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bread machines, how long should they last?


water rat

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We're on our 5th or maybe 6th in just 7 years. It's usually the pan that goes and the cost of replacement inc packaging is ridiculous. We decided to go for a more expensive model ,but it hasn't fared any better than the cheap Lidl one which is around 40 euros. The cost of a pan from Russell hobbs is 40 pounds inc p&p. Our carbon footprint is massive concerning bread machines ,but the manufacturers don't make it easy. It's used every day ,but shouldn't it be designed to be? I'm looking for a whole different design,anybody out there using one?
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[quote user="water rat"]We're on our 5th or maybe 6th in just 7 years. It's usually the pan that goes and the cost of replacement inc packaging is ridiculous. We decided to go for a more expensive model ,but it hasn't fared any better than the cheap Lidl one which is around 40 euros. The cost of a pan from Russell hobbs is 40 pounds inc p&p. Our carbon footprint is massive concerning bread machines ,but the manufacturers don't make it easy. It's used every day ,but shouldn't it be designed to be? I'm looking for a whole different design,anybody out there using one?[/quote]

 

Here's mine: Cost 50 centimes from Aldi!

[URL=http://s461.photobucket.com/albums/qq332/PercyPee/?action=view&current=WashingUpBowl.jpg][IMG]http://i461.photobucket.com/albums/qq332/PercyPee/WashingUpBowl.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

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Our Panasonic went west after 6 years and we now have a Lidl cheapo special been going for two years. We only use it to mix the dough and cook bread in the wood oven. Bread with holes in the base isn't too good.

Lidl has some good cheap ready to use bread mixes for 49 cents a kilo. The Pain de Maison tastes like crumpets and slightly sour dough .

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Have tried making my own but, alas, with a conspicuous lack of success.  In the winter, I blamed my cold kitchen and now the weather's warming up and the garden beckons, I have resorted to the bread machine.

Dog, I too, use the Lidl mix but I add some dried yeast as well because I don't like hard bread!  My French teacher doesn't think much of my taste for mie bread but some habits die hard.

Pat, why don't you post your bread making method and then I will have another go?

I do make a brown non-knead bread which uses treacle to help the yeast to rise and that is very nice but not what I call a nice bread shape as I have to bake it in a tin and I don't really like the "sharp" edges![:)]

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[quote user="sweet 17"]

Have tried making my own but, alas, with a conspicuous lack of success.  In the winter, I blamed my cold kitchen and now the weather's warming up and the garden beckons, I have resorted to the bread machine.

Dog, I too, use the Lidl mix but I add some dried yeast as well because I don't like hard bread!  My French teacher doesn't think much of my taste for mie bread but some habits die hard.

Pat, why don't you post your bread making method and then I will have another go?

I do make a brown non-knead bread which uses treacle to help the yeast to rise and that is very nice but not what I call a nice bread shape as I have to bake it in a tin and I don't really like the "sharp" edges![:)]

[/quote]

Is that why the bread is quite dry - it toasts beautifully and by the second day has an incredible texture.

 

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SW 17 - I'm not sure what you mean by mie bread? Do you mean the moist english type?

I'll post a recipe sometime but will have to wait until I make the next batch to measure the ingredients. Apart from the flour and yeast the other ingredients go in handfuls sprinkles and swirls - not very scientific.

But it does turn out good every time now, though at first there were some flops.

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Swissie is rich living in Helvetica, (smiley smiley smiley) she sends her manservant to fetch the loaves in the Range Rover - I prefer home made at 50 cents a large loaf cooked in a wood oven in the garden.
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[quote user="Dog"]Swissie is rich living in Helvetica, (smiley smiley smiley) she sends her manservant to fetch the loaves in the Range Rover - I prefer home made at 50 cents a large loaf cooked in a wood oven in the garden.[/quote]

For manservant, read OH!

Yes, Pat, please give us the ingredients and the method and I promise I will have a go.

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[quote user="Dog"]Swissie is rich living in Helvetica, (smiley smiley smiley) she sends her manservant to fetch the loaves in the Range Rover - I prefer home made at 50 cents a large loaf cooked in a wood oven in the garden.[/quote]

deleted.  Sorry, repeating myself yet again!

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Thanks for all your comments and ideas. I like to make my own bread from scratch , but need a machine for the chambres d'hote as I don't relish the idea of getting up at 5am to prove dough then not getting to bed ,sometimes 'til after midnight. My manservant won't get out of bed to buy loaves 'cos the nearest boulangerie is too far,maybe I need to replace him,rather than the bread machine.
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[quote user="sweet 17"]

Have tried making my own but, alas, with a conspicuous lack of success.  In the winter, I blamed my cold kitchen and now the weather's warming up and the garden beckons, I have resorted to the bread machine.

Dog, I too, use the Lidl mix but I add some dried yeast as well because I don't like hard bread!  My French teacher doesn't think much of my taste for mie bread but some habits die hard.

Pat, why don't you post your bread making method and then I will have another go?

I do make a brown non-knead bread which uses treacle to help the yeast to rise and that is very nice but not what I call a nice bread shape as I have to bake it in a tin and I don't really like the "sharp" edges![:)]

[/quote]

 

Sweets: it is really easy, I promise you!

One of the main reasons I make all our bread is the additivies used in British bread; supermarket tripe is obviously the worst, but sadly, even "Baker's Bread" now has additives already added to the various types of flour they buy in bulk from the main flour millers.

I have a digestive problem: if I eat any commercially basked products (Biscuits, cakes - rarely eat them anyway - bread etc) it makes me unwell, 'cos I'm intolerant to various nasty chemicals: even in banking powder: so we make our own the old fashioned was with Bicarb and Cream of Tartar (Which of course is a natural by-product of wine making).

(French bread is OK since they are not allowed, by law, to add artificial substances: as Clair kindly pointed out and provided webrefs for last time this topic came up)

Now, as with all good food, the first "secret" is quality ingredients. Mainly flour. "Bread Mixes" suitable for bread machines usually contain various "Improvers", without which the end result can be pretty basic.

All that is needed for bread making is Flour, Water, Yeast, Salt and to one's own flavour requirements (And to improve crumb texture and prolong useful life) some form of fat: I use only Virgin Olive Oil.

I bake using both baker's yeast and sourdough: sourdough gives a far superior flavour and texture.

I always use a starter (Or what is called a Pre-Ferment); or in Italian bread making what is called a "Biga". In France, artisan bakers use a "Poolish" (Or Polish, as in from Poland, since this is where the concept originated).

This is simply a mixture of Flour, Yeast, some form of sugar (I use organic honey), salt and water.

The starter, Biga, or Poolish, can and ought to be made the night before, ideally: or at least four to five hours before making the dough.

With Sourdough, the "Sponge" starter, Preferment or Poolish (Call it what you will: it's all the same thing!) must be made the night before.

It all sounds "Complicated" and time consuming: it isn't, since one spends very little time arranging things and bakes between doing many other tasks.

The actually process of making the dough and kneading takes 15 minutes at most: then it is left to prove: and then "knocked back" to deflate it: and then best bunged into a fridge to allow it to gather flavour and texture.

Then final small knead: shaped into loaves or whacked into tins: allowed to finally prove: and in to a pre-heated oven for 35 - 45 mins, dependant on what one is baking.

Some of my bread etc here:

Interesting to me that most will read this and say, "I couldn't be bothered; all that fuss!" However, most people when cooking will cheerfully accept they have to build a complicated Marinade and thereafter Marinate fish or meat for 24 hours to achieve desired result.

Same difference.

All depends what one prefers eating I guess.

 

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[quote user="water rat"]Thanks for all your comments and ideas. I like to make my own bread from scratch , but need a machine for the chambres d'hote as I don't relish the idea of getting up at 5am to prove dough then not getting to bed ,sometimes 'til after midnight. My manservant won't get out of bed to buy loaves 'cos the nearest boulangerie is too far,maybe I need to replace him,rather than the bread machine.[/quote]

I make usually, four largish loaves (Depending what I am baking). And freeze them.

Need 'em for demain?

Take them out of the freezer night before.

My soft, crusty rolls, freeze particularly well: a short blitz in the MWave on Defrost for a minute and they are ready to go!

It's a very good approach as with just the two of us now, a large loaf will become stale before it's all eaten.

So I bake a batch of 20-30 rolls and seal 'em in freezer bags, three or four per bag, run the bag through the sticky tape sealer and bin them in the freezer.

 

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Water Rat, deffo think carefully about changing the manservant as I believe, what with the servant problem these days, a good one is very hard to find!

Gluey, I'm hoping that perhaps my bread machine will conk out and then I shall be too mean (or too poor) to splash out on another one and I'll start making bread your way.

Gluey, you couldn't just explain how you make the "starter" with amounts of the ingredients, method, timings etc. could you?

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[quote user="sweet 17"]

Water Rat, deffo think carefully about changing the manservant as I believe, what with the servant problem these days, a good one is very hard to find!

Gluey, I'm hoping that perhaps my bread machine will conk out and then I shall be too mean (or too poor) to splash out on another one and I'll start making bread your way.

Gluey, you couldn't just explain how you make the "starter" with amounts of the ingredients, method, timings etc. could you?

[/quote]

Pleasure!

Sweets, my core starter is simply as follows.

Dissolve 2 0zs fresh yeast into a cup of warm (Not hot; kills the yeast) water: next dissolve a generous teaspoon or two (Taste is personal) of decent runny honey into that water.

Place four heaped tablespoons flour into a good sized mixing bowl (I use one of the good old yellow china bowls); add two teaspoons fresh ground rock salt (In my case sourced from Aldi, France: North Atlantic seasalt, cheap as chips; we use a cheap electric salt mill), mix the salt well into the flour.

Make a well: pour in the yeast, water and honey mix: stir well adding more warm water as required to create a "Soup" with the consistancy of single cream.

Leave in a warm place for two, three, or four hours.

The starter will froth, bubble and rise; and then, eventually subside as the initial chemical reaction dies down and stabilises.

Then: big tip! When you actually make the dough, add some more fresh yeast dissolved in warm water ( 2 Ozs fine): Italian method and gives the bread another good kick to start and maintain the proving process.

Above perfect for a 2 Kilo bag of flour.

Empty bag of flour into superior quality high tech plastic washing up bowl ([:D]): add two teaspoons salt: four tablespoons olive oil: pour in yeast starter mixture: add extra dissolved yeast. Keep a large plastic jug handy filled with warm water; combine ingredients and add water and keep mixing until well combined.

Turn dough out onto well floured work surface: scrape out what's left in washing up bowl: really knead now: add more water if dough too stiff: add flour if dough too loose. Ten mins of kneading should do. Chuck back in washing up bowl: cover totally with swing bin liner (More esoteric high tech kit!): pull the top of bag up into peak to prevent dough sticking. Place bowl in warm place (Above boiler e.g.) to at least double.

When doubled turn oput onto floured worktop: knock back (Deflate dough); a few minutes kneading. Shape into loaves; or smack into bread tins; lightly greased.

If you required countoured tops, now's the time to do it: using very razor sharp knife (Stanley knife ideal); cut diagonal lines as required (Make crust). If you forget DO NOT be tempted to try this after the next prove as the dough will collapse.

Cover again with bin liner: leave to rise again.

Into preheated oven to max setting: gently close oven (Don't bang loaves/tins around as this will cause dough to sink!).

35 mins to 45 mins; watch the tops for crust forming and browning and starting to burn; then they are done!

Turn onto cooling trays (Spare oven grills perfect).

Eat: With Beurre de Bretagne and whatever else your heart fancies!

Info on bread and breadmaking:

http://www.grain.org/seedling/?id=471#_10 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chorleywood_Bread_Process

http://www.io.com/~sjohn/sour.htm

http://www.baking911.com/bread/starters101intro.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-ferment

 

Edit:

 

Forgot: Senior Moment? [:)]

 

1.    Salt: Salt is very important in bread making: not just for taste; it slows down the chemical reaction between the yeast and the sugar/honey. Only omit if you must exclude salt on medical grounds:

2.    The High Tech state-of-the-art plastic washing up bowl has another huge benefit! It is Self-Cleaning!

merely leave it overnight and the nasty glucky sticky dough will dry out and fall off the next day when you run your hand around the inside!

A wipe with a damp cloth and it is ready for the next baking session!

[;-)]

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Thank you, Gluey, I am full of awe and admiration.  Some really nice tips, especially your Big Tip (well, that's what you yourself said it was!)

I shall print your post out when I get the laptop upstairs to the printer and keep it for reference.

Anyone knows where to get fresh yeast as per Gluey's instructions?

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Well, Gluestick , the manservant is positively inspired by your breadmaking and has an idea forming ........... Making a big batch of dough for the week à la professniol bakery and then freezing the aportioned dough . Presumably we'd get out the required amount the night before and we could cook it in the morning when we're up about an hour before the guests. At what stage should we freeze the dough?
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I have never tried freezing live leavened dough, WR.

Most part-cooked bread type doughs contain raising agents other than yeast: such as Pizza bases, bread stick halves etc.

Both French baguette and Italian breads such as Ciabata do "Rest" the dough in a fridge, at circa 4 Deg.C for anything up to overnight. Baguette recipes suggest not cooling until the sticks are formed, as it helps to firm the shape and keep them roundish. That said most Artisan (And amateur) bakers making baguettes use a resting frame: which is simply a row of dowels, around which is wrapped unbleached calico, resting on a wooden frame: this allows the sticks to rest in loops of cloth and retains shape.

The professional artisan bakers have a Proving Room: they make the dough afternoon before: form the loaves, then they go into the proving room and are chilled. Early in the morning, the room switches from cold to hot and the final prove takes place by the time the baker is ready to start loading the oven at 3-4.00AM.

They thus make fresh dough each day ready for the next days' bake: particularly important with sourdough.

Interesting information here:

I also rest Pizza dough in the fridge for an hour or two dependant on time and hunger!

Perhaps the best thing might be simply for you to try! Make up a small amount of dough and freeze it: and then see how it works?

 

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[quote user="Gluestick"]Interesting information here: [/quote]

What an interesting site; the description of the young baker's route to finding her vocation was fascinating. And the locations of the small village stores which sell her breads took me back to the early 60s when my parents and a-young-me holidayed in that Helford area. It brought back such happy memories, so thank you GS.

Sue

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