5 Things to Consider When Selecting a Bread Machine!
If you are considering purchasing a bread making machine, you just might be wondering which bread machine is right for you and how do you go about selecting a bread machine that will work for you and your family anyway? There’s more to selecting a bread machine than simply the price of the machine. Although price is certainly one consideration as bread machines range in price from around $59 to $399.
Why I Love My Bread Machine
But, before I talk to you about selecting a bread machine, I thought I’d tell you why and how I use my bread machine. I had never owned a bread machine before receiving the one I inherited from my mother-in-law. My sister had a bread machine and she used to make bread in it all the time. But, I was kind of a snob about homemade bread. I was certain my handmade homemade bread was better than anything a bread machine could produce.
Plus, aren’t bread machines for people who don’t know how to make bread? Isn’t it really the lazy way to make bread? Well, sadly, that is what I used to think. The truth is, the more you know and understand about baking bread, the better results you have with your bread machine.
Sure, you can buy boxes of pre-made mixes, which adds another layer of convenience. But, what if you want better results? What if you want some flavor of bread that doesn’t come in a pre-made box? What if you fresh baked bread anytime and the confidence that your bread’s going to turn out perfectly every single time? And what if you want wholesome, preservative-free and healthier alternatives than store bought or box bread?
How I Use My Bread Machine
Those were my thoughts exactly. My husband and I are trying to eat healthier. We know bread is on the “naughty” list because it’s loaded with carbs, but what if we can make a healthier version? So, I dusted off the bread machine I inherited from my mother-in-law and I made a loaf of soft white bread following a recipe I found online. Then I made a loaf of wheat bread, again following a recipe I found online.
Then my husband asked me if I could make banana nut bread in my bread machine. So, I found a recipe for banana nut bread and have probably made a dozen loaves of this bread alone, tweaking it a little more to our liking each time.
Then I found this recipe for English Muffin Bread. That bread recipe was a game changer for me. I figured if I could make English Muffin Bread in my bread machine, certainly I could make all kinds of breads. Then I thought about the fact that Banana Nut Bread isn’t really bread, it’s a cake; and if I can make Banana Nut Cake in my bread maker, why not other types of cakes. So, I made Pound Cake. Moist, delicious, top it with strawberries, kind of pound cake!
I also began to experiment with substitutions. You know, like using sour cream instead of eggs, or applesauce in place of oil. Oh, yeah! And, the really great thing, I was now in charge of my bread machine. I understood its limitations and versatility.
Save Time in the Kitchen
Wanna know the absolute best thing about a bread machine? IT SAVES YOU TREMENDOUS TIME IN THE KITCHEN! I love the fact that I can make preservative-free and healthier alternatives for my family, but what really gets me all giddy and willing to give up counter space for this appliance is the fact that it saves me so much time. I typically use my bread machine 2-4 times a week now! If you’re wondering which bread machine is right for you or need help selecting a bread machine, keep reading…
5 Things to Consider When Selecting a Bread Machine
I’ve already shared with you my five reasons you need a bread machine here. So, today I want to share with you five things to consider when selecting a bread machine that’s right for you and your family.
- How are you going to use your bread machine? If you are looking for a bread machine to simply mix and knead dough, then having multiple options for bread types, isn’t a big deal. However, if you think you might like to make jam, bake cakes or use a timer for delayed start times, then you’ll want a machine with those features. Will you make bread for special occasions or weekly or more? Knowing how you’re going to use or might use your bread machine is the most important step in determining what bread machine is right for you.
- What size and shaped pan? If you’re single or a family of two and only want to make small loaves or cakes in your bread machine, then you’ll want to look for a bread machine with a 1 lb loaf capacity. If, however, you want to make larger loaves or you have a big family to feed, then you’ll want to look for a bread machine with a 2 or 2-1/2 lb loaf capacity.
- Does the shape of the bread matter? Also keep in mind that most bread machines don’t make traditionally shaped loaves of bread. They also leave a small hole in the bottom of the bread from the paddle. If it’s important to you to have traditional loaf shaped bread, then you’ll want to look for a machine with a horizontal pan. Some machines have a built-in tone that will sound notifying you that it’s now okay to remove the paddle. You simply remove the dough, remove the paddle and replace the dough back in the pan. The hole doesn’t bother me. The larger size of the bread allows me to slice a piece of bread and then cut it in half for the perfect sized sandwich or toast.
- Will you use a timer? Do you love the idea of loading your bread machine the night before and waking up to the aroma of fresh baked bread? Or maybe coming home from a long day at work and having the bread baked just in time for dinner? Then, you’ll want to make sure your bread machine is equipped with a timer.
- What kind of bread do you want to make? If you have special dietary needs, such as gluten-free or dairy-free, you’ll probably want a machine with that as a feature. Likewise, if you want to be able to simply have a machine that only mixes and kneads the dough for you so you can bake the bread in a traditional oven, then you’ll probably want a machine with a dough setting. Bread machines can come with a lot of preset functions; you’ll just want to make sure yours has the functionality you’ll use most often.
Energy Efficient and Environmentally Friendly
Although bread machines take up a lot of space, they do an amazing job, save you a ton of time in the kitchen, save you a lot of money on bread and allow you the opportunity to make healthy options for your family. You can certainly use bread mixes in your bread machine, but once you understand your bread machine a little better, you don’t have to limit yourself to box mixes.
A couple of other bonuses that I hadn’t really thought much about before are the fact that it takes less electricity to use a bread machine than an oven so it’s energy efficient. Also, you can make bread year ‘round without having to turn the hot oven on in the summertime!
I hope reading about how I’ve come to love my bread machine, how I use mine, how much time it saves, what to consider before purchasing a bread machine and how energy efficient they are has given you at least a little nudge to want to either dust your bread machine off and start using it again or to take the leap and purchase a bread machine.
In the coming weeks and months, I hope to share more bread machine recipes with you, as well as tips and tricks and maybe even some “what not to do”. You know, “I tried this and it was a terrible failure, so save yourself some time and don’t do that!” Hopefully, today’s post has helped you in selecting a bread machine that’s right for you and your family.
Hope to see you back here soon as we learn more together about bread machines! In case you missed it, be sure to check out my 5 reasons you need a bread machine!
Til next time…