Bread has been around for thousands of years. Even in the BC years, people have made bread as a cheap, filling meal. It is a universal food in some ways, found all over the world.
As cultures have evolved, so have their food. Bread is one of those foods—it has been made with all sorts of different flavors and ingredients.
It has all come a long way—from the starchy flatbread that was made in ancient Europe to the very bread machines you see here.
The bread of old wasn’t very flavorful, but that doesn’t mean your bread has to be the same way. These machines will assist with that if you have the great ingredients, they will do the work for you.
How does it work?
Bread machines are a work of art. It takes all the processes of manually mixing, kneading, and baking the dough into bread and combines it into one mechanism. They are relatively small pots or buckets that act like an oven.
The only thing you have to do is measure out your ingredients. Most bread machines have presets that can make your bread for you—all you have to do is press the buttons.
After putting all the ingredients in and pressing the setting, the bread machine will get to work. It will knead the dough inside the special tin with its axle.
After it is mixed, it will allow the dough to rise. The yeast, which is a major component in nearly all breads, will make the dough grow and expand to a reasonable size, almost two times bigger. More kneading follows.
After a while, the bread machine will begin to bake the bread and cause it to become the loaves you know and love. Depending on the machine, there are plenty of different loaves of bread that you can make.
There’s a bake mode in most of them, allowing any sort of bread, but most also have presets for wheat, multi-grain, and others.
Benefits of Using a Bread Machine
Aside from taking most of the work out of mixing, kneading, and the tough art of manually crafting its shape, bread machines will save you money in the long run.
While loaves of bread are relatively cheap, the prices of flour and bakers are rising. In total, a loaf of bread that you make will end up being a lot cheaper than ones you can find in the store for the same quality.
Not only will it be better-tasting than the store-bought loaves, you can make different types of variations in the bread itself. Here are some different bread you can make:
- Banana Bread
- Beer Bread
- Carrot Bread
- Potato Bread
- And many others!
You’ll know exactly what goes in the bread and won’t have to worry about flour bleaching or dangerous chemicals that may be used to make the bread.
White bread is made from bleached flour and eating it will subject you to those chemicals, so be wary. You don’t have to worry about that if you make your own bread!
What to Look For
There are plenty of bread machines out there, many of which have a ton of different functions and designs. If you’re unsure what to look for when getting a bread machine, you should keep a few key things in mind.
While some may argue that there are only two or three things a bread machine needs, a little more doesn’t hurt. As long as it has a timer, basic cycle, and manual cycle, it should be good to go.
However, those who want a bit more than basic bread need a bit more than the basic necessities. While some might not be needed, it’s always a good option to have the potential for different breads.
Like many appliances on the market, there are cheaper knock-off versions or ones that might seem like a deal. Remember that you get what you pay for, so be wary when not spending over $80 for a bread machine.
Also, a warranty is always a good idea, considering that with so many functioning parts, bread machines are more liable to malfunction.
The bread pans are a very important part of the bread machines. However big it is, that is how big your loaves will be. If you’re making bread for a big family, you’ll need a larger pan. Normally, bread pans come around 2 pounds.
Material-wise, they usually come in aluminum with a nonstick coating which may need to be re-seasoned over time.
Whether manual or automatic, a timer is one of the most important parts of a bread machine. Manual timers are always better than automatic ones, but each type of bread may need a different length of time.
Programmable options are a plus, so you can set certain times for your breads if you make different ones.
It isn’t as important as quality or the other things listed, but there are plenty of beautiful and elegant bread machines out there.
Some throw design out the window when it comes to industrial or commercial bread machines, but if you want one in your kitchen, it never hurts to find a matching machine to go with your appliances.