Bread Maker Vs. Loaf Pan

Updated on June 02, 2009
A.J. asks from Fort Mitchell, KY
14 answers

I was wondering if anyone has a bread maker? If so, what brand are you using?
I would like to start making our own bread but wasn't sure if we really need a bread maker or if a bread loaf pan works just as well. Any advice would be wonderful! Thank you.

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answers from Indianapolis on

I have an OSTER and love it. I'm not a big bread eater, but LOVE making bread. A couple of things to can make ahead and use a timer. I use this probably more than half the time. I LOVE being able to throw everything in.....BIG time saver.

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answers from Cincinnati on

I have an Oster bread maker. Whether you use a bread maker or loaf pan is really up to you. The processes are different. In a bread maker, you just add all the ingredients in the order the instructions tell you and turn it on. The machine does all the mixing, kneading, rising, rekneading and baking in one step that takes about 8 hours. At the end you have one loaf of bread and one removable pan to wash.
With a loaf pan, you start with a couple of bowls mix the ingredients, flour a board or the counter, knead, let rise, knead again, bake in loaf pan. You have quite a mess to clean up and the whole process takes about 8 hours. You do end up with several loaves this way according to all the recipes I have. Since I got the bread maker, I have not made bread the old-fashioned way. I have occassionally baked the frozen loaves if I wanted more than one for some reason. Those end up taking about 6 hours.

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answers from Fort Wayne on

Hello several years ago my sister bought us a bread maker for our anniversary. Sorry to say I could NEVER get a good loaf of bread from it so it has sat on the shelf for many years. I like to do all of it by hand then I know and can see how well it is progressing. I tried it and I didn't like it but I have had delicious bread made in a machine.



answers from Fort Wayne on

Before I had kids, I used my breadmaker all the time. My main complaint was that it was too small to make enough bread to be worth the effort. It only made one small, very small, loaf. The other thing was that unless I was making a simple recipe of white bread or just a plain wheat bread, then it took hours to make it. I found that using my electric mixer, oven and bread loaf pans was much quicker. I could make larger quantities very quickly, bake 6 loaf pans at the same time, and freeze the extra quantities (or give them away). I still have my bread machine, and it's just sitting in my cabinet unused. It takes up so much space on the counter while it's cooking, that you have to leave it in an open space for hours until it's done kneading, baking and cooling. I didn't feel safe leaving it on when the kids were home in case they would tough the piping hot outside, so I would set it and leave or put up the babygate on the kitchen.



answers from Cincinnati on

It is basically the types of bread do you want to make and do you have the time to do it the old fahion way.

I have a breadman brand of machine I got at a yard sale for a dollars. I love it. I use mostly the bread machine mixes only because I am not really savy on cooking.
Making bread is not cheap if that's why your doing it. Also it goes bad really fast. Day old have a different taste. Besides it is better warm I think.
My old neighbor still makes her bread the old way letting it sit and punching it down. We get a loaf every now and then.
I am so forgetful anymore if I set the timer I forget to turn it on so for me a bread machine is easier and I do freeze it so it stays fresh.



answers from Columbus on

please before you buy a pan or expensive machine- you must check out the book Artisan Bread in 5 Minuets a Day buy Jeff something and Zoe something (sorry!!) You will not regret it - so easy - so cheap- and my family can't get enough!!!! If you go on Amazon and look it up you will see all the reviews (Not a bad one in the bunch) they also have a website. Happy Baking!



answers from Indianapolis on

I bake about 90% of the bread my family consumes. Once a month, I also bake for a bake sale at my church, anwhere from 15-21 loaves in a day.
I mix my bread dough either by hand or with my KitchenAid stand mixer. I knead by hand. That lets you learn exactly what the dough feels like, how elastic it's becoming, how well your ingredients are incorporating.
Sometimes the process takes a while, but you don't have to be in the same room while the dough is rising.
You can adjust recipes to make one loaf if you don't want two or three, but in my experience the first loaf tends to get consumed in short order.
The more you bake, the more you learn how you can vary a recipe, use different flours, seeds, nuts, herbs, etc. to make your own artisan-style breads. My favorite bread books are "Baking with Julia," "The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book," and I have a challah bread recipe that has never let me down in 35 years.
Bottom line: Try it by hand for a while before you buy a machine. Consider a sturdy mixer which can be used for a number of things, rather than a bread machine which both removes you from the process and is useful for only one type of task.
Good luck, and have fun!



answers from Indianapolis on

I have a Toastmaster bread machine that I love and use quite often. It has great recipes that came with it. I use the "dough" setting for the most part as I don't care for the size and shape of the loaf it bakes. I just mix on the dough setting and then transfer the dough into a regular bread pan. It's also great for making bread sticks, Italian and French loaves, dinner rolls, etc. I also use all purpose flour rather than bread flour - much less expensive.



answers from Indianapolis on

I love my bread maker, but I do feel like the loaves are too big and wide to make good slices for sandwiches. But, I love that I put everything in and leave it to go. One option I have with mine is put everything in and set it just to make and rise the dough, then I can take it out and make rolls or put it in bread pans. This is still easier than making it in a mixer, letting it rise, punching it down, letting it rise, baking, etc...
I also love that mine has a timer so I can set it over night to make fresh bread for breakfast, or while I'm out during the day for dinner.



answers from Mansfield on

Hi A.
Like the previous post said..its really up to u. I have a Sunbeam Breadmaker, altho I have always enjoyed making bread by hand, but since I cant use my hands like I use to, I finally broke down and got the breadmaker. Making bread by hand does require alot more work and more time,but I always found it very fulfilling and worthwhile. Making it by hand I always got 2 loaves per recipe, with the breadmaker I get one loaf per recipe.With my breadmaker, I can program it to make bread whenever I want it to and I can also just make the dough with it and freeze it for another time...u can make bread dough by hand and freeze it for later. If you're looking for convenience (sp), then a breadmaker would be the way to go.
Good luck with whatever u decide



answers from Cincinnati on

I have made bread from scratch and it can be very satisfying to knead and work out frustration on the dough! It's also DELICIOUS.

Then I got a Kitchen Aid mixer which did the work of kneading the dough for me. It is WONDERFUL and I love the ease in which it helps me make bread.

Then, at a yard sale for $2, I bought a bread machine (toastmaster)that had been used only once or twice. I absolutely love it! However, it bakes the bread into a cylindrical loaf that is more the shape of a bowling ball than a loaf of bread. It tastes great and works perfectly, however.

I then read the book and decided to use the dough feature on the bread makes the beautiful dough, then I shape it how I want (rolls, loafs, etc.) and let it rise again and bake it in the oven. I ESPECIALLY love this for loaves of Italian bread that are absolutely fantastic.

I do not think a bread machine is necessary to make dough, especially when I am going to shape it and bake it myself, but it sure is easy. Dump the stuff in the bread machine in the proper order and set it up and an hour later you have perfectly beautiful dough. I love it.

Necessary? No




answers from Indianapolis on

I am a huge fan of the loaf pan, but then again, I have never used a bread maker. I love to make bread as well and seeing this reminded me that it is time for me to do it again. Thanks :-) A.


answers from Bloomington on

I've been making homemade breads for many, many years, and I do NOT want a breadmaker. I do not even believe breadmaker bread is legitimately homemade! It's like saying Betty Crocker cake mix is homemade!

No, there are few things more satisfying than kneading bread with your own two hands, shaping it beautifully, placing it in pans, watching it rise, and then watching it bake.

I maintain that if your fingernails aren't dirty after you've made your bread, then your bread is NOT homemade.

People threaten me with a bread machine every Christmas; they seem to think I need one, and I don't need one, nor do I even WANT one. If I got one, I would sell it on eBay.

Kneading bread is also excellent therapy, and excellent, harmless, productive venting. After a good kneading session, you'll feel relaxed and happy.

Please don't get a bread machine. They're such cop-outs!



answers from Bloomington on

breadmaker bread (in my experience) just isn't the real thing in comparison. the loaf pan is much better... the only reason (i think) people use bread makers is for convenience. definitely not for the taste or final result!!

homemade bread is better, but it takes lots of little steps over a long period of time. (kind of like doing laundry...) so if you have the time at home to mix it, let it rise, punch it down, form the loaves, bake it, etc, then i would say make your own bread! since you can make 6-8 loaves at a time it actually means less work in a way-- a bread maker only makes one small loaf.

breadmakers make weird shaped bread with a hole in the middle, and it's only one loaf. BUT it's sooooo easy-- you just put in the ingredients, push the button, and forget about it!! then voila, fresh bread!!!

i grew up making bread with my mom, got a breadmaker for my wedding and used it a bit, but then we found a bakery outlet where we can get whole grain organic bread for 89 cents a loaf... so we quit making our own and never got back in the habit....

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