Home Bread-Bakers v096.n028.12

Re: tools are made, born are hands

bbriscoe@infolink.morris.mn.us (Bonnie Briscoe)
Tue, 30 Jul 1996 22:24:28 -0500
Jeffrey Hamelman said:

> My suggestion? Instead of a
>bread machine that removes you from direct contact (therefore
>understanding) with your bread, far better to buy a Kitchen Aid style
>machine. You can mix beautiful doughs, and have a much more complete
>involvement with the dough, and how it evolves from minute one to minute
>I would like to consider this the beginning of a dialogue. If you have an
>opinion on this, why not post it? By the way, it was William Blake who said
>it: "Tools are made, but born are hands."

I agree that there's nothing to equal the experience of making bread by
hand. But if the choice is between waiting until I have several hours
available to do this (and having, in the meantime, to eat that stuff they
sell as bread in the supermarket) or making my own bread in the bread
machine, I'll vote for the machine every time.

I have had a Kitchen Aid mixer for 21 years, but I wasn't getting enough
time during the last few years to use it for making bread. However, in the
18 months I have had my West Bend bread machine, I have not bought a single
loaf of bread at the store (I confess to having purchased some bagels) --
and bread is a significant part of my bottom-of-the-food-pyramid eating

I love bread, and I love to experiment with developing new recipes. Once I
had learned how my machine behaves, I began playing with different
combinations of grains and other ingredients.  There are at least 10
recipes that I make routinely now, many of which require some pre-soaking
of whole or cracked grains.  I poke at the dough as it kneads, I tweak it
by adding water or flour, I get involved in the process of making every
loaf (I *never* just "set it and forget it"). But once the dough is off to
a good start, then I'm free to leave the machine alone to do its work for
the next 3 hours or so, and I can concentrate on doing my own work without
having to worry about what the dough is doing.

I admit that occasionally the result from the bread machine is not as good
as I would like -- the texture is too coarse or the dough is too dry or too
wet, problems that I could detect and correct more easily if I were making
the bread by hand.  But always, it is better than anything else that is
available in town.  And if one loaf flops, I haven't lost a huge investment
in time or ingredients (and I can still grind it up for bread crumbs).

My bread machine has become one of my most essential kitchen appliances
because it helps me be more productive in the kitchen *and* in my home
office--all at the same time.

Just my $.02 worth.

Bonnie Briscoe

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Bonnie Briscoe                   internet: bbriscoe@infolink.morris.mn.us
Briscoe & Associates -- Editorial Services & Training Program Development
500 East Third St.                                    phone: 320-589-1258
Morris, MN, USA 56267                                   fax: 320-589-1754
        Language is all that separates us from the lower animals--
                        and from the bureaucrats.
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