One of the most useful things I have is my Zojirushi Virtuoso Plus Breadmaker. I’ve had it for more than a year now and I use it a few times a week. I still make sourdough bread and I knead the dough in the bread machine which saves a lot of time.
When I’m pressed for time I can make a loaf of bread in the machine in a few hours without having to do much after everything gets put into the machine. It’s also great for making pasta dough or any other stuff that needs to be kneaded. Using the recipes from King Arthur Baking has made a big difference and I even occasionally make some tomato soup using the “Jam” setting on the bread machine.
It’s large enough to make a full-sized 2 pound loaf of bread. Following the guidance of King Arthur Baking, when I make bread in the machine I take the dough out just before the final rise and remove the paddles, and form the loaf before putting it back into the machine. This reduces the dents in the bread the paddles will cause, and it also makes the bread slip more easily out of the bucket when the bread finishes baking.
Lately, my favourite bread machine bread is the Back-of-the-Bag Oatmeal Bread and my other regular recipe is the Bread Machine Bread - Easy As Can Be recipe. One of the benefits of working from home during the pandemic is that there now is always fresh, homemade bread in the house. It’s great to be able to get up in the morning and put the ingredients into the machine and then have a fresh loaf of bread ready at lunchtime.