Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Happiness after mourning a small appliance

[Last night's Facebook post:)] 
Panifex mortus est. 'The bread maker is dead'. :( So after years of baking really great bread, including the weekly Sabbath challah, my bread machine has died. and my attempt to make bread last night resulted in a watery, terrible mess that had me just wrap the pan in a bag and carry it outside to the bin.  Sadly, they not only don't make that model anymore, Panasonic no longer makes affordable bread machines (all I saw were a couple in the $450-$650 range, and they didn't have the yeast hopper I liked so much about this one.  You can get all sorts of fancy machines these days, and I was looking at various features more in the $80-$130 range, and I think I've found a nice Hamilton Beach one (the name I was trying to think of earlier today while explaining it to a friend, and I kept coming up with Black & Decker (which does make appliances, but not what I was trying for) and Smith & Wesson (which is right out for bread-making)). But it'll be a couple of weeks till I can get it and so for tonight and the next little bit, we've had to have matzoh crackers instead.  Known as 'the bread of affliction' (really), matzoh sucks all of the taste and moisture out of your mouth, and one form is commonly used at Pesach (Passover) as it is unleavened according to the commandment.   But it can be substituted and blessed for Sabbath. But it's just not the same.  Here's hoping the new machine, when it is ordered and arrives, will do just as well as this one, which has lasted a minimum of ten years.

[Today's Facebook post:] 
Thanks to a kind friend who gave me a bread machine she'd used a few times, I am up and running again with bread making.  She even found the manual, which includes a conversion between the active dry yeast that is used in the recipes of the booklet vs. the rapid rise/instant yeast I am used to and have, recipes, troubleshooting tips, as well as directions, which I have now read from cover to cover. The main difference is since it doesn't have the yeast hopper (which is not unusual--I couldn't find any on Amazon that did, including the same brand I'd had), you put the wet ingredients in first, then dry ones, then yeast, to keep the yeast and liquids as far away from one another as possible until they are mixed and only at that time should the yeast be activated.  The times are a little different.  There isn't a rapid bake for regular loaves like on mine so it takes a little longer to bake a loaf (but not as long as the regular setting on my old one), but the dough setting is cut by an hour in time, which is very useful since I use the dough setting every week for challah.  I'm going to test it this weekend to do a trial run in preparation for the challah-making on Thursday. Thank you, thank you, thank you for letting me have this, and for meeting me today to get it to me.


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