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    Tempe, Arizona

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  1. I lost all desire for a heavy, commercial mixer when I acquired one of these mixers on Andie's recommendation six years ago. It works more on the principle of a spiral mixer and easily mixes dough for four large loaves while my 5-qt KA "Commercial" struggled with two loaves.
  2. Experimenting with my Bread Machine

    Like some of the others, mine is a Panasonic and it still worked the last time I tried it. However, I now enjoy the whole process too much to use a bread machine, even a more versatile newer one. I've got mixers for mixing and hands for the final kneading. I like to be able to watch and feel the dough so I know when it's time to go in the oven. And I like to determine the size and shape of my loaves as well as do several at a time. A bread machine is definitely a good introduction to bread baking as well as a labor-saver, but I don't see one in my future. Nevertheless, I think bread machines are a great invention and probably responsible for a lot more home-baked bread than if they weren't available.
  3. Experimenting with my Bread Machine

    I've had my bread machine since 1991 and used it extensively for a few years. I found that there wasn't enough versatility with proofing time to make just any kind of bread. This lead me to baking in regular loaf pans and finally just doing the initial mixing with a mixer and finishing the kneading by hand. Plus, my bread machine was of the vertical variety which made an odd-shaped loaf with the crown on one end rather than the top. The longer you bake bread the more you will find the limitations of a bread machine and, if you have the time, you'll enjoy the greater versatility of baking bread without one. I'd go with the advice given above and experiment with small amounts of additives until you see what effect they have on the rise. Have fun and enjoy the bread. Nothing like the aroma, taste, and texture of homemade, whether made in a bread machine or without.
  4. Pumpkin

    Made my mandatory seasonal pumpkin bread last weekend. Good change from the usual zucchini bread. May make some more before Thanksgiving.
  5. Breads of France by Bernard Clayton. A most excellent book and fascinating reading. Have had my copy for many years. Good find!
  6. The Oster oven is the most noteworthy kitchen acquisition of mine in the last two years. Plenty of room and height inside, simple to use, and the double-doors that swing open are so easy to use with no chance of burning oneself on a hot, swing-down door while trying to remove something on a lower rack. It was only $100 and I use it a lot more than the one to the left which is just too small for much of my baking.
  7. Oh, come on, Anna, you know you need them both!
  8. After following this thread for at least a year and having no need nor interest in this product, I have just been enabled to buy one. To justify my purchase, I haven't bought any kitchen "toys" this year and this can replace some aging and less convenient appliances which will hopefully make me cook more. Also had a $20 Best Buy discount. Thank you very much, eGullet folks!
  9. 2017 releases

    I've been good and haven't bought any new cookbooks yet this year. I did win a nice Greek cookbook from Eat Your Books, though.
  10. I've had good luck with New York Bakers, too. The proprietor's books on rye bread and Jewish Bread Baking are very interesting. Too hot to do much baking right now in the AZ desert and I'm still working but expect to do much more soon when I'm retired, or at least partially retired, and the weather is cooler.
  11. Peanut Butter and Jelly - The Sandwich

    I've been having peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch my entire working life. I'm not too picky about the peanut butter and jelly, whatever is on sale, but always on homemade bread. I used to like a liberal amount of peanut butter and jelly but now prefer just a thin layer. My appetite isn't what it used to be, there's less mess, and I can taste the bread better. I occasionally substitute honey for the jelly. I'll be retiring shortly and expect my consumption of PB&J sandwiches will be greatly diminished.
  12. Hospital Time

    Get well soon! I'm sure you'll be happier eating your own cooking and knowing what you're eating.
  13. Do You ALWAYS Clean Your Kitchen As You Go?

    I don't want to have a giant mess to clean at one time so I clean as I go.
  14. Avocados and avocado prices

    Small to medium in my case.
  15. Avocados and avocado prices

    Occasionally find them as cheap as six for 96 cents at one of the Mexican markets here in AZ. Frequently get four or five for a dollar. Haven't noticed any sales in the past month, though, so maybe something has changed.