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Bread Machine Question
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I haven't been here for awhile, but for those that remember me I think I have finally decided to get a bread machine.

I have basically just eliminated bread from my diet, as I can't stand the commercially available products. Udi's bagels, and their hamburger buns are about the only thing I can handle.

I think the bagels are fine, and the buns are OK,.....they just became available in my area. ALL of the bread I have tried to date simply stinks IMHO. Sorry to those of you that like some of it BTW, I don't mean to offend.

Anyway, my question is this,......do you need a 'special' bread machine, or will any decent one do?

I am looking at this one on Amazon right now.

http://www.(Company Name Removed - They Spammed This Forum and are Banned)/West-Bend-41300-Electronic-Dual-Blade/dp/B002JM0ZWK

I have read someone made a book with all kinds of gluten-free bread recipes designed around the Zojirushi machine, but that is a LOT more money. I guess I just don't want to sink a lot of 'dough' into a machine without knowing if I will be able to bake some bread I find edible.

As always ANY input is appreciated. Bread is not that important to me, but I am getting a little tired of not having ANY if you are with me! :D

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Ads by Google:

Sorry for the link to the site,....I had no idea.

Anyway what you left still shows the make and model number.

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Yes, I do remember you, Marc! I bought a KitchenAid stand mixer instead of a bread machine so I can't help you there. There have been some recent threads on bread machines so you might want to use the google search button near the top right corner of your screen and see if you can pull up some of those posts.

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Agreed on the gluten-free bread. I rarely eat any bread, but when I do I don't really enjoy it. I have a Cuisinart Convection Bread Maker, model CBK-200. I got it as a gift from my mom, so I don't know how much it was, but can't imagine it would be some crazy price? I use Bob's Red Mill bread mixes, and they work great! They have a bread machine recipe on each bag. Surely, if you're more talented than me, you could find a bread mix recipe? There is even a Gluten Free setting on it, so it does all the work according to the dough being gluten-free! Good luck!!

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Yes, I do remember you, Marc! I bought a KitchenAid stand mixer instead of a bread machine so I can't help you there. There have been some recent threads on bread machines so you might want to use the google search button near the top right corner of your screen and see if you can pull up some of those posts.

Sylvia,......I am torn between a machine, or a mixer and pans like you use.

I'm just afraid that the manual method might take more time, and make more mess than I would be willing to deal with.

At the same time I hate to buy a machine if none of the recipes in some of these gluten-free books can be used in them. I certainly am not a good enough baker to be able to figure out how to adapt them for a machine. Other kinds of cooking, I am called a chef! :)

Did you ever find a recipe that made what you would call some really good bread?

Even bread that can be used for sandwiches without needing to be toasted?

I have adapted on all other fronts. Found some good pizza crusts, and I have adjusted to eating my Mexican stuff on hard tostada shells. Still miss my soft white flour burrito shells I used to use, but oh well!

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Agreed on the gluten-free bread. I rarely eat any bread, but when I do I don't really enjoy it. I have a Cuisinart Convection Bread Maker, model CBK-200. I got it as a gift from my mom, so I don't know how much it was, but can't imagine it would be some crazy price? I use Bob's Red Mill bread mixes, and they work great! They have a bread machine recipe on each bag. Surely, if you're more talented than me, you could find a bread mix recipe? There is even a Gluten Free setting on it, so it does all the work according to the dough being gluten-free! Good luck!!

Thanks for that model number!

I think having a gluten-free setting is important as the dough has to be stiffer I would think.

How does that premixed Bob's red mill stuff taste BTW, and does it need to be toasted to be edible like the frozen stuff?

Like I said in the OP, all I have found so far that is edible to me is the Udi's bagels, and I finally found some of their hamburger buns. They barely pass for me, and I still had to throw them on the grill to make them not like shoe leather.

I don't get why they can make cookies, crackers, and things like breakfast bars that taste pretty good, but the bread stinks! :)

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Marc, for some of us (that means me) gluten-free bread baking is one of the great mysteries of the universe! :lol: The reason I bought my mixer is that I felt it would be more versatile than a bread machine. And I don't have room for both. That said, I don't have any experience with a bread machine so can't compare the messes between the two of them. I'd like to think my messes aren't too overwhelming and I always clean up the kitchen while the bread is rising.

What constitutes good bread for one person may not be so good for another. And also it depends on what kind of flours you like. I find that most of the time I end up nuking the bread briefly when making sandwiches.

I have made French Bread from this recipe on food.com. Actually they have a number of gluten-free bread recipes if you do a search.

There are some cookbooks that have recipes for bread machines. Gluten-Free Baking Classics for the Bread Machine by Annalise Roberts is one of them. I have the regular version of that cookbook and it's pretty good. Her blog is here. I really like her multigrain sandwich bread but I've always toasted it.

Another blog you might like to pull up is by Jules Shepard. She's also on Facebook. I have her flour and am diddling around with her bread recipes as well as her hamburger buns. I like her pizza crust a lot.

Thus far I have not found a bread mix I like, not that I've tried that many. I don't like Bob's Red Mill and I just baked a loaf of King Arthur last weekend. It was okay. I think I can do better and for less $$$ by starting from scratch.

For awhile I was buying Udi's bread but the last two loaves have lacked consistency in quality. I haven't tried their hamburger buns as I haven't yet seen them. I did try Rudi's hamburger buns and they're edible. Not great, just edible. But then everything available around here comes in frozen.

So now I've probably left you with more questions than answers. I'm still searching for the *perfect* recipe and am always experimenting with new ones or tweaking the ones I have. Hopefully others will chime in with their experiences.

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Sylvia,....that one book you mentioned is the one I was considering getting wuth a bread machine.

I am really torn on this. I don't really want to order, and store several different kinds of flour along with other ingredients, but at the same time most here seem to say that the prepared mixes stink.

I see if you were to buy 25 pounds of that Pamela's products bread mix, you could make a loaf for about $3.50 if my calculations are correct. I have no clue what it tastes like though.

On the other hand, I am once again considering being what appears to be the first here to buy that Bready robot machine. Their pizza mix makes 2 12" crusts and is cheaper that the Venice Bakery ones I am using now.

They also have a burger bun mix that works out cheaper than the Udi's buns, plus they are bigger. They claim they are 'soft and airy' and the pictures really look good!

The bread mixes are crazy high though, but at least they have a nice variety. $7.50 for a loaf of bread!!!!

I guess I could live with that if it was good since I don't eat much sliced bread anyway.

If that thing works like the video they have posted,......it doesn't get any easier, and clean up is virtually nonexistent.

Think I will call the company Monday and ask some serious questions, and clarify their return policy. For $359.00 you get the machine, a bun pan, and a variety of mixes to try. I would put out the money if I thought I would like the stuff it makes, as it would take care of my burger bun needs, pizza crusts, as well as bread when I wanted it. We shall see,....I just hate being the guinea pig per se. :)

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Marc, you can browse through Annalise's bread book on Amazon and also read the reviews. I've never tried to calculate how much a loaf of homemade gluten-free bread costs. My cost would depend on whether I use a complete all-purpose gluten-free flour (Iike Jules Shepard's) or make up my own mix, which I'm sure I can mix up for less than $4.00 a lb., even with the cost of xanthan gum. Even with mixes you usually have to add eggs or an egg substitute, butter or shortening, milk or another liquid, etc. so that adds to the cost, too.

The problem I would personally have with the Bready is that you need to use their mixes (if I understand correctly), which aren't exactly cheap either. And based on recipe websites, we know that what looks good may not be to our taste. To spend that much money, I would want to make sure I'd like the results. When I make my own bread and it goes into the garbage, I've only wasted my time and some money. But I've gotten to the point that what I bake now is usually edible. :lol:

If you are set on getting a bread machine, you could search google for bread machine reviews. It's a significant amount of money unless you go for one of the cheaper bread machines. Let us know what you decide. I'm sure others here are probably asking themselves some of the same questions.

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Well,....changed my mind about the Bready machine!

I found a couple of video reviews and the folks that tested it were not impressed with the results of the bread anyway. They said the machine itself was amazing, but the mixes needed a lot of work.

Very small, short loaves, and they said you could knock someone out with the bread a day after it was baked.

Before I do anything I am going to find out what is available in my area ingredient wise. If I can find the stuff, I might just go the way you did and get a stand mixer and some loaf pans.

Sylvia,....if you get the chance sometime, could you tell me what I need in terms of ingredients for one of your favorite bread recipes.

I don't need instruction right now, but it would help me if I knew what I needed to look for. Thanks! :)

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I'm glad you checked it out, Marc. It's a significant amount of money to shell out and then discover you may not be happy with it. I've baked a few bricks that would be dangerous if I got really mad! :lol:

I don't have any problem finding ingredients around here and this is Small Town, USA. The local grocery stores and my health food store carry Bob's Red Mill. An Asian market will have rice flour pretty cheap and probably some others, too.

I'm still searching for a *perfect* recipe. But the French Bread I like has minimum ingredients that you would have to buy: white rice flour, tapioca flour and xanthan gum (plus yeast if you don't have any). You would definitely need to use a stand mixer as a hand-held mixer just wouldn't work well.

There are as many flour mixes as there are cookbook authors. Each has their favorite combinations. Living Without magazine has a number of substitutions and flour combinations, which will give you an idea, too. Or you might find an already mixed all-purpose gluten-free flour would better suit your needs.

For quick breads, muffins, pancakes, etc., I still use my hand-held mixer (or a whisk in some cases).

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Sylvia,.....thanks once again.

I guess I have a lot to learn about baking.

Always thought you had to knead bread by hand and form it into a loaf?

That recipe for french bread looks like you just use a mixer and spoon it into the pan?

Also,....when you use your mixer, do you use standard 'mixer' blades, or a dough hook?

You can see I am probably going to drive you crazy! :)

I appreciate the help very much BTW.

What stand mixer would you recommend while I am asking questions!

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You're welcome, Marc. No, you're not driving me crazy...it takes a lot more than that! :P

Gluten-free breads are usually more like a thick batter and not a dough that can be kneaded and shaped into a loaf. I use the flat paddle attachment, not a dough hook, with my mixer (it comes with it along with the whisk and dough hook). I've never used the dough hook since I bought my mixer after I was diagnosed.

I have a KitchenAid Artisan model that I bought from Amazon. I know others on this forum have some other brands and are pleased with them but all-in-all, I'm happy with my KitchenAid.

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One last question for you Sylvia!

Have you been able to make a loaf of gluten-free bread that is 'normal' size or close to it?

Those tiny slices aren't good for a guy that has to pack his lunch.

A 'finger sandwich' doesn't do much! ;)

I am doing some searching right now for a mixer and pans. If you have pan recommendations I would appreciate that as well.

You are a wonderfully helpful lady, and you have just about converted me into a 'baker.' B)

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That's a trick question, Marc! :lol: I really don't think you can compare gluten-free breads to others. My loaves are not normally the size of gluteny bread. Obviously the French bread isn't...I gave you that link because it used such few special ingredients and IMHO at least, it tastes good and would be a good one to start with. But that doesn't mean you can't make two (or more) smaller sandwiches so you dont starve at lunch and it's pretty cheap to make, too. After 16 months I keep experimenting and must honestly say I haven't come up with a perfect recipe yet but I still keep trying new ones.

I have a variety of pans. The only old ones I kept are my Pyrex glass loaf pans as I could get them really clean. I also bought a French bread pan, which I find useful for the French bread...Not totally necessary though as you could sorta shape it on a parchment lined baking sheet, which is what I did when I first made it. I even have some loaf pans I got at Wal-Mart for a few bucks each. And I have a couple of loaf pans that I bought at Dollar Tree. I prefer to hand wash my pans and not put them in the dishwasher just in case there are any crevices that could rust.

Sometimes it's also handy to make bread into hamburger buns (size-wise). For that I would line the cookie sheet with parchment paper and use a spring-loaded ice cream scoop and then try to shape them slightly.

ETA: And thanks for your kind words. Let us know what you come up with after you've researched mixers.

Edited by sa1937
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You will see a lot of us using the smaller pan sizes such as a mini loaf or the larger 8" x 4" because these gluten free flours, especially the more exotic higher protein ones, work differently than regular wheat flour, and the smaller pans solve the "gummy middle doughball burnt top" problem. The trade off is you get to eat two sandwiches or 4 pieces of elf- toast. ;)

Normal wheat flour breads are kneaded, and that makes the gluten more elastic and gives the yeast a framework to grow in. Gluten free breads are instead poured into the baking container, and are a softer, thick cake batter consistency which is either hand mixed or beaten with a stand mixer. While the yeast raised versions may take a stand mixer, the quick raise, vinegar and baking soda versions may only need to be hand mixed.

Baking times always vary, because each gluten free flour cooks faster or slower than regular bread flour. Also, the amount of liquid varies because of the flours, humidity, etc- it's better to not add it all at once, but check and see if the batter is the consistency you need. To test for doneness, always test the bread by tapping it on the top to see if it is springy, then sticking a knife into it and seeing if the knife comes back out clean or sticky. You may have to flip out a nearly done loaf, and bake it upside down a minute to get it to finish on the bottom.

You can also make "bun in a cup" microwave recipes which are small, individual gluten free breads done in a cup, cereal bowl, or ramekin, that cook very quickly. They are great for experimenting with, and seeing if a certain combination of flours tastes okay. And they are the perfect size for a larger sandwich, or can be cut in half and then split to make 2 sandwiches if you use a large ramekin. The larger ones may need to be taken out and flipped to cook a few more seconds on the plate, to finish.

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Thanks for all of the input folks!

I am looking at the one Sylvia has, and also the Cuisinart SM-55.

Sylvia,...if you get a chance could you take a look at that one and give me your opinion? It is on Amazon, or I would post the link.

A few bucks more, but not much.

800 watts instead of 325, and seems to have some other features as well as a better warranty. They both have about the same rating from feedback.

There is a video on the page as well.

I will be awaiting opinions, but I am ready to buy one,......my mind has been made up! :)

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What a dilemma, Marc! I pulled it up on Amazon but have no idea how to compare it to my KitchenAid. It definitely is more powerful although my KitchenAid is plenty powerful for what I use it for. The warranty is definitely better (3 years compared to 1 year). It has 12 speeds compared to 10. The mixing bowl is 5-1/2 qt. compared to 5 qt (sometimes I feel my 5 qt. is larger than I need). Sorry I really don't know what to tell you...you may very well be pleased with either one. Have you read some of the reviews? And possibly google "stand mixer reviews". I'm assuming you did that with bread machines.

If someone here has the Cuisinart SM-55, I like them to give you their opinion.

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What a dilemma, Marc! I pulled it up on Amazon but have no idea how to compare it to my KitchenAid. It definitely is more powerful although my KitchenAid is plenty powerful for what I use it for. The warranty is definitely better (3 years compared to 1 year). It has 12 speeds compared to 10. The mixing bowl is 5-1/2 qt. compared to 5 qt (sometimes I feel my 5 qt. is larger than I need). Sorry I really don't know what to tell you...you may very well be pleased with either one. Have you read some of the reviews? And possibly google "stand mixer reviews". I'm assuming you did that with bread machines.

If someone here has the Cuisinart SM-55, I like them to give you their opinion.

Yes,....it is a dilemma, but I think I have made up my mind!

I looked at that Zo bread machine one more time as well, since it is about the same price as the Kitchenaid Artisan mixer.

Negatives for me on the bread machine are:

According to reviews it does a bad job of browning the top. Second is the 'paddle holes' that I guess you get from all machines short of that Bready one. Third I imagine there is more clean up than with a simple mixer,.....don't really know on that one though.

I read reviews on both mixers, and like everything there are both good and bad. I saw a video review of the SM-55 and the guy was not impressed, but he was making regular gluten dough with the hook.

I discovered I can get the Kitchenaid in black for about $212.00 delivered,.....a savings of sixty some dollars over the Cuisinart. The Kitchenaid prices are all over the map depending on what color you choose!

All of the appliances in my kitchen are stainless and/or black, so the cheaper black one will do just fine since they do not have a 'true' SS model.

Anyway, after all of this I am going to get the one you have! You have certainly done a lot of baking so if you like yours, it must be just fine! :)

Thanks again Sylvia.

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Congrats, Marc!!! It is a tough decision. I have used mine a lot and thus far I'm happy with it.

I hope you ordered it today...honestly the way Amazon kicks their prices around, what's $212 today may be something else tomorrow. FWIW, I paid $248 for my white one so you're getting a good deal. You have certainly researched it thoroughly.

Also, check out this KitchenAid rebate...I don't know if your mixer qualifies (it should) but it's worth the time to check it out for $30. I did get in on a promotion and chose a food grinder, which I might add has never been out of the box. LOL

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You are right about the prices changing,......just logged into Amazon to order it, and it's now $209.35! A few bucks cheaper, but I am ordering it right after this.

Thanks for that rebate offer as well. Mine does qualify, so it will end up costing me about 179 bucks! :)

I saved the PDF already.

I read in one recipe that they recommended a 9X4X4 bread pan for gluten-free bread,......does this sound right to you?

I found one by USA pans on Amazon, as well as a bun pan by the same company.

They are not cheap, but seem to have a good reputation. They use some kind of coating called Americoat instead of teflon.

Thanks once again for all of your wonderful help! :)

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Way to go!!! Just think, with all the money you've saved, you can start buying gluten-free flours! :D

Be sure to print out a copy of your invoice from the Amazon website. I buy a book and get an invoice in the package. I buy a mixer and get nothing of the sort. KitchenAid did accept the copy I printed. It takes quite awhile to get your rebate unless cash is faster than a product.

It may have been me who said I bought a 9x4x4" bread pan. I got one from King Arthur flour but it's not the Pain de Mie Pan (with a top). It is made by USA Pans and has the coating. The jury is still out. I've been using it and like it. If I get around to baking bread this weekend, I'm going to experiment with a different pan just for the heck of it. You might just want to pick up a loaf pan locally to start...after all, who can get by with just one loaf pan. :lol:

I do not use a hamburger bun pan. They are $$$. You could make buns using a spring-loaded ice cream scoop (and then shape them somewhat) and bake them on a cookie sheet. I like to line it with parchment paper (readily available at Wal-Mart or grocery stores).

So now you're going to play the waiting game. I will be anxious to hear when you get your mixer. It shouldn't take long! :)

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Yes,.....it is ordered already.

I didn't order anything else right now, as it says the mixer will ship separately anyway.

I have ordered tons of stuff from Amazon over the years and have always been happy with them. That's why I was kind of surprised to see they had spammed this site before when I posted that link at the beginning.

The pan I was looking at was like what you were talking about,......with a top to make a perfectly square loaf I guess. It looks like it slides off though and could be used without it.

As far as the bun pan,.....I don't mind spending the money as a one time thing. I will most likely make more buns than I will bread loaves to be honest.

Think I will start off with a mix per se to 'get my feet in the water.' :)

I am thinking of ordering a six pack of that Pamela's Products bread mix to try.

Last question for you Sylvia,......do you coat your pans with any kind of oil before putting the 'dough' in, or do you just drop it straight into a non-stick pan?

I feel I made the right decision going with a mixer since I don't use a ton of bread even if I found a recipe I like. The mixer can be used for other things if I want, like making sausage for instance. All I need is the attachment kit.

Don't want to make your hubby jealous or anything, but you are a real sweetheart! :)

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I also have ordered a lot from Amazon since I went gluten-free. I've replaced a lot of ancient pans and now that I've gotten into a baking kick, I've bought even more stuff. I was also surprised that a company like that would spam the forum but they did and are banned.

FWIW, if you have access to Pamela's or other products locally, you might want to test some of them before ordering in bulk. I've never tried Pamela's bread mix as I haven't seen it around here. Plus I'm just so challenged to bake from scratch. I will say that I've used her Baking & Pancake Mix and it is excellent...but I don't need my big mixer for that. I definitely do not like Bob's Red Mill bread or pizza mixes (although some people do). And my King Arthur bread mix was just "okay". I've heard good things about Gluten Free Pantry bread mix but I've never tried it.

And there's no reason you can't bake hamburger buns from a bread mix...you could have really large sandwiches! Honestly, I use a muffin-top pan to make mine (cheaper than a bun pan and works just as well). And an ice cream scoop works easily to get uniform portions of dough for each one (less messy, too). An ice cream scoop also works well for muffins or cupcakes.

I normally just use a non-stick cooking spray like Pam to coat my bread pans (just make sure it's not the kind that contains flour). Or I imagine you could oil the pan (easier to just spray though). Even though the pan might be non-stick, don't otherwise count on it to let go of your loaf of bread.

Before going gluten-free I didn't eat that much bread either...and it was usually whole wheat. :ph34r: Surprisingly I eat more now that I'm baking.

No one around here to get jealous...well, maybe my dog. LOL

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Well then, I hope I didn't offend your pooch Sylvia! :D

I have never seen the Pamela's Products line around here. I CAN find Bob's Red Mill items, and I tried that pizza crust mix originally, mixed by hand of course.

I thought it was pretty bad,.....I think I ate 2 slices and threw the rest out in the 'woods' for the animals to eat. I can also get their bread mix here, but I have not heard good things about it, including your input on this thread.

I have Pam around, I usually use the olive oil type and assume that is ok? I use mainly olive oil and canola oil in everything I cook.

This will undoubtedly be a long process of experimentation like you have gone through as well. I'm certain I will be feeding the animals in the 'woods' a few times before I find something edible! B)

I will leave you in peace for awhile now, and let this thread fade away. I am certain I will be back with more questions later though! :rolleyes:

Best to you and your pooch!

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