In the past, houses depended on making their freshly baked, delicious bread without being dependent on bakeries. Nowadays, in our fast-paced world, you will find that the majority of people have never made their own bread due to the time and effort this process requires.
Truth is, nothing compares to making your own fresh loaves of bread. Fortunately, thanks to technology, a recent invention recently joined the market. Automatic bread machines have made it much easier and simpler to turn your kitchen into a bakery to make your bread for only a fraction of what it would normally cost in stores.
To join this delicious trend, we have collected what you should know about bread machines and how to choose the right one for your needs.
The Past Vs. The Future
In the past, the breadmaking process consisted of five long laborious stages. It started with mixing flour, yeast, water, fat, sugar, and a sprinkle of salt together to make the dough. After that comes kneading where you have to beat and bash the dough repeatedly until it becomes stretchy and easier to manipulate.
Then, you only have to leave the bread for an hour or two until it “rises” after the yeast has done its job. After the air has plumped the dough to twice its size, most bakers believe that repeating the last two steps will result in more even loaves. The last step is baking where the dough is left in a tin in the oven until it has a gold yellowish appealing color.
Nowadays, electric bread makers take care of all the aforementioned steps for you. Bread machines are basically electric ovens with incorporated special tins for holding the bread. The electric tin comes with an axle at the bottom which is responsible for the kneading process and mixing the ingredient together without having to exert effort to bash the dough around.
Choose the Right Kneading Paddles
While kneading paddles differ in shapes and sizes, most bread making machines come with at least one default paddle for kneading the bread. Any great resource will tell you that it’s better to go for machines with double paddles to ensure how well the bread will be kneaded by the machines. Some machines will even have a specific replacement for making pasta.
However, you don’t have to only opt for machines that offer all these features and options. You can customize your own bread making machine by buying a dual kneading paddle or buying an extra tray for making pasta.
One thing you must pay attention to is whether the kneading paddles are removable or not. If not, chances are you do not always want a hole in your loaf. This is why it’s better to resort to only buying machines with removable paddles because they come with more options and flexibility.
Most of the time, bread making machines don’t differ that much in terms of prices, size of the bread you want to make, and there isn’t that much of a difference between brands as well. This is why it’s better to base your decision on the programmable options that come with your machine.
These options can come in handy if you would like to have more control over how dark or light you want the crust to be. There is another option that allows you to bake the bread without kneading it if you prefer to knead your dough by hand. Other useful options might allow you to control the duration of the rising process and how much you would like to leave your bread to set.
More advanced machines come with programmed settings that allow you to make gluten-free loaves, whole wheat bread, or if you are feeling more adventurous, sweet bread. Higher-end models give you more flexibility of programming your cycle however you want if you can’t find one with the desired pre-programmed cycles.
More Than Just Bread
Typically, if you want more options and customized settings, you will need to invest more money into your machine. However, some machines are worth investing in because they can be useful in making more than just bread.
Bread making machines essentially focus on making doughs. If you want to make more than just a basic loaf of bread, you can opt for choosing a machine that offers options to make specialty items such as pizza dough, cake, noodles, sourdough bread, and more.
Bread making machines can come in handy for people who have specific requirements when it comes to their bread loaves. Some people are gluten intolerant, so buying a bread maker that comes with pre-programmed settings for gluten-free bread will save you a lot of money in the long run.
Other people might prefer these machines merely because they are more economical and provide you with the option to always have fresh loaves on demand whenever you want.