If you love fresh, home-baked bread, you might want to invest in a bread making machine. Bread makers are sold by most kitchen appliance dealers who are typically knowledgeable about such offerings. These machines do everything from kneading and baking dough, to cooking rice and making jams. Based on your preference and personal needs, there are various options to consider.
What Do You Need?
You should determine your needs. Do you bake various types of bread? Do you want pizza dough kneading capabilities? Do you need a delay starter? Do you prefer a lighter crust to a darker one? These are a few aspects to consider.
Whatever your requirements, here are eight of the most useful features to look for in a bread maker:
1. Even Baking Distribution
This is often determined by the machine's controlled microprocessor. This technology should be noted on the package description.
2. Various Modes for Several Bread Types
Most likely, there will be times when you want your bread making machine to do more than bake white or whole wheat bread. Versatility is key when choosing a bread maker. Look for modes that will bake everything from gingerbread to sour dough to soft pretzels.
Do you enjoy baking fruitcake? How about raisin or date and nut bread? Look for a mode that allows you to add the fruits and nuts of your choice, with an included dispenser.
2. Loaf Size Options
On some occasions you may need a larger loaf, while other times may call for a smaller size. Be sure your bread making machine offers the option for at least two or three loaf sizes. A one pound loaf may be fine for individual and small family use, but for large gatherings or events, opt for at least a two or three pound capacity.
3. Programmable Delay and Preset Menu Options
Programmable delay allows you the option of beginning your kneading or baking cycle at a preset time. Many machines offer a delay timer that will begin 12-15 hours later. This option is ideal for busy households, as you won't need to be present for baking to begin. With a preset menu, you can choose the mode that is appropriate for the type of food you're preparing.
4. Crust Setting Option
This is a simple yet very useful feature. With this option, you're able to choose how light or dark you would like your crust to be. Look for settings of dark, medium and light.
5. Rice Steaming and Jam Making Mode
Yes, some bread makers have the capability to steam rice or make homemade jams and jellies. If you want this versatility, be prepared to spend a little more.
6. Indicator Lights
The indicator light may glow a solid green when in use, or red when in standby mode. The light lets you know your machine is in operation. There may be a separate light that indicates whether baking or kneading mode is in use.
7. Battery Back-Up
This important feature is necessary during a power outage. When the power is interrupted, a battery backup enables the machine to operate normally using a back-up battery.
8. Accessory Tools
Purchasing the accessory tools can be an added expense, and time consuming as well. Some bread machines include accessories such as a measuring cup and spoon, kneading tool, pizza cutter and recipe booklet. A non-stick baking pan with stay-cool handles is a must as well.
Save Some Dough: Don't Over-Indulge
Do consider your budget when shopping for a bread maker. If you're on a budget, don't opt for all the bells and whistles that you may not use. Stick to the basic features that will complement your cooking and make your baking duties easier.
For more information, contact the appliance dealers in your area.