I tried a bread machine for awhile and gave up. I love crusty loaves, but didn't love paying 3-5$ at the grocery store or bakery.
This seems to be one instance where the product lives up to the hype. It IS revolutionizing home baking– at least at our house. A neighbor gave me a business card of a local doc-turned bread cookbook author and I ordered a book. It's called Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I tried it and fell in love. (Picture is of European peasant loaf with rye and whole wheat flour.)
pluses: quick and easy
•M helps me measure and mix the ingredients (takes about 5 minutes)
•relatively little investment for book and materials
•kid loves it
•home-made bread on a weeknight
•the container takes up space in the fridge
•can't do a really high fiber or whole wheat content with this method
•did need an oven thermometer (our over in off by 60 degrees)
•bought a pizza stone
•now that it's colder, I am routinely letting the bread rise twice the recommended time (My FIL left a loaf out overnight and baked it and said it was delicious...)
If you like bread, the book, or a fresh loaf is a great idea for a Holiday gift. Yummy! (We've baked about 3 loaves a week for the last 2 months.) M likes it for breakfast. It's also an easy part oaf a snack. (I put butter on and wrap it up and bring some fruit and water and it's a good snack on the go.) I also recommend visiting their website and watching their video on the technique. It's really helpful.
Next post will be a musing on internal regulation and mindful eating. Long and short is when I first started baking the bread I ate lots of it and enjoyed it. Stay tuned.