I really want to get one but need some suggestions about which brand to buy. What are you experiences with a bread machine?
I have had a Oster for 4 years and it works for me.
I have a Sanyo and it's okay. However, think about what you want to do with the machine...most of the entry level machines are about the same: dump ingredients in the pan, close the lid, flip the switch and three hours later you have one cube of bread.
What I found was that I got tired of the bread mix breads, and was looking for more variety. I got bernard Clayton's "New Complete Book of Breads" (about $22 at Amazon)and a KitchenAid stand mixer and started making my own bread. It's great, and I don't use my bread machine any more.
Not putting it down--it works okay--but it's very limited, like a TV that only gets one channel. Here's a thought: many serious bakers use a bread machine to mix the dough and allow it to rise, then shape the loaves by hand and bake it in the oven.
As bread machines go, I understand the Rolls Royce of these gizmos is the Zojirushi. I've never used one but I hear they are a lot more versatile than the average bread machine.
My Sanyo has worked fine, but I haven't used it since I moved on to a stand mixer. If you go that route, get one of at least 350 watts or it won't handle the load.
The link is to the King Arthur Flour's online store, The Baker's Catalog. Lots of good info on bread and other baking,and lots of ingredients and tools and supplies. Hide your credit card before logging on! Lots of fine stuff.
Here is a link that might be useful: zojirushi bread machine
a cuisinart or a heavy duty mixer can knead your dough and let you do very very flexible things... you have to shape loaves anyway so why use, as arley put it, a "one channel " machine?
bread making without a machine is really a very simple activity. I have been baking bread weekly for 0ver 30 years and never had a failure and I dont even measure anymore.
Zojirushi can do 100% whole wheat loaf. I've had one for years and it has performed great. They make a 2# loaf. They have several cycles so they can do just dough, cakes, or jam.
Has anyone used the bread machine to make rice, cake or jam? What were the results?
I have a Breadman bread machine that DH gave me as a gift quite a few years ago. As arley mentioned, I use mine mostly to mix dough and allow it to rise. After that, I take it out of the machine and shape it by hand. I use it mostly for pizza dough, challah and a wonderful round French boule. The boule is baked in the oven using a steam method. I place a pan of boiling water on the bottom of the oven during baking. This method produces a wonderful crust and a beautifully textured and moist interior. I bake at least three times a week, since DH "loaves" bread.
I don't remember what brand my bread machine is, but it wasn't expensive and it works great. Although I agree that bread is certainly more attractive when baked in an oven, the bread machine lets me make bread when I ordinarily wouldn't be able to. I work full time, have two small children and a lot of other family obligations. The extra few minutes required to put the bread in a regular oven would keep me from making bread most of the time. I'd never remember to go and rescue the rising dough before it ate the kitchen. Maybe when the kids are older (or I quit my job!) I'll start making real bread. :-)
I would like to use my bread machine more because I love fresh baked bread but unfortunately, I cannot afford the extra calories.
I'll ditto Marie26. The bread is great and rich and tasty but we no longer eat that much bread.... Our well-used machine is a Zojirushi and it is about 10 years old or so. We also use the KitchenAid mixer to mix dough occasionally and overall it isn't that much more work other than the intermediate "punching down" of the dough by hand a couple of times before baking. That method lets you make more conventional shaped loafs- bread machines for the most part make a loaf that is high rather than long and the bread texture is different.
I have a Breadman machine that was one of the early ones on the market. I use it frequently, although, like others here, mostly to make dough and let it rise, to be shaped and baked in the oven. I love it for that reason.
One of the only reasons I would consider getting a newer model is if I can find one with a timer feature on the "dough" setting. Mine only has a timer available on the baking settings.
Use dough setting:
12 oz. warm water
2 ts. salt
1 t. sugar
4 cups bread flour
3 ts. rapid rise yeast
Take dough from machine after second beating. Dump the dough onto a pam sprayed pan. Let rise, covered with damp cloth, bake at 400 for 30 minutes.
I use an older Panasonic Machine that makes up to a 1 1/2 pound loaf and it's rectangular. It also will do 100% Wheat. I've had it for a good 10 years and have replaced the paddle assembly and a belt. Otherwise, it keeps going and going....
Love my Zojirushi! I've had it since '96 and it is still going strong. I would say that I have used it quite a bit, too. I make bread, focaccia and pizza dough. It is an appliance that is worth its storage space, IMHO.
I purchased a Breadman Plus, model #TR810-about 7-8 years ago and make just great bread easily. I am very careful w/ what I eat so baking my own bread is a natural. I add all sorts of healthy stuff to the Whole wheat flour, ground flax seeds, nuts, fruit, ect., etc. I think the key to success is the 2 mixer blades on this model, vs. the single one found in most machines. Good luck. Linda
It seems that most people are happy with their older bread machines. For those of us who want to buy a new one, which brand/model is recommended?
I just checked out the Salton web site. They made the Breadman
machines. Don't have any listed so I guess they are not making them anymore. I'm on my second Breadman and I hope it lasts forever. Mine makes the two pound loaves that look pretty much like regular loaves of bread. Walmart generaly has inexpensive ones at Christmas. Get one and try it. If you don't like it you can always return it.
Salton still makes the Breadman machines.
Here is a link that might be useful: Breadman
I have a West Bend. It's not top of the line but it works for me when I don't want the extra heat from the oven. There's only two of us at home and I don't make a lot of bread now.
I have a 7ish yr old Williams Sonoma that has been great. It even wiggled its way off the counter once, smashed an upper corner, and has still worked fine. The only issue I have is that the paddle has gotten a bit loose on the connection inside the pan. I think I'll have to replace it eventually.
Word is that the Zo is the best out there. I'm really satisfied with this one, though.