After years of making bread by hand, kneading, proving the lot I decided to venture into bread makers. The first ones I brought were OK and did the job but we had the restrictions of one loaf size and variables such as the outside temperature greatly affecting our bread making to the point where it made more sense to be just making it by hand every time.
I have baked bread for many years now for numerous reasons including health (high salt and bird feathers in conventional white sliced bread) and the love of good artisan standard bread with whatever nuts, seeds and fruit you want in it. Within our family and friend circle we have a vegan and celiac this means we are very conscious in respecting the beliefs and allergies which is why we do it ourselves. Economically to buy the bread we really want I would be paying a fortune too and all for the price of a bag of flour. I then came accross the Panasonic Bread Machine.
Gluten free and speciality breads
A very good friend of ours is a celiac and for the last ten years we have been playing around with hand made and machine made gluten free loaves. Gluten is the molecule that alongside yeast allows the bread to rise as kneading is braking down the gluten molecules hence a loaf wont rise properly or shape well without a good kneading.
I tried adding xanthum gum to gluten free pastry and dough to help bind it but we still did not have an awful lot of luck. In comes This Gluten Free Bread Machine and now I am making beautiful artisan breads for our celiac friend and after ten years of prescription of hard and tough bread she is now content and back in the world of the loaf.
Healthy daily bread and crust control
For health reasons I always use organic flour after finding out that wheat as a crop in non organic systems is sprayed with pesticides and insecticides around 20 times. We use malthouse, white and wholemeal flours. By hand and machine I have always struggled with wholemeal brown flours and getting them to rise.
I have found that by playing around with the settings and blending flours that I can now make a successful brown loaf, hooray. Another great thing is the crust control setting, my friend does not like thick crust bread and discards it upon eating, blasphemy in my eyes so I make her a different loaf for the week that is a different texture with a thin crust