The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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steveintx's picture
steveintx

New user

We are preparing to buy our first bread maker. We have looked at most of the "good" ones and understand the features and benefits.

I would like to hear from this forum as to their recommendations and experiences.

I also would like to know if splenda or other sugar substitutes will work in place of real sugar.

Thanks in advance for you time and knowledge. 

clazar123's picture
clazar123

I don't have any info on bread machines as I don't use one but Splenda I can help with. As far as bread, Splenda is only a sweetening agent.  If you have a recipe that needs a sweet taste, it can be used. It just cannot be used to proof yeast-in other words, those recipes that instruct to add a teaspoon of sugar and some warm water to yeast and let it sit until bubbly. Splenda will not feed the yeast like sugar.

Bread is a high caloric product even without sugar so I'm not sure there is much benefit from trying to benefit  reducing calories by 4 calories per slice.(1 tbsp. sugar per loaf(48 calories) = 15 slices per loaf = 3 cal per slice). It really only makes sense for higher sugar products.

daystar's picture
daystar

I have the 2lb Zojiurshi bread machine, not sure which model # but can let you know if interested. I used it for about a year to both knead and bake.... it makes the whole process quick and very manageable if you don't have a lot of time to devote to bread making.  Start to finish  fully automated  in under 4 hours, I think it is closer to 3. All things considered this model performs great in comparison to the challenges many have. It kneads well, the crust was decent...and no need to turn on your oven. It even has a delay start feature.  This machine was my introduction into the world of bread making...and made it feasible despite have a newborn if that says anything! I now use it to knead sometimes which is nice.  I then shape it and let it rise again and then bake.  I use sourdough starter now instead of commercial yeast almost all the time so I need to judge the timing of the steps myself. All in all, I have moved past wanting to bake in it,  but value it as a quick and easy kneader. The top comes out pretty decent for a machine, the shape can be a little funny sometimes but it does the job well. I would buy it again, of all bread machines this is a great choice. had almost 3 yes now and no sign of wear and tear.

Arjon's picture
Arjon

I'd suggest borrowing one to try first. I know quite a few people who own one but never use it, which not only means they can lend it, but also that buying it turned out to be a waste of money. Fwiw, there are two basic sub-groups. The larger one tried making a few loaves before consigning their machines to the basement or garage. The others "graduated" to baking in their ovens, so they didn't get much use from their machines either. 

Rube Goldberg's picture
Rube Goldberg

Check out your local Goodwill store for used bread machines. You can often find almost new machines for $5-10. A  small investment to see if you like baking bread with a machine. You can then always buy a new top of the line machine later. Also, check your local library for a good bread machine cookbook. The recipes that come with the machine usually pretty basic.