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167 of 182 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This is not a book for true, 100% Bread Machine Baking!, 7 Sept. 2007
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This review is from: The Ultimate Bread Machine Cookbook (Hardcover)
A major dissappointment! If you're looking for a collection of recipes, where your bread machine does all the work, DON'T buy this book! Despite it's name, this book is not a collection of true bread machine recipes. The majority of recipes only make use of the machine's dough kneading ability...you must then remove the dough, reform and place it in a different pan for baking in a traditional oven. For myself at least, that totally defeats the idea of having a bread machine in the first place.

In three sections, "Flatbreads & Pizzas", "Sourdough Breads" and "Teabreads & Cakes" every recipe requires baking in a regular oven. In the "Sweetbreads" section, 15 of the 22 recipes require dough removal or some form of user intervention. In the "Savoury" section, 10 of the 17 recipes also require this. Even in the "Basic" section, 2 of the 16 recipes require traditional baking, including the French bread, which is surprising, as most machines have a cycle dedicated to this purpose.

Furthermore, if you're into healthy breads using 100% whole wheat and other grains, look elsewhere. You won't find even a basic recipe for 100% whole wheat bread in this book. Virtually all the recipes make extensive use of white flour. Only small amounts of whole grain flours are occasionally used for flavouring.

The book does contain much useful information for baking with a bread machine, but no more so than other bread machine books. If you're looking for a big selection of recipes allowing one to put in the ingredients and come back several hours later for a finished loaf, look elsewhere...there are much better books dedicated to true, 100% bread machine baking.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 7 Mar 2011 08:43:26 GMT
Last edited by the author on 7 Mar 2011 09:00:01 GMT
To be honest, this book is perfect because the bread completely made in the breadmaker may be edible or ok but it is not half as good as true home backed bread. For delicious bread with an economy of time, most people let the machine do the first stages and finish the bread by shaping it and baking it in the oven. Not much if you come to think of it, no?

As for the wholegrain breads - I simply replace half the flour with wholegrain and add a spoonful or two of liquid (it also depends on how dry your flour is in the first place). Most people don't realize that how much they can eliminate from the recipes to make them more daily/diet like - reduce/eliminate sweets, fats, change from milk to skimmed milk, change the type of flower, add spices. Having the book offers a multitude of variations on the basic recipes presented by the author. The only problem is when you don't necessarily want a diet/daily bread recipe and you want to spoil your family or entertain - if you don't have nice rich recipes in the first place, what do you do then? Probably go buy another book. Pity, because Jenny Shapter does know how to bake good bread.

PS
I find that after a heated conversation in the family, the delicious version of the recipes does work best to reduce conflict. It is hard to feel belligerent with a nice meal in your stomach or a delicious smell coming from the kitchen. So I end up using the original versions of the recipes more often than I imagined when I bought the book. Often love does come from the stomach after all... *wink*

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Mar 2011 10:42:42 GMT
"bread completely made in the breadmaker may be edible or ok but it is not half as good as true home backed bread"

I must respectfully take issue with that statement. A friend of mine has extensive experience in baking using both methods: 1. using the machine for the entire backing process, or 2. using the machine for kneading only and baking in a traditional loaf pan. The fact is, if the recipes are properly tweaked, complete baking within the machine can indeed produce excellent results definitely on par with baking in a pan. One exception would be breads that require exceptionally long rise times. Another would be for aesthetic purposes regarding loaf shape, or an objection to the hole left by the kneading paddle.

"most people let the machine do the first stages and finish the bread by shaping it and baking it in the oven. Not much if you come to think of it, no?"

Actually, I've known many people (like myself) where it is a big thing. I'm a busy bachelor and seldom have time to baby-sit the bread making process. Being able to put the ingredients in before going to bed and waking to freshly baked bread is awesome. Likewise, I can set the machine up to bake during the day while I'm at work and arrive home to freshly baked bread. This is one of main reasons these machines were invented in the first place. Various top line kitchen mixers have had dough kneading attachments available for years. However, a single machine that kneads and bakes in one operation (and without supervision) is a completely different animal.

The best bread machine cookbooks I've ever come across are by Donna Rathmell German. They are entitled "The Bread Machine Cookbook" volumes 1-4. Each book has over 100 recipes that have been specifically designed and tested in a variety of bread machines. (That's over 400 recipes!) Many are highly exotic and flavorful breads that come out beautifully...and completely made in a bread machine from start to finish. Generally, all I've ever had to do was slightly adjust the amount of liquid to suit the particular brand of flour used. Only in rare instances (extremely sweet breads for example) have I had to adjust either the sugar and/or yeast. Other than liquid adjustment, most of the recipes turn out beautifully when made entirely in the machine. I must add however, I obtained those books in the US and am not certain if they're available in Europe.

Posted on 25 Nov 2013 13:07:49 GMT
Twiddlybits says:
Very useful comment regarding the book not entirely finishing the bread, which at the end of the day one would like to have such as shaped bread especially Italian breads. Unfortunately in the real world one dose have to performed different processes with different breads and a machine will not carry out everything at the touch of a button, not in this century so far anyway.
Perhaps Doug I suggest purchasing a more elementary book to have a better understanding

Posted on 15 Dec 2013 22:34:50 GMT
dennykp says:
Obviously if you are making a pizza base it needs to be flat to allow the topping same goes for flatbread, hence the name. Common sense surely.

Posted on 1 Oct 2014 14:02:08 BDT
W. Argyle says:
Thankyou, saved me from buying book for purely breadmachine,

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Oct 2014 14:16:07 BDT
Granted. However the title of book suggests it is a "bread machine" cookbook. I wouldn't have expected to find a recipe for pizza base or flatbread in such a book. Only after having bought the book did I realize a huge percentage of recipes make use of the machine's kneading ability only. (And stand alone kneading machines are available.) So from my perspective, the book is really miss-titled.

Posted on 27 Aug 2015 13:57:45 BDT
ChrisG says:
Thanks for your review , as I now realise the book will not work for me. I was looking for purely bread machine book as I already have some excellent books for making use of the dough setting, when i have the time for these, and am interested in making better wholemeal recipes in bread machine.
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