Thursday, November 13, 2008

...my new toy, #2 [aka, you still only live once...]



I love bread...
truth be told... I love most carbs...
but especially... bread...

crusty, dense, chewy, yeasty breads...
with "tooth"...

multigrain... with lots of seeds of all kinds...

hot...with butter or homemade garlic-herb butter...

sopping up soup or some other luscious drippy thing...

grilled or toasted...dripping with fruity olive oil...
or gooey melted cheese fondue...

I don't care... I love them all...

and about a year ago...
my local market started baking, "in house"...
a seeded, multigrain sandwich loaf...
I loved it...

it was great toasted or in a sandwich...

I got addicted...and then, "poof"...
it was gone... discontinued...

and I have been forced to resort to...



really not too bad, when compared with the other choices...
it has seeds on the crust... a requirement for me...
it toasts up pretty good & does OK as a sandwich...

but it's still "commercial"...
both the flavor & texture are reminiscent...
of the "mass produced"product that it is...
when what I had...and want again is this...



an artisan style crumb, crust & taste in a sandwich loaf...



and then there are the other specialty loaves...



the dense, chewy artisan style mulitgrain loaves I crave...



and sour doughs... redolent with aroma & tang...


so I'm taking the situation into my own hands...

armed with these...



and this...



new toy #2...

a Zojirushi Bakery Supreme Bread Machine...

this one keeps winning top ratings from test kitchens...
and King Arthur Flour uses them exclusively...
[I've wanted one for a while now...]

that's where I got this...on sale, free shipping...
they also sell whole grain/ multi grain bread machine mixes...

this one bakes a 1 to 2 lb horizontal loaf...
it excels in mixing & kneading yeast doughs...
[it has 2 kneading blades...]
the dough can be baked in the machine or removed...
and baked in the artisan fashion, on a stone...
or on a sheet...

or in a plain old loaf pan...

it has an "up to 13 hours" delay setting for baking...
it can keep sour dough starter warm for 2 hours...
it will signal you when to add-in seeds or fruit...
it has 9 baking modes & can produce 3 different crusts...

the 3 cycles : kneading, rising & baking...
are all fully programmable

in short...it has my name on it...

when I retired...
I planned to learn to bake bread...
but things being as they are...
I realized that doing it totally by hand...
was NOT going to happen...

besides...to clear the space I needed...
for kneading & proofing & rolling, etc...
would invite even MORE kitties on the counter...
[perhaps even a dog...]

and since I probably already ingest...
10xs the healthy limit of cat hair...
I figured I'd be hacking up hairballs soon...
and that's NOT a good thing...

so I'm excited...
about being able to finally search out my "inner baker"...
["cook", that I am...]
besides...then I'll finally...
be able to have a decent piece of toast again...
[when you don't eat a lot...you want it all to be quality...
and to taste good...]

because you only live once...

3 comments:

Miz Minka said...

Congratulations! Welcome to the world of fresh homemade bread for busy people. When my current machine dies, you betcha I'm going to buy another one. Have fun!!! :)

bakers said...

Glad to hear you are enjoying the Zo. Frank from KAF, baker/blogger.

catsinger said...

...Frank...it isn't here yet...
[I'm just being "positive" at this point...'cause the waiting's killing me... don't'cha know ?...]

MM...now you know WHY I was so interested in your machine... :D

I can't wait... I also bought some mixes from KAF...perhaps I can trade you a mix for a couple of your recipes...[wink]
I remember that the rye bread you made for me...a couple of years ago... was pretty tasty...and with all your "machine" skills... you probably have some good tips for we
cooks[who never measure] from you bakers who do... ;D