The Bread Machine – How Did We Ever Live Without Them?

When wanting to give a huge compliment on a product people often say; the next best thing to sliced bread, well, I think it’s about time we started saying; the next best thing to the bread machine. I just don’t know how busy people, who love freshly baked bread, ever got along without these marvelous inventions.

Who else but the Japanese could have invented such a time saving device that eliminates hours of drudgery in order to eat something delicious and wholesome? First released in the 1980s bread machines soon became popular in America and Europe. Their release on the market coincided with a realization that the food we were eating contained stuff we shouldn’t be eating and many people’s yearning to return to traditional, home-cooked food. This wonderful invention meant that many could once again cook and eat home made bread.

The technology used has kept on advancing and now the best bread machines now have a wonderful set of features that can rival a master baker. Anyone, without any training, can bake exotic breads like whole wheat, rye, sourdough, fruit cake, Artisan and French, the list goes on. But it isn’t only just the bake cycles that have improved; you can now express bake a loaf in less than one hour from start to finish. You can also, use a delay timer, so that the smell of freshly baked bread greets you first thing in the morning or as you return home from work. Many even come with power failure back-up, so if your power goes off for a little while, the machine will carry on baking from where it left off when the power returns.

When I bought my first bread machine – a Breadman – I was instantly hooked. I didn’t really cook back then but there I was creating delicious, healthy bread that filled my house with the beautiful aroma of freshly baked bread. I’ve had a few machines since then – I just plain wore them out – and my latest is a Zojirushi bread machine – the BBCC-X20 to be precise – that bakes the most wonderful, traditionally shaped loaves of bread.

I now use my own set of personalized programs to make bread exactly how I like it. But, you don’t have to use your own programs to make exquisite bread; that’s what I love about these machines. Anyone can do it; it’s child’s play. In fact my own children made their first loaves of bread when they were very young. Letting a child make food gives them a foundation to appreciate healthy food in their adult life.

I’ve also been fortunate enough to have email and chatted to others with a passion for home baking. There are baking and bread machine forums where you can exchange recipes and get help if you’re having problems with a certain recipe. I contribute by giving out advice when I can and posting a new recipe I may have found. I’ve been baking many years now but I still get great help and advice from people I’ve met on the internet – going online is the best place to find new bread machine recipes.

I’m passionate about eating a healthy, well-balanced diet but like most people I lead a busy, sometimes hectic, life. But owning a bread machine means that no matter how busy I am I can always enjoy eating bread that is preservative free, additive free and healthy but above all, simply tastes delicious.