Who doesn’t love the smell and taste of freshly baked homemade bread? The very thought of homemade bread is enough to make one’s mouth water and also conjure up cozy memories of days gone by. A lot of us want to be able to focus more on the meals we feed our family, making as much from scratch as possible, but for many of us, this just isn’t feasible, with all the obligations and responsibilities of family life, work life, and anything else you want to try to accomplish.
This means that most of us just do not have the luxury of spending a whole day devoted to nothing other than baking loaves of delicious artisan breads, no matter how nice this might sound. But now, we don’t have to use old-fashioned techniques to have homemade bread whenever we want it. With a bread machine, you take most of the work out of bread making as it is automated. This gives even super-busy people the ability to throw some ingredients in the machine, hit the desired setting, and come home to a loaf of freshly baked bread.
There are numerous different types of bread machines and it can be a bit intimidating when you first start shopping for one. With a bit of guidance and know how, you will be armed with the information you need to easily make the right purchasing decision for your needs and budget.
Things to consider when buying a bread machine
There are a few things that you will want to consider before you even begin to look at potential bread machine options. There are literally hundreds of options that come with a huge range of different functions and price tags. A beginning bread maker is not likely to need the range of options that a seasoned bread maker machine will want and thus, doesn’t need to spend all the extra money on added features.
The first thing you need to do is determine your budget. The range of prices for bread machines is pretty wide, from around $50-250+ depending on the model. This is why it is helpful, ahead of time, to set your range or maximum price limit. Doing so will make it a lot easier to narrow down potential options and will save you the hassle of researching models that are outside of your price range. Not only does this help you set in your own mind what you are looking to spend, it reduces the amount of research time you have to invest as well.
Next, you will need to decide what features are most important to you. Unless you want to spend a lot of money getting a super high-end machine that can basically do everything, you are going to want to list the features you want and prioritize them. Do you want to be able to make specialty breads? Breads for special diets? If so, you will want to ensure that any machine you look at will have these settings.
Do you want your machine to have functionality beyond just bread making? There are machines that have different paddles and settings that allow you to make dough for bagels, dessert breads, crusts for pizza, and even jam. You don’t have to break the bank to find a versatile bread machine; a lot of even the most affordable ones will have a dough and/or jam option, which really enhances what you can do with the machine.
How important is convenience? Do you want to be able to add ingredients ahead of time to be started on a timer? Do you want an alarm to alert you that it is time to add nuts, fruit, herbs and spices, or any other add-ins to your dough? There are really intuitive machines that will alert you when you need to do something or add an ingredient and many can really almost be automated. With a machine with convenience features, you can actually get bread ingredients ready ahead of time and specify a time that you want the machine to start making the bread.
Especially if you are going to be using the automated functions, you may want to choose a machine that boasts low noise levels, as some bread machines are actually really loud. While this might not be that big of a deal if you are running the machine when you aren’t home, it can be really annoying when you are. Also, just imagine setting the machine up for fresh bread with breakfast, only to be awoken in the middle of the night by the racket of the machine.
Bread machines bring the time-honored act of bread making to the hands of even busy people. Even if we work a full-time job and have tons of other obligations, we can still ensure that our kids have healthy, fresh, homemade bread without a ton of hassle. With a bread machine, you can make your family a whole host of different types of bread with minimal effort on your part. You simply add the ingredients, select the appropriate setting, and the machine will do the rest.
A quality bread machine takes all the work out of making homemade bread. Depending on the type of machine you ultimately get, you can make different types of specialty breads, even those suitable for people with special diets, such as gluten-free or high-protein bread. A lot of bread machines can even make more than just bread, including dough for pasta or even bagels, and some even allow you to make homemade jam.
Once you have determined your budget and what features are most important to you, it will be much easier to narrow down your potential options than going in without any information. Armed with your parameters, you can easily find an affordable machine that has all the functionality you need and want.