What is better than a crusty, hot loaf of homemade bread? As nice as it is to imagine a domestic scene where we can dedicate many hours a day to the preparation of fine breads, most of us just don’t have that option. But that doesn’t mean, however, that we don’t want fresh-baked bread. Thankfully, there are bread machines which allow even the busiest of people to make fresh, homemade bread without having to be there for longer than it takes to put in the ingredients and hit the right setting.
There are different sizes and types of bread machines that vary in available features. Whatever machine you choose, your family will love coming home to the smell and taste of homemade bread. And being able to have homemade bread as often as you want, without a ton of expense or inconvenience, is a luxury that, thankfully, most of us can afford.
Things to consider when choosing a bread machine
Just like there are countless varieties of breads, so too are there a myriad of options in bread machines. These come in a range of sizes and offer different features and functions. This means that if you go out and simply start looking for a bread machine without first doing a little research, you might find yourself overwhelmed or end up with a machine that doesn’t do what you want it to. There are a few things to consider in advance as it makes the selection process much easier.
First of all, you will need to determine your budget. As we noted above, bread machines come in many shapes and sizes. Some of them are even suitable for more commercial use, which will far exceed the needs (and likely budget) of the home user. Some have more features than others and any extra “bells and whistles” are likely to add to the price tag of the machine. The price range on bread machines varies widely, so giving yourself numbers to work around will help you eliminate any options that are either out of your budget or don’t meet your needs.
You will want to determine what special features you want in a bread machine. Some allow you to actually set a timer that will start the bread machine at the set time. If you want fresh bread for breakfast, with many bread machines, you can add the ingredients before you go to bed, set a timer, and there will be fresh bread waiting for you in the morning.
You will want to decide what type of paddle you want for your machine or if you want one that will allow you to change paddles out for different kinds of breads or even pasta dough.
Noise is something else you will want to consider. Some really heavy-duty bread machines can actually be quite loud. This is why it helps to look for a bread machine that has a quiet operation as one of its features. Having fresh bread when you wake up is great, but waking up as soon as a loud bread machine starts to make said bread, is not.
It also helps to consider other features you want on your machine. Some machines have a wide range of programmable options, which gives you a lot of versatility with the set-and-forget bread options. You can also look for additional features like alarms that sound when the bread is done or when, say, fruit or nuts need to be added to the mix. Bread makers can also make specialty breads like gluten-free or high-protein breads, so if this is something that is important to you, you will want to make sure and find one that states it can make said bread.
Hamilton Beach Programmable Bread Machine, 2-Pound Bread Maker with Gluten-Free Settings
Hamilton Beach is a trusted maker of a variety of kitchen gadgets, such as coffeemakers, toasters, and even bread machines. Their Programmable Bread Machine is an excellent value, and allows you to bake a variety of breads, including gluten-free breads. The machine boasts 12 different settings that can make loaves of bread that are up to 2 pounds. You can even customize your settings so that if you prefer lighter or darker crust, you can have it exactly to your liking.
The machine features a non-stick pan, which makes for easy clean up. It is hard to beat easy-to-make homemade bread and a machine that is also easy to clean. There is a delay timer, which lets you add ingredients ahead of time and set the time you want it to start baking. If you want fresh bread with dinner, you can set your machine up before work and there will be a hot and ready loaf of homemade bread waiting for you after work.
This machine makes bread making as simple as can be. You simply have to add properly measured ingredients and then choose the setting for the type of bread you plan to bake. Whether you immediately start making the bread, or you set it to start at a later time, you simply need to choose what type of bread and when you want to bake it, and the machine takes care of the rest.
Fresh, warm, home-baked bread is something that is almost universally appealing. However, most of us do not have the hours it takes to knead, allow to rise, knead again, and so on. This doesn’t mean that fresh bread is out of our reach. Bread machines make it easy for even the busiest person to make fresh bread. Once you have determined your budget and what features you want to see on your bread maker, you can start the shopping process.
The Hamilton Beach model we briefly review here is an affordable all-purpose bread machine that has just enough extra functionality to make it suitable for the beginner or intermediate bread maker. Whether you decide to go with this model or use this as an informational guide, we are sure that you will love the smell and taste freshly baked bread brings to your home.