Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Quest for a replacement Breadmaker

I set a goal to use my bread machine more often. The jar of yeast in the fridge had died before i finished using it up, and I took it as a sign that I wasn't baking bread often enough. It's not like it's difficult with a breadmaker; pour the ingredients in, push the buttons, and let it go!

I did well for a while. Then I noticed the bread loaves were looking kind of, well, oddly shaped. One end of the loaf would look fine, but the other end would be stunted. Smaller. Bumpy-looking. Next on the goal list? A new breadmaker.

This is easier said than done. I saw a good model on the Amazon Friday sale... a few days before I declared this goal, unfortunately. By the time I'd decided I really did need a replacement, the sale price was gone. Sigh. It's true that she who hesitates, waits - until another sale, that is.

Next, I decided to search the local stores. Kohls had nothing in stock. Shopko had one, an express-style machine, not the kind of item I really want. I went to Fleet Farm for gardening tools (oh, my goodness, don't set me free in Fleet Farm's garden center with a credit card in hand!), and wandered down their appliance aisle. No luck. They had several varieties of dehydrators, but I'm not totally convinced that I have the right attitude for dried food. There were so many crockpots and Nesco roasters that I almost wished I needed one. At that point, I realized I really must get out of the housewares department and shop for my soaker hose and watering wand.

In case you're worried, I did not increase my carbon footprint or waste gas in the shopping process. I combined the search with other errands; I was going to these stores anyway. The trips were not wasted. Not entirely, at least.

I'm really thinking that the bread machine as I know and love it must be a seasonal item. They're probably plentiful in October when people are shopping for Christmas (or in August when merchants think people are starting to shop for Christmas). May just isn't the time to look for a new bread maker. If only I were looking for a grill...

Ideas, anyone? I'm close to ordering from Amazon. Maybe Kohls.com will have one that isn't on their store shelves. I'll only go through with it, though, if I have a free shipping code. These gadgets are heavy!

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4 Comments:

Blogger Average Jane said...

I am still using one of the very first breadmakers that came on the market. I got it at a garage sale for $5. It's enormous, looks a lot like R2D2 and makes round loaves, but it works perfectly well for the rare occasions when I want to bake bread with it.

5/30/2009 7:41 AM  
Blogger margalit said...

I got mine on sale at King Arthur Flour years ago. It's the Zojirushi and it was RIDICULOUSLY expensive but everyone on all the baking sites recommended it, and it was when I was living in CA and making big money so I splurged. That thing makes the BEST bread, and I would highly recommend it. HIGHLY.

You can find breadmachines at Overstock.com and Amazon, but the cheaper ones don't last as long, nor do they do such an excellent job of kneading.

Mine is the one that has the long loaf, can make a 2 lb loaf, and it does look more like a gigantic but normal loaf of bread. Most loaves are higher than they are longer.

5/30/2009 6:15 PM  
Blogger PJH said...

Hi - Starting tomorrow, we're offering free shipping on our Zojirushi X20 - the one Margalit mentions above. I think the offer runs for the month of June, though not sure... It really is a good machine. We have 7 of them in our test kitchen, and use them constantly. I even use mine to make soup, stew, desserts (cheesecake, anyone?), risotto... Really a kitchen workhorse. And they last a lonnnnggg time. As I said, we use ours in the test kitchen constantly, we've had them for years, and none of them has given out yet. So you might want to take a look at kingarthurflour.com while the free shipping offer is going on. Good luck in your search - PJ Hamel, King Arthur Flour baker/blogger

6/01/2009 4:37 AM  
Blogger Magpie said...

I have a breadmaker that frequently made funky looking loaves, so what I've been doing, with good success, is using it to knead the dough and do the first rise. Then, I turn the dough out into a bread pan for the second rise, and bake it in the oven. Yes, more work, but the bread is so much better.

6/02/2009 9:22 AM  

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