Thursday, February 24, 2011

Battle of the Breadmaker, an update

My bread machine and I have an interesting history.  We have a love-hate relationship.  Read all the past stories if you like.  They are quite comical. 

We've been on a path of mutual respect these days though, thankfully.  I try not to overwork him and in turn, he provides me with edible, delectable carbohydrate-rich bread. 

With each passing week, I become braver and bolder with what I'm willing to make.  I'm finally trying more than just loaves of bread.   Check out all the things I've recently made:

(1) Pizza crust:

I want to stop buying ready-made crusts now.  These are so easy to make and much more tasty than the store-bought kind!

(2) Calzones, although they were a bit messy to start off with (due to my overstuffing habits)! 

I have a greater appreciation for these hard-to-shape backwards pizzas!  I need some tips on how to make this smoother and less messy~!   At least I tried it though! 

(3) Bread bowls:

These fun bowls were surprisingly easy to make and shape.  I found this online video that did a wonderful job of demonstrating how to make them!  Pair them with homemade soup and you've got a winning, comfort food combination!

(4) Bagels:

I must admit these were a big pain to make.  I'm not sure when and if I'll attempt them again.  Of course I went a bit fancy with them and added raisins, cinnamon and shredded carrots to them:

I had trouble shaping them like true bagels but they did turn out tasting great.  Several of my friends and family members ate them and raved about them.  So I guess my efforts were appreciated!  :-)

(5) New breads of all sorts, like this beautiful one pictured below:

Some of the common and not so common flavors I've made are:

-Sour cream bread
-Dill weed cottage cheese bread
-Applesauce bread
-Granola bread
-Banana bread
-Cottage cheese and herb bread 
-And more! 

I love it when the bread comes out looking so lovely.  When I slice it, sometimes it looks even better.

The more I talk to folks, the more I realize that I'm not the only one who has bread machine problems and failures.  In fact, my good friend Jen Peters (who is a truly fabulous and even gourmet-style cook) even had a recent bread flop from her machine.  She emailed me this photo that she quickly took on her camera phone:

A Bread Failure Photo Sent In By My Friend Jen Peters:

I had to laugh when she sent me the above picture.  She knew that I could truly understand the humor and disappointment in these crab-leg like breads created by her bread machine.  Too bad I couldn't serve them with my turkey bird bread from over a month ago, hahahah! 

I don't know what kind of bread Jen made to achieve those kind of wild results.  But I understand how it can happen.  Those picky, pesky machines don't like to be neglected duing all kneading and rising processes.  If you turn your back away for too long, they just go crazy on you!  

Jen's photo did make me chuckle and feel better about my failures though.  We all experience it from time to time.  Thanks Jen for sending me this and brightening up my day.

Let's have a toast to all of us who deal with bread machines and other electronic kitchen devices! 

Love them, hate them,
use them or abuse them,
they do (for the most part)
make our lives easier
and at the very least, for me, more interesting!! 

Have you made bread recently?  Was it a success story?


  1. it was supposed to be just regular wheat bread! not sure what i did wrong but needless to say, i did not save THAT recipe. :) glad i brightened your day with that one!

  2. Jen - I thought that was the picture of what happened when your kneading arm wasn't on the post! :)

    You know I love my bread machine - thanks to YOU!!! So far I've made French bread, Oatmeal Cinnamon Raisin bread, Bagels, Rye bread, English Muffin bread and Potato bread. I haven't had any disasters...yet :) I'd really love to try the bread bowls!

  3. Forgot - I also made a braided Challah (which I used to make your Cinnamon Orange French Toast) and Cranberry Orange bread. :)