Here's today's breadmaker bread
and here's the previous batch:
Breadmakers have been getting a bad press courtesy of a certain Mr Cameron. I am a breadmaker fan. (I've worn two out) but I never BAKE bread in my breadmaker. In 90 minutes it will have reliably mixed kneaded and proved whatever dough I choose to put in it. Sometimes I leave it to sit for an extra 30 mins or an hour, sometimes I get the machine to knock down the risen dough in a brief second knead, before swithing off the machine mid cycle. Always I remove the proved dough, shape it, on a baking sheet, baguette tray or in a tin and, after a further rise, bake it in the kitchen oven. Not as convenient as Mr C's "load at night ready when you wake up" loaf but a whole lot better tailored to our tastes. (Also no trouble removing that paddle from the bottom of the loaf.
What was hilarious was to hear Dan Lepard, venerated author of "The Handmade Loaf" being lectured by some woman on the radio who was blinded by the therapeutic benefits of getting your hands in the dough and hanging around for hours on end. What if you work all day at something else, commute and consequently have restricted time? What if you have arthritis (as Dan asked), or exzema or some other skin condition? And what if , as I frequently find, your hands are grimy after a weeding session??? Bread machines are a boon, make no mistake!