Bread makers are an easy and cost-effective way to bake delicious tasting and smelling loaves right at home. With the internet making it easier than ever to compare models, prices, and reviews, finding a bread machine that makes the perfect loaf has never been easier.
Before you drop a lot of dough on a bread maker, make sure you know what exactly it is you’re looking for in your appliance. Prices can range from under $100 to $300 (or more!). Bread machines tend to be something that you get what you pay for. While it may be tempting to purchase the most inexpensive model, it may end up being a mistake. Investing a little more in your future bread maker may pay off by giving you better loaves.
So, when starting the search for the perfect bread maker, what are some things besides price that is worth considering?
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When it comes to programs in the bread maker, the number of options does tend to depend on what you pay for. A more expensive machine may have the option to program your own cycle if it doesn’t have one that already suits your needs.
One thing to think about is buying a machine that has a special dispenser for yeast that will automatically add it at the right time. Most models have timers that alert you when it’s time to add nuts and berries, but some have built-in dispensers that will do it for you.
Bread makers don’t just have to be for bread! Many models have built-in programs that can knead dough for pizza and pasta, make jam, cakes, croissants, and many other delicious treats. Many machines have options for French, sweet, whole wheat, and gluten-free bread. Think about the settings you’d like for dough. Maybe you want a machine that is more versatile, or maybe you’re fine with one that can only do a couple of things. It is really your preference but something to take into account while you research.
Noise of a Bread Machine
One reason to invest in a more expensive bread machine is noise. A cheaper machine could make a lot of noise while it kneads. A flimsier machine could shake and rattle and fall off the counter! Carefully read reviews and pay attention to any comments about the noise the machine you are looking at produces.
Size of a Bread Machine
Size does matter (at least for bread machines). Think about what you’ll be needing your bread maker for the most and how often you’ll use it. Because they do tend to be one of the larger appliances, bread machines tend to hang out on the counter.
Bread makers normally come in 1, 2, or 3 pounds. Think about how many slices you want–a 1pound loaf will yield about eight slices, 2 pounds about 16, and three will give you 24. Of course, there are different weights in between; it just depends on what you feel will work best for your needs.
This is super important to consider. The good kneading paddle can be the difference between a beautiful loaf and one that has a gaping hole in it. Depending on if you are making a loaf or pasta, you’ll need different paddles.
Two paddles are best as it mixes the dough thoroughly, but of course, that may cost a little more. Some models come with a paddle that can be removed after the kneading cycle. The machine will alert you when it is about to start baking the bread, and you can take it out.
Bread machines have a variety of extra features that can make the process of baking even more convenient. Delayed timers are great if you want to prepare the dough before bed and wake up to the amazing smell of freshly baked bread in the morning, or set to work while you are out and about so its ready when you come home.