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Bread Machines

Making a fresh, crusty loaf of bread used to require hours of waiting, not to mention quite a bit of kneading. Thankfully, a bread machine makes this process short, fun and easy. Bread machines offer up dozens of features, ensuring you’ll be able to craft just about any type of bread or dough.

What size should my bread machine be?


With dozens of bread makers to pick from, it may seem like shot in the dark when it comes to choosing the right size for your kitchen. You’ll typically find a bread maker in one of 3 different sizes: 1 pound, 1 ½ pounds and 2 pounds. If you’re unsure, it’s best to choose a larger size since most bread machines will allow you to scale recipes down.

As you consider the size of your bread maker, don’t forget to look at its orientation, too. Bread machines will either come in an upright or horizontal style. No matter which style is chosen, you’ll always find a hole in the loaf from the kneading paddle. In an upright or vertical style, the hole will be in the heel of your bread loaf. With a horizontal machine, the hole will be on the underside of the loaf.

Most people prefer horizontal machines since the loaves they produce are easier to slice and look most like a traditional loaf of bread. In the end, there’s no difference in the quality of bread produced, so you’re free to choose based on your aesthetic preferences.

What features should my bread maker include?


Bread machines come with no shortage of accessories and features. However, a few key items to look for include:
  • Bake only setting: With this setting you can whip up batter for breads you’d normally bake in a loaf pan, such as zucchini or banana bread, and pour it directly into the bread machine.

  • Baking pan: A removable, nonstick baking pan with handles will make bread making even easier.

  • Digital display: You’ll want a display that’s easy to use and read.

  • Dough setting: Also known as a “Knead Only” setting, this lets you remove proofed dough from the machine to make artisan bread, pizza or pasta.

  • Kneading paddle: Your bread machine should come with at least one kneading paddle, if not more. Some bread making enthusiasts believe dual paddles produce better results.

  • Microprocessors: These ensure even cooking by adjusting the temperature as needed while your bread is baking.

  • Power interruption protection: This feature allows the bread maker to remember what spot in the recipe it was at if the power goes out. This allows you to restart in exactly the right place once you’ve regained power.

  • Top-loading: A top-loading machine will be the most convenient and easy to use.


Other features are not as necessary but can make baking bread even easier and more fun:
  • Viewing window: This allows you to peek at your bread while it bakes without having to lose heat by opening the lid.

  • Convection setting: This will ensure a consistent loaf color as well as a crispy crust, just like a convection oven.

  • Digital timer: A digital timer will allow you to pre-program your bread maker to begin baking up to 13 hours in advance.

  • Ingredient dispenser: If your recipe calls for cheese, herbs or other extra ingredients to be added while your bread bakes, an ingredient dispenser will come in handy. Instead of having to manually time and then feed the ingredients into the machine yourself, the ingredient dispenser will automatically dispense the ingredients at the right time.

  • Pre-programmed recipes: With this feature your bread maker will automatically remember any recipe you program in.

  • Rapid-bake: This feature allows you to speed up the baking process to less than an hour. While the quality of bread isn’t quite as good, you’ll still have a tasty, fresh loaf in no time at all.

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