Wednesday, May 4, 2011

In a Jam

It's been a while, I know.  I am ready to share something different with you, but first, let me tell you a story.

This year when I started working at the high school, I got to know the home economics teacher (HE was always my favorite, and I like to learn new things!).  She asked me if I had a bread maker.  I told her that I had a KitchenAid mixer and didn't need a bread maker - nor did I have the space for one.  She wasn't convinced that I didn't need one.  She went on how she hasn't bought bread in years (okay, so that was convincing since I'd been buying bread).

Fast forward a few months - I was looking for new shoes in Ross to no avail.  So before I left, I decided to peruse the clearance aisle.  One never knows what one will find there. I was walking and looking. . .and looking and walking, and on the bottom shelf, in a rather plain box was a bread maker.  A Cuisinart bread maker.  A Cuisinart stainless steel bread maker.  For $28.99 (plus our lovely sales tax of 10% put it around $31).  I couldn't resist.  If I made 12-15 loaves of bread it would pay for itself. . .  I couldn't help but buy it.  On the way to the register, I saw a manager and made sure there was nothing wrong with it.  There wasn't.

Once I got it to my car, I opened the box and looked at it.  It was beautiful. . . and had so many buttons!  What fun!  But I had to go to Zumba first.

I went home and set it up to have a loaf ready when I woke up in the morning.  It was a wheat loaf, but I forgot to adjust the flour to have half white and half wheat - so it was hard as a rock.  But it smelled REALLY good waking up to freshly baked bread.

Do I have room for a bread maker now?  Not really.  Does it matter?  Absolutely not!  What a freeing feeling it has been to be able to just add the ingredients, press a few buttons, and clean the house!  My internal timer keeps telling me that I need to check or knead or punch down, but then I remember the machine does it by itself.  I'm hooked.

Now that I've done bread and dough, I decided last night to do something different.  So last night, I made jam.  In my bread maker.  Yes, I did.  My inspiration was from King Arthur Flour's blog, The Baker's Banter. I edited a little. . .

If you can read the bottom of the picture, you can tell I was looking at the Cuisinart Strawberry Rhubarb Jam.  I used relative proportions between that recipe and the one in The Baker's Banter.  I started with half of the strawberries and sugar and mashed them, then added the rest of the strawberries, sugar, and pectin.

I then decided to add vanilla seeds, lemon zest, and lemon juice.

 And yes, I did pull out every gadget imaginable! (That's what dishwashers are for)

Here is my strawberry mixture in the bread maker bucket.

My new machine!

And here it is after I started the jam cycle. . . do you like my sophisticated way of looking in the little window!


1.  Out of 3 cartons of strawberries, I got a whole quart mason jar of jam.
2.  I needed more pectin.  I added the amount that my Cuisinart manual             recommended (1/4 cup), but I think I used too many strawberries and needed more.
3. Regarding sugar, see number 2.
4.  I love not having to do much to get homemade jam!


Erika said...

I LOVE my bread maker! I use it all the time for fresh bread and dough for cinnamon rolls, sandwich buns, rolls, etc. I've never tried any of the jams or sauces though. I was just thinking about it the other day. Now I guess I'd better try it. :)

Melodie said...

Erika - click on my link for The Baker's Banter. They use frozen berries. Also, if you search their blogs for "bread maker," there are many great ideas. . .

Pokey said...

I make yummy rolls during the holidays, and Easter sometimes. They are better than King's Hawaiian, and those are some of the best. I've learned that we can make a 4 cup batch (mine is a 3 cupper loaf) if I'm using the breadmaker for only the mixing and 1st rise.