A bread maker is a simple kitchen appliance that helps you in baking fresh bread at home. It is easy to use a machine, but like all appliances, a bread making machine has some operating know how.
If you have recently developed a knack for preparing oven-fresh bread for your family members, a guide-book about how to use a bread maker will be the first-stage help you will be searching for.
Know your breadmaking machine first
In order to use the bread maker productively, you need to know all its parts. It is made of four parts. These are the baking pan and its handle, control panel, a tight lid containing a monitoring window, and the kneading blade or paddle inside the baking pan. Now let’s check the functionality of all these components:
- The bread bucket is the mixing and baking pan of the machine
- The lid on the machine keeps the baking pan closed and the monitoring window will let you check the condition of the baked bread inside
- The kneading blade performs the kneading function; it is responsible for kneading and mixing the dough
- The control panel is responsible for operating the machine and it allowsselection of its different programming
Check the capacity of the gadget you have
It is extremely important to check the capacity of the machine if you have lost the user manual. Fill the bucket with water in a standard measuring cup. Remember the number of cup of water you have used to fill the pan.
- If the bread bucket contains 10 cups of water, then you can bake 1-1/2 pound bread
- If the bread bucket contains 12 cups or more water, you may bake 2 pound bread here
- If the bread bucket contains less than 10 cups, you can bake hardly 1 pound of bread
Check the settings
Learning the settings of the bread maker is one of the prerequisites to learn how to use a bread maker. Simple instructions like select button, a stop/start button, crust color, and timer will be conveyed by these buttons.
Near to the select button you will get to see multiple choice options. These are used for denotingcycles likewhite or basic, whole wheat, French, sweet, rapid, and dough. Commonly you need to keep on pressing the select button until you get your target cycle on display.
Sometimes cycles are denoted by numbers. For example,white or basic is denoted by 1, Whole Wheat is denoted by 2, Frenchstands for 3,etc.Each cycle takes a different tenure of time for mixing and baking the loaf.
Advanced bread makers offer facility of crust setting. There will be a crust button if the facility is available on your bread maker.
Commonly three setting are available:light, medium,and dark. Default setting is medium. Usually the crust button starts working when you have already selected the dough cycle and before pressing the start button.
Using the timer
You need to use the timer according to your recipe. Select the cycle and then set the timer before you press the start button. Do not forget to place all requisite ingredients in the baking pan as advised before you set the timer.
Getting the ingredients
There are basic ingredients that you have to use in a bread maker. These are yeast, flour, salt, sugar, liquids and fats. Now take a look how you need to use these ingredients for the best result in baking the bread.
- Yeast: Yeast, which you will be using for baking bread, must be of good quality and active. Ideally, it should be purchased in a dry and active condition. You should buy the yeast specially designated for baking breads.
- Bread flour:If you want to do better quality baking, bread flour is the essential ingredient in your baking course. In comparison to all-purpose flour, it has more gluten (wheat protein) and it is specially made for baking bread. All-purpose flour can be used but it may not procure result as good as bread flour.
- Salt:It is a necessary ingredient for machine made bread and it adds a special flavor and taste. Salt stimulates therising phase so that bread doughgets fluffy.
- Sugar, honey, and other sweeteners: These ingredients create the texture of the bread. Furthermore, they help in making the bread brown and crispy. Actually, these ingredients balance the use of yeast. It is almost common for all bread recipes that you need to add 1 cupof sugar in the batter. It helps in rising of the yeast; however, excessive sugar is not healthy for the recipe and can be messy for the machine.
- Fat:Fats make a baked loaf rich, soft, andkeep the dough non-sticking in nature, which does not get glued to the bread pan. You can use most of the fat ingredient interchangeably in a bread maker. Margarine, coconut oil, chicken fat, clarified butter, and bacon grease or butter oil can be usedas fat ingredients. Solid fats like buttercan be added straight to the bread machine.
- Liquids:Liquids used in a bread machine should be of room temperature or slightly warmer. You should not use hot liquids in a bread maker. Too hot liquids will destroy the yeast. Room temperature liquids are best for keeping yeast active and performing.
Add the ingredients in right order
It is important to add the ingredients in a right array in order to make the perfect batter for the bread. Although the order of adding ingredients may vary per recipe, the usual order of adding ingredients is outlined here.The order of adding ingredients is important in learning how to use a bread maker for baking good quality bread.
- First, you need to add liquids into the baking pot
- Next, you need to add the flour. Ideally you have to urge it out over water surface so it can seal the water
- After that you can add other dry ingredients like salt, dry milk powder, sugar, and seasonings
- The last thing you need to add is the yeast. Most of the recipes suggest making a shallow well in the middle of the flour and dust the yeast in it
- This is vital because it stops the yeast from mixing the liquid until the machine starts mixing. If the yeast and liquid get mixed with each other before the machine starts, the yeast will get active and will start working.
This is all about how to use a bread maker. It is easy and hassle-free process once you learn the way to prepare and process the ingredients after knowing all its components and functions.