Friday, April 17, 2009

Bread Machine Mixes For Bread Making Machines.

By Marion Jones

Are bread machine mixes any good? Yes, some of them are, but the snag with all bread machine mixes is that they limit your choice and discourage your creative talents. That may sound a little harsh, but think about it for a while. If you depend on bread machine mixes you can only make the bread for which you can find a bread machine mix and you can only put the bread machine mix into the bowl and switch the bread making machine on. You are not encouraged to alter the bread machine mix for fear that it won't work.

OK, what is the alternative? Well, the old-fashioned cookbook, of course! Not any old recipe book, but a special bread making machine cookbook. Bread making is a very easy, but rather tedious process. The ingredients are ubiquitous, household items: water, flour, yeast, salt, sugar and oil. You already have those items in your kitchen|cupboard| with the probable exception of the yeast, which can be bought almost anywhere at minimal cost.

And you know what happens when you follow a recipe, don't you? You've read the recipe through and you know you have everything in the kitchen, but when the recipe calls for, say, currants, you open the cupboard door and see that you don't have any currants - they were sultanas! Oh, well you think, they'll do. You make do. You experiment. You are developing your skills and creativity. Bread making mixes cannot do that for you.

A good bread making machine cookbook will have well over 100 recipes originating from several countries and you will get really enthusiastic about trying the different ones out. Have you eaten Welsh bread - Bara Brith? Or Amish bread? Cajun bread or onion bread? Banana bread is lovely too, but one of my favourites is Brazil Nut Bread - absolutely scrumptious.

The fact is that you may not find recipes for all these breads in one recipe book, but if you have a safe starting point, like a bread recipe cookbook, you can begin by using previously tried and tested gourmet bread recipes and gradually develop your own - oftentimes because you have to.

I once made a fantastic loaf by adding all the left-over vegetables from my Sunday lunch. It was lovely, but I could never quite reproduce it, because I did not write down the weights and measures. I could only remember that it had green beans, potatoes and sweet corn in it!

Bread machine mixes will never in a million years give you that, will they? Furthermore bread machine mixes are fairly expensive compared to the cost of ten pounds. I usually vary the ingredients too: honey instead of sugar, milk instead of water, olive oil or butter instead of just corn oil. Rock salt instead of sea salt or visa versa. You get the picture.

Bread machine mixes are limited and limiting. A bread making machine is a great way to use up leftovers. I have even put meat and fruit in my gourmet bread. My principle is: if it'll go in a sandwich it'll go in the dough - like an Indian stuffed paratha or stuffed naan bread.

Save your money by not buying bread machine mixes and be creative with a bread machine recipes cookbook.

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