There are a lot of machines on the market. They come in a multitude of shapes and sizes, and can have a variety of features. So how do you decide which bread machine is right for you?
Ask yourself these questions.
How Much Do You Want To Spend? There are cheap machines that can turn out a decent loaf of bread. However, they are usually pretty small, so you can only make small loaves. Cheap bread machines also tend to be lacking in features. Still, if you only want to make a small loaf of bread every week or so, a cheap machine might be all you need.
How Much Homemade Bread Do Your Really Need? For some people, bread making is a hobby. They only make the occasional loaf of bread, usually when they find an interesting recipe they want to try. For these hobbyists, a machine that makes small loaves might be enough.
For some people, bread making is a huge lifestyle change. For example, if you have a large family, and have decided to stop buying store-bought bread altogether, you'll need a bigger machine. Look for a bread machine that can make at least a 1-pound loaf. You can even find larger machines that make 2-pound loaves. But keep this in mind. Homemade bread has no preservatives, and will go stale faster than store-bought bread. Will your family be able to eat a 2-pound loaf of bread before it goes stale? If not, stick with the 1-pound loaf bread machine.
Do You Need a Machine with a Timer? Some bread machines come with delay timers, so you can set the bread maker to start at a certain time. Using a timer, you can set the machine to start while you're asleep or out shopping. If you time it right, your bread can finish baking just as you arrive home from work. And what can be better after a hard day at work than a slice of warm, freshly-baked bread?
Getting the Most Out of Your Machine
Yes, bread machines are nearly fool-proof. But there are things you can do to get the best results possible from your machine.
Choose Recipes Carefully. Not every recipe will work correctly in a bread maker. Fortunately, a quick Internet search is all it takes to find bread recipes that have been modified for use in bread makers.
You can also find ready-made mixes especially made for bread machines. These mixes are convenient, affordable, and almost impossible to screw up.
Don't Leave Bread In the Machine for Too Long. Homemade bread is the best when it's still warm. Some machines can keep bread warm long after it has finished baking. However, bread left in the machine for too long could end up being soggy, and not a lot of fun to eat.
Make the Bread Easy To Remove. Thoroughly spray the inside of the machine with cooking spray before adding the ingredients. This will make the bread easier to remove after baking.
Use Bread Machine Yeast... Always. Some recipes don't specify the kind of yeast you should use. But, for the sake of convenience, use bread machine yeast whenever possible.
Bread machines are a modern marvel that many people are just starting to discover. If you've never made bread from scratch before, a bread machine will have you turning out beautiful and delicious loaves of homemade bread in no time. If you're an experienced baker, but just haven't had time to make much bread from scratch, a bread machine will help you step back into the homemade bread making game with ease.
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