Bread maker basics

It can be hard to find just the right bread machine to suit your needs. So, where do you begin?

Bread machines can make baking easier. Know their basic features, highlight what features you need in yours, and determine your criteria for choosing so that you buy the proper one for your home.

Bread machine features

What features are important to you depend on your requirements at the time. Buy a bread machine that can grow with your baking needs. Before you start using your bread machine, learn your way around it. Find out what it has to offer you. Here are but a few of the features of a bread machine.

Most common bread machine features

  1. Removable pan – This is where the bread is mixed kneaded, rises and is baked. The pan is removable for easy cleaning and baking. Check to see that your model offers non-stick surfaces so bread doesn’t stick and come apart in the machine. Larger machines will have larger pans for heavier breads.
  2. Dough settings – Bread dough is not the only thing that you can make with a bread machine. Some models allow you to fashion pizza dough, pasta, and bagel and baguette dough as well. It all depends on your needs.
  3. Time delay settings – This nifty feature allows you to make your bread dough in the machine now and delay the actual baking for up to 13 hours. If you have time to put together the ingredients now but want to wait until a future time to have the bread hot and ready, this feature is handy.
  4. Crust settings – You have seen fresh baked bread that is light, medium and sometimes dark on the crust. You have that option as well with your bread machine. Depending on the type of bread you are making, you can vary the crust color.
  5. See through window – You can watch your bread dough being mixed, kneaded and baked through this window. It can be a treat for kids. You can also watch and see which breads bake better and to your liking than others.
  6. Programmable settings – Some smaller machines only offer one choice for dough type and other cycles. With a programmable one, you can custom bake each loaf to your specifications.
  7. Automatic shut off setting – This feature is used for safety of the machine. The machine detects if something is off with the power or if the motor is working overtime. It will shut down the machine immediately to avoid any problems. You may have to add fresh ingredients because you don’t know how long the machine was off and during what cycle.
  8. Rapid cycle setting – If you want your bread fast, you can use this feature bake bread in under an hour. It is usually available for smaller loaf sizes.

All bread machines are not the same. Some are more basic and don’t feature as many bells and whistles as others. You can determine if you need any of the features we have mentioned and then search for

Choosing the right bread machine

Bread machines are a wonder for the working mom who wants to provide her family with all natural food. It saves you time and money. But, there are so many bread machines on the market today. Which one do you choose?

It can be hard to find just the right bread machine to suit your needs. So, where do you begin? First determine your criteria for choosing and then go down the list of viable options until you find the exact one for you.

Making the choice

  1. Capacity – Different sizes of bread machine will make different sizes of bread loaves. For instance, a 10-cup bread machine will produce a one pound loaf. That will equal about eight slices of bread for your family. If you plan on baking breads for special occasions then you might need something bigger. For your immediate family, a one pound loaf per session may be all that you need to avoid a lot of excess. And smaller bread machines can bake bread quicker if you need it faster as opposed to a longer setting.
  2. Price – Bread machines differ here as well. The basic model will usually offer you one choice for bread size and not very many options for cooking different types of breads. If this is okay with you then go for the lower price. As you get more expensive, you are also provided with more features like bread size, dough type, crust color, delayed baking or rapid baking cycles, different kneading cycles or no bake cycles if you wish to freeze your dough and bake later.
  3. Other features – Some bread makers allow you to create pizza dough. If your family enjoys pizza, then this is a useful feature to help you save money. There are even features that let you choose to make gluten-free breads, sweet breads and wheat bread. Your family may enjoy healthier options. Some have automatic shut off to protect the bread and you in the event of a power failure or you are not there to turn the bread off once it’s done.
  4. Shape of loaf – You can find bread machines that can bake horizontally or vertically. If you want a loaf that looks like those in stores then you might want to purchase a horizontal baker.
  5. Ease of cleaning – No one wants to buy a bread machine that takes hours to clean. Look for stainless steel or nonstick surfaces that can be wiped up in a jiffy. Also find one with removable parts that are easy to put back together after cleaning.