Before you start using your bread machine, learn your way around it. Find out what it has to offer you. Here are but a few of the features of a bread machine.
All bread machines are not the same. Some are more basic and don’t feature as many bells and whistles as others. You can determine if you need any of the features we mention below and then search for a bread machine that contains them all within your budget.
Bread Machine Features
1. Removable pan – This is where the bread is mixed kneaded, rises and is baked. The pan is removable for easy cleaning and baking. Check to see that your model offers non-stick surfaces so bread doesn’t stick and come apart in the machine. Larger machines will have larger pans for heavier breads.
2. Dough settings – Bread dough is not the only thing that you can make with a bread machine. Some models allow you to fashion pizza dough, pasta, and bagel and baguette dough as well. It all depends on your needs.
3. Time delay settings – This nifty feature allows you to make your bread dough in the machine now and delay the actual baking for up to 13 hours. If you have time to put together the ingredients now but want to wait until a future time to have the bread hot and ready, this feature is handy.
4. Crust settings – You have seen fresh baked bread that is light, medium and sometimes dark on the crust. You have that option as well with your bread machine. Depending on the type of bread you are making, you can vary the crust color.
5. See through window – You can watch your bread dough being mixed, kneaded and baked through this window. It can be a treat for kids. You can also watch and see which breads bake better and to your liking than others.
6. Programmable settings – Some smaller machines only offer one choice for dough type and other cycles. With a programmable one, you can custom bake each loaf to your specifications.
7. Automatic shut off setting – This feature is used for safety of the machine. The machine detects if something is off with the power or if the motor is working overtime. It will shut down the machine immediately to avoid any problems. You may have to add fresh ingredients because you don’t know how long the machine was off and during what cycle.
8. Rapid cycle setting – If you want your bread fast, you can use this feature bake bread in under an hour. It is usually available for smaller loaf sizes.
What features are important to you depend on your requirements at the time. Buy a bread machine that can grow with your baking needs.
Bread machines can make baking easier. Know what features you need in yours so that you buy the proper one for your home.
Above are just a few bread machines that I would recommend. They span all price ranges. If you already have a bread machine, you are on your way!
Over the next few weeks, I will be bringing you several kitchen tips to help you use your bread machine to its full potential.
In case you missed the previous Bread Maker Series Posts:
- Week 1 – How to Choose Your Bread Machine