Sunday, September 20, 2009

Bread Machine Bread


The bread machine is a strange beast to me. I have never made anything in a bread machine. I always thought that it was a fine machine, but nothing I was interested in. To me, its about the process. It's seeing the dough come together, feeling the smooth elasticity in the kneading and the shaping of the dough.

However, there was a contest I was a bit interested in and one of the categories was bread machine white bread. So, I dug through my mother's cabinets and found her bread machine. I read the directions and decided to whip up some traditional white bread. It seemed easy enough. Pour the ingredients into the pan, push the buttons, wait three hours and I will have fantastic bread. Lo and behold, beautiful fluffy white bread emerged from that machine. I was stunned. Why didn't people make bread in bread machines all the time? I mean, making bread from scratch takes time and effort, but bread machine bread makes itself. If you are having people over and don't have time to whip up a batch of scratch bread, just toss some ingredients in your bread machine and go. My husband and I cut into it and a soft fat piece of perfect bread came off. Then another. Then the third cut and clang. The knife isn't going through this perfect soft bread. What is going on? We flipped the bread over and the little beater bakes itself in to the bread. What? How are you supposed to have perfectly shaped loaves of bread if you have to cut a huge chunk out of the bottom?

Well, we did cut a chunk out of the bottom and it was still white and fluffy. It tasted good, but it lacked the depth of some of the bread that takes me all day to make (or two or three days). I think that I will continue to use this bread machine, for whipping up a loaf of bread in a hurry. But I still enjoy the process of making the bread, possibly more than eating the bread itself. So I will continue making my bread from scratch.

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