Sunday, November 2, 2008

Baking Versus Breadmakers

Baking bread is a good thing to do if you are trying to squeeze nickels. The other day I heard some neo-luddite stand up on his high horse and explain in all seriousness how buying a bread maker was just another way for us fat/lazy Americans to purchase needless stuff.

His point was that the idea of baking should return to the ideal of spending a afternoon mixing and kneading and dicking around with the oven for the pure and simple joy of eating a slice of your own bread.

What a crock of shit.

Look folks, part of being a prepper is to try to look past the myths and the petty romances that folks place upon their actions. This tendency to place romantic notions on trivial isuses permeates your life in a gazillion different ways.

Making a loaf of bread is not in itself a noble task, but is a skill folks should know. What you want out of the process is a loaf of bread, not a affirmation of your kum bay ya-ness.

So, my reasons for using my breadmaker are threefold.
  1. It is easier, you dump the ingredients in, hit the button, and in a couple of hours, you have a pretty dang good loaf of bread.
  2. Uses a lot less electricity than firing up my oven.
  3. Doesn't heat up the house in the summer.
It does have limitations.
  1. If the electricity is out, you are outta luck. (unless you are a super cool prepper (like me) who has one of these babies down the basement).
  2. The French Bread sucks.
  3. In the winter you don't mind heating up the kitchen.
So keep up the prep work. And you should bake yourself some bread. But just remember, a tool is just a tool.


cfloersch said...

Using less electricity than your oven justifys it by itself. Probably pay for itself before the S hits the fan anyway. And your far more likely to actually use it if the S does not hit the fan.

But make sure you have a backup that can be used to cook bread over an open fire. Just in case you can not obtain electricity nor propane for whatever reason.

Degringolade said...

You got it there, Also got the dutch oven tuned up and make sure that I use it a couple of times every year.

Marine 83 said...

Good post. If spending 3 or 4 hours, baking bread on a Sunday afternoon, is something you find enjoyable, then by all means knock yourself out. Most of us don't feel that way and can find better use for our time. A bread machine makes perfect sense, especially since you can find them by the dozen for next to nothing.

MeadowLark said...

I was gonna add that the "homemade" bread I make takes 5-ish minutes to mix (same as bread machine) 3-ish minutes in the kitchenaid for kneading (i have to watch my breadmachine for a couple of mintues anyway) An hour later, 2 minutes to chop in half and put in pans to rise. One more hour of rising then pop in the oven for 30 minutes of baking. Far superior to bread machine stuff, with very little effort. I was just thinking that the "spend the day baking bread" idea is probably another of those idealized versions of the truth.