Who doesn’t love the smell and taste of fresh, warm from the oven, homemade bread? Just the idea of this domestic scene promotes feelings of tranquility. A lot of people, especially in today’s fast-paced and super-busy world, wish they had the ability to take a step back from the rush, and do things like make homemade food from scratch. Bread is a labor of love, and some specialty breads actually require a multi-day process to complete from start to finish.
Some people may be lucky enough to have the time, skill, and desire to do things the old-fashioned way, but for a lot of us, the time for such pursuits simply isn’t there. As much we we’d love to be able to devote an entire day to make crusty ciabatta bread for our family, it’s just not possible due to the varied responsibilities of work, family, and other errands.
Thankfully, even busy people have the ability to enjoy homemade bread without having to take a day off work to make it happen. Traditional is great, but many of us would be happy with feasible and realistic. Bread machines help make this possible for even the busiest people. There are tons of different types of machines that can make various types of bread, and some require very minimal input from you and can be set ahead of time.
What follows is a brief guide to the basics of making bread and the inherent differences between making bread the traditional, by hand way, or using a bread machine to do the work for you.
Traditional baking or bread machine
When we think of homemade bread, many of us have that image of the flour coated kitchen that is super-hot from the oven with a tired person who has been slaving away all day. Whether or not the traditional way of making bread seems relaxing or like an awful lot of work really does have a lot to do with temperament. There are advantages to making bread the old-fashioned way, just as there are advantages to making bread in a machine. Both ways also have their down sides, which we will briefly discuss in this guide.
Traditional bread making can be a labor-intensive and time-consuming process. Depending on what type of bread you are making, it can be a process that takes almost the entire day. With a lot of specialty breads, you have to make the dough, knead it for long periods of time, allow it to rise, perhaps knead it again, maybe let it rise again, and so on, all before the bread is ready to be baked.
Some people really do revel in this process as it can be a way to relax and enter an almost meditation-like state. It’s a way to connect with the moment, as well as the time-honored method of making food for one’s family in the traditional way. If you have the time and you want to make these types of bread as they have been for hundreds of years, you are likely to enjoy the process of making bread in the old-fashioned way.
Another perk to making homemade bread in the traditional manner is that there is a wider range of different types of breads that can be made, and it offers more opportunity for customization. However, the downsides are that making bread this way can be pretty time consuming and it can also take a lot of work. Most of us don’t have an entire day that we can devote to a few loaves of bread.
A bread machine is a great way for even busy people to enjoy the taste of fresh, homemade bread. With a bread machine, a lot of the work and effort is taken off you and taken on by the machine. There are many different types of bread machines that have a range of functionality. There are more sophisticated bread machines that can a myriad of different kinds of breads.
Some bread machines even go beyond the ability to make bread; with some, you can use the machine to make dough for bagels, jams, and pasta dough, making this a very versatile machine.
The benefits of a bread machine are that you do not have to expend all the effort it takes to knead the dough to the consistency you want. With a bread machine, you add the ingredients and select the type of bread you want, and the machine will handle the rest. It will knead the dough, allow it to rise if it needs it, perhaps knead the dough a second time if the recipe calls for it, and then it will bake it.
There are many convenience features on bread machines that make them even more versatile. If you are making a recipe that does not use any perishable ingredients, many bread machines have pre-settings that let you get the recipe ready ahead of time and select the time when you want the machine to start making the bread. This means that you can get the ingredients for bread ready before work, set the machine to make it in the afternoon, and have a fresh, warm loaf of bread ready for dinner.
Homemade bread is something that brings to mind feelings of coziness, relaxation, and well, it is just plain mouthwatering. Most people assume they don’t have time to do things like make homemade bread with all the obligations we face by way of work and family. There are two main ways to make homemade bread—you can make it the traditional way, or you can use a bread machine.
If you have the time, the traditional way can be a fun and soothing experience. You get to connect with the time-honored way of doing things. With a bread machine, however, even those of us who don’t have the time to make bread the old-fashioned way can still enjoy fresh bread. With numerous different convenience features and the ability to make many different kinds of bread, a bread machine puts homemade bread within reach of even the busiest of people.