I have a new toy. This is Zoey.
She is my Zojirushi bread machine. I had been considering acquiring one of these rather expensive devices for some while, mainly due to the frequent absence of bread from the shelves of our one and only grocery store, especially in the wintertime. There is never any lack of alcoholic beverages, but bread has been known to go missing for several days in a row.
Those little paddles at the bottom of the baking pan take care of the kneading, and the control panel provides a dazzling array of sequences for timing the kneading, rising, and baking of different types of bread. Although I have baked numerous cakes, pies, and cookies over the years, I'd never attempted bread. The whole yeast=rising thing was a total mystery. No longer.
This is actually my second loaf. I was so excited by the success of the first that I forgot to take a picture. It's raisin bread with tons of cinnamon and nutmeg swirled in. Yum!
After researching yeast and flour types and other doughy matters, I have plans for ever greater adventures into bread making. Whole wheat is on the horizon. And it's possible to use the machine just to make the dough, which one then shapes and bakes in the oven. Who knew something as simple as bread could be so fun?