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Do I need a breadmaker, or just more organisation?

(62 Posts)
Habbibu Sun 17-May-09 20:43:06

I'm ok at making bread by hand, but am disorganised, and never seem to plan the timing right to get loaf proved, shaped and proved again for when we actually need it. There are no good bakers near us, supermarket bread is not v. good, and also suck you in to buying lots of other stuff.

So - do I buy a breadmaker, or can any hardcore baking people who do it by hand give me some timings for how you manage regular breadmaking? Tips on temps for proving would also be good - just don't say airing cupboard as we don't have one.

Lilymaid Sun 17-May-09 20:45:11

I'm happy with my Panasonic - making loaves using the time overnight so I can wake up to the smell of newly baked bread.

Habbibu Sun 17-May-09 20:55:25

Yes, I've heard good things about the Panasonic. But I'm torn - think hand-made is the nicest, but really do need to get more organised, or it's not going to happen. Bah.

ZacharyQuack Mon 18-May-09 06:41:47

Have you tried proving the dough in the fridge overnight? That way you could mix and knead the night before and then shape and prove again on the day you want it.

You might want to look at the No-Knead bread (there's a thread on here somewhere), which makes a delicious sourdough-type loaf.

Habbibu Mon 18-May-09 08:55:59

I have - although I live in Scotland - could maybe just leave it in the kitchen overnight. I'll have a look at no-knead stuff.

Part of me thinks I'm just being a bit precious about not getting a breadmaker, though - we eat supermarket bread as it is, and breadmaker bread is going to be much better than that. I could still hand bake when I wanted something really nice.

Hmm. Thanks for responses so far. Will muse some more.

flamingobingo Mon 18-May-09 09:00:13

Breadmaker bread is as nice IMHO as handmade bread. And the panasonic one you can make loads of different sorts of bread. You could always just use it for kneading and proving and get the dough out to shape the way you like before you bake it in your oven.

Why don't you think it's as nice?

MrsSeanBean Mon 18-May-09 09:03:48

I am also interested in breakmakers. Will watch with interest. Occasionally make by hand but also have 'lack of airing cupboard' issues.

Am very ignorant about them (and indeed most modern gadgets, bit suspicious as things like this so often just end up not being used and become clutter).

It seems that with breadmakers you just tip everything in and hey presto - a loaf - ? How long? Cost? (- not the machine, but the bread?) I'm assuming it's much cheaper than buying. Anyone ale to sell the idea?

MrsSeanBean Mon 18-May-09 09:05:08

able, not ale. (Bit early!)

Scootergrrrl Mon 18-May-09 09:07:25

The proving temperature varies depending on how quickly you want it the bread to rise. Some experts say that a slower rise gives a better flavour and as long as the yeast has been added into warm water for the mix (in order to wake it up, as it were) then the rising can be warm, therefore faster, or colder, then slower.
When do you normally want the bread for? Have you thought about making your bread on a weekend and freezing it?

flamingobingo Mon 18-May-09 09:08:07

4h or you can do rapid loaf for 2h but not as good IMHO. Bread costs as much as handmade, of course! And yes, way, way cheaper than buying now - we spend way less on flour/yeast than we did on shop loaves (unless, I guess, you buy the cheapest loaves - yuck!).

Yes, you tip everything in and hey presto - need to put it in in the right order. And you can set the timer so it's ready when you want it.

We bake a loaf to be fresh for a special meal, or so it's got time to sit for 12h+ so it's easier to cut for toast/sandwiches if it's not for anything special - otherwise we eat the lot in one sitting and it saves us no money at all grin

fishie Mon 18-May-09 09:08:41

you need to pick a time of day when you are there to chivvy it through the stages. evenings is best for me.

i make sourdough as normal every day bread, so i have to remember to feed the starter in the morning before i go to work if it is to be out by bedtime, but if it hasn't fully risen i do bung it in fridge overnight.

someimes i make yeast bread when short of time. 10 mins knead etc, 1 hour rise, 1 hour prove 1 hour bake.

Habbibu Mon 18-May-09 09:11:30

Well, I am habitually a bit of a purist - I just like making things by hand, and I think that with handmade bread you can judge better how it feels as you're making it, so that you get exactly the texture you want - breadmaker bread is a bit more "samey" each time.

BUT - like I said, that's extraordinarily precious of me, given that we eat supermarket bread atm, and a breadmaker, used regularly, would definitely be better, and pay for itself over time.

JulesJules Mon 18-May-09 09:12:17

Well. I would recommend that you get a breadmaker. The bread is lovely, far superior to supermarket. You can experiment with different flours, adding seeds, whatever you want. You can, as flamingobingo (great name!) says, let the breadmaker do the mixing, kneading and proving, and get the dough out to shape it yourself.

I don't do that though - it is just so easy to put it all in the breadmaker, takes 2 minutes maximum, and pick a time you want it to be ready - anything between 3 and 13 hours time. If I want something hand baked, I make sodabread and avoid the proving thing altogether.

I'm hungry now!

Habbibu Mon 18-May-09 09:16:44

Quick rising here is almost impossible - it just doesn't get warm enough to do a one-hour prove, and I don't have an airing cupboard.

Not enough space in freezer to make enough bread, tbh - and 2 yo "helping" at the weekend not always ideal...

I guess we'd want 2-3 decent sized loaves of bread pw, plus maybe some rolls and then nice stuff like foccacia if people come over. I can do all this, but knowing me I either need a strict timetable and plan or a breadmaker. Are those of you who handbake all the time really quite organised and not very lazy?

ThePellyandMe Mon 18-May-09 09:17:37

I love my breadmaker. I used to make bread by hand but I just found it too much of a bind in the end. I made all the bread we ate for 6 months which I really enjoyed at first but we get through alot of bread and it just got too much.

I tried reverting to shop bought bread but we all thought it was horrid so I bought a Panasonic breadmaker.

I honestly think it's a good substitute for handmade bread. It tastes so much better than shop bought and makes lovely toast, really crisp.

Habbibu Mon 18-May-09 09:18:08

I'm slightly swayed that even hardcore baking man Andrew Whitley concedes there is a place for breadmakers!

EyeballsisonaDietAgain Mon 18-May-09 09:45:34

I've had my breadmaker for nearly three weeks and I totally love it and wish I had stopped buying shop crap years ago. I'm no domestic godess but this is wonderful. I alternate 70/30 wholemeal and white for me and dd and granary (bleugh) for dh with a fruit loaf or a squishy lovely white for weekends. And I haven't even started reading through the other recipes yet

Liney15 Mon 18-May-09 09:53:52

Another vote for the Panasonic here - we got it 3 years ago - after it scored best in a "Which" write up and it is superb. Never had a bad loaf from it and the fruit dispenser is great for making fruit and cinnamon bread - yum!

flamingobingo Mon 18-May-09 09:57:20

You can do the dough for all those things in the machine, Habbibu, and then get it out to shape/bake how you like. You are allowed to still bake by hand if you want to, when you have a bread machine wink.

We bake by hand for fun now with the children, but all our every day bread is done in the bread machine.

Habbibu Mon 18-May-09 09:58:43

Ah - you know, I think I'm sold. I know that it's perfectly possible to make enough bread by hand, and I know it's not that time consuming - but I know me, and I just don't think I'd stick at that, whereas I would with a breadmaker. It's a decent compromise, I think, and one I'm willing to pay for.

Thanks all!

EyeballsisonaDietAgain Mon 18-May-09 10:01:18

Goody. And get the Panasonic. I'm now trying to find a recipe that I can test out a loaf with chocolate chips healthy seeds.

Liney15 Mon 18-May-09 10:03:59

Forgot to say it makes the best hot cross buns as well!

ZacharyQuack Mon 18-May-09 10:07:01

It's probably more energy efficient to use a breadmaker than it is to heat an oven to bake a loaf of bread. The savings just keep on coming!

Dumbledoresgirl Mon 18-May-09 10:16:53

Just to put a spanner in the works, I have a breadmaker and I find even with it, the organisation issues arise. Or am I just incredibly, ultra disorganised? blush

The thing is, I find newly made bread simply cannot be cut to make sandwiches so my bread has to be at least 12 hours old before I can make sandwiches (eg for kids' lunches). As I make their lunches at about 8 in the morning, this means my loaf has to be ready the night before.

Then, you have to be around when the breadmaker finishes as you are supposed to take the bread out straightaway (would love someone to tell me this is not actually important, but I fear it is as, if the bread is left in the machine, it surely continues baking until the heat has left the machine?) So you have to make sure you put the breadmaker on before 6 in the evening to have a loaf before bedtime, but I often forget as at around 6 I am cooking the evening meal or eating.

None of that sounds that hard I know, but I still find it hard to manage blush In fact, I am going to get up from here and go and start tomorrow's loaf now!

AitchTwoOh Mon 18-May-09 10:33:10

we can cut our bread about half an hour after it's come out of the machine, but then i do like a pretty dense seedy loaf so maybe that's it?
we have the panasonic, habs, i really like it. plus dh does it, he enjoys the chemistry experiment element of weighing and measuring, whereas i'm a more slapdash cook. i use a mix of flours (some expensive, some cheapo lidl) and add fennel or coriander seeds and the usual pumpkin, sunflower, poppy, linseed etc.

actually, lidl has some crazy sourdough-type flours for sale as well, they're really tasty too.
very impressed with you making focaccia for your guests by the way... we'll have to come over. football season is ending soon so saturday is a Proper Day at last.

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