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Say Hello

Okay, so it’s not quite what Tony Montana in “Scarface” meant (and yes, I edited out the automatic gunfire from this audio clip), but it works for me right now.

In my kitchen is a new little (well, slightly bigger than “little”) workhorse – my Bosch Universal Plus Mixer.  You might remember that my Kitchen Aid Professional Series 600 went buh-bye about a month ago, and I successfully sold the replacement mixer, shipped back the defective one, and purchased a new Bosch from Pleasant Hill Grain.  I didn’t buy the blender or food processor that can go with the device, as I’ve got one of each and they work perfectly well for the time being.  But when they croak, I will likely get the attachments that allow me to use my Bosch as an all-in-one on my kitchen counter.

The Bosch boasts of an 800 watt motor (my Kitchen Aid had 575 watts) and says it can handle up to 15 POUNDS of wet bread dough.  I’ve not tested that latter part – my bread recipe (doubled) is sufficient.

Instead of the high-pitched squeal that my old machine used to emit, this has a low pitch and a consistent “whirr” sound.  The kneading action is fabulous, and the gluten development that comes from it is amazing.  It’s larger than I thought it would be, based on images online, but it’s not any bigger than the old Kitchen Aid.  Because the bowl is so large, I got some uneven sounds when I had only one loaf of bread in the machine; two loaves evened out that “thumping” sound.  It will whip one egg white in to 1.5 CUPS of meringue, and the ice cream base I make for homemade ice cream has NEVER been creamier and tastier as when I combined the ingredients in the Bosch.

One unique claim the Bosch makes is that it is so effective in gluten-development and kneading that one could skip the second-rise on bread and bake it that much faster.  I put the claims to the test; the first loaf of bread was a one-rise only – in other words, mixed, kneaded, formed, and rising in the pan prior to baking.  The results weren’t bad – but just for grins, I made a second loaf that had a double-rise on it and compared the two.

The crumb on the single-rise loaf wasn’t terrible – it was soft, but it wasn’t quite as … I don’t know how to describe it.  It’s not bad if I was completely out of time, but it wasn’t quite the same as my typical double-rise loaf.

The loaves were basically the same size; there was no appreciable higher rise (i.e., larger loaf) that came out of the double-rise loaf of bread vs. the single-rise loaf.  The photo to the left suggests a small difference in loaf size, but that’s mostly because we ended up eating more of the single-rise loaf before the double-rise loaf was done.  :)

So doing a comparison on the single-rise vs. the double-rise loaf, I saw a softer, smoother (if that’s the right word) crumb on the double-rise loaf; it’s closer to the texture that we like.  And although it takes longer to make, if I’m going to the effort to bake our own bread, then I want it to be as good as I can make it.

I’d be curious to know how the single-rise method with a Bosch works on white bread, but since I refuse to eat white bread, I’m not going to try it.  😉

I think I’m going to like this machine the more I get to play with it.  It’s odd in shape – the bowl is more like a bundt pan with the stirring paddle in the middle, but there’s no question that it works well – as well as it’s advertised to work.  And in this day and age when things are made overseas and from cheap construction, I really can’t complain that this does what it says it does.  :)

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Category: life musings
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