July 16th, 2006

look down

bread delimma; substitute advice; product review?

Can anyone help with my bread problem? When I was a kid, my mom made fresh bread in her breadmachine that was not only good to have as a side item, but it made killer sandwiches. I've tried making bread on her machine but it never turns out. I assume that maybe the machine itself is at fault, being really old. What are some good and affordable models of breadmakers? I believe hers was a Breadsmith?
Also, I've tried many times to bake it in the oven. I made some pretty good light rye bread last night, so I don't think it's the recipes that I find, but when it cooks, the bread gets hard on the outside and remains doughy on the inside. I've tried covering it with foil, but the rye loaf cooked 2 1/2 times longer than it needed to and remained squishy on the inside. I do substitute the margarine in a recipe for applesauce and omit the sugar to balance the sweetness. Any thoughts, accomplished bakers?
One more thing: I tried making a chedda block from the Uncheese Cookbook and it resulted in some really good dip. I used cornstarch instead of agar agar... was my mistake using the equivalent smaller amount of agar suggested? Should I use more cornstarch?
As always, thank you for your suggestions.

braces and food

So I finally got braces at 22 (I needed them much earlier but there were financial barriers). No more nice carrot sticks/crunchy foods for me.

I'm wondering:

-what ideas do people have for soft vegan foods. I've checked the memories and they have several listings related to wisdom teeth removal and soft food but a lot of the suggestions aren't working for me. Right now the suggestions like gazpacho, chewing a legume, eating veggie pate, rice or biting even soggy bread are very challenging. I tried breaking up pasta to eat but there are wires and plates strewn across my mouth and I almost choked (eek!)

So far I have been living off of mashed potatoes and sauce, avocado, and soy fruit smoothies---the cold is nice,

-I presume the eating situation will get somewhat better.  Obviously curry anything will be out until right before I get my elastics changed due to the staining issues...if people could suggest less messy foods to eat with braces that would be appreciated too for later.