Cooking Tech: Bread machines


Being of a techy disposition I never really got the hang of cooking. I love food, and I love to eat, and slowly I have been impressing myself with my kitchen arts.

Bread making had always been a bit a step too far. All this rolling sleeves up, and looking at clocks, and working out how long things take because of the temperature has been a bit off putting to get started. As with most things though the Japanese have an answer.

Gadgetitis is how I regard the Japanese electronics market, make something to do anything. Very inventive, and looks like good fun. They have sushi machines you know. The South Koreans now have specific fermented cabbage fridges, it is amazing to see how technology can be used to augment a culture. I can’t wait to find out what the Chinese will come up with to automate their culture.

Japan, or is it just Panasonic, have a bread machine. Bung the ingredients in, work out how to programme it. Wait a bit, taking in the wafting smells of the baking bread and wait for the beep, when you get your fingers burnt trying to shake the loaf out. I do love fresh bread, you can get it in the shops it isn’t the same. They sell what they think you want, if they have it, and if they don’t then what? True it is not the same as fully making it oneself, but it is a step closer. It takes the awe out of it.

Mechanically a bread machine doesn’t amount to much more than a rotor spinning a paddle with a heating element. The software though has to work out how to get from lid shut to crusty loaf. No simple task. Bread making is quite a specialised art. Temperature and quantity all play parts as the living yeast is soaked, fed, and then cremated. It might be colder at the start, and so take longer to rise.

The front panel is quite basic, and no doubt daunting to those legions who left their video clock flashing. I am only borrowing my bread machine from my Mum as she stopped using it. In return I bake her the bread she wants.

The British cultural gadget would have to be the Teas Maid. A cup of hot tea to wake you up  in the  morning. A heating element,  and a timer. I have an idea for a quiet toaster, when the toast is ready instead of a load clang the toaster makes a soft clearing the throat noise. Particularly understated, and very quaintly English; of course it may never get heard…

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~ by zeristor on May 12, 2010.

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