Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Cooking Crimes - In Defence of the Breadmaker

So second in my series of 'cooking crimes' is the humble breadmaker. If you're someone who much prefers to make bread properly, I take my hat off to you - you deserve a medal!

 
The sad truth is, I'm far from the perfect image and blogger cliche of someone who makes bread by hand; I get bored with all the kneading and waiting around and yep, while I agree the end result is very satisfying, the majority of the time I don't think that outweighs the amount of time I have to spend making it.

Rachel Allen breadmaker


 
The few times I've baked bread from scratch, I've found it such a faff - my arms ache from the kneading, I can never find anywhere big enough on my kitchen side to spread the mixture out on and I always can't tell whether it's actually risen enough.

 
So when I want the house to smell like we're about to show potential buyers round, I whip out my trusty breadmaker (well, I say 'whip', it's actually rather large and needs two hands to carry it to a free socket).
 
Mine is a Rachel Allen contraption, originally owned by one of the students at work who was selling it for £20 a couple of years ago. It's served me and Andrew very well indeed; sometimes I use it with bread mix packets and sometimes I use it with individual ingredients.

Breadmaker and bread mix packets
 
 
 
It's very very easy to use, you do literally just tip all the ingredients into the mixer, choose what type of loaf and crust you want and then set the timer. It takes just over 3 hours to cook and while it's making the house smell delicious, I can get on with all the other jobs that need doing. For me that's the perfect time-saving kitchen device - I can be the fabulous wife who gets all the washing, cleaning and sorting done and *still* manages to put a freshly baked (and occasionally funny shaped...) loaf on the table.

Funny-shaped bread from the breadmaker
 

 
And the best bit about it? It's gotta be the delay function. I can set everything up the night before, put the timer on and hey presto - 9am the next morning, we have perfectly baked bread!  

Breakfast on home baked bread
 
 
 
How about you? Are you a kneading-the-dough type girl or a quick-fix-breadmaker type girl?
 
 

11 comments:

  1. I would love a breadmaker- but we just don't have room in our kitchen! Although I am planning on a huge clear-out in the next few weeks to do our first ever car boot sale, so maybe if I get rid of enough stuff I can spend our takings on a breadmaker :) xxx

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    1. Ooh go for it! I think you can get slightly smaller ones (my sis-in-law has one smaller than mine) which would fit into a kitchen better. Mine sits on the kitchen side but we always have to move it around when we use it because there's a limited amount of sockets! :-) xxx

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  2. My mam has a breadmaker, I don't see anything wrong with them myself and i say that even though I make my own naan bread - anything that is fresh whether you knead it yourself or the machine does it fine by me. Nothing can beat that bread making smell though!

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    1. I agree, it's still a fresh home-cooked loaf even from a breadmaker - and yep, the smell is fab! :-) x

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  3. We use our breadmaker constantly. We use its full bread cycles to make everyday loaves but also love its dough cycles so that it does all the hard work (read: kneading) and we can then be creative. We use it to make anything from pizza to hot cross buns. We've even used it to make our own pasta - anything where the ingredients need working as well as mixing really!

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    1. Making your own pasta - now there's an idea! I've only really used mine for bread and pizza dough but I like the idea of my own homecooked pasta! :-) x

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  4. I don't 'do' bread but I've watch the husband make several loaves by hand...it looks like bloody hard work!!!
    Bring on the breadmaker I say, and nothing wrong with a loaf with a bit of personality!
    M x Life Outside London

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    1. It is hard work! Fair play to your husband though, making them by hand! :-) xx

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  5. I'm with you on using a breadmaker, especially for dough - pizzas and iced buns are a favourite here.

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    1. Ooh I've never made iced buns - I'll have to try that sometime! :-) x

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  6. Definitely with you on the bread maker! We got ours for £10 from the BHF furniture charity shop. I am frankly useless at makung bread. Killed the yeast and ended up with pebble sized rocks instead of rolls!

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Thank you very much for all your lovely comments; I do have every intention of replying but sometimes life with a baby gets in the way...

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