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Jan 28

EZ DOH Breadmaker Review

By The Maj.

Ok, I can cook and as with most men, I prefer to cook over a fire or grill.  I actually enjoy doing so and I absolutely love campfire cooking.  That said, I DO NOT bake, mainly because the conventional oven hates me and unlike cooking over heat, adding more heat tends to burn whatever you are cooking.  So, I leave the baking to my wife who has more patience than I do and I stay out of her way.  Yes, those of you thinking “Neanderthal or caveman” pretty much have me pegged when it comes to cooking.  I have approached the need for bread post-SHTF in a manner that my grandfather taught me many years ago, which is the hoe cake – it is simple and fills a void relatively easily for a “caveman”.

I have gone without bread for extended periods of time and I can honestly say that I missed it.  While hoe cakes might work to fill that void post-SHTF, think of the absolute treat having fresh baked bread would be in a post-SHTF world.  My problem has always been the time, effort, and technical skill required to pull off making fresh baked bread with a conventional oven, much less attempting such a feat under austere conditions.  Well, I received an “EZ DOH Manual Bread Dough Maker” the other day and I figured, if I can make bread with this thing, then pretty much anyone can.  My wife laughed when I pulled it out of the box and announced my intentions to “make bread” – more on that later.

Pulling the EZ DOH out of the box, I admired the simplicity.  It is simple, equipped with an HDPE (plastic) bucket and a crank assembly.  That is it and that is a big plus in my book because I was half expecting all these different attachments or pieces.  The crank assembly attaches to the bucket with two handle turn bolts, the crank handle can be removed from the crank assembly, which in turn removes the kneading rod.  Right away, I could tell that it would be easy to clean, which was another plus in my book.  The box also contained a comment card, pack of yeast, recipe booklet, and an illustrated information sheet that detailed the product as well as steps in the dough making process (almost the biggest plus for a caveman).  The most surprising thing was the directions for making “easy French loaf” bread were also printed right there on the side of the bucket – so, even if I happen to lose the instruction booklets (raise your hand if you haven’t before), I still have the instructions to follow on the side.

I read through the directions on the side of the bucket and then read through the booklets that came with the EZ DOH.  Naturally, the booklet had recipes and “how to’s” for dinner rolls, sweet rolls, pizza dough, and several other items.  After digesting the material, I headed to the kitchen with the wife in tow (I think she was there more to watch me fall on my face than anything else).  Reading the directions again, I gathered all of the necessary supplies and ingredients.  I then went through, step by step adding all of the ingredients, stirring, turning the crank handle and looking at the pictures to make certain I was doing everything according to the directions.  I removed the dough, greased the bucket and allowed the dough to rise, prepared the cooking sheet while I was waiting, and then baked the bread according to the directions on the bucket (even putting 3 slashes in the dough).  Now, I will be the first to admit, my “French loaf forming skills” need some work, but I was absolutely successful on my very first attempt at “making bread” with very little effort.

Cleaning the EZ DOH was as simple as its construction and I prepared for round two.  I had a pot of venison stew in the crock pot already and I had noticed the directions for making bread bowls in the booklet.  So, the next attempt was centered around some modified instructions but met with success and some very nice bread for bread bowls all the same.  By this point, the kids were wanting to try their hand with the EZ DOH and I had another thing I wanted to try with the dough anyway, so we cleaned up the EZ DOH and started all over again.  However, this time, I moved outdoors to try my hand with “French bread” in the Dutch Oven, so I left the kids under the wife’s supervision with the EZ DOH while I prepared the fire pit for coals and Dutch Oven for baking bread.  I was nervous as to what the outcome would be, but once the coals were right we put the bread to the test.  Well, it worked (a little crustier on the bottom) but very edible and more uniform than my first “French loaf” attempt.

After we cleaned the EZ DOH up, we enjoyed the venison stew in the bread bowls we had made earlier and I even went back for seconds with some of the bread from the Dutch Oven.  All said, EZ DOH helped provide a fun experience for the kids (their first time being involved with or seeing fresh baked bread at home) and my wife even used the EZ DOH to make “sticky rolls” the next morning for breakfast (I think she was jealous the kids and I had so much fun with it the day before).  Of course, now the problem is explaining to the kids that we are not going to be making bread every day.

As a post-SHTF item, I can see plenty of uses for the “EZ DOH Manual Bread Dough Maker”.  Since it does not require electricity, it is an ideal setup for making dough when the power goes out.  The simplicity of the design means that it is easily cleaned with soap and water and there is not a lot to break on the design.  About the only possible (emphasis on possible) drawback to the design is the durability of the bucket, since it is made out of plastic but I really do not see it as being a major issue.  If you have wondered what you are going to do with all of that wheat you have stored for post-SHTF, the EZ DOH might just be a tool that you could benefit from having in your supplies.  Bread post-SHTF will definitely be a comfort item to enjoy with a meal, but fresh baked bread can make a pretty handy barter item as well.

 

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7 comments

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  1. Ginny Perkins

    Hi PJ & Maj!

    This is Ginny, (Dave’s wife) aka The Loaf Lady. Just wanted to thank you so much for the positive (and amusing -LOL!) review of EZ DOH! We are always so thrilled to hear when folks surprise themselves by making tasty bread with EZ DOH. We appreciate your support and endorsement of our product and hope you continue to enjoy experimenting with yeast and EZ DOH!

    Blessings to you and yours – Happy Baking!!

    Ginny w/ EZ DOH

  2. Black River Outpost

    Great review. Makes me want to go get one myself. Where’d you find it?

  3. The Maj

    Sorry, forgot to include it in the review, but http://www.ezdoh.com is where you can find the EZ DOH Manual Dough Maker.

  4. Brandon

    After reading this, I’m feeling really hungry.

    Roughly how long did it take to make the loaf of French bread? I have no cooking skills to speak of, but I always thought that, whether you used a bread mixer or kneaded the dough, you had to do it for a long time. And I thought waiting for the dough to rise took quite a long time, too. But from what you wrote, it sounded like it didn’t take too long.

  5. The Maj

    I did not really time everything out, but the French Loaf process from getting the ingredients out to baked bread ready for slicing the first time took approximately 2 hours. For a first time bread maker, I did not consider that to be too awful long. Of course 45 minutes to an hour of that time was letting the dough rise (30 to 45 minutes in the tub and 15 to 20 minutes on the baking pan), 25 to 30 minutes baking time, and 15 to 20 minutes cooling time in that two hours. So, actual “working time” you are looking at roughly 45 minutes. During all of the other time you can work on other things.

    The bread bowls did not take as long because the rise time was a little less and I got more familiar with the process. In a SHTF scenario, I would imagine baking bread would or could be akin to doing laundry – a weekly event in which you made the bread last as long as possible but not necessarily a daily event. Also, I am sure there are other tips that someone with more bread baking experience could give all of us to help make the process smoother and more efficient.

    1. Brandon

      That’s not bad at all. For some reason, I had always envisioned bread making as taking a large chunk of a day.

      I think you’re right, if the SHTF, baking bread would probably be something you do one time per week. But I definitely wouldn’t mind trying my hand at this while the Fan is still clean.

      Thanks for the info!

  6. Martha

    I grew up with a mother who made bread almost every day…most of the people my age did. So when I saw and then tasted the bread made by the EZ Doh, I just had to get one. I can’t believe how easy (EZ) it is to make delicious breads and rolls. On the EZ Doh website there are dozens of recipes for rolls and breads. I have been working my way down the list. I too love the simplicity and light weight of the EZ Doh. It’s EZ to store and virtually indestructible.

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