The Joy of Baking My Own Bread
There's really nothing quite like the smell of freshly baked bread.
I purchased my Panasonic bread maker about a year ago as I got tired of running to the bakery every time I needed a loaf of fresh bread. I also started becoming more conscious of what goes into my body so I started to cook more of my meals at home and making my own bread made perfect sense. I knew what would go into my breads so I went out on a mission to find the perfect bread baking machine.
Choosing a Good Bread Maker
I was not expecting to be bombarded with the large selection of choices of bread makers out there and after an hour of looking around inspecting all the different brands, I felt completely overwhelmed. I left the store with a handful of brochures and went to Starbucks to peruse the selections. I decided to narrow down my choices by deciding what was most important to me.
I decided that I needed one that wasn't too big as I had very little counter space in my kitchen. I wanted to be able to make breads with a minimum of complicated steps. I also wanted the option to make different kinds of breads as well as the option to add additional ingredients such as dried fruits and nuts. After going through the brochures one more time, I headed back to the store and decided on the Panasonic SD-RD250 Bread Maker with Automatic Fruit and Nut Dispenser.
Putting It To The Test
So I took my new bread maker home and decided to take it for a test drive by making a simple loaf of bread. First of all, the size of the machine was perfect and fit my small space on my counter right next to my rice cooker. I carefully read the instructions and got all the necessary ingredients for bread. After around 2 hours with quick mode, my machine beeped telling me it was ready. I took it out carefully and was instantly excited by how it looked and smelled. I could only wait for 5 minutes until I had to tear off a piece of piping-hot bread. Seriously and in all honestly, it was one of the best tasting morsel of flour I have had the pleasure of having in my mouth. The outside was perfectly crusty while the insides were fluffy with just the right amount of chewiness. I was in bread heaven! The washing up couldn't be easier with the non-stick surface as it basically only needs a wipe with some water and a paper towel.
A week later, I invited my friends over for dinner so that I could impress them with my new bread maker. I researched and found a recipe for cheese bread with semi-dried tomatoes. I used the automatic dispenser for the bits of tomatoes and added the cheese when the machine told me to. The dispenser expertly mixes the ingredients into the dough while the special mode lets you add things on the top of the bread such as cheese or a cinnamon roll icing. My cheese and tomato bread was even better than the first loaf I made! Seriously I could hardly contain my excitement! My friends were equally impressed as well and at the end, not a piece of bread remained in the bread basket.
I can honestly say that I am one satisfied customer. I still buy bread from stores when I'm far from home, but it's hard to find one as good as my home-baked breads. It's hard to come up with anything that I don't like about this bread maker except for the fact that my mother always insists I make her a fresh loaf every single day when she visits me.
I've taken some photos of my machine as well as close-up shots of my regular white bread loaf as well as my now famous cheese and semi-dried tomato bread.
Photo GalleryClick thumbnail to view full-size
For me, a good bread machine cookbook is a must-have and if you were to buy one, this should be it. It's a pretty complete cookbook with a variety of recipes that should please just about anyone.
Some of my favorite recipes from this book include the cinnamon raisin and bacon cheddar loaf. I also like the recipes for non bread items such as pasta and cake.
This is the perfect box to keep your bread fresh. It comes with an air vent to let just the right amount of air in and comes with a bread board for convenient cutting.