Thursday, 7 April 2011


There are a number of small appliances in our kitchen which I use regularly.  They significantly reduce my reliance on store-bought goods (good for the wallet and the environment).  The first is my breadmaker, which, although not identical to the one at the left of this post, is similar.  The breadmaker I have now is actually a hand-me-down from my mother.  My former breadmaker was excellent, but the motor for the paddle stopped working so I “got rid of it”.  Looking back, knowing how I feel about throwing things "away" (i.e. into a landfill), I would have rather paid a bit of money to have it repaired, but at the time it didn’t occur to me.

My new breadmaker is pretty basic.  It makes doughs, basic breads, whole grain breads and a number of other things. I don’t remember what brand it is, but it certainly gets the job done.  My experience with my former breadmaker and my current one were both positive, at least until the paddle stopped turning on the first one, so I'm pretty convinced that you don't need to spend a lot of money on all the bells and whistles you can get on a fancy breadmaker.  If your goal is easy-to-make, low-fuss loaves, the more basic models work just fine.

If you are ever considering buying a breadmaker second-hand, which I would certainly encourage because there are probably hundreds of un- or under-used second-hand breadmakers owned by people near you that are just dying to get rid of them, make sure the vendor is selling the instruction manual with it.  Each breadmaker has very specific recipes that can be used with it, so you want to make sure that you have those recipes.  I’m sure you can find a copy of the manual online in a pinch if you absolutely need to, but it is really nice to have the manual.  There are also lots of recipes online for bread machine breads, but try to ensure that the recipe is suitable for your breadmaker (i.e. – specifically references your brand and model in the actual recipe).  I’ve had my fair share of recipes go south on me, and it’s always a disappointment.  That usually does not happen when I use the recipe provided in the manual, only when I try to get "creative".

My favourite things to make using my breadmaker are pizza dough, white bread (for Tim) and whole wheat bread (for me).  Every few weeks I make one large batch of pizza dough, split it into four dough balls, then freeze them for use later.  If they have a few hours to thaw out before you need to use them, they work great.  If you need them to thaw quickly, it becomes a bit more difficult.  I love homemade pizza.  I generally enjoy all homemade foods when compared to their store-bought equivalents, but pizza is in a class of its own.

The breads that I make with the breadmaker usually turn out wonderfully.  Bread machine instruction manuals usually have excellent trouble-shooting tips for anything and everything that could go wrong with a loaf.  I strongly encourage everyone to purchase a breadmaker and embrace your inner baker.  I make bread without a breadmaker as well as with one, and I must say, anyone who thinks that it is “too hard” to make bread in a breadmaker is not trying!  I understand that kneeding the dough by hand when you aren't using a breadmaker is an acquired skill that few people these days choose to master, but the three minutes it takes to put the ingredients in the breadmaker and leave it to do all the work are worth it.  It’s far easier than getting in your car, driving to the grocery store, standing in line and driving back.  It is also cheaper.  And, your home gets to be filled by the aroma of freshly baked bread.  Delicious!


  1. In Calgary, you can recycle just about anything that plugs in or uses batteries (even cords I think) at electronic recycling depots around the city. There are 26 depots in Calgary, most, if not all, of which offer "secure" recycling for computers and the like. But they'll take broken breadmakers too!! I'm sure there are even more in the Vancouver area and could be found in every major city in North America.

  2. Thanks T.K.! The next time I have to get rid of any broken electronics I'm definitely going going to either see if I can have them fixed (even if it is not economical to do so) or recycle them, depending on the cost to fix (and whether or not I can use them). I guess I could also Freecycle them and just warn the recipient that the item isn't in working order. Some ingenious people like to refurbish such things and then try selling them on Craigslist or eBay, which is great because everyone is happy: I got rid of my item in an environmentally friendly way, the recipient gets to make a little money, and the ultimate purchaser on eBay gets a good deal!