A few months ago, I received a free gift card from CSN Stores, and I asked my Twitter followers if I should use it for an ice cream maker or a bread machine. The debate was fierce, and ultimately I opted for an ice cream maker (actually, I opted for a slow cooker first, and THEN the ice cream maker next month). I was very happy with my choice, but I did always wonder what I may have been missing out with by passing up the bread maker. Well, as it turns out, CSN gave me another gift card to review something from their store, and this time around, I decided I would take the plunge. I used my gift card to nab a Breadman 2 Pound Bread Maker, which was on sale for the bargain basement price of $64.99.
I must admit that I did have concern about that low price — would I be sacrificing quality for money? Did I just order a giant piece of junk? The results after the jump…
From what I can tell, the machine looks perfectly fine. It comes with a user manual that features many recipes; so that makes me happy.
I opt to begin with basic white bread. First I must pour water and oil into the pan.
Next goes some salt and sugar. Not a very complicated process, but I should note that it was three in the morning (yes, this all happened after my cocktails with Sly).
I plop about two cups of bread flour into the pan, effectively covering the liquids and allowing a safe buffer for the yeast, which goes carefully on top. As this operation will be on timer delay, I can’t have my yeast activating ahead of schedule.
I close the lid and stare at the ingredients. I feel like I’m sending it off to space.
I set the timer to have the bread done in six and a half hours from now. My anticipation begins.
I was so excited about the bread that — I kid you not — I woke up about four times. Here’s the bread about thirty minutes before the finish line.
Ta-da! The apartment, it should be noted, smelled fantastic.
My little white loaf of love.
After letting the bread sit for about twenty minutes, I take the first slice. It’s perrrrrfect. And tasty too! Half of the loaf is gone in the next twenty minutes.
I’m immediately thrilled with the purchase. Later that night, I do it all over again, instead opting for a honey wheat bread. It collapses a little, but still tastes marvelous. Unfortunately, there are no pics.
And if you think I stopped at the honey wheat, you’re wrong. Last night I attempted a cinnamon nut raisin bread.
All I had to do was drop in the ingredients as usual, and then at about twenty minutes into the process, the machine beeped. I added in the raisins and nuts, put on my shoes, went to my friend’s place for some wine, returned two hours later and… well… you can see what was greeting me.
This loaf was by far the best of the three. It had the best rise, the most flavor, and certainly the best aroma. As you can see in the photo, I still haven’t even finished the other two loaves. I’m going bread-crazy. Must… restrain… myself…
So far so good with the bread machine. Upon further research, it appears that I didn’t sacrifice quality as much as I did features. The more expensive bread machines have non-gluten and jam options and other things like that. Sounds nice, but I’m quite happy with what I have. Good times indeed. Time to make a sandwich with some of that bread now…