Bread Machines: I Love ‘Em

I just read a blog titled Bread Machines: Love Them or Hate Them and reflected on this sentiment. Does it have to be completely hand made to be appreciated?

This was a concern of mine many years ago when I bought my first bread machine. I would take my fresh bread to pot lucks in Santa Cruz and get asked if I used a bread machine. When I said yes, they would say, “Ohhhhh, I see”, like it didn’t count. I was stigmatized.

But, that soon wore off and I went crazy experimenting with all kinds of recipes, beer bread, cheddar and chives, garlic herb bread, whole wheat – multi-grain and of course challah.

Challah is the holly grail of bread making for many reasons. First, it’s similar to making a teapot in ceramics. There is tradition in making both and they each take a great deal of time, attention and practice for a fine result.

I have actually been asked if challah that I made came out of my bread machine! Well, yes but, I did the braiding, brushing with egg mixture and put the sesame and poppy seeds on by hand.

And here’s where I found my belief that bread machines are not to be hated. Because I learned how to make bread using one.

Since I had no bread baking experience before (except for a short stint as a baker at the Santa Cruz Bagelry) this was my teacher. I tried and I failed, sometimes spectacularly – think I love Lucy but, with bread everywhere. Then I learned the process of yeast creating tiny air pockets of carbon dioxide and why it needs to be punched down for a second rise before being baked.

So, today I made challah for a dinner party – with my bread maker. It came out wonderfully and was a big hit at the table. I could have done it all by hand, yes. But, like many tools, the bread maker saves me time and this is the part I love.

Who wouldn’t love to wake up in the morning to the smell of fresh bread wafting out of your kitchen? That’s how I woke up this morning.

And that’s why I love my bread maker.


3 Responses

  1. Great post! No Challah recipe? I looked it up at Allrecipes and it seems easy enough. Have you experimented with flour alternatives? Keep up the great work Chris. I enjoy reading your blog!

    • The Challah recipe i used was pretty simple. I used 5 cups flour, two eggs and 1/3 cup honey for two large braided loaves. It went in two days. Tried it with honey and butter – yum.

      Chris Ripps Twitter: @ChrisRipps LinkedIn: chrisripps Skype: chrisripps 415.250.3418

      “Let food be thy medicine, and let thy medicine be food.” Hippocrates

  2. […] Bread Machines: I Love ‘Em ( Posted in Breadmaker Articles | Tagged Baking, Bread, Bread machine, Bread Machines, Bread Maker, Bread pan, Breadmaker, Cooking, Home, Ingredient, Loaf […]

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