I have often thought about making my own bread by hand but with a family and running my own business, time is somewhat of a rare commodity for me.
On the other hand, my sister is very homely and always makes all of her food from scratch. This includes beautiful, home-made bread. I have always wanted to do the same.
When I visit her, her home always has various cooking smells, she is always baking bread and cakes, you name it, she bakes it and her food always looks so good.
The taste of her bread is incredible, she did pass on the recipe to me a few years ago but I have never used it. This was about to change…
I decided I was going to eat and have home-made bread at home and was going to invest in a bread making machine. Although she makes most bread by hand, my sister always raves about her bread machine, so I took the plunge and bought the same one, a Zojirushi model. I know about this machine because my sister has it, but if you need a Zojirushi BB-CEC20 bread machine review look no further than this site. It is a popular machine and a ‘top seller’, so there are numerous reviews and guides on the internet.
This is a dual-blade bread machine and it makes rectangle, 2-pound loaves. It has 10 pre-programmed settings that include 3 crust shades, LCD control panel; 13-hour delay timer.
This model looks good and you won’t have to pack it away. It is brushed stainless steel and so easy to keep clean. It has a large capacity at 2lbs, but is a reasonably compact machine, so it should fit most kitchen countertops.
I don’t want to eat the same bread all of the time, with this bread maker you can write your own programmes if you want to and make bread in your own way, other than the standard way.
You can make bread you would be proud of and bake a loaf that looks like it came from a real bread tin. If you are entertaining and serve it to your friends, it actually looks handmade and honestly looks very good.
Although the capacity of this machine is 2lbs. You do not have to make such a large loaf. Adjust the ingredients and settings and it can handle smaller loaves of bread.
It even has a meatloaf, jam and sourdough setting. You can make and cook meatloaf, create jam and make the dough to start off your sourdough.
The quick loaf setting can make bread in 2 hours 18 min, as opposed to the regular setting of just under 4 hours.
It also has a delayed timer. This is handy if you are out and about or know you will be late home for some reason.
So, why make your own bread?
Bread is usually cheap as it is made in huge batches, usually by massive companies who can afford to buy the ingredients in bulk, if not the actual bread itself. Currently, it is still not as cheap as making a loaf at home. The average loaf of bread currently costs 47 cents as opposed to 42.4 cents. Obviously, this is averaged out using the standard ingredients.
If it doesn’t rise, it is usually because you haven’t put the ingredients into the machine in the correct order and the correct time. For each recipe there is a setting, set times and clear instructions. Follow these and you cannot go wrong. If you get stuck, the machine also comes with a DVD and detailed (and a bit complicated) manual.
Also, old ingredients stuck to the attachments and inside the machine can affect the way your bread rises, as the rising process is a delicate one. Please ensure you clean your machine out after every use.
Half of a commercially made loaf is water; the wheat, soya flour, fat, baking aids and ascorbic acid. The rising or baking aids (called L-cysteine) although it can be synthetically produced, is usually made from feathers, pig bristles or in some cases hair clippings. This means a lot of bread is unsuitable for vegans and vegetarians.
If you have a wheat, gluten or some other intolerance associated with bread or any of its ingredients, you can control what goes into it, if you make it yourself.
There is something really satisfying about making your own bread. The taste, smell and quality of the homemade loaf will be “incomparable” to the shop-bought one.
It also feels great serving something you have made to your family, with the added benefit that your home smells of fresh bread.
I run a stables, this means early starts and late nights. The delayed timer means I can put it on and it can cook through the night or through the day, whichever you need. If you are worried about safety in this regard it has an auto shut off too. Excellent.
Having had my bread machine for a few months now, I really wish I had made the effort to start baking earlier. There are so many benefits to making your own. For a start, you know what ingredients are going into each loaf, mine has nothing artificial, all natural ingredients, something that is very important to me and my family. You can control the size and type of bread you make; you can customise it down to the type of crust you want.
This isn’t just a bread maker either. It makes cakes, meat loaf, jams and sauces. It is such a versatile machine and a great addition to any kitchen.
With a little pre-preparation, you don’t even have to be at home whilst the bread is baking. With the nifty timer setting, you can pre-set them for whenever you want and away it goes. My advice to you is obviously, before you invest in anything, you need to look around. You have your own requirements, price, size, features etc., just do your research there is a machine to suit every requirement. This is one of the best investments I have ever made!