Nothing beats the aroma and the taste of freshly baked, homemade bread, but a bread machine is not worth the investment if you already consider baking as an art.
By definition, a bread machine is considered an appliance. But it’s not a workhorse like a stove, refrigerator, microwave oven or a coffee maker. It’s not an appliance that you’ll use regularly.
A bread machine takes up valuable counter or table space. Whatever the design, there is nothing attractive about a bread machine. Its boxy looks means that you haul it out to use, then put away when you’re done. Most likely, if left on display in your kitchen, its color won’t match your existing appliances.
Bread machines come with their own recipe books and sometimes require that you only use bread machine yeast and flour. I don’t want to buy more ingredients other than the regular yeast and flour that I already have at home. And I don’t like changing my existing bread recipes just so I could use them in my bread machine.
In terms of quantity, a bread machine can only make one small loaf at a time. If I wanted to make more than one loaf, I would have to allow a cooling off period for the machine. This takes several hours.
For these reasons, the thrill of owning a bread machine was gone for me in less than a year. I gladly donated it to charity, and I’m sure it’s still at the thrift store as part of its bread machine graveyard.
As a home baker, I am relieved that I no longer have a bread machine. No doubt, a bread machine makes dough and bread, but having one can make you lazy. Without a bread machine, I got back to the challenge of experimenting, choosing my favorite bread recipes and shopping for ingredients. I found that I missed the process of kneading bread dough and watching the magic of setting it aside in a warm place, waiting for it to rise.
Now, I look forward to making my own bread. I don’t worry about how much time it will take because I enjoy doing it all. I can bake in small quantities for my family and friends, or I can bake in larger quantities for parties and Christmas gifts. I can freeze dough for future use.
If you want a challenge when it comes to this type of baking, invest in yourself and add to your knowledge of baking bread instead of investing in a bread machine. I take classes in bread making whenever I can, and I ask others about their experiences.
There is nothing wrong with showing off the finished product and collecting numerous compliments. I am satisfied knowing that the bread I make comes from my own efforts and creativity, and not because I have the convenience of having a bread machine doing all the work for me.