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There's possibly nothing more ingenious then sliced bread. Indeed, you can use it in almost any culinary fashion imaginable; and there's something about making something from 'scratch,' with our own hands, that appeals on a very subconcious level.
The idea of an automated breadmaker is, truly,
one of the more magnificent advancements in kitchen appliances. Any time of day or night, with the right ingredients, one can make a warm, handsome, chewy bit of bready goodness to do with what you will. But the process is inherently flawed.
The current slew of home-based bread machines today can only produce one loaf at a time. It's a waste of both electricity and patience, and if the baker has a voracious (or significantly large) group of people with which to give said bready delight, it will disappear in a matter of minutes. Commercial bakeries can make dozens of loaves at a time: why can't we make, at least, three?
I propose a bread machine that would make multiple loaves simultaniously. Lined up in lateral fashion, the loaf pans could utilize a gear-driven assembly for their kneading prongs, keeping them locked firmly in sync and saving on energy costs. In addition, the use of one, albeit longer, heating element would reduce costs; the close proximity of the pans would result in a lower cooking time overall.
The prospect of making three loaves at a time, rather than one alone, in addition to the reduced cooking times, would be a major selling point. And besides, who doesn't love homemade bread?
Google search: "dual loaf bread machine"
[waugsqueke, Oct 04 2004]
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||I'm not sure that you would save electricity. You'd need triple the amount of motors (or one with 3x the power and a gearbox), heating elements and such. Only the power to run the timing mechanism (which is usually LCD, and microprocessor-controlled) would be spared.
||I believe most bread makers already have gearboxes for the kneading paddles. It would simply be a matter of (minimally) upping the power to turn two extra paddles; equivalent, more or less, to using one paddle three times. The energy costs via the heating element would be reduced by the ratio of time it would take to cook three loaves simultaniously (about three hours), to the time it would take to cook three loaves, one at a time (upwards of nine hours); plus the added effect of three closely aligned pans sharing their communal heat.
||I think the point was to save time more than energy, though. If you've ever made three loaves of bread in a day, you'd realize that the sheer time savings alone would make it worth a purchase.
||...though not if you already have a single-pan machine. ^_~
||Dual-loaf bread machines are quite common. I suspect anyone who needs more than that just do it the old fashioned way.
||I'm sure your oven will probably hold a half-dozen loaves.