In a message dated 01-05-13 03:20:40 EDT, you write:
Thought of buying a bread making machine so I could, of course, make my own
bread without ingredients that I don't want (sugar, oil, salt, etc.). Any
suggestions for brands, features? Much appreciated. >>
While I personally use a Zojirushi, which I am delighted with, I don't really
know how it stacks up against other, cheaper brands. My model is very
simple, and only has 5 different "mode" or "cycle" choices.
I would say that, especially if you are interested in making fat free breads,
a "dough" cycle is essential. A dough cycle means that you use the machine
to mix and knead the bread but you remove the dough from the machine and bake
in a conventional oven. I have found this to be far and away the option I
use most, even though it is a little less convenient that letting the machine
do the entire job, including baking, for you. The reason being that most
bread machine recipes are very exacting - because the machine is doing the
work for you, you need to follow the recipe to the letter to get a good
result. And most bread machine recipes that I have seen call for either some
or a lot of added fat. But if you use the dough cycle to mix your bread, but
then bake it yourself, you can use any old bread recipe you want - letting
the dough rise a little longer if necessary, even adding a bit more flour or
other ingredient if necessary.
I also prefer my bread slices to be "normal" as opposed to the odd shape most
(not all) bread machines produce!