More and more modern people are straying from buying bread from the store as it’s commonly known that store-bought bread isn’t of the best quality. The factors that influence the quality of this food are the storage, the quality of ingredients used to prepare them, and the cleanliness of the location where they are prepared. Thus, chances are that the bread you buy from the store and that you consume will ultimately lead to the alteration of your health.
Instead of taking their chances and toying with the state of their health, people nowadays prefer to make their own bread at home. But the truth of the matter is that not everyone has the time or skill set to prepare homemade bread. If you’re one of these people, the ideal solution for you to go with is to buy a quality bread maker that will prepare the delicious bread for you with ingredients that you pick and that are of a great quality.
As time has passed, all kitchen appliances have evolved, including the bread making ones. Nowadays, the best bread machine comes with numerous features that might indeed add to its functionality but that add to the final price of the appliance as well. This is why it’s important for you to be aware of the role that each feature plays, thus being capable of making the right investment according to your personal budget as you will be aware of what are the features that you need and what features aren’t really worth the money. In the following, we will explain these features so that you may pick the perfect bread maker when you go shopping.
Pre-Programmed Baking Options
What makes modern bread making machines such a useful addition to the kitchen isn’t only the fact that these appliances deliver a convenient manner to prepare traditional white bread but because they can bake other bread varieties as well. Thus, even the most unskilled cook can enjoy eating homemade banana bread or gluten-free bread due to the presence of the useful pre-programmed baking options. Some bread machines come with a few pre-programmed settings of this kind, while others feature numerous baking options for the user to choose between. Some of the most important pre-programmed options that modern machines come with include whole wheat, French bread, sweet bread, gluten-free, banana bread, and so on.
Collapsible Kneading Paddles
The kneading paddles are mandatory accessories for bread making machines as they knead the dough, preparing it for the baking process. They come in different shapes and sizes, some machines featuring only one paddle while other machines come with two paddles. While bread machines that feature a single kneading paddle are quite efficient and they do a good job, it’s preferable to go with two paddles for the kneading process to go well. But the feature that we’re going to talk about is actually the fact that some paddles are collapsible. Thus, they retract on their own before the baking process commences so that they don’t leave a hole at the bottom of the loaf. This is a matter of aesthetics more than efficiency as the holes that appear at the bottom don’t affect the quality of the loaf.
The number of crust settings that the machine puts at the user’s disposal is another feature that adds to the final price of the appliance. Usually, modern bread machines come with three crust settings to choose between, more precisely light, medium, and dark. This is another matter of personal preference, but we consider this feature to be useful as those who have children, for example, and who want to encourage a healthy eating style will want to prepare the bread exactly as the small ones like when it comes to the exterior appearance for them to be more inclined to consume the delicious and healthy homemade bread.
For modern people, the delay timer can prove to be one of the machine’s most useful features. What this function does is that it allows the user to set the start of the baking process after a certain number of hours passes. Thus, you will be able to enjoy freshly baked homemade bread when you wake up in the morning or when you arrive home from work. Just put the ingredients in the bread maker and set the timer for the desired number of hours, delaying the start of the machine’s operation so that it will finish preparing the food when you want to serve it.
At the end of the baking cycle, when the bread or the specialty that you have prepared is done, the alert feature announces you of this occurrence. It comes in handy as you might be caught doing chores in the meanwhile and not pay attention to the machine’s program, thus not realizing when the food is ready. The alert ensures that you will be aware of the end of the preparation process so that you may consume the bread while it’s hot and tasty.
Non-Stick Bread Pan
The non-stick bread pan is more of a mandatory feature rather than an optional one as it ensures that the pan used for the baking process features a non-stick surface. Thus, you won’t have the unpleasant surprise of pulling out of the pan only a part of the bread as the sides and bottom are stuck to the pan. When getting the loaf out of the non-stick pan, make sure that you avoid using metal utensils but rather use plastic ones to not scratch the pan’s surface.
The viewing window that some bread making machines come with allows the user to see the bread as it is being baked, keeping a close eye on the preparation process. If you’re a control freak, even with the highest quality bread machine by your side you will feel the need to see how the baking is going. What the feature is useful for is that it prevents you from having to open the lid every time you want to check whether the bread has risen or not, thus affecting the ongoing preparation process. But the truth is that this isn’t a feature of a high importance, so it’s your own choice whether you find the appliance to be more useful with or without this window.
The automatic dispenser feature ensures that the extra ingredients needed for the preparation of the specialty bread that you’re making are going to be automatically added inside at the right moment. Therefore, you won’t be needed not even for a minute next to the appliance as it will even take care of this part of the baking process on its own, adding ingredients such as nuts or cocoa when it’s the right time.
The keep warm feature ensures that the loaf will be kept warm in case you have something important to do at the moment when the bread is finished and ready to be served or if you’re not at home. Thus, when you’re done with what you had to do and you want to eat the delicious food, it will be still warm, tasting heavenly, just like the bread that your grandma used to make.