How To Choose The Perfect Bread Maker
By Jeremy Zongker
Bread makers are extremely popular. The average person can make delicious, homemade bread quite easily with a bread maker. Even with the ease of a bread machine, you must still use caution when adding the ingredients, even if you use a mix. You can make a variety of shapes and sizes of loaf with a bread machine. Many people use a bread machine to simply mix the ingredients then bake the loaf in a traditional oven. Sizes range from one pound to two pounds or more, and you will most likely choose between a square or round loaf pan.
Some bread makers will have a preheat cycle to heat the ingredients before baking. If you want your bread to rise properly, choose a bread maker that does not heat before time to bake the bread. Bread makers will generally have separate settings for different types of bread. There may be settings for wheat or French bread, and you will be able to choose the doneness of the bread such as a light, medium, or dark setting. There will also normally be a regular or rapid bake cycle. It is desirable to have a window in the top or side of the bread machine to allow you to see the progress of your bread while it is baking.
There are a variety of options from which to choose in bread makers, so you may first want to consider how much space you have to store your new machine. Bread makers come in a variety of sizes, so choose one that you can store easily. You should choose the capacity of the bread maker based upon how big your family is and how much bread they eat. You can choose a bread maker with a delay timer which will allow you to place the mix in the bread maker before you leave home each day and the bread will be ready when you return. If you want your bread maker to prepare the dough but not cook it, you will need to find a bread maker with this feature. Choose a bread maker that will alert you when it is time to add additional ingredients such as fruit or nuts. You will also want a "keep warm" feature in case you are gone when the bread is finished. Look for crust control features and special setting for fruits, nuts, cheese, and vegetables.
Study the warranty very carefully to make sure you will be able to get service and replacement parts if necessary. Keep in mind that if your family consumes a small amount of bread now, once you purchase your new bread maker that consumption is likely to increase dramatically. Choose a slightly larger size that you anticipate needing. Remember that the keep warm feature is great, but if you leave the loaf in the bread maker for an extended period of time it may become soggy and flat. A bread maker is a wonderful addition to your home. Nothing compares to the smell of freshly baked bread from your very own kitchen.
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