Mechanical loavessteemCreated with Sketch.

in food •  2 months ago 

I have posted about bread before when @breadcentric and @breadbakers were more active. @katharsisdrill just posted about what he had been baking and it seemed like time for an update.

I recently acquired a different bread machine. I am a fan of automation and less into the process of cooking than I am the products. I was given the Goodmans (aka Hinari) machine by a colleague years ago as he was not using it. It has seved me well, but the loaves were not a great size, especially if the whole family wanted some. The Panasonic was another freebie via my neighbour who seems to get given a lot of stuff and he already had one.

Machines

You can seethe tin is a lot bigger. The Goodmans loaves tended to spill over the top, but those from the Panasonic look a lot like what you can buy. With both you end up with a hole in the bottom where the stirring paddle was.

I have made a fair few loaves with the Panasonic and the results have been good. This was a large white with darker crust. This bread does not tend to keep well and so you just have to eat it.

White

I should mention that the neighbour is also a miller and so he can supply us with big sacks of flour. That makes the bread pretty cheap as we just need to add dried yeast, sugar, salt, fat (butter or oil) and water. I quite like a granary loaf and these work well if you mix with some white flour.

Granary

This is a loaf from the Goodmans where it overflowed the tin. It was very sensitive to the amount of yeast. I think the Panasonic gives a better crust.

It generally takes four or five hours to bake a loaf. This seems to involve some time where it just stands, but I generally set the timer so it will be ready when I get up and so the duration is not too important. There is a quick setting, but the loaf I tried with that was smaller and quite dense. It is good enough in an emergency. Sometimes the top splits a bit, but that adds to the charm and we like a crunchy crust.

Split

The manual came with lots of recipes and I have only tried a small selection so far. You can also make various types of dough and some types of cake. You do need a set of measuring spoons, scales and a jug for the water. It takes a few minutes to set up for a bake. I will have to try to French and Italian settings as well as experimenting with other types of flour. I am open to having a variety of breads.

I am not sure this can be considered an essential, but I have found it useful to be able to have fresh bread through the week. There is no baker in walking distance from us. Small local bakeries have generally been edged out by supermarkets and that is a shame. We have lost a few local businesses since we have lived here.

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It's a nice bread Steve :)

For a while I was using my machine and enjoying it. Then I just fell off. Gotta get back into it. I liked experimenting a bit.

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These things are a matter of habit. It's a novelty to start with. I still buy some bread for variety at weekends, but the family seem to enjoy the home made. When my daughter is home she sometimes makes bread by hand, but she's quite into baking.

Now I think I might do something this weekend. You have me missing it.

That sounds awesome...by hand. Not there yet though and I would most likely botch it up.

Go for it! Nothing like the smell of fresh bread.

cor. fresh hot bread and butter .... man. Pretty cool to have a miller for a neighbour!? And what with your chickens you have a sustainable egg sandwich farm!

We do indeed. Can't make our own butter yet, but there's various crops in the garden that can make up a good meal.

I've still not had a chance to try a bread maker, only done it by hand.

I saw @samstonehill is just starting out using a bread machine. Maybe you can give him some tips.

Doing our by hand seems a lot more work, but I guess you can make it part of your routine.

It is pretty rare to find fresh baked bread these days. When you do find it they call it artisan and they charge you an arm and a leg for it. Best just to make it yourself at home like you have been doing. They all look great and bread doesn't last long in my house so the shelf life is not an issue :)

We can get reasonable bread from supermarkets and specialist bakers, but it involves driving somewhere. Some of it is expensive though. Could probably make our own for much less and the machine cost us nothing.

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