The bread machine gives you the opportunity to delight your family every day with delicious, fragrant, freshly baked bread. The first models were quite expensive, their choice was limited, so not everyone used them. Now you can choose a model in any price range, for baking bread of different sizes, with many additional useful options. But in order not to be disappointed in the technique, you need to consider many parameters. The best tips for choosing a baker for the home will help avoid mistakes.
What weight loaf can I bake?
The first thing to decide is how much bread you need to meet the needs of the family. If the bucket (baking form) will be too small, you will have to bake twice a day, too big – there will be a surplus, which will have to be transferred to breadcrumbs. Therefore, manufacturers offer a variety of volumes – for a weight of 400 to 1800 grams.
For one or two people, the smallest model will be enough. It can bake a loaf of 400 to 750 grams. In this case, there is no point in overpaying – even a simple bread machine will do the job well.
A family of three or four people is better to consider slightly more capacious models for loaves weighing from 800 grams to one kilogram. They are also common, the range is large, there are plenty to choose from.
Large families should look for the most voluminous bakeries. In such models, the weight of the loaf can be more than one and a half kilograms. True, the choice is already smaller, and the cost is higher. But it is still more convenient and more economical in terms of energy consumption than baking several servings of bread.
What power is better to choose a breadmaker?
In all models of bakeries power corresponds to the maximum weight of the bread. That is, whatever model you choose, it will bake the amount of dough, which is supposed to. You can not worry about this point. But the quality of kneading largely depends on the power. Many users have noticed that in “weak” bakeries, the crumb is not as fluffy. An important point – what kind of bread you prefer.
For white bread with a small amount of additives, you can be limited to a low power up to 600 watts. Dough from wheat flour is quite light, elastic, easy to knead.
For rye, wholemeal bread, it is better to choose a more powerful device. Such dough is heavier, sticky, and requires more effort to knead. Models with power of about 700-800 watts are suitable here.
Tip! It is not advisable to choose the maximum power if you are going to bake mostly light white bread. This will not give any visible benefits, but will lead to increased power consumption.
The shape and quality of the working bowl
What shape will the finished bread be?
Think about what shape of bread you would like to see on your table. The appearance of the working bowl or “bucket” in baking ovens can vary. Some models are equipped with several baking vessels at once. Different and material, and the quality of non-stick coating.
Aluminum buckets are more common in inexpensive models. This is not the best option in terms of durability, but with careful use, the form will last no less than the technique itself. Since aluminum is used in budget bakeries, you should not expect miracles from non-stick coating either. It is unlikely to be the highest quality.
Steel buckets are the best solution. The material is strong, durable, durable, not deformed, safe for health. Non-stick coating in most cases on them is more modern and expensive, does not lose its properties in constant use. If it is possible to buy a more expensive, but high-quality bakery with a steel bowl, preference should be given to this option.
Bakeries can be equipped with different shaped buckets. This does not affect the quality and taste of bread, but it can be important for personal preference, as well as expanding the possibilities of cooking all kinds of baked goods.
Rectangular shape is the most common option. In the output you get the usual “brick”. Its advantage is the convenience of cutting. Some models are additionally equipped with a rectangular form, divided into two parts, for baking two small loaves like Borodinsky bread at once.
Round form for baking loaf is much less common. If it is a matter of principle, you can find one, but the choice of models will be small. These are the two basic forms, but bakeries can be equipped with additional containers for baking baguettes, small buns. Some manufacturers offer them separately for each specific model.
A set of programs
How to choose the most functional baker?
Any baker – a functional device. It is already built into it programs for cooking cereals of various kinds. But their set depending on the model can vary greatly. The more programs provided by the manufacturer, the more opportunities for baking a variety of bread have a hostess.
Dough kneading. No matter what kind of baker you bought, it will knead the dough by itself – you just need to load all the ingredients. After that, it automatically bakes it according to the conditions of a given program. But there are models with a separate mode “kneading”. It can be used to make dough for dumplings, for pies and other baking in the oven.
White bread. The basic program, which is available in all, even the cheapest bread bakers. It implies the baking of wheat products from the moment you put the products in until you get the finished loaf. This mode can also be used for bread with a small amount of whole wheat flour, spices, seeds and other additives.
Gluten-Free Bread. A program designed for baking dietary bread from gluten-free flour. Such dough is usually heavy, difficult to knead and rise in normal conditions. In breadmakers with this mode you can bake bread from buckwheat, rye, corn flour.
Whole-grain bread. Another program for cooking diet bread based on whole wheat flour. It will be useful for those who watch the figure.
Muffin. Most models give the possibility and sweet baking – muffins, muffins, products of sandy dough.
These are just some of the basic programs. But there are also additional – cooking jam, jam and yogurt, sweet baking. There may be an accelerated baking mode, but it is applicable more for products made of wheat flour, for heavy wholemeal or rye dough is not suitable. The number of programs may vary depending on the model from 8 to 25. The more there are, the more opportunities for the hostess in terms of cooking. And functional home bakeries are not always expensive.
Number of dough mixers
Is one dough mixer enough or is two better?
All bread machines are equipped with dough mixers. There can be one or two, more is not yet possible. For compact, low-power models for the home, designed for baking a small loaf, the simplest version with one blade is enough. Its power is quite enough to qualitatively knead a small volume of dough from wheat flour.
But if the model is designed for baking a loaf with a large weight, and you prefer a denser, more useful types of bread (wholemeal, rye), it is better to consider a technique with two dough mixers. It will knead the dough better. But there is one small disadvantage – in models with two blades, the brick may not turn out perfectly even.
What design features make it easier to use?
Most bread makers do a great job. But not all of them are equally convenient to use. To make the process of making bread as simple as possible, you can choose a model with useful design features. It is worth paying attention to the following points.
Dispenser. If you like bread with all kinds of additives – nuts, raisins, herbs, a plus when choosing will be the presence in the bread machine dispenser. This eliminates the need to add additional ingredients at the end of mixing the dough. Automatic dispenser will do it for you.
Viewing window. In the upper part of some bakeries there is a transparent glass window. It allows you to watch the process of cooking bread, control the degree of crust crispness.
The control panel can be button or touch. Here everyone evaluates the convenience for themselves. The first option is more reliable, the second is more convenient in terms of care. But when choosing a model with a touch panel, you should pay attention to such an option as a lock, so as not to accidentally press the current program of the baker.
A little advice – if in the store came across a bakery with a removable lid, it is worth to consider it more carefully. This design feature greatly simplifies the care of the equipment.
What else can breadmakers do?
In addition to the basic programs in functional bakeries there are many additional options. Some of them expand the possibilities of cooking, others increase the convenience of operation.
Additional programs. Far from all, but some breadmakers have an increased number of programs that are not related to the preparation of flour products. About jam, jam and yogurt we have already written above. But this is not all – some especially functional models are able to cook milk porridge, rice, cook curd, soup, pilaf, desserts. But with these tasks is much better to cope multivark, so for these programs to overpay is not worth it.
Delayed start. And here it is already a useful option, which allows you to start the process of kneading dough and baking at the time set by the user. Hot bread will be ready in time for lunch or dinner.
Temperature maintenance. This function is worth considering for lovers of hot bread. Maintaining the temperature for several hours will keep it warm.
The user mode is absolutely useless for beginners, but indispensable for experienced hostesses who have already figured out all the intricacies of the bakery. It allows you to set your own settings, from kneading to baking time. Usually this mode can be saved in the memory of the device.
What do you need for ease of use?
The equipment of bread baking machines in most cases is standard. It usually includes the main form for baking, paddles for kneading dough, instructions for use. Most often it is supplemented with a measuring cup for easy measuring of products and liquids. And all this is more than enough for comfortable use of the technique.
But the plus when buying will still be the presence in the set of additional buckets for baking bread of other forms, a voluminous recipe book for a particular model, a hook for extracting the blade. In bakeries with the function of making yogurt, the presence of special containers is welcome.