How to Choose the Best Bread Machine?
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Top Best Bread Machines Based on Reviews and Price
How to Choose a Bread Machine?
Making bread with a Bread machine is easy and cost-effective. You have the option to mix all the ingredients to your taste to achieve that unique flavor you wish for. Depending on where you make your purchase, Bread machines can cost as high as $500, but the most important thing is to ensure your choice aligns with your needs.
While there are a variety of brands to choose from, this isn’t entirely necessary when it comes to selecting a Bread machine. You surely have to analyze every feature they come with before concluding.
Does your Bread machine come with programmable options? A paddle or even a timer that tells you when your bread is ready? In this guide, we explore 10 essential factors to consider before purchasing a bread machine.
10 Essential Factors to Consider Before Buying a Bread Machine
1. Types and Sizes
There are limitations in the shape bread machines come on. Presently, you will only find two types of bread machines on the market. This includes the horizontal and vertical maker.
Vertical makers are designed for baking loaves of bread which are tall. They usually occupy little space thanks to their compact design and also produce bread with a fluffy top. When using this type of machine, it’s important to outline every detail of your bread, so you don’t end up with an all-purpose bread.
Horizontal bread machines produce bread shaped like the ones found in conventional stores. If you’re someone who likes to pay attention to the appearance of your bread, the horizontal maker would be the right option for you.
The benefits of using horizontal makers are that they come with multiple mixers and allow you to bake all kinds of bread.
Coming to size, Bread machines come in different sizes, and this greatly influences their capacity. Their size ranges from 1 to 3 lbs. usually, a maker of 1 lb can give you 8 slices, 1.5 lbs gives 12 slices, and 2 lbs give you 16 slices.
Your needs will greatly influence the type and size of the maker you go for. If you stay alone, you will want to go for the smallest maker, but if you have a family, I highly recommend you consider anything higher than 1 lb.
2. Programmable Options
It’s easier to make things when you have everything automated. Not only do we find Bread machines with programmable options to be easier to deal with, but the quality of bread made with it also differs.
Programmable options come handy if you want total control. For instance, if you want your crust to be dark or light, or if you want it to rise or not. There are makers with programmable options that allow you to make the dough without kneading it. This way, the programmable options will enable you to bake according to the nature of the dough.
If you’re lucky enough, you will also find some Bread machines that come with additional options that allow you to bake in different styles. This includes gluten-free, French, or sweet. So with this feature, all you have to do is type the features of the bread you want, and your maker will set out to make you just that. The higher the model you go for, the more options you will get, but you will have to spend more should that be the case.
3. Paddles for Mixing
Most machines come with different types of paddles. There are makers with just a single paddle for kneading dough while others might come with an additional option for small chops. Ideally, bread machines should come with a single paddle. However, to get one that aligns with your needs, having multiple paddles is always better.
Dual paddling does a better job of kneading the dough, allowing you to get the same result as when you do so with your hands. This way, you will be able to get rid of lumps and arrive at the desired texture.
In addition to the number of paddles available, you might want to take a look at whether it’s removable or not. This is because leaving the paddles around when you bake might create a hole in the bread. Some models will tell you to remove the paddles before the baking process commences. However, those that are removable are easier to clean.
4. Delayed Timer
Having this feature saves you the stress of coming back to check whether the bread is ready or not. As much as possible, try to go for Bread machines with timer. This option allows you to set when your bread begins baking as well as when the cycle will end.
For instance, with a delay timer, you can assemble all your ingredients in your machine before going to bed and set when the timer starts baking. You can also tell the timer the number of loaves to make as well as the style you want using the programmable options. This way, you can wake up to freshly baked bread.
5. Noise Factor
Most electronic devices produce noise when in operation. As much as possible, you will want to steer clear of machines whose sound can be heard from distances.
Since Bread machines knead and bake, it’s realistic to assume that they will be very noisy, but you should be hell-bent on getting one that makes little noise if possible.
Besides, they will potentially be in operation in the middle of the night, and the vibration produced during the baking process might cause it to fall on the ground if not properly installed.
While there are no noise cancelation features on these machines, we’ve found bread machines with high-quality build material to be less noisy. They should also be sturdy to restrict movement, which automatically reduces noise.
6. Alarm Feature
If you like to bake with fruits and nuts bread, ensure you go for makers with sound as this will guide you on the number of ingredients to add.
Adding nuts at the beginning of the baking cycle will likely get them crushed, which is why it’s important to add them at the end.
Machines with alarms usually beep to signify that its time to add your fruits and do the same when the bread is ready.
7. Specialty Items
While most people prefer to go for an all-purpose bread, especially when life gets busy, there are situations you will want more than just basic bread, for instance, if you have guests coming over.
A machine with specialty items allows you to make things like pizza, cake, noodles, jam or wheat. A machine with special features will tell you when to add the ingredients and also bake to your taste.
It’s possible to control the ingredient of your bread, so you don’t end up with an all-purpose bread.
8. Baking Time
One of the features you will like to take a look at is the speed of the machine. The main concern of the user should be how much time it will take to bake a loaf of bread.
Nobody likes to wait for long, especially when you have your entire family sitting at the dining table.
Basic bread with flour and butter has to go through the cycle of kneading, mix, rise, punch down and bake for approximately 4 hours while machines with express cycles will get the job done in an hour.
However, the cooking time depends on the type of bread you want to bake. Generally, white bread is the fastest to prepare. Having knowledge of the cooking time helps your cooking preparation.
No one wants to have a big mess lying around. So, it is important you go for a Bread machine with a non-stick pan. This ensures your bread slides out clean rather than sticking to the bottom of the pan, which will no doubt alter its shape.
To reduce the probability of it sticking, go for makers that come with wire handles. This way, you will be able to remove the bread with minimal damage.
If you want more control when cleaning, go for machines whose kneading paddle and pan are removable.
Before buying any machine, you hope that it will last for a lifetime even though such expectations aren’t realistic.
When it comes to bread machines, you will want to spend your money on one made with long-lasting material. It comes with the added advantage of producing less noise.
Also, check for the pan to ensure the surface coating won’t rub off on your bread, and neither will frequent usage post any health concern.
To be on the safer side, ensure all your purchases come with a money-back warranty.
Wrapping It Up
With so many products from different brands out there, choosing a maker without considering all the factors outlined here will be a mistake. Choosing the best maker doesn’t happen by coincidence; there is a lot of planning involved.
Sometimes, there would be models from different brands that align with your needs. If you find yourself in such a situation, the deciding factor should be the price, reviews, warranty, and brand.
Certainly, two brands can’t have the same quality and production policy. Choose from a trusted brand and bake good!