Don’t you just love the fresh aroma of bread baked right under your nose? If it was possible we would all make our own bread daily instead of procuring readymade loafs from the bakery. Well, not all of us are masters of baking and less of us actually have the required equipment to get the job done. This is where a bread maker comes into the picture. It can reduce the total effort required, bake on its own and save you a lot of investment in the long run. Through this guide, we will aim to educate readers about the basics that one must look at before purchasing a bread machine. (Note we shall stay away from additional features that are commonly found in bread machines of today.)
Size Of Loaf
Probably the very first thing to consider is the loaf size. This is because the dimensions of your bread machine are governed by how large a loaf you wish to bake. Most top brands actually provide a large machine capable of baking anywhere from 1 to 2.5 pounds. In fact, it is always a better option to pick something that can make 1 to 2 pound loafs without any difference in consistency. Recipe also decides the size of the bread.
Bread machines either bake bread in the vertical or horizontal orientation. With a tall bread machine you will have a smaller footprint and can store it tucked away in the corner of your kitchen while getting a decent loaf but be ready to sacrifice a little in terms of shape and texture of the bread. You won’t get artisan quality bread with these machines and they usually sell cheaper too. Horizontal machines make perfect artisan quality bread and are long as well as large. They are expensive too but a better investment if the loaf consistency is something you rate highly.
Things You Wish To Bake
Today’s bread makers are capable of replicating very intricate recipes. They are also highly programmable and can automatically create perfection or be programmed manually to make particular recipes. Before purchasing a bread machine think of what you need more. If you have plenty of grandma recipes to try out get an expensive highly programmable machine. For those looking at an easy way out, an affordable automated baking machine is better.
Do you need to make anything else other than bread in your bread maker? Some people bake cake, cookies and other stuff with their bread machine. For such folks having the ability to automate such activities is a definite advantage. See for models that offer presets to make cookies, knead pizza dough and pasta dough. Having these features will definitely shoot the price of the bread machine up but it makes life much easier.
Do you mind having to wait for bread to bake or are you the hit and run kind of guy? For folks who want completely automated processes, digital timers are an important part of the equation. With a digital timer you can postpone the baking or even kneading process by 13 hours so that you wake up early in the morning and find the machine just about finishing up a fresh loaf of bread. For a great digital timer, opt for a model such as the Cuisinart CBK-100.
Non-stick pans are great for maintenance and clean-up but not all non-stick material is safe. Prefer to get the non-stick material checked out beforehand. See customer reviews and call the company up to find out what they are exactly using. Non-stick makes it much easier to clean the machine soon after use.
Bread machines like we said before can either be intelligent or completely pre-programmed. Those with microprocessors come pre-programmed and handle every single step involved in baking a bread. They are actually highly capable of thinking on their own and making tiny adjustments as and when necessary so as to maintain the ultimate consistency of your loaf.
Quick Bake Feature
If you hate waiting around for bread to bake then get something with a rapid baking feature. This process hastens the kneading and baking cycles for white bread finishing it up in under 1 hour.
You can either get dual or single blades for kneading. Dual blades help in a more consistent dough while single blades take a little longer. Moreover, dual blades are always found in horizontal bread machines. Price wise, both cost the same.
Dispenser for fruits and nuts help you make different types of breads with ease. Fruit cakes, nut bread and other recipes require the timely addition of nuts and fruits. With a dispenser you never have to worry when to add these items in. The dispenser drops it in right in between the two kneading cycles saving you the pain of having to wait around.
Bread machines ship out with plenty of extra accessories. Sometimes they manufacturer can provide spare parts. These stuffs are great to have around as they help in maintaining the machine for a longer period of time. Make sure you get a measuring cup, spoon, an extra blade at the very least.
For more info on bread machines, head over to: http://www.breadmachinedirect.com/