Making a quick run to the grocery store at the last minute to get a loaf of bread that doesn’t even taste that good for your PB&J breakfast will surely wear on you. Luckily, you have bread-making machines to your rescue. Here, we will tell you what to look for when buying a bread machine.
To make bread in a bread maker, all you have to do is add the ingredients, push some buttons, leave it be for a while, and your loaf is ready, just like that.
It actually is that simple!
Now, the process of baking bread in a bread machine is a walk in the park, quite the opposite of the operation of actually buying the said machine. The different shapes, sizes, functions, add-ons, and whatnots may be tough to track for a bread baker newbie.
For buying a bread maker that goes well with your diet and habits, here are some parameters to simplify and filter your search for a bread maker.
Do not worry if you are looking to buy a bread machine online. We have got you covered.
What to look for when buying a bread machine
The first thing you need to decide is your intent for buying a bread maker. What will you use it for?
If the only thing you want to bake is white bread, your options should be limited to simpler models that don’t have a ton of functions.
However, if you have things like sourdough bread, banana bread, French bread, jam, whole wheat bread, pizza dough, gluten-free bread, bread with fruit and nuts, or the like in your head, you might want to check out the more complex models in the market.
For example, if you want to make pizza dough, machines with a pizza dough cycle might be the right fit for you.
Once you know what kind of functions you want in your bread maker, the next item in what to look for when buying a bread machine is the space of the machine. Bread makers come in two shapes: vertical and horizontal.
A horizontal machine makes traditional loaves like the ones you buy from stores.
You should choose a vertical bread maker if you have a small kitchen and not enough space for appliances since it will not hoard up too much space.
Whereas, if you have a spacious kitchen, you won’t have any problems with a horizontal bread maker.
Also, keep in mind that the bread machine should fit in your kitchen drawers or cabinets for when you are not using it.
Now comes the size. The size of the pan you are going to throw all the ingredients in is another major factor in buying a bread machine. Choose a bread machine that makes the correctly sized homemade bread for everyone in your family.
Bread-making machines come in varying sizes from 1lb to 3lbs.
For example, if you have a big family, you would want a large machine that can bake more than 2 pounds of bread to feed all mouths.
Then again, if you live alone or with someone, you might want to take a look at the small machine that bakes less than 2 pounds of bread.
Do not forget that since homemade bread does not have any preservatives, it will stale faster than a store-bought loaf of bread.
Moreover, there is a whole other division of bread making machines that have adjustable size settings. These machines might be the right fit for you if you entertain guests on a regular basis.
The delayed timer
If you don’t stay at home at all times, the delayed timer is an essential item on the list of what to look for when buying a bread machine list. The delayed timer allows you to start the process of baking a loaf whenever you like.
For example, before going to bed, you can pour all the ingredients into the pan and set the timer to start the baking process at 3 AM. This way, you wake up to a freshly baked loaf of bread! Isn’t that awesome?
This function is not just limited to this, and many newer models have an automatic fruit and nuts dispenser that adds the fruit and nuts into the dough at the right time in the baking cycle.
The kneading paddles
Many bread makers only have one kneading paddle. That won’t be much of a problem if you have a vertical machine since there isn’t that much space for more than one paddle. But a horizontal machine with one kneading paddle will be very tricky to handle.
Due to the large base of a horizontal machine, one paddle won’t reach all four corners and everything in between; and hence, some ingredients might get stuck to the pan.
However, the newer machines have rectified this mistake and have two kneading paddles that mix the ingredients well together.
Apart from this, many machines even come with detachable paddles so that you can remove them after the dough is kneaded. That way, you won’t have a hole at the bottom of your bread.
Since a bread maker kneads and mixes the ingredients, there will be an unmovable factor of noise. Next, the noise factor is what to look for when buying a bread machine. Though you can’t completely erase this factor, it varies from model to model.
Flimsier machines will make a lot of noise, might move around the counter, and drop down to the floor in worst-case scenarios and break. The sturdier ones won’t make too much noise and won’t move around due to their heavyweight.
Filter out the ones that make too much noise.
The noise factor is not something you can check when you buy bread makers online, but we advise you to read the reviews before making a big lousy purchase.
Here is the most important item in what to look for when buying a bread machine of your own: price.
It’s no news that the higher you pay, the better product you get. But if you don’t have a high budget, you should stick to the functions you are going to use. There is no point in buying a machine that can make jam when you know you will buy your jam from the store.
Bread makers typically cost from $35 to $600, with a few models going as high as $1000. If you are planning to put your machine to use every day, you need to spend at least $100. Anything below that would not last for a more extended period.
If you are looking for quality over price, you should go for the high-end products of famous brands like Zojirushi, Breville, Panasonic, and Hamilton.
The dough settings
What to look for when buying a bread machine? The dough settings. The dough settings help you knead and bake various kinds of bread. This setting lets you have complete control over your loaf of bread.
Whether you want a light crust or a dark one, how long do you want the kneading, rising, and baking to be? If you only want to bake your already kneaded dough or if you only want the bread machine to knead the dough without baking it.
Mostly, the more dough settings a machine has, the higher it will be. And hence, you might want to buy a machine that has your favorite setting and not every single one available.
For example, if you want a light crust, narrow your options down to bread makers who have that setting but keep in mind you are not paying extra for every other dough setting you don’t really need.
Remember when we talked about all the stuff a bread maker can make, like sourdough bread, banana bread, French bread, jam, whole wheat bread, pizza dough, gluten-free bread, bread with fruit and nuts, and more.
All these things are programmed into the bread maker as cycles to save the time and effort of the user—another essential item in what to look for when buying a bread machine. And just like with dough settings, you should only focus on the programs you will use.
If you want to use it for only gluten-free bread, there is no need to get a bread machine that does jam, pizza dough, and everything else.
Some of the high-end models let you make your own customized cycle if the programmed cycles in the machine do not fulfill your needs.
Some other features you may want to check in Bread Making Machines
We told you all about what to look for when buying a bread machine, but some more minor features might be an excellent use to you.
As the name suggests, a viewing glass is a transparent lid that allows you to see and inspect your bread while it’s under process.
If you buy a bread maker with many options, you might get confused and lose the will to use the machine, letting it gather dust in a corner. Instead, it would be best if you bought a machine that has what you need so the very many options won’t puzzle you.
Non-stick bread pan
A non-stick pan will give you a bread loaf smooth on all the sides, which another pan will fail to do. Also, cleaning and washing a non-stick pan is more straightforward than washing other tin utensils.
Although bread machines take up less energy than an oven making the same loaf of bread, it will be beneficial if you get a bread maker that does not consume too much energy.
A function for when your company does not arrive on time. Turn this on, and the bread will be kept warm and fresh in the maker until you take it out.
A function for when your company arrives uninvited or before time. This function will make a loaf of bread faster than the usual time without hindering its quality at all.
This helpful function makes the bread maker go “beep” or ring every time there is a change in the machine. For instance, the beep will sound when the dough is kneaded and goes into the next stage, i.e., letting it rise.
If you are buying from a well-known brand, you will get a warranty according to the model you are choosing, but if you are buying from not-so-popular brands, a warranty might be short-termed or absent. Figure out if you trust that unpopular brand enough to buy a kitchen appliance without a warranty.
To simplify the very complex process of buying a bread machine for you, we suggest you make a list of all the things you are sure you will make in the bread-making machine and look for options that go with your list.
Do not get sidetracked or overwhelmed by the load settings and programs in bread machines that you don’t even need. Sticking to your list will ensure that you get the right product at your budget with the features you need summing up to a good purchase.
We hope now you understand what to look for when buying a bread machine. Here’s to all your PB&J actually tasting good with freshly baked, homemade bread.