web analytics
January 27, 2015 / 7 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Let Them Eat Bread

Sandy-Eller-Consumer-logo

I have a confession to make.  Clutter makes me nuts.

Having grown up in a house where kitchen space was at a premium, I made it a mission to keep my own kitchen appliances, gadgets and other paraphernalia to a minimum in order to minimize clutter and help me better manage my own space.  Over the years my mother-in-law begged me to take an entire set of pareve pots, which I (hopefully) politely refused.  If I didn’t feel the need for something, I didn’t want it taking up valuable kitchen space.

Now that my family and my kitchen space have both grown, I still try to keep my stuff to a minimum and I am not one of those who feels the need to have every small appliance out there.  A cake pop maker?  No thank you.  A Keurig?  Takes up too much counter space.  But perhaps my all-time favorite kitchen appliance is one that I literally had kitchen drawers built around in order to accommodate its massive bulk and space requirements.  I’m talking about my breadmaker.  Eller-020714-Machine

I think at this point in time I am on possibly my fifth breadmaker, having burned through quite a few of these babies over the years. I have probably killed a motor or two by forgetting to add liquid one time too many and others have been replaced because I wore out the gasket on the bottom that keeps all the ingredients from leaking out because I use my breadmaker so frequently.  But each time one of my breadmakers goes up to small appliance heaven up in the sky, I go out and replace it, because despite its size, it is still the machine that I take out most often.

Initially, I bought a breadmaker figuring I was going to stop buying bread.  I can tell you now, that didn’t happen.  We still buy bread, though store bought can’t compare to those incredibly delicious loaves that come from my breadmaker and make my entire house smell like paradise. Oftentimes, I am just too lazy to go through the process of baking bread, cooling a loaf and slicing it just to make lunches for the kids, although I can tell you now, it is well worth the time and effort.  And I should warn you:  having a breadmaker may kill your diet, because the finished product is so good, you will likely eat more slices, and thicker ones, too.

Over the years we have experimented with just about everything and if I wanted to be fancy I guess I could tell my kids they are having artisan loaves for lunch.  We have replaced some of our flour with instant potato flakes and/or oatmeal, substituted dill pickle juice for water to make an excellent dill loaf and thrown in salsa and cornmeal for a Tex-Mex corn bread.  We have used the breadmaker for just about any type of baked goods you can think of:  English muffins, pita, focaccia, pizza dough, rolls, cookies and, of course, challah.

I don’t think I remember anyone who made their own challah when I was growing up, but today, you are practically an abusive mother if you serve your family store bought challah.  To me, making challah in the breadmaker gives me the best of both worlds, because it takes advantage of one of the breadmaker’s best advantages: convenience.  I take all my challah ingredients, throw them in the breadmaker, turn on the machine and walk out of my kitchen.  Ninety minutes later, I have a gorgeous batch of challah dough with no work and practically no mess to clean up.  Given that most breadmakers make two pounds of dough or less, I usually run two cycles through the machine, but it is all relatively painless.  I don’t know why the breadmaker seems so much easier to clean that the mixer, but trust me, it does.  The mess is minimal and in just three hours, time spent tackling my to do list or cooking for Shabbos, I have about four pounds of soft, squishy challah dough to work with.

Eller-020714-BreadBut let’s backtrack for a minute and give you a crash course in breadmakers.  Depending on the model, breadmakers come with numerous cycles and in various sizes.  Typically, the basket is sized to hold either 1.5 or two pounds of dough, although my latest model actually accommodates two and a half pounds of dough.  Almost all machines have dough cycles, which means they mix the ingredients, knead the dough, let it rest and then knead it again, but then shut off without doing any baking, which is invaluable for challah, rolls or anything else you want to shape prior to baking.  Should you be in the mood to bake a loaf of bread, your breadmaker can do that too, with most having different cycles for different types of bread as well as options for lighter or darker crust.  Another choice you will be faced with when buying a breadmaker is whether you prefer a horizontal or vertical loaf.  Machines that produce vertical loaves are typically smaller and take up less space, but the horizontal machines give you a more traditional looking loaf. Be warned that because the mixing paddles are still in the machine when the bread is baked, there will be a slice or two of bread with a weird hole in the bottom, but that is a small price to pay in exchange for a superior product.  Some of the newer horizontal machines, including mine, actually incorporate two paddles in the bottom of the pan and, even using the same recipe, the texture of the challah is far better than what I made with my previous machine.

A few words about ingredients.  It isn’t generally a good idea to use all-purpose flour in your bread machine.  A higher gluten bread flour really does give you far better results, although I confess, I do use all-purpose flour for rolls and pizza and it seems to come out just fine.  As for yeast, don’t even think about buying those little strips of three packets of yeast, because they just aren’t cost effective.  Try Costco or even some of your local kosher supermarkets for vacuum packed bags of yeast, which offer a tremendous savings.

The best part of a breadmaker?  The ability to experiment with relative ease.  We have tried both whole-wheat sun-dried tomato challah and pesto challah, and they were beyond yummy.  Looking to throw in additives like flax seed or to play with interesting ingredients like quinoa?  Go ahead and give it a whirl.

Homemade artesian bread that is both delicious and economical?  Sounds like a win-win to me!

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

3 Responses to “Let Them Eat Bread”

  1. Jo Torres says:

    I am going to get a bread maker and do this. Thank you for the idea. I have severe carpal tunnel and it hurts to make the bread.

  2. Well, how about sending me a loaf or two of Challah?

  3. I gotta admit, this made me cringe. Having grown up with a bread machine and despite the quality of breads it makes, challah is not a ‘bread’ to be thrown into a vat and retrieved for shaping. Yes, it’s a pain to plan for the two proofing stages but I would feel like I abused the privilege of making challah if I followed this methodology.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Soldiers guard terrorists while checking his car, where they found hidden weapons.
IDF Catches Terrorist with Rifle and Pistol in His Car
Latest Sections Stories
Resnick-012315-Artist

Nouril concluded he had no choice: He had to become more observant.

Respler-012315

I find his mother to be a difficult person and my nature is to stay away from people like that.

Here are some recipes to make your Chag La’Illanot a festive one.

Baim-012315

Does standing under the chuppah signal the end of our dream of romance and beautiful sunsets?

We aren’t at a platform; we are underground, just sitting there.

Dr. Lowy believed passionately in higher education for both men and women and would stop at nothing to assist young students in achieving their educational goals.

It’s almost pointless to try to summarize all of the fascinating information that Holzer’s research unearthed.

The special charm of these letters is their immediacy and authenticity of emotion and description.

Why is there such a steep learning curve for teachers? And what can we, as educators and community activists, do better in the educational system and keep first-year teachers in the job?

Teachers, as well as administrators, must be actively involved in the daily prayers that transpire at a school and must set the bar as dugmaot ishiot, role models, on how one must daven.

Often both girls and boys compare their date to their parents.

We love the food, the hotels, and even the wildlife. We love the Israelis.

Few traces remain of the glory days of Jewish life in the kingdoms of Sicily and Naples, but the demise wasn’t due to the eruption of nearby Mount Vesuvius. Rather it was a manmade volcano called the Edict of Expulsion from Spain – and not even an invitation to return in Shevat of 1740 could […]

More Articles from Sandy Eller
Eller-010215-Bed

As always, when it comes to electronics, you get what you pay for.

Eller-121914-Main

“The secret to a good donut is using quality ingredients and the ability to be patient and give them time to proof.”

“We had been in our first-period class for less than three minutes, and the website was already in-motion,” Rabbi Young told The Jewish Press.

It may be sweater weather now, but sooner or later summer will be here, bringing abundant sunshine, swimming, barbeques and mosquitoes.

Demetrious’ insistence on handmaking his chocolaty treasures with only the highest quality ingredients paid off in customer loyalty…

It seems ironic to use the words “Ronald McDonald” and “kosher” in the same sentence, but venture out to New Hyde Park and the two go hand in hand.

Just a single word can sum up one of the most disturbing trends that continues to sweep our supermarkets: downsizing.

Until that point, everything we had eaten at Butterfish had excelled in its simplicity, but our desserts offered a much greater level of complexity and both were truly outstanding.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/for-the-home/let-them-eat-bread/2014/02/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: