Saturday, September 18, 2010

Hand vs. Machine (Making Bread)

Ever since bread makers were invented, there has been a serious rivalry between man and machine. With either viable option, store bought is completely out of the question, but which method of homemade bread brings the most to the table? Let’s knead out the difference and see which style rises higher.
Ease of Use

Bread machines, especially those that mix the dough in the machine and allow it to rise are as simple as combine and forget. Add a timer so it goes on and off when you want it to and it almost feels like you are cheating when it comes to making the perfect loaf, after all, your mother slaved for hours over her bread.
With handmade bread, there is plenty of time mixing, combining, stirring and let’s not forget the kneading. Who can forget what seems like hours upon hours of kneading? The fact that your success as a bread maker depends upon your kneading skills is somewhat disturbing. If you under-knead, you will get a giant mess of goop that will not combine all the way or rise like it should. If you over-do the kneading, your bread will be a rock solid hunk of loaf.

The ingredients in homemade bread are pretty straightforward; you should have most, if not all in your pantry. Just combine, mix and knead until your arms fall off and presto – bread. Bread makers are a bit more difficult to prepare to bake on a whim. You will need to have items like dry milk, which are not typically pantry-stocked items for most homes.
In this regard, making bread by hand is the way to go because it doesn’t always have to be well planned when you want to make bread. With bread machines, you will need to continuously keep needed ingredients on hand or live close to a store. If not, there will need to be some foresight into your bread making plans.
Taste and Texture

As said before, nothing beats the taste of homemade bread and while nothing can ever compare to your grandmother’s favorite bread recipe, the bread maker does come in an extremely close second, if not nudging granny out of the top position. The bread machine doesn’t require anything but pouring the ingredients into a single container and the taste will always be consistent as long as you use the same recipe.
As far as the texture goes, we mentioned above the dangers of over kneading and under kneading. Bread makers have their own built in mixer that perfectly combines the ingredients until they have reached the point needed. This being done, you will have a consistent texture on all of your bread, all of the time.

After considering the three categories above, the bread mixer looks like the obvious winner here. The only thing to remember is to make sure you have all of the right ingredients on hand in case you want to make some bread on a whim. While it might feel like cheating, bread makers are a great way to make consistently yummy bread without too much effort. Visit us at The MomTrafficForum Today!

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