The Bread Machine Page

Review by Patti Wetli

Recently-gifted with a bread machine, I'll admit my trip to this site was more than a little self-serving. Finding my complimentary cookbook woefully short on recipes, I went in search of more fodder for my new toy. And found less than I had bargained on.

Sure I came across a collection of 30 recipes, each with a brief description, helpful hints, and ingredients listed and proportioned for varying loaf sizes. But the degree of difficulty seemed to defeat the purpose of owning a bread machine--saving time. Mashed potatoes and cooked brown rice as ingredients? Might as well knead the dough myself. Dried peaches and coconuts? By the time I get back from the gourmet food store, I could've made French bread for 50, the old-fashioned way.

The site does offer a few added attractions. "Slicing Bread" warns visitors that "slicing hot bread is a bit like trying to slice jello." and a "Measurements and Conversions" page finally answers that age-old question: How many lemons does it take to make lemon rind? One--if you want four teaspoons of grated rind. That's compelling stuff, the kind of information likely to turn the site into a one-hit wonder.

Those considering purchasing a bread machine will find ratings from Consumer Reports. The article covers bread machine basics, noting standard and not-so-standard options. Some make jam; some churn butter. Clean-up can be a chore and most are noisy, which could be problematic during overnight operation (now they tell me). Unfortunately, the report is dated 1995, rendering much of this information obsolete.

Maybe I knead to find a new toy.

Patty Wetli is a Chicago-based writer and editor. She's written on a variety of topics from historic cathedrals to telecommunications legislation. Web site reviews give her a legitimate excuse to pursue one of her favorite interests--food--the other, ironically, being an obsession with physical fitness.

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