I’m thinking about buying one but I’ve heard that the bread isn’t as good as oven baked bread from scratch. Waste of money?
My experience is that it is not as good as oven-baked bread but better than store-bought bread.
My brother-in-law uses his to knead and raise the dough but then takes it out and bakes it himself. Seems like the best of both worlds to me.
“Vandelay!! Say Vandelay!!”
I had one for a while, but wasn’t impressed with the results. The bread has more flavor than the mass-produced kind, but it’s still very spongy and has no crust to speak of. Most gourmet grocery stores and bread bakeries can do much better. Still, if you don’t have access to a store that does its own baking, it may be worth the effort.
I use the dough making cycle and bake it in my oven. I hate those bread tubes you get from a bread machine. It’s great for making all those doughs though, if you like fresh buns and breads.
I always bake bread from scratch; it’s really not difficult. Kneading the dough only takes a few minutes and it’s a good stress reducer. Plus, I get to say, “I made this from scratch”. That never fails to impress people because most people have never tried making bread from scratch and therefore they don’t realize how easy it is. Kind of like that woman in the commercial who makes the Rice Krispy treats, spends all day reading a romance novel, then dusts a little flour on her face before she presents the goodies. Ooh, Ahh!
I’ve made bread from scratch for about twenty five years. I’m so glad the machine will do the kneading for me.
We have a nice bread machine at the thrift shop still unsold for $20.00…
Hey, for the really lazy folks, call your bakery & ask them to make you some bread dough to make bread or pizza. Pick it up & its pretty cheap.
I’ll have to echo what most seem to be saying here: it’s great for kneading the dough (on the dough cycle) and then you shape the bread and bake it in your oven. That part works GREAT. The stuff it bakes for you tastes pretty yucky, though.
Leslie Irish Evans
I have to disagree with the group on this one. We have a Panasonic machine with a yeast dispenser - I mention that because I haven’t seen that feature on other machines - and we get great bread from it. The crust is close to what I remember European bread having in years past. My mother wins ribbons at the county fair with her breads and the bread we get from the machine is close.
Maybe it depends on the recipe or the machine. We use a special high gluten flour designed for bread making, that might also be a factor.
My bread machine sits in the pantry cuz I have no counter space – so it’s rarely used as I have forgotten it’s there.
There’s a new storebought bread called Grandma Sycamore’s that’s pretty good, especially for toast. Great texture and you can smell the yeast.
I bake my own bread, and have also used a bread maker. I did a bunch of research and everyone said the “zojirushi” bread maker was the best. I went out, bought it, used it twice, and brought it back for a refund. Yes, the bread is better than store bought. No, it’s nowhere near as good as homemade.
If you’re interested in making homemade bread, and want to make it easier, my advice is to go buy a heavy duty mixer like a KitchenAid. I make bread and use my KitchenAid to knead it, and it’s extremely easy. The bread turns out amazing, it’s not much work, and I have a lot of flexibility in recipes.
There is a popular consumer reporting magazine whose name I can’t mention because they are famous for suing anyone who uses their reports as an endorsement. Anyway, they did a story on bread makers a few years ago, and concluded that the bread from the worst machine tested was still better than from any bakery they could find.
I don’t have one myself, but the above sentiment is shared by those of my friends who do have one.
I do recognize that this does not seem to be the feelings of most posters here. Perhaps it is related to one’s approach to bread in general. If one believes that the only function of bread is to keep his hands clean while eating the food between the slices, he’s not going to be impressed by anything more difficult than the twist-tie on a bag of sliced white. But if bread is a food to be savored and enjoyed in its own right, give the machines a try.
I have done both. While it is true that a well made dough that is hand-kneaded properly will often turn out well, if you know what you are doing, it can just as easily end up being bad if you don’t.
Bread machines do all the hard labor for you. The trick is learning the idiosyncracies of your machine to get the liquid v starch v yeast mixture correct. Good bread machines allow you to set the whole sequence, so you aren’t locked in to the manufacturer’s recommended times for rising and baking, etc.
My Zojirushi has been baking me good servicable loaves for a decade or so, with no complaints. And I don’t knead to do all that hard work to stretch the gluten fibers…
I’m too lazy to make my bread completely from scratch so my bread machine still makes the dough and I rise/bake it in regular bread pans. Now I have a bulky machine that does less than what a good mixer will do. Maybe I’ll take Athena’s advice and get a big mixer and give my bread machine away. Hmm, hunter green or cobalt blue?
Diver’s on the right track I think. My mother told me to add a tsp of wheat gluten to each cup of flour for finer texture.
I can’t believe what I am hearing! I have an Aroma bread machine that makes the best 2 pound loaf of bread without me having to do anything but measure ingredients. It tastes great, and makes the house smell wonderful. I think the bread purists here are raining on the parade of people like me who are basically lazy, but like home baked bread.
I say go for it, Jake.
“Believe those who seek the truth.
Doubt those who find it.” --Andre Gide
Thanks all. I think I will go for one. I’m not quite ready to start from scratch. Maybe someday…