I have always liked to make bread. It is very grounding and satisfying and relatively easy. And I have always been a bit of a snob about bread machines because they turn out this uniform, uninspiring loaf that looks like, well, it looks like a machine made it, with the standard indents, instead of a human. So, that's accurate I suppose. Also, I am not a fan of kitchen appliances that I don't need like rice makers, coffee grinders with different settings, those rabbit wine openers...I don't mind making rice in a pot, pressing the grinder button for an extra 12 seconds or exercising my bicep with the yank of a cork. Bread machines take up room and make easy a task I don't mind.


I said "yes" to Andy's grandma's bread machine months ago. I said "yes" because in my busy business as of late, I haven't been making bread at all and I thought I just might get over my snobiness and go for it.

For the last four weeks, I have been 'making bread' every Sunday by tossing carefully measured ingredients into a contraption and pressing several buttons. I am inspired to make our daily bread by my friend, Jenn, who always makes bread with her daughters (and ironically just wrote about not using a bread machine) and by Animal, Vegetable, Miracle where Steven Hopp (author Kingsolver's man) motivates folks to dust of the bread machine and turn out fresh, wholesome loaves for about 50 cents a pop.


So while, yes, a bread machine loaf is to shoes from Target as a handmade loaf is to these beauties, in the end they both satiate a need. Or maybe Wonder Bread is like the Target shoes and bread machine bread is like these beauties and handmade bread is like these beauties with a pedicure. Or maybe those are all bad metaphors and it is more like greeting cards...bread machine bread is like a greeting card carefully picked out that says it all and handmade bread is like a blank card with a personal, handwritten note that says it all. Both carry the same nourishment but the vehicle for sustenance differs.

Anyway, the bread is good.



Susy said...

I'm also a no kitchen gadget person. But I do make a concession for a coffee grinder with settings (Mr Chiots needs it to make the perfect draw of espresso, which is worth the counter space every time I get a cappucino or latte). I also make a concession for an immersion blender, after many explosions in the regular blender while making pureed soups I allowed room in my cabinets for this one-task appliance.

I do not have a breadmaker, I prefer to knead the bread by hand and really "feel" the process. But when in a hurry I make the dough in my kitchenaid mixer. Good for you for making homemade bread in a breadmaker instead of buying $5 bread from a baker. I'm sure your time is better spent with the little one and it's more wholesome for your family and the environment.

Katie said...

It took three years of my bread machine sitting in our basement~never taken out of the box~before I even gave it a chance. I actually quite like it now. I find it a guilty (and very lazy) pleasure of mine, to load it up with ingredients the night before, set the timer and wake the next morning to a fresh and lovely smelling loaf of bread.
Anyway~we know you're the real deal in the kitchen :) xoxo~k

joan said...

Dolly Mae would be so proud of these loaves as I am hard pressed to think she got a decent loaf out of that machine. I think the only happy individuls were the neighborhood birds who profited each time Ma gave it another try. Dad of course thought the bread machine was nothing but crap. See ya soon, J

Wendy said...

That looks like whole wheat. Is it? And if so, was it bitter? And it? Mine always turn out bitter and sad.

jen said...

that looks so delicious...you are inspiring me to make bread!
i never try it...but should.
and i have no room for a bread maker. small house. smaller kitchen. less cupboards.

Kelle said...

laughing at all your analogies. i LOVE analogies. made sense to me. oh, that bread looks divine, and i'm so with you with the kitchen crap contraptions. when we registered for our wedding, the only contraptions we wanted were a good coffee maker and a toaster. then again, coffee's great in a french press. oh, and i think i've decided i want to be you when i grow up. and growing up is gunna be 30...in three months!

TRB Holt said...

YUM! I echo your ma-in-law, that Dolly would be pleased to see you making these doughy delights, contraption or not. Can't wait to have a slice with you all!

xoxo, Mom

cjs said...

so my sister (kelle) has been calling me everyday, saying, "have you read dig this chick's latest blog yet?"

and, "please send me mom's bread recipe."

I love, love, love that you love simple things. you inspire me. I want to have another baby, quit my job, and work at a museum. and sometimes bring my baby.

love your blog. your life. you are just so retro, hippie, hip, smart, what more can I say.

I'm off to search the yellow pages for a peach farm so I can make peach butter. if only there were more people like you in this world.

I think you're awesome. and so does my sister.

dig this chick said...

oh bread. It is a great and easy way to feel nourished and nourishing.

Susy: We all have our gadgets we simply cannot live without. Turns out the ole immersion blender is a staple in my house as well. Especially since I have been making baby food.

Katie! So happy to hear you use a bread machine too...you little foodie.

Jen: They are clunky but less clunky than a lot of other appliances. Making from scratch isn't that hard either just more time and more time paying attention to rising and what not.

Wendy: I haven't had the bitter problem....interesting. I will dig up a few recipes I use that work well and post them.

Kelle: I was wondering when your birthday was just a few days ago and I am not kidding. Weird. Anyway, my favorite coffee maker is the Italian or Turkish (depending who you talk to) stove top. Hmm. I think that is a different post. Coffee. Love.

Joan and Ma: Glad to know Dol is smiling down. I also used her canning supplies with the peach butter.

cjs: What an amazingly nice comment. I am so inspired by your blog too. And your sister's. I just had no idea what I was getting into with this little itch I had to start a blog a little over a year ago. It has been incredible to "meet" so many incredible peeps. It is heartening.

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