Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bread Machine Mixes For Bread Making Machines.

By Marion Jones

Do I think that bread machine mixes are useful? Yes, some of them are, but the snag with all bread machine mixes is that they place limitations on your choice and do not encourage your creative talents. That may sound odd, but think about it for a while. If you depend on bread machine mixes you can only make the bread for which you can buy a bread machine mix and you can only tip the bread machine mix into the bowl and switch on the bread making machine. You are definitely not likely to alter the bread machine mix for fear that it won't work.

OK, what is the alternative? Well, the old-fashioned recipe book, of course! Not just any old recipe book, but a special bread making machine recipe book. Bread making is a very easy, but very tiresome process. The ingredients are ubiquitous, everyday, household items: water, flour, yeast, salt, sugar and oil. You most certainly have those items in your kitchen with the possible exception of yeast, which can be bought in any super store for very little money and it keeps for ages.

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 recipe book will have something over 100 recipes coming from a number of different countries and you will become really enthusiastic about experimenting with the various ones. Have you ever tasted Welsh bread - Bara Brith? Or English muffin bread? Jalapeno bread or banana bread? Onion bread is lovely too, but one of my all time favourites is Brazil Nut Bread - absolutely delicious.

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? And bread machine mixes are relatively expensive compared to the cost of five kilos of flour. I always vary the ingredients too: honey instead of sugar, milk instead of water, olive oil or butter instead of say, 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.

About the Author:

No comments: