You don’t have to spend time shopping around for a certain type of bread, when you can simply make it at home, by using a bread machine. With just a push of a button, you’ll control what you eat, since you’ll have full control over what ingredients the bread has in its composition. While picking the right one might seem like a difficult task for many, as there are several options to choose from, available at any given time, there are a few criteria you should pay attention to.
- Performance, Consistency, and Functionality
A high-quality bread machine should maintain the texture of the bread it makes regardless of how often you’re using it. The loaf should always correspond with the size you’ve selected, while the crust should maintain a uniform color. Currently, there are only two types of machines that make vertical and horizontal bread, both allowing you to pick from different types of loaf sizes according to your needs – small (1 pound), medium (2 pounds), large (2.5, 3 pounds), or mixed.
Surely rushing to your kitchen at 3 or 4 am to check what happened to your bread maker is a scenario you want to avoid. A unit that makes a lot of noise as it works will become an inconvenience sooner or later, so it’s best to search for a quiet machine. Additionally, ensure the place where it stands is wide enough, as, otherwise, if it starts to ‘move’, it might end up falling off the counter.
How many paddles would you like the machine to have? Some types have 2 paddles, while others require only 1 to operate. While there’s no rule linking the quality of the bread with the number of paddles, the ingredients are mixed better when two paddles are working at the same time.
Furthermore, another aspect you should keep in mind is the baking pan. Check if it can be removed or not, as this will provide you with the ability to not only thoroughly cleaning it up after every use but also with a struggle-less way to remove the bread.
- Smart Controls and Intelligent Functions
To be accessible to everyone, its controls should be easy to comprehend and use. The larger the display the easier it will be for you to select the settings, while the distinct buttons will ensure there is no confusion on which button does what. Besides, if you don’t want to lower the temperature yet you’re still curious about how the bread is faring, then look for a large viewing window.
The intelligent functions will help simplify the process, as well as supplying you with variety when it comes down to how you want to set up the machine. However, it’s best to keep a close eye on the price, since the more functions it has, the higher the price will rise.
- Alarm – it will warn you when the bread is ready, so you can take it out and enjoy it.
- Keep-Warm – if you don’t have the spare moments to maneuver the bread right away, it will maintain it warm for some time, until you’re ready. But don’t wait too long, as even the most expensive unit can’t keep the bread warm for more than 2 hours.
- Timer – you might not always have the time to wait for the bread to be prepared. The delayed timer will allow you to enjoy fresh bread, no matter if it’s morning or afternoon.
- Automatic dispenser – if you’ve always wanted to try and prepare a particular bread recipe that includes your favorite fruits, seeds, or nuts, then this function is a lifesaver. You don’t have to look after the process, as the unit will automatically integrate the extra-ingredients just at the right time.
- Recipes and Baking
- Settings and Recipes
With an abundance of recipes already integrated into the appliance, all you need to do is inspect if it has the ones that you like. There are plenty of types of bread you can opt for, ranging from the traditional one up to a gluten-free one, if your diet requires it. Furthermore, some machines can even assist you in preparing dough for distinct types of food, as well as deserts, so read the functions it comes with, and pick the one you like best.
- Baking cycles
Another important feature you should keep in mind is how fast the machine works. What is its fastest baking cycle? What about the longest? By keeping in mind the duration of each baking cycle, you’ll be able to arrange it according to your daily agenda. A basic baking and a dough cycle are enough to prepare the day-to-day bread, but the other cycles are also important if you plan on making fancier bread.
All in all, consider what you want your bread machine to do. How many settings do you plan on using? How often are you going to use it? Do you want to try various bread formulas? Surely, if you keep in mind the essential aspects presented above, as well as your requirements for a bread maker, you’ll be able to find the unit that fits you and your lifestyle best.