Yesterday I ordered a bread machine. I know. You can make bread without a machine. And yes, it isn’t hard. You just wake up some yeast, give it some sugar to feast on, throw in a little flour and water, beat it to death, leave it to think about what it’s done, and then beat it back into submission before sticking it in a pan, letting it sit a while longer, and then baking it in an oven.
It has buttons!
But one of the problems with baking bread is you have babysit it. The temperature has to be just right. And you have to be around to smack it back down. And you have to bake it in an oven that may or may not be keeping correct temperatures and may or may not be being used to cook a chicken at the same time.
See, last weekend it was finally sunny and warm enough to rise bread dough (My oven doesn’t have a warming option). So I decided to make a quick loaf of white bread. Quick meaning it took most of the day and there was a delay because I had to go to a riding lesson and there was no one home to watch the bread become, well, bread. And I didn't knead the dough enough to make really good gluten because my arms are weenie and the bread came out a little more dense than I really like it.
But homemade bread is sooo good, it makes the house smell amazing, and it has way fewer chemicals and preservatives than the store bought stuff. I swear Jeffrey achieves his mental greatness at law school because I don’t feed him over processed foods (and has nothing to do with him being really smart or driven. Nope. Not at all...). Not only that? But making bread feels like an accomplishment. I realize this is dumb. It’s bread. It’s not magic.
But it feels like magic.
It’s just easier to make magic when a machine is involved that does everything except scoop the ingredients into itself.
The next appliance on the list of lazy from scratch cooking? Rice maker.