I've been wanting a bread machine for a while now. . . A loaf of whole wheat bread sells for between $$2.99 and $4.00 at my grocery stores. Regular purchases over time add up, you know? Our family is not big on breads, but still goes through a loaf a week. So I've been dreaming of a bread machine, especially since the reviews I've been reading were mostly raving about how easy it is to use and how delicious the bread turns out. But the catch was that the machine I wanted cost almost $300! Not exactly frugal. . . So I've been holding out and keeping an eye out on Amazon in the hope that maybe it will show up as one of their daily deals. No such luck.
On Thursday, I had an errand to run across town, and hit some thrift stores I never go to, and got lucky. I found this Zojirushi bread machine for $15.00 (with tax). Zojirushi is the brand of bread machine I had been looking at. Granted, the one I was coveting was the most recent model, but I figured this older model can't be all that bad, can it? It had a small dent on the front, but otherwise looked as if it had been used only a few times, and came with the measuring cup and spoon and the recipe booklet. It was missing an owner's manual, but that was quickly found online after Googling the model number. What sealed the deal for me to purchase it was the sticker on front of the machine indicating that this model was fully capable of baking 100% whole wheat bread.
I baked three loaves so far, and still tweaking the recipe. The first loaf was baked following a recipe for a regular white loaf using all purpose flour, so the bread turned out a bit hard (but passsable). The second loaf was baked with the same recipe with the addition of some vital wheat gluten and was given to a neighbor to try out. The third loaf was baked from a whole wheat recipe after I downloaded the owner's manual. The loaf used half a cup more flour than the other two loaves, and turned out too tall. The recipe needs to be tweaked a bit to get a loaf of bread slightly shorter so it doesn't overflow out of the baking pan, but the texture of the bread was superb! It was very fluffy, considering it was whole wheat. I'm sold! No more grocery store bread for me!