So Glad I Got This Bread Machine.
This bread machine is one of my top ten favorite presents! I won’t go so far as to say it changed my life, but it’s surely made it more fun. It’s been used so much it would have paid for itself in under six months (if it hadn’t been a gift, that is). For years I didn’t think I would use one. How much bread can a family eat…and so on.
My brother-in-law bought this model for his second bread maker after much research. He’s experimented with special flours, many different recipes, and it roused my curiosity. So I finally put it on my Christmas list in 2012.
It’s been on my counter ever since. I love it! At first I made bread every week. I’m not sure you should be legally allowed to say you ‘made’ bread when using it. Basically all I did was assemble the ingredients and plug the machine in. Oh yes, I did press ‘start’ as well.
Nevertheless, when the beep sounded and the bread was ready, I was as proud as if I’d milled the wheat myself. There was an adorable loaf of bread. Feel free to ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ over the pictures I’ve included below. It smelled so wonderful! Is there much sweeter than the aroma of fresh bread baking?
Why the Panasonic Bread Maker?
What especially appealed to me with this Panasonic bread maker is the special little compartment on top where you add the yeast before you start. So once you do press start, you can walk away and forget it until it’s done. Did I say it was easy? Yes, I admit I usually check it a few times during the process. Partly because it’s fun to see what it is doing, and partly because once in a while it might need a few extra drops of water. But if you don’t check it you will still have that loaf of bread in due time.
The best part is that I rarely buy bread or rolls anymore. It has saved me a lot of money and waste too. I bet since I got it, I’ve only bought 4 or 5 loaves total, and those were gluten free. I’ve yet to experiment with those.
I have been busy making dinner rolls, both white and wheat, snack size rolls, hamburger buns, white bread, wheat bread, and cinnamon rolls (a personal favorite). If you’d like my recipe for rolls, see Cinnamon Rolls in the Bread Machine.
Even my mother’s old recipe for a sweet rye bread worked with a few adjustments in the ingredients. It does such a good job you will want to experiment. You can even make pizza dough. For the average family that alone could pay for a machine in a couple of months! And if you buy large bags of bread flour and yeast, it really saves money.
At first I didn’t think I would want to deal with the dough setting. But it’s so easy with that I’m still amazed. A loaf of bread takes around 4 hours for the medium size. The dough setting finishes in 2 hours and 20 minutes. After that, you simply take the dough out, let it set 10 minutes, then do what you want with it. I’ll often cut half into small rolls and use the other half for sandwich or hamburger sized rolls. Let them rise, then bake and voila!
Since our family doesn’t go through them too quickly, I freeze half to three quarters in zip bags as soon as they are cool enough, then pull them out as needed. They taste great and fresh when they’ve thawed.
Another benefit is modifying the recipes for any special needs or wants. Instead of sugar I will often use honey as a natural ingredient. Instead of an egg I’ll use egg substitute. Instead of regular salt, sometimes sea salt.
Betty Crocker’s Bread Machine Cookbook
I use this cookbook all the time. It has my favorite basic breads and my favorite cinnamon rolls. There is a lovely variety of savory breads too. Highly recommended!
The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook
This one is on my wish list. It’s Amazon’s bestselling cookbook for Bread Machines, with over 300 recipes!