Toolin’ Up Tuesday: Bread Machine

Years ago when the first bread machine hit the market, I remember folks buying them and then complaining that it really didn’t do all that they expected. The result was that it sat on a dusty shelf somewhere and was neglected. Sounds a lot like the crockpot, doesn’t it?

But I wanted one anyway. So, about seven years ago FishPapa gave me one for Christmas — with diamond earrings hidden inside! How’s that for one cool dude?

However, I was so disappointed when the first few loaves of bread were total flops. I’m kind of a perfectionist, in case you hadn’t noticed. It’s a first child thing. So, I was really disturbed that my bread machine would join the scores of bread machines relegated to dusty shelves.

I shifted into Bulldog-I-will-not-give-up mode and headed to a bookstore. After perusing every bread machine book on the shelf, I made the best cookbook purchase I think I’ve ever made: The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook by Beth Hensperger. This book is fantastic! It saved my bread machine from a dastardly fate. And it has provided our family with some of the best bread, rolls, and pizza. Not only does it contain great bread recipes, but it also explains the process of bread making, the ins and outs of how different machines work, and the factors of ingredients that lead to successful bread baking. I highly recommend it.

Now, last week I mentioned that my bread machine died last summer. So why am I featuring it today on Toolin’ Up Tuesday? My dad bought me new one Friday morning!

So now I’m back in the bread baking business. Oh happy day! This is a very similar model to the one I had before. It only busted because I used it SO much – at least 3 times a week for six years. It more than paid for itself. If you can’t swing a new model, you are bound to find a wealth of dusty, almost new machines at a garage sale or thrift store. Keep your eyes open. This is worth it.

What helps you do your job as MOM better? It doesn’t have to be a kitchen gadget. (I tend to think with my stomach, you know.) It can be any “tool” that you use to simplify or speed things up in your life. Post it on your blog and then come back here and share it with us. If you don’t have a blog, feel free to post it in the comments.

(Last week some people had problems with their links. Never fear! It took me awhile to figure out how Mr. Linky worked. If you are posting a link to your blog, copy and paste that in the line that says URL. If you aren’t posting a link, just click on “comments” farther down on this post.)

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  1. Chinamama4 says:

    Sounds like a great book! Does it have any wheat-free/gluten-free recipes? I’ve just begun my search…

  2. FishMama says:

    Yes, Chinamama, there is a small section with gluten-free recipes.

  3. I have owned two bread machines over the years and have mixed feelings about them. I know a lot of woman who love theirs. They use it all the time and have replaced them each time they went out. I just haven’t been as happy but maybe it was because I needed that book. I received one as a wedding gift 14 years ago. It never really worked well and I got rid of it. Then about 5 years ago I decided to try again and get another one. I will say that the second one worked much better then the first one. Bread Machines had come along way. I used that one until it broke but I never made bread in it just the dough. I used the dough feature and then took it out to make my own loaf. We just never liked the thick crust that you get on the bread machine loaves. I never replaced that one when it broke because I did not think it was worth it just for a dough maker since I had a Kitchen Aid mixer. But I am glad you love yours. How nice of you dad to get you one.

  4. Shaunta' says:

    I just had my bday and my husband gave me money for a breadmaker. I didn’t know which one to buy. Do you own the sunbeam that is posted on your blog from amazon? If money permits, do you think I should pay more and get a pricier one or will this one do just as good of a job? thx. I enjoy your blog.

  5. homeschoolceo says:

    I just got a bread machine second hand. I haven’t used it yet. Thanks for the recipes. I’m starting to feel inspired 😉
    The thing I can’t live without is my Dyson vacuum. We have 3 kids and a great dane, ‘nuf said 😛

  6. FishMama says:

    Lynn, I used the last one for dough a lot as well. Do you think that wears them out more?

    Also, I thought the thick crust was just a problem with my settings. Since this is virtually a newer model of the same machine I had before, I found that “medium” is too dark with this machine as well. Setting it on “light” seems to work. I’m just too lame to get the Kitchen Aid dough to work right for me.

    Shaunta, yes, the sunbeam is the one I chose last week. Basically since it’s just a newer model of the one I had. Oster and Sunbeam are the same, by the way. I don’t really know much about the more expensive brands. Some have two kneading paddles instead of one which is supposed to mix the dough ball better. You might want to look at The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook first since she devotes a whole section to different machines and how they work.

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