Here are some of my "affirmations" about bread:
- Bread is meant to go stale (that's how bread crumbs and stuffing are made).
- Bread is meant to grow mold. If something else can feed on your bread, that means it's good for life forms to ingest.
- Bread should be crisp, fresh, and eaten quickly.
It should be made of flour, butter, yeast, milk, and not much more.
- Bread should be cheap and have a variety of grains and seeds.
- Bread is NOT meant to be so boosted full of preservatives that it takes 10 thousand years to biodegrade. Chances are that that type of bread is not going to do your organic, biologically-composed body the most amount of good.
- Bread is NOT meant to be composed of a large amount of simple sugars that immediately go into your blood stream and begin sending your liver into overdrive.
Now, I understand that people also want bread quickly.
Making bread the old-fashioned way can take time. The process can be automated though, and you still don't have to concede any of your affirmations about bread and bread quality.
I received my first bread machine about 2 years ago and my expenses on quality bread (which goes for 3-5 dollars a loaf) dropped by 50-75%.
We now cut out the middleman and only buy local bread ingredients in bulk, like flour.
Our first bread machine was a gifted West End bread machine and it made some good bread. But, the polytetrafluoroethylene coating, also called teflon, was wearing thin, cracking, bubbling, and generally making us uneasy. By the way, stop using it for your frying pans ASAP, as it is not a stable compound exceeding 350 degrees.
The company failed to get us new kneading blades and bread tin after the wearing happened a second time, so we upgraded to a Panasonic variety that has yielded amazing results (see the cracked-wheat loaf above). It is not wearing down at all and is easier when it comes to bread-extraction, after the bread is baked and ready.