Bread Machines—The Jetson Invention.
If you have been following me at all, you will have discovered by now that I am hopelessly devoted to my bread machine.
I learned how to make bread when I was a newlywed—learned to knead it by hand, etc. Then my mother in law bought me a Kitchen Aid mixer, and I thought I had died and gone to heaven, it was so wond-a –mus! (And I still have it—over 30 years later!) It is a work horse, for sure.
Next, I bought myself a Cuisinart Food processor, because they were all the rage. I learned to make my bread dough in the see-through processor, and was thoroughly impressed with the speed of this magnificent invention. I bought all the blades and played with it whenever I needed to cut up or mix or grind up anything. I even remember when we had used up our hamburger from our beef allotment and so I made my own burger using the round steak. I kind of wore it out—so I updated several times over. The one on my counter right now has a stubborn misfiting part that insures the safe use of the processor – and I really haven’t figured out how to go around the safety feature so that I can make is perform more easily. It gets little use now days, and has been retired from the bread dough business long ago.
So after the food processor, the bread machine arrived on the scene. I was incredulous! How could this be? Load up the ingredients and push a button? It seems so, so Jetson-like! (Okay, I am most certainly dating myself—if you don’t know who the Jetsons are, Google it.) Anyways, when they first came out, the cost was prohibitive. But soon, they became more affordable, so I splurged.
And I have never looked back. In fact, I am probably on my 5th or 6th machine. And right now, I have two in my pantry. Because. Because sometimes they don’t make a large enough recipe, so that I have to use two. And because, whenever I see a decent one at the thrift store or garage sale, I pick them up, and usually for under $5. I clean them up, test drive them and then download the manual from the internet. I have purchased them for my daughters and friends, and family members, because I just cannot imagine anyone not owning one.
So, why am I so infatuated? Here is my fascination: measuring the ingredients and starting the machine only dirties up two– maybe three items. (And if you read my dishwasher diaries, you know how important this feature is to me.) Then, you push a button and voila’– you are on your way to perfect bread!
But let me add this one caveat- which is likely the reason why people discard their machine. Unless I simply do not have the time to do otherwise, I do not bake my bread in my bread machine. I am hopelessly devoted to the dough cycle of these marvelous inventions. In my book, (whatever book that means) they make the very best bread dough this side of manna heaven. The fact that the non-stick bread pan means that you use less flour, and have a warm motor with powerful kneading action means that your dough creation is perfect for most any breads that anyone would want to put into a regular oven.
Simply put, I just don’t think any aforementioned invention quite measures up to this magical machine! I just hope to high heavens that they never quit making them—or that I never deplete my back up supply. I just cannot imagine taking a step backward in time!