What is a bread machine?
Homemade bread is much tastier (and healthier) than regular bread, and the smell emanating during the bread baking process can instantly improve your mood after a stressful day. Due to the advantages it offers (far beyond traditional bread baking methods) a bread machine is a real advantage for those who are passionate about cooking at home, in a traditional and healthy way. It is equally useful for those who have a very busy schedule, but who want to eat in a way that is as eco-friendly as possible, with fresh homemade bread.
A bread machine is a tool that falls into the category of small appliances. It has the role of mixing, kneading and baking bread, the whole operation being performed by this device. You can also use it to prepare the dough for a multitude of other types of bakery products, from pizza tops, rolls, pretzels to doughs and compositions for cake, sponge cake or cake.
Using such a machine you will be able to give various shapes and patterns to your bread, while enjoying a high quality product, prepared entirely at home. So, if you want to prepare bread or cake in a fresh and healthy bread machine , this product is definitely the one that gives you the maximum satisfaction guaranteed!
How do bread machines work?
Any bread baker, as a whole, does exactly the same thing a baker does, who makes bread by hand. The obvious advantage is that everything is done without too much effort on the part of the user. The most important (and practically the only) step that the user must take when using this bread-making device is to introduce the ingredients into the machine.
Making bread at home is more of a scientific experiment than cooking, because if you do not enter the exact amount of ingredients in the recipe, the final product will not be as you want. Make sure you measure the exact amount of flour, water, yeast, salt and any other ingredients before putting it in the bread machine to benefit from a high quality finished product.
The operations of mixing and kneading the dough are put into action as soon as the ingredients have been introduced (in the specified quantities), and the user selects a program that the bread machine will follow. Most of these devices have a number of programmed programs, which are only available at the touch of a button. The timing may be slightly different, but they all follow the same set of basic commands, the first being mixing and kneading.
Any cheap bread maker will start by mixing the ingredients with the dough hook for a short time, probably around two minutes. It will then let the dough rest for ten to fifteen minutes for leavening, then the dough hook will begin to turn again, this time kneading the dough (a stage that can take five or six minutes).
The dough rise is based on the entry into action of the thermostat in the bread machine, which will gradually increase the temperature, allowing the bread to rise over an appropriate period of time. Once this step is completed, the appliance will immediately enter the baking mode. As soon as the dough starts to rise, the microchip that controls the thermostat of the appliance will raise the temperature again.
This time, however, he will bake your bread. The bread will bake according to the time period set and programmed by the user, and when it will bake, the machine will close on its own. Your bread will be cooled and ready to be eaten in a period of thirty minutes to an hour.
The size and design options of the bread machine
Every bread machine manufacturer can opt for a certain design and dough preparation capacity. Bread can be made in several shapes and with various patterns, the dough forming characteristic being one of the criteria based on which you will choose your future bread maker at home. In general, devices of this kind are slightly larger than the shape of an ordinary bread, but have a high height, so as to allow even the baking of a thick cake dough. When choosing your future bread machine, consider the possibility of preparing other types of dough, so that you are not limited to just a few baking options.
In what situations is a bread machine useful?
There are many benefits to preparing bread in a bread machine , so purchasing such a tool has many benefits in the long run. If you are a person who prefers to eat bakery products over which he has absolute control over the composition or if you want to save valuable time when you are in a hurry, a bread machine is the perfect option for your kitchen. Here are some of the facilities offered by the best bread machine:
- It gives you the opportunity to prepare fresh bread – the most obvious benefit is to have fresh bread at home, and if it is prepared at home, then everything is perfect. Most bread machines have a timer function that you can set to bake bread at a certain time. This is useful if you want to prepare the ingredients in advance and let the machine do its job while you work on something else. With a bread machine, you can have fresh bread at hand whenever you want.
- Control over the composition and ingredients – by baking your own bread, you can control the ingredients you want to add, which can be useful for people who are allergic to certain ingredients. You can also choose to add other ingredients, such as dried fruit, nuts or sunflower seeds or other types of ingredients, which means you can create your own personalized bread.
- You will have a clean kitchen – some people do not bake in the kitchen at home, because they are afraid of making a mess. Because a bread machine does everything from kneading dough to kneading it to baking, it will never be a disaster in your kitchen. Moreover, each bread machine comes with a removable tray that can be easily cleaned.
- Save money – buying bread from the store can be expensive, especially if you are subject to dietary restrictions or prefer certain types of bread, with a more atypical composition. Bread machines can produce gluten-free bread, whole wheat bread and other types of custom bread. You can also make pizza dough, pasta, even jams, and in the case of certain machines, you can prepare bread at home according to local recipes. When you find the best bread machine you will notice that it is incredibly affordable in terms of the number of products you can make, which means you will save money in the long run (the investment will be amortized successfully).
- You make a lot more products than bread – in addition to bread, you can make more than bread, such as jam, pasta, homemade dough (the variety of products that can be prepared depends on the machine you buy).
- Superior taste and quality – nothing can compare to the taste of fresh bread. Because you can count on the fact that you can control the ingredients you add to the composition, you can expect to get a higher quality of homemade bread compared to commercially purchased, which tends to have a pre-determined taste (if you are on a diet or do not eat salty, then such a machine is ideal to get the perfect bread for your needs).
- It is an easy to use device – bread machines are programmed to make perfect breads (if you use the recommended quantities and the appropriate dosage). All you have to do, in this case, is to follow the recipes that accompany the user manuals or tutorials for preparing certain types of bread on the internet and you will bake a delicious homemade bread in an electric oven in no time!
How to choose a bread machine?
Most of the time, choosing a bread machine is a rather difficult operation because we take into account far too many criteria. Think analytically, according to your own needs, because you are the main beneficiary of this device. Here are some of the criteria sought by other customers who have common opinions about the bread machine about the characteristics that such a home appliance product must meet:
- The price – is influenced by the number and multitude of options found in the bread machine. Which means that a bread machine is more expensive as you have more bread making options or programmable features. Higher priced models tend to produce a nicer and more uniform bread than lower priced models. It does not necessarily take into account the price when you want a quality bread machine, it is important to offer you the maximum benefits, so that you always have top bakery products.
- Kneading paddles – influence the way the composition will be prepared and give the dough the opportunity to mix properly. It also gives you the opportunity to make other types of dough, such as those for pasta. A machine of this type must have two kneading paddles (ideally you should have a spare paddle included in the purchase package).
- The function of timing the bread preparation time – the timer will allow you to select the moment when you want the bread to start baking. For example, you can add the ingredients to the bread machine just before going to bed and you can set the timer to start baking at any time you want.
- Silence level – given the fact that such a device mixes and kneads the dough, you must take into account the level of noise produced by it. Top models tend to use better materials and are more durable, so they make less noise.
- Alarm for adding certain ingredients – quality bread making machines are provided with such a feature. In this way the user will be notified when it is the right time to add those elements so that the ingredients are properly integrated.
- The number of types of dough and bakery products you can produce – even if the name is a bread maker, you will certainly appreciate if you can cook with this tool pizza dough, cakes, jams, noodles, various types of bread (gluten-free, wheat, with nuts and seeds).
- Programmable options – are useful if you want to control the crust color, degree of baking, kneading level and any other options that give you full control over the product you want to make.
Always choose your future bread machine wisely and you will have results that give you satisfaction every time.
Tips on using bread machines
- Get to know your bread machine before washing for the latest recipes.
- Always add the ingredients in the correct order and in the right amount according to the instructions and recommendations in the recipes.
- Make sure that the yeast avoids direct contact with salt and sugar.
- Pay special attention to the shape and texture of the dough.
- Add the ingredients that can be crushed in the kneading process near the end of the mixing process, not at the beginning.
- Cut the butter and margarine into small pieces before integrating them into the composition.
- Buy quality ingredients if you want your own bread and bakery products to come out perfect.
How to properly care for a bread machine?
Be sure to disconnect the appliance from the power supply before cleaning it and never pour water over it to clean it. Use a damp cloth on the sides and top (which are made of plastic) and then wipe them with a paper kitchen towel to dry.
The kneading paddles must be cleaned very carefully because they are sharp. Never leave leftover bread inside the appliance. The way you take care of your bread machine depends on keeping it in the best operating conditions. This way you will benefit from a quality bread machine for you and your whole family!
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