a tale of tails, tenacity, and tedium, as told by me, usually barefoot and bellowing

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Easy Path To Getting Bread...

This title could go many ways but I'm taking the subject to bread makers.  Add the ingredients, it mixes, it kneads, it rests, kneads and rises and bakes.  Now the question is...which one?

I come from a long line of bread makers.  I love to work the dough, I love the feel of it, the smell as it rises, the smell when it bakes.  I love every part of it except the time it takes to do it.

I also love the fact Almanzo Wilder built a bread ledge for Laura Ingalls Wilder to over look the apple orchard while she made bread in their tiny house is Mansfield Missouri.  They moved here in 1894 with their daughter, Rose Wilder.  Both mom and daughter became authors...and they knew how to make bread.  Their house is a museum in Mansfield.  If you are familiar with Little House On The Prairie you may be excited that Pa's fiddle still resides in this museum.

When I was younger and exuberant about home making, I made a lot of yeast bread.  It was just part of what I did.  I have a very old recipe I use of Mom's that is older than me.  Sixty hour weeks at a paying job, parenting, house keeping and a few other things disrupted my bread making career but on these cool fall days I long for the smell again, the texture of homemade bread.

Mom's recipe comes for The Modern Family Cook Book by Meta Given.  This was first printed in 1942.  The one we have is a second printing in 1943 with a war time supplement in the back.  It has 941 pages with a few missing from the silverfish invasion before I was born.
Mom knew my love of bread making and shared a favorite recipe of hers.  I began mass production it was such a hit with family members that had no time to make bread.

Tonight I turn to page 332 and find it marked with a bobby pin.  My favorite bread of all time Schnecken!
When I decided to make this after the family sampled a few batches, Marcy would volunteer to babysit and a friend volunteered to help.  It was a day long operation.  I had dish pans full of yeast bread rising, dough punched down waiting for their second rising and rolls beginning to take shape.  I believe this recipe is the origin of the wonderful Sticky Bun.  Pecans, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, oh, the flavors in this roll!

One day my friend and I made 12 dozen rolls.  My father-in-law would take them in his lunch box on the railroad.  His wife would wrap each roll, which were huge, in aluminum foil and freeze them.  By lunch time, the roll was thawed and as warm as just out of the oven.  We all loved them and I baked many times sharing with family and friends who had no time to bake.  When Schnecken Rolls were mentioned, we had more company than normal.  The word was out.

I guess I said all that to say this:  What is the best bread machine?  I have googled, binged, and searched for hours (I had time to make a batch!) and compared. I don't know any more than I did.  I want a machine that can mix and cook a variety of breads but also one that allows me to remove the dough before it cooks so I can make Schnecken once again.  Quicker, easier.  Since I am retired I have the time...right!

Help!  I need advice on which machine would fit my needs without breaking the bank.  I'll give you my wonderful Schnecken  recipe and you can make bake them as three generations of this family has done.


Lynne said...

I love hearing family stories and this is a great one. I too love the fragrance of bread rising and butter ready after it pops from the oven.

I am no help with bread machine advice however I have one here that Mr Garden House's mother gave me. I have never used it . . . She used it once, worked fine . . . but it sat in the kitchen unused. Downsizing their household found it with me! Want it?

Buttons said...

Oh Gail you are so lucky to have a cookbook with such good recipes but full of memories. I have my Grandmas book too and I am sure you can make this as you are retired and now I really want a piece and well I am just so darn excited about the book about the museum where your families fiddle is this is a great post. I am hungry gotta go:) B

Sandra said...

i have never baked bread or made bread or even tasted home made bread, except the yeast bread in bakery and i love all things bread. i love yeast rolls and biscuits. mother was not a bread baker, neither was my grandmother and neither am I. the only home made bread i have had was from a bread machine my friend bought. good luck.

Primitive Stars said...

Morning Gail, love to hear about family things like that.....I love Little House stories, sure would like to pay a visit to the museum........Can't beat the smell of fresh baked bread, Mom was so good at it.......sweet memories........Great old cookbook, but no help to you, sorry.......Good Luck, Francine.

Country Gal said...

Hey Gail , wonderful post and that recipe book is lovely . I am still searching for a bread machine as well as you know . I am glad you did a post about it , hopefully some of these wonderful bloggers will be able to give us the name of a good brand of bread machine . I am not the type to spend hours making bread even though I love home made bread and mum made it all the time ! I will be checking in to see if anyone has any good bread machines they have and use ! Have a good day my friend !

TexWisGirl said...

no idea on a machine. have never had one. my mother made wonderful homemade bread, cinnamon rolls, fried donuts, poppyseed knots. and if she used her bread to make german red-headed dumplings, everyone showed up to eat. :)

Irene said...

All that's happened here is that you've made me amazingly hungry for freshly baked bread. I can taste it now. Heck, I can even smell it. What am I to do now? You and your bread making recipe. I hope you've made some by now, your family is going to want some. xox

Dreaming said...

Mmmm.... I can practically smell the bread baking!
I had a Panasonic bread machine. It allowed me to bake two different sized loaves of bread and you could set it on knead and rise, only. It worked very well for many years and then, when I moved to this house, I gave it to a friend. I just didn't use it enough, since I am the only one around here who loves fresh-baked bread. I couldn't afford the calories - so, sadly, it has gone to a new home.
My favorite bread that I baked in the machine was Anadama bread - it has a touch of molasses in it - Yum!

carolina nana said...

I used to use a bread machine I bought at Goodwill to make my sour dough bread rise in,then I would take it out and bake it in regular loaf pans because I didn't like the round loaves the machine put out. My machine had settings that you could use to do only what you wanted. I gave the machine away when I stopped making the bread because we were all getting fat from eating so much of that good sour dough bread.
I'm sure the more modern machines have all kinds of settings.
Good luck finding the right one.
and happy bread making,my mouth is watering just thinking about homemade bread and rolls but that would definitely crash my weight loss attempts.

Sandy said...

I have the old Sunbeam Breadmaker model 5891. The machine makes little loafs of bread. I use my machine when in a hurry, and don't want to deal with the work. Or when I have a bad arthiritic day, I'll let the machine do all the kneading for me, and rising. Then I remove the dough from the machine, form it into a loaf, let rise just a little more and bake it in my oven.

Most days, I prefer to do the dough by hand but when my hands hurt bad, I let the machine do the work.

Rose Munevar said...

Those were the days! I love to bake too, and I include my girls even though it's messier, longer, and a test of my patience. They love it though! Wish I could help you with the breadmaker- I gave mine away because I never used it.

Terri @ Coloring Outside the Lines said...

Love the smell of bread baking in the oven..so wonderful. My mom has a bread making machine, but she didn't use it much so I don't know that it was worth the effort. I think I prefer by hand. Not much help!

Sue said...

I'm not a bread baker, but my mom sure is. I used to love coming home on many school days to that amazing smell of bread baking in the oven. Best thing ever!


DesertHen said...

I have a Pillsbury bread machine (model 1025)I've had it for about 15 years or so! Love the darn thing! I can make bread by hand, but I love the ease of putting all of the dough ingredients in the machine and turning it on to do the hard work for me. The Pillsbury model has many settings and allows you to make small batches of dough or large batches of dough. Some recipes I've had to adjust, but almost all of them work out just fine in the machine. A few weeks back, I made a batch of dough for baked donuts that turned out wonderful! Your recipe sounds so darn yummy! My mother has many cookbooks from the 40's and now I'm going to have to check to see if she has the one you mentioned. Happy bread making! =)

Rudee said...

The best machine? You, my dear! Don't forget to add the elbow grease. It makes everything so much better.

Also...recipe? Please?

LindaG said...

One, Glad to hear that Pa's fiddle is still around!

Two, for years while I was in the Air Force, I made bread with a Zojirushi. It was an excellent bread maker, but had problems with the non-stick surface of the paddle, peeling.
You can't replace just the paddle. You have to replace the paddle and the pan.

If we ever get the kitchen finished, I want to start making bread. The old fashioned way.
Might I suggest, instead of a bread machine, you look into Artisan, or No-knead bread making. I think your recipe might work better that way, than trying to adapt your recipe to a bread maker.

Good luck, Gail. *hugs* ♥ :o)

Nezzy (Cow Patty Surprise) said...

Glory girl, I live 'bout thirty miles from Lara's home. Our fifth graders always get a tour of the home and museum. Woohoo!!!

I had a bread-maker...thought it would make a great project in the classroom but never liked the texture or 'taste' of the bread.

Fact is, I'm spoiled. I love to make bread. There's just somethin' 'bout gettin' your hands in there and workin' that dough. Kinda therapeutic and all.

If your used to the 'real' deal, you may not be satisfied with a bread machine. 'Just sayin'.....

That cookbook is quite the treasure. I've got some of those myself and turn the pages...very carefully.

God bless ya friend and have a glorious day!!!

SaucyKod said...

I loved this post - it reminded me of making my first loaf of bread and inviting Mom and Dad to my apartment for supper. The loaf was very small and did not rise, however, the smell was there. I sliced the loaf and served it with home made spaghetti n my home made sauce (which is great). Mum never mentioned the bread size. She did eventually give me advice of how to get that loaf to puff up. he,he
Thanks for a wonderful post and we too, share some wonderful old recipes from my Mum's cookbook.

gld said...

Now you are retired.....why not just use your mixer and make it from scratch. I love bread making days. I figure it takes roughly half a day to do it. I can bake 4 loaves at once in my oven but I have often done specialty breads that just make l loaf. Scratch for me these days means using my KA mixer to do the hard work of kneading.

I enlarged the recipe for Schnecken and it reminds me of a recipe I have for refrigerator rolls that require no kneading.

Visit Flower Lady's Blog. She loves to make bread and I know she uses a bread machine but I don't know what kind. She would be happy to tell you.


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