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Old 11-29-2007, 06:03 PM   #11
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OK, first to clear up the banana bread thing. I'm sure most of you saw what Fisher's mom wrote under "appliances" when giving me advice on starting out making bread. It was:

"When you get a bread maker, buy a box of Krusteez country white bread mix and make sure you have a measuring cup with good markings and a food thermometer. The only big thing you can mess up in baking yeast breads is the measurements and the temps. With a box mix, everything comes in it and all you add is water. The temp is very important for the yeast to activate properly. The reason I say get a box first is that while you will eventually make much more spectacular breads, this is instant success and it will get you hooked. There are other brands of mixes but some are dreadful IMO. The only one I remember that is good and available everywhere is Krusteez. Maybe the others here will be able to recommend other brands."

Well I couldn't find Krusteaz country white bread mix. And I like banana bread and have seen it come in loaves, so I bought some Krusteaz banana bread. What do I know I had already spent too much time trying to find help and/or the yeast and at least the box said Krusteaz My bad.

I don't have either a mixer or a stand mixer and would really like to go the bread machine route. At least for my first attempt at becoming self-sufficient at never having to buy store bought bread again.
Trust me, if I have to get out a rolling pin or knead dough or throw flour down on my counter and generally make a big mess and have lots of stuff to clean, I will not enjoy "making" my own bread . I will definitely keep the stand mixer and hand kneading in mind if I find myself too limited with a bread machine and appreciate your input.

I'll google up King Arthur and see if they have a website. Maybe I can get some of my pans from them if they have them. The flour I bought said King Arthur, so I must have done something right in the grocery store today. I had no idea yeast was a refrigerated item. I might as well order that online from them since I'm ordering the bread machine..... That one I posted the link to is OK then? Does it make any difference if the loaf is horizontal or vertical really? This one was horizontal, but I don't know.....

Katie E: Why don't you bake your loaves in your machine? Do they come out better done in the oven?

Oh, what about the vegetable oil? Do I need to get some? EVOO OK?

Thanks for all the input!
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Old 11-29-2007, 06:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacanis View Post

Katie E: Why don't you bake your loaves in your machine? Do they come out better done in the oven?

Oh, what about the vegetable oil? Do I need to get some? EVOO OK?

Thanks for all the input!
I don't bake my loaves in the machine because I have adjusted my regular 4-loaf "by hand" recipe to make 2 loaves in the machine, sans baking in it. I don't like the shape of the bread machine bread - horizontal or otherwise - and I don't care for the "belly button" that the bread paddle(s) make in the underside of the loaf. I much prefer a more traditional loaf baked in a pan, in the oven.

Some breads use, vegetable shortening (read this Crisco - non-butter flavor), others use butter or oil, so I'd recommend reading some recipes to see what you should have on your pantry shelves. I have vegetable shortening, butter, olive oil and canola oil on my shelves.

Yes, the King Arthur folks have a website and, beware, their baking "toys" will make you drool. I got both my perforated pans, a pain de mie pan and my English muffin rings from them. However, you can use 8 ounce pineapple cans with both top and bottom removed for English muffin rings. I have 8 of those, too.

King Arthur also has a baking hotline with professional bakers available, at no charge, to help with your baking questions, etc. They are extremely cordial and helpful. They would be a good resource for you as a beginner. The only stupid questions are those you don't ask and they are there to answer questions.
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Old 11-29-2007, 06:20 PM   #13
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Are there any 'decent' bakeries that make their bread in 'bread machine's?
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Old 11-29-2007, 06:27 PM   #14
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Actually, bill, the way I utilize my bread machine isn't "making" bread in it. I use it as a kneading tool and take advantage of it's ability to put my dough through the first rise stage. After that, the rest is up to me and my oven.

Although, I have used it only to knead, which is what I did with my Thanksgiving dinner rolls, which are made from a refrigerator dough and don't go through a heated first rise.
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Old 11-29-2007, 07:14 PM   #15
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I have used a Cuisinart bread machine for over a year, and would not want to go back to purchased bread. So far, I have made my bread start-to-finish in the machine but I recently purchased a loaf pan and plan on making some brioche (the machine will make the dough but it then requires additional steps). A standard loaf of bread includes kitchen staples (butter, sugar, flour, etc) and yeast, so I do not see why you would want to buy a mix.

My machine makes horizontal loaves. What I do not like about that is the fact the slices for a 1 lb loaf are smaller than the 2 lb loaf. In a vertical machine, it will simply change the number of slices.

Also, some machines will preheat the water for you, while others require you to measure the temperature.
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Old 11-29-2007, 07:25 PM   #16
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My machine makes horizontal loaves. What I do not like about that is the fact the slices for a 1 lb loaf are smaller than the 2 lb loaf. In a vertical machine, it will simply change the number of slices.
Thanks for reply, jet.
Are you saying the vertical loaf machines are the better ones?
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Old 11-29-2007, 10:39 PM   #17
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Thanks for reply, jet.
Are you saying the vertical loaf machines are the better ones?
All else being equal, I would choose the vertical loaf machine.
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Old 11-30-2007, 12:06 PM   #18
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Please consider the NYTimes/Bittman no knead bread recipe. It's almost as easy as a bread machine and the results are fantastic.
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Old 11-30-2007, 12:24 PM   #19
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Once I get going I can't wait to try different recipes, jennyema.

I ordered the maker I posted the link to at Amazon this morning and some stuff from King Arthurs; yeast, dry milk (didn't even know there was such a thing), pan, parchment paper, cooling racks, couche (sp?). The woman on the phone was very helpful and some things I thought I needed like that Italian loaf perforated thing she said I didn't need. She walked me through a bunch of stuff on their website too, complete with pictures that should give me some idea of what I'm doing. She told me what "covered" means too for when the receipe calls for that. I had no idea. I would have thrown a dish towell over the dough

Now there's nothing to do but wait for the UPS guy to pull in my drive
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Old 11-30-2007, 12:45 PM   #20
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You can buy dry milk at the supermarket for pennies. You can also just use regular milk.

From all the stuff you got from them, you already are planning to try different recipes.

My point is only that it is a very, very simple recipe with hardly any work involved that generates a much better loaf than a bread machine.
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