to "modify/program" a cycle is very rare: don't worry about it. (Unless you want to lay out top dollar for a "Zojirushi".)
  • Look for one with good support. Does the company have a website? Do they staff a telephone "hotline" you can call with bread problems? Do they sell spare parts? Do they host a "forum"? Is a copy of the manual available electronically if you lose yours? Plug something like "[brandname] breadmaker" or "[brandname] support" or "[brandmame] repair" into Google and hope you find only a few horror stories.

The product of a breadmaker is typically better than storebought, but not as good as home-baked from scratch. Many (not all:-) people eventually get frustrated with their breadmaker, and dive into baking their own bread from scratch. Often that transition is only partial at first -via the "dough" cycle- rather than all at once.

 

 

sammarshall's picture
sammarshall

I have been making bread off and on in a breadmaker for years. It was a compromise when I bought it. I really wanted to make bread the old fashioned way but I knew it would never happen. I have the attention span of a gnat. Whatever machine will be fine. I longed for the expensive Zoerushi but at the much higher price I felt I would HAVE to make bread.I also have heard some negative reports from members of this forum recently about the Zo. Now the really good news is the name of my favorite Machine bread recipe book and I have a lot of them. Title: BREAD MACHINE, how to prepare and bake the perfect loaf. Jennie Shapter,Author. Hermes House Publisher. Once you see the innards of a breadmachine you will see that it is a simple concept. No rocket science needed.

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

I bought a Breadman Ultimate Plus from Amazon about 2½ years ago. It is fully progammable for time and temperature, and will run in bake only and dough only modes also. It costs less than $100. I baked with it about twice a week for a year, began using the dough only mode for another six or eight months, then last January I switched to my new Electrolux Assistent. 

I am/was completely satisfied with the Breadman, and feel bad that it's sitting unused now. A friend has expressed interest, so maybe it's due for a new home.

cheers,

gary

satimis's picture
satimis

Hi all,

Lot of thanks for your advice and suggestion.

Today I have been shopping ingredients available in the markets.  Hereinunder are my findings:

Active dried yeast
All purpose flour
Baking powder
Baking powder
Bi-carbonate of soda
Plain white flour
Pure baking soda
Selfraise white flour
Wholemeal plain flour

Could you please shed me some light of their use in making loavies.  TIA


I also found Zojirushi model BB-HAC10
http://www.zojirushi.com/products/bbhac

It is more expensive than other brands.  

Why a Zojirushi Bread Machine Should Be Your First Choice
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uE9NaYQUcg8

Any advice on their feature and performance compared to other breadmakers?  Thanks.

B.R.
satimis

Graid's picture
Graid

As I stated- the Morphy Richards breadmaker I mentioned does in fact allow you to programme your own bake cycle. In order to get a good idea of the features I recommend taking a look at the manuals on the websites. 

 

I'm from the UK and we always make bread with bread flour and have no such thing as 'all purpose flour' but I believe that  'all-purpose' flour can be used for bread making, wholemeal plain is probably usable for that also. You do not usually use baking soda to make bread, or anything involving raising agents that aren't yeast.  The basic things you need for bread in a bread maker are white or wholemeal bread flour (or all purpose flour), water, fast action dried yeast and salt. Sugar and oil or butter or milk may also be added depending on the recipe. Bread maker recipes have a tendency to also include skimmed milk powder and vitamin C tablets but neither are essential to producing decent bread in them. You can safely omit these from breadmaker manual recipes, I have found. 

 

Take a look at the kenwood manual here, produced for a UK market but giving an indiciation of ingredients, features and methods. 

 

http://www.kenwoodworld.com/Global/Instruction%20books%20(User%20manuals)/Cooking%20Baking/19123%20Iss%202%20BM450%20English%20only.pdf

 

As an aside on a more Artisan-bread-ish note- at the moment, I am rather stubborn personally in sticking to my breadmaker as a mixer for bread that requires kneading for the simple reason that it can deal with bread no matter how wet the dough is. When kneading by hand I find the process frustratingly messy unless I add too much flour.  I know there are methods that require very little hand kneading, and have used the Artisan Bread in 5 minutes recipe to make bread without it. But in general, I figure why not have it do the work of mixing the dough into a cohesive mass? Wet dough is glue like, it sticks to your hands, to the table, to everything.  I do not have to let it do the whole dough cycle for it to make the dough into something nicely manageable. Mind you I have yet to produce plain white bread in a method that I find truly excellent, though sad as it is to confess it, the breadmaker's 'french bread' setting provides one of the better attempts I've made if I let it bake it itself.  The Artisan Bread in 5 method produces a far far tastier loaf but I'm not sure that the flavour is exactly 'right' even if it is actually sour-ish and sort of well textured.  

satimis's picture
satimis

Hi Graid,

Thanks for your advice.

I found
Morphy Richards 48280 Fastbake Breadmaker
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Morphy-Richards-48280-Fastbake-Breadmaker/dp/B00008WFDG

Whether you meant this model?

I'm interested on making Artisan-bread if time allows.  But I don't have an electric oven.  This is my problem.

satimis

 

 




Graid's picture
Graid

Nope I did not mean that model, I mentioned the model in my first post- 48271. That one you linked to is one of those cheaper, smaller, less fully featured breadmakers.   You want a proper size one. 

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Morphy-Richards-Accents-Stainless-Breadmaker/dp/B0021ZYT18/ref=sr_1_3?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1318267253&sr=1-3

 

 

Chuck's picture
Chuck

Active dried yeast

Be sure whatever you buy says "for bread machines". The right stuff is more likely called "instant yeast" than "active dried yeast". (Here on TFL, it's common to see the abbreviation "IDY" for "instant yeast" and "ADY" for "active dried yeast".)

Note that yeast is tremendously less expensive in larger quantities (jars or even vacuum packed bricks). We're talking factors of tens! The cost of those little packets will add up to be close to everything else put together! Be sure your yeast stays completely dry (not even fog nor evaporation), and doesn't get hot. A good way to do that is to keep your yeast in a screw-top jar in your refrigerator.


All purpose flour
Plain white flour

"Flour" often assumes (rather than explicitly stating) "wheat flour" (rather than "maize flour" etc.). It's milled from just the endosperm (which is by far the largest part) of the wheat grain. The endosperm doesn't have much color (and no bran at all), so you get "white" flour.

Most good brands of white flour come in two strengths: "all purpose" is the lower, and "bread" is the higher. Despite what you might surmise from the name, "bread" flour is not necessary for bread. The "White Lily" brand has significantly lower strength than other flour brands, which is quite useful for biscuits and for certain styles of bread, but is probably not what any bread machine wants. Use whichever strength the bread machine you choose recommends (some want one, some want the other).


Baking powder
Baking powder

Used for pancakes and "quick breads", but not at all useful for yeasted breads and hence probably not used with a bread machine.

Bi-carbonate of soda
Pure baking soda

The same thing (I think). I doubt you'd ever need these for a bread machine (but I could be wrong:-).

Selfraise white flour

NO! This is a pre-mix of white flour and baking powder. It's supposedly "more convenient" for some things, but I can never imagine using it. Think of grabbing in the cupboard for flour and getting a box of Bisquick instead:-) Very occasionally in a few countries you will find this sort of thing called "plain flour" - beware!


Wholemeal plain flour

If you like "brown" bread, you'll need Whole Wheat flour (often abbreviated WW). It's milled from the entire wheat grain (not just the endosperm). It's probably more nutritious. It contains some "bran", which will tend to interfere with gluten development a little bit by "cutting" (at a microscopic level) the developing gluten strands. And it will probably absorb a little more water than white flour. Of course none of this matters when using a bread machine, as the bread machine's recipes will have already accounted for all the oddities. As you've found, this is sometimes called "wholemeal".


I also found Zojirushi ... It is more expensive than other brands.  ... Any advice on their feature and performance compared to other breadmakers?

It depends.

The Zojirushi is the cadillac  ...and has a cadillac price. If any of the items in the video clip really really appeal to you, give the Zojirushi serious consideration. Other bread machines will work just fine though.

Probably the main thing you'd notice is its infinite programmability. If you foresee getting frustrated with the limitations of a bread machine, but want to put that eventuality off as long as possible, then the Zojirushi is for you. If a less flexible bread machine sounds quite acceptable to you, and you're a bit cost sensitive, then you don't need the Zojirushi.


satimis's picture
satimis

Hi Chuck,

Thanks for your detail advice on ingredients.  I didn't dicover "yeast" on the flour shell.  Maybe it is on another shell?  Would it be under another name?

"Zojirushi"

I don't have the need spending my money on the expensive breadmaker.  I was told "Zojirushi" can allow user to modify/program the baking cycle.  As curiosity I did a search on it.

satimis

Chuck's picture
Chuck

I didn't dicover "yeast" on the flour shell.  Maybe it is on another shell?

Who knows, every supermarket is different. Some put it by the flour, some put it by the cake decorating supplies, some put it by the cookie mixins (such as chocolate chips), some put it... Some even put the "packets" and the "jars" on different aisles. (And some also carry "fresh"/"cake"/"moist" yeast in a refrigerated section. That's not what you want for a bread machine.) Confusing!

The jars are generally a brown color, and quite short (sort of like a "fat" dark babyfood jar). So they're very easy to overlook. Once you find them, it's simple next time. But the first time can involve quite a bit of hunting and asking.

The vacuum-packed foil bricks (often one pound) aren't carried by many supermarkets. Sometimes those giant bulk stores (Sam's Club, etc.) carry it, and sometimes you need to mail order yeast bricks, for example from King Arthur Flour. There may by up to three different types ("active dry", "instant", and "sugar/sucrose tolerant" [which is another variant of "instant"]), and they may be assigned different colors (red, gold, etc.) purely for marketing reasons (i.e. the color names don't "mean" anything significant).

Generally the safest bet for bread machines is called "instant"  ...but rather than guessing in advance, it may be better to get the bread machine first, then choose exactly the kind of yeast the recipes you want to make call for. In any case, be sure it explicitly says "for bread machines" somewhere on the package.

 

Would it be under another name?

No.

satimis's picture
satimis

Hi all,

Thanks for your further advice.

A further question, can I make follows on breadmaker?

Bread Rolls
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtzzYV4O4fY&feature=related

Morning Buns
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFFGgBVrlnI&feature=related

Artisan breads
Artisan bread stock photos and images
http://www.inmagine.com/searchterms/artisan_bread.html

Pizza
Cake


TIA

B.R.
satimis