Bread Maker- To buy or not to buy? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 06-18-2008, 04:38 AM
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I'm keen to get making my own bread.

I want to get a bread maker, but am worried at investing the money into it.
  • How time consuming is it to make bread?
  • How difficult is it to make your own bread? Are there some sure fire vegan bread recipes out there that a simple cook like me can use?
  • Can I freeze the bread from the bread maker so that I can use it during the weeks when I am too busy (like exam week!)?
  • What type of bread maker should I get? Any tips on how to decide?
  • And-> Can you make lots of varieties of bread in a bread maker? Or do you have to stick to similar ones all the time?



Thanks for the help everyone!

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#2 Old 06-18-2008, 05:43 AM
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Yes, there is Vegan bread. Get the bread maker. If unsure, for a starter, get a real simple bread maker. Takes time to get used to it. Different kinds of bread can be made. Other items can also be made in it. It will pay for itself in a reasonable amount of time. Wonderful idea !
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#3 Old 06-18-2008, 06:03 AM
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Have you ever tried making your own bread by hand. I find something absolutely soul satisfying about getting my hands in the flour and kneading. If you do decide to give it a try, private message me and I will pass on some tips to you. I tried for at least two years to get it, studied all the info I could find on the internet and got consistent "bricks" of bread. But I persisted and now I've been able to figure out how to make the most lovely bread. It is fabulous. But I've found out that the tutorials on the web miss a couple key points. I'd be happy to pass on to you what I've learned if you should decide to give it a try.
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#4 Old 06-18-2008, 06:33 AM
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If you're really pressed for time then I say - yes, get a breadmaker.



But!!! Be aware that it can be addictive to make your own breads. I bought a bread maker several years ago. My husband scoffed and laughed at me saying, "We don't need that. It's going to sit there and collect dust."



Nothing could have been further from the truth. I made 3 loaves of bread in the machine. My husband then took it over. In 6 months he'd outgrown the bread machine. We gave it to a friend and we bought a KitchenAid stand mixer. He has half a bookshelf filled with bread books. He has a variety of different loaf pans, baking stones, rising buckets ... He's turned into a bread fanatic.



You can not only freeze the bread you make - but if you get the right kind of machine you can use the machine to mix the dough, then freeze the dough after the first rise. Then you thaw the frozen dough, form it, put it in the bread pan or on a sheet pan (if you're doing a baguette), let it have its second rise and then bake it in the oven.



Don't get the cheapest bread maker you can find. Try and get a reasonably priced machine that will allow you to pause the mixing to add ingredients or program it to just mix and do the first rise so that you can experiment with baking the bread in your oven (this is great for shaped loaves).



If you've got a bread machine most of the bread machine recipes you find will work just fine. And fortunately a surprising number of bread recipes are vegan or easily veganized. For instance if a recipe calls for butter we have found that Earth Balance works just as well. Soy milk can, in most cases be substituted for milk and most times vegetable shortening works just as well as lard (thinking of Cuban bread which is traditionally made with lard).



Having freshly made bread, made with your own ingredients is great! And nothing beats the smell of freshly baked bread when it permeates your entire home.

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#5 Old 06-18-2008, 06:35 AM
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I have a bread maker, I love it.

I also have a good friend who LOVES to make bread with her hands, she says it's theraputic. The bread makers are nice though because you can make bread even when you aren't at home.
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#6 Old 06-18-2008, 07:00 AM
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You can also save the water from cooking vegetables and then use that for your liquid ingredients. That way, whatever vitamins have come out in cooking the veggies are now in your bread instead of down the drain. I just pour the liquid into a container then pop it into the freezer until I am ready to bake. Instead of a vegetable shortening I just use olive oil.
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#7 Old 06-18-2008, 07:22 AM
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Mrs.Key, you mentioned using vegetable shortening and I remembered that I heard that shortening's are made that way out of vegetable oils by using some process that is not real good for you. So I did a search and came up with the following:



3. Trans-fatty acids are manmade fats produced when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil (hydrogenation), yielding products such as shortening and most margarines. The primary sources of trans fat are hydrogenated vegetable oils, such as margarines, shortening, and cooking oils, and the many foods made with them. About 75% of the trans fat consumed in the American diet comes from partially hydrogenated vegetable oils found in processed foods such as chips, cookies, cakes, and crackers.



Trans fat may be more dangerous to the arteries than saturated fat is. Trans fat lowers the levels of heart-healthy HDL cholesterol and increases harmful LDL cholesterol.



Is there any way you can change your recipes to using just an oil instead? Olive oil or peanut oil maybe?
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#8 Old 06-18-2008, 07:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dieselsmom View Post

Mrs.Key, you mentioned using vegetable shortening and I remembered that I heard that shortening's are made that way out of vegetable oils by using some process that is not real good for you. So I did a search and came up with the following:



3. Trans-fatty acids are manmade fats produced when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil (hydrogenation), yielding products such as shortening and most margarines. The primary sources of trans fat are hydrogenated vegetable oils, such as margarines, shortening, and cooking oils, and the many foods made with them. About 75% of the trans fat consumed in the American diet comes from partially hydrogenated vegetable oils found in processed foods such as chips, cookies, cakes, and crackers.



Trans fat may be more dangerous to the arteries than saturated fat is. Trans fat lowers the levels of heart-healthy HDL cholesterol and increases harmful LDL cholesterol.



Is there any way you can change your recipes to using just an oil instead? Olive oil or peanut oil maybe?



If you're going to make a bread that requires shortening (which I rarely do) oil will not be a good substitute. It would be like trying to make croissants using oil. It is the high melting point of the solid fats that provides the "pockets" and "flaky" texture to those particular breads. There are also certain recipes in which substituting olive oil will simply not work with the taste of the bread. If you're making a crusty white bread and you substitute olive oil for butter you're going to significantly change the taste of the bread.



Substitutions are both a matter of personal taste and whether or not they will work with a particular recipe.



I am aware of the transfat issue and I do try to avoid them. However, if you're making something that requires a solid fat on rare occasions it is better, in my opinion, to use shortening than it is to use lard.



Additionally according to this article fully hydrogenated oils contain very little trans fats while partially hydrogenated oils contain considerably more.



Again though - I wasn't recommending using shortening or eating trans fats (I happen to think that particular issue is a personal one that has nothing at all to do with veg*nism) and simply stating that you can substitute shortening for lard in a Cuban bread recipe.

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#9 Old 06-18-2008, 07:45 AM
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I too love making bread (and have a strong desire to hang out with Mrs.Key now and look at all her bread cookbooks ). I do all mine by hand and do not have a bread machine. I do have a kitchen aid that does most of the heavy mixing for me, which is nice but not necessary. Before yo go out and buy a bread maker try this recipe:



http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=5716.0



It's what got me into bread making. It's an easy recipe, the dough freezes very well, and it's versatile (you can add spices like rosemary, garlic, thyme, whatever and change it up). If the smell of fresh bread in your kitchen makes you happy, then look into getting a bread maker It is really addicting!
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#10 Old 06-18-2008, 07:55 AM
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Count me in as someone who loves to make bread. I learned to do it by hand. I do have my Grandma's old bread maker now, but I tend to make bigger batches of bread so it's not that convenient for me. Sometimes I will use it to mix dough though if I'm making buns or something, then I just bake them in the oven.



I freeze bread all the time. I make it in big batches. It comes out really fresh and nice. You can make most any type of bread in a machine, it just makes one loaf at a time. If you want to shape the loaf differently (say you wanted to make a baguette), you would make the dough in the machine and then shape it and bake it in the oven.
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#11 Old 06-18-2008, 08:02 AM
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Bread! Here's my input:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wednesday_12 View Post

  • How time consuming is it to make bread?

    With a breadmaker: 3 min

    With your hands (and/or a stand mixer): More, but it is a very pleasant and rewarding activity to make your own bread.

  • How difficult is it to make your own bread? Are there some sure fire vegan bread recipes out there that a simple cook like me can use?

    Its a learning by doing thing, but no rocket science.

    There are loads of recipes for breadmakers, and loads more for oven-baked bread.

    Here are a few links I posted yesterday.

  • Can I freeze the bread from the bread maker so that I can use it during the weeks when I am too busy (like exam week!)?

    Absolutely.
  • What type of bread maker should I get? Any tips on how to decide?

    If you absolutely want to get, Id say a simple one.

    Id suggest baking a bread with your own hands (and maybe the help of a stand mixer) first though, it might turn out you no longer feel the need to get a breadmaker at all.

  • And-> Can you make lots of varieties of bread in a bread maker? Or do you have to stick to similar ones all the time?

    They will all have the same shape (unless you just use the breadmaker to knead/rise the dough, then shape your own bread or use a bread pan). I personally got bored of square breads with a hole in the bottom (from the dough hook, I think this is not an issue with all breadmakers though) pretty soon (-> breadmaker RIP somewhere in the basement)

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#12 Old 06-18-2008, 11:31 AM
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I love to make bread - by hand, though. I have found that a bread machine takes all the joy out of making bread. But if I didn't have time to bake and couldn't find a locally made good bread, then I'd buy a bread machine.



Here are my answers:



How time consuming is it to make bread? By hand, it doesn't take that long. Maybe 20 minutes to mix it up. Then you go do something else for an hour. Then you punch down the dough and form it into loaves, and go do something else for an hour. Then you put it in the oven for about 40 minutes. Put the loaves on cooling racks and go do something else. It's a lot like doing laundry in terms of a time commitment. You get lots of breaks, but maybe 20-30 minutes of actual work.



How difficult is it to make your own bread? Are there some sure fire vegan bread recipes out there that a simple cook like me can use? If you can find a copy of Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads in your library or bookstore look for his First Loaf recipe. It's a very easy, straightforward, well explained recipe. You can substitute vegan margarine, and dry soy milk powder easily. Some rich tasting breads use eggs, but there are plenty of recipes which don't so they're easy to avoid.



Can I freeze the bread from the bread maker so that I can use it during the weeks when I am too busy (like exam week!)? I live by myself and usually slice and freeze my bread all the time. You can then thaw however many slices you need, or pop them into the toaster frozen. You probably don't want to have bread in the freezer for say 6 months, but it's definitely easy to freeze and tastes just as good. (Well, not as good as fresh-out-of-the-oven and slathered-with-Earth-Balance bread, but pretty good nonetheless.)



What type of bread maker should I get? Any tips on how to decide? I'm told that Zojirushi breadmakers (which are about the most expensive) are by far the best brand of breadmaker out there. I haven't wanted to shell out that kind of money (yet), though.



And-> Can you make lots of varieties of bread in a bread maker? Or do you have to stick to similar ones all the time? Most bread makers have settings for whole wheat (or whole grain) and white breads. You can certainly mix things up by adding fruits (like raisins) or spices (caraway seeds, for example). A good recipe book will have a lot of options for you.
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#13 Old 06-18-2008, 11:42 AM
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I gave my bread maker away because I'd rather make it by hand. Usually the bread was eaten within an hour of making it in the bread maker. When I do it by hand I usually make a few loaves at once.
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#14 Old 06-18-2008, 11:56 AM
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I use the bread machine to mix the dough, then I pull it out after 2 hours and bake it in the oven, either in loaves or rolls. I like the machine because I can measure out the ingredients then go off and do other things. But I don't really care for the shape of the loaves that come out of the machine, so that's why I use the oven.

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#15 Old 06-18-2008, 07:36 PM
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Thank you all for the responses! It's great to know that bread making is something I can get enthusiastic about (I started doing my own breakfast cereals in January, and am still loving my homemade toasted mueslis!).



I don't think I will hand make my breads, I would rather use a bread making machine because I have arthritis in my right hand, it's difficult to do some kitchen processes. Also- I think it will be much quicker for me to use a bread maker!



New Zealand bread is quite shocking in quality, so I would love to have my own homemade breads to wake up to! It would be fantastic. And I am also trying to go 'plastic free' over the next 6 months- which means I can't buy any breads that come in plastic wrappers!



I don't know if I can get soy milk powder here though... I will have to have a look for it...



Again- thank you for the responses!

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#16 Old 06-18-2008, 08:04 PM
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Well its not just bread you can make Wednesday . You can prepare the vegan dough in the bread maker to a certain stage and remove it and make/bake/fry , pizza bases , donuts , pita bread , hot-cross buns .



Used one for years , amazing machine .
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#17 Old 06-18-2008, 11:09 PM
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Woohoo! ^^ That's great to know I would love to make my own pizza bases. The one I am looking at getting also has a pasta setting....? Not quite sure how that would work ??

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#18 Old 06-19-2008, 03:00 AM
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I have just put some dough on in my breadmaker and thought I'd take a 15 min break to look at Veggie Boards and I find this thread!! I can't believe the price of bread here (approx £1.20-£1.80 for a decent loaf) yet I can buy bread flour, which will make 2-3 loaves, for 48p. I must admit I'm fed up with the blade getting stuck in the loaf from the breadmaker so I'm going to pull out the dough and make rolls. If you take out the blade you can also make cakes in the bread maker - my favourite ones are ginger cake and coconut cake. My cheap machine (which I've had for years) is getting grubby but I will definately reinvest in another machine. Buy buy buy!!!

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#19 Old 06-20-2008, 01:52 AM
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I actually have a bread maker, but I am (like a post above) love to just make it by hand. It's even entertaining to watch it rise in the oven. I'd just make it by hand if I were you, or just get a small bread maker, get used to it and later move to something better. They aren't really that expensive in some stores.
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