Humans have been baking bread for over 30,000 years now and our process and methods have changed drastically from a simple flat rock near a fire to the modern extravagancies of kitchen appliances and specialized ovens. There are literally more kitchen appliances in existence today than could ever fit into your average kitchen area and selecting the best ones to serve your purposes without being frivolous is important.
Before we look at what bread making appliances are available and which would best benefit you, let’s take a look at some important features that any kitchen appliance should have to be admitted into your cooking collection. A worthwhile kitchen appliance should…
- Be an innovation that makes you bubble over with creative ideas for its functions
- Be a lot of fun to use
- Improve the Quality of Life
- Help you save money and eat healthier
- Be something you would use more than twice in a week
There are not many appliances that can meet all the specifications listed there. Bread machines do, however. A bread maker can produce a grand variety of breads, buns, rolls and many other baked goodies. It takes a lot of the time and effort in making them so that the magic of bread making is a reality for everyone from busy moms to working dads, experimenters and even children.
Bread Machine or Stand Mixer – What is the Best Option for You?
Fresh bread is one of the few culinary delights that can comfort, nourish and bring a general sense of well being to the entire household’s minds and souls, and that’s just the baking part. Home made bread is also much healthier and cheaper than the store bought variety. You can also create the kind of bread that fits your preferences.
It is a bread maker’s versatility that make it such a popular appliance. Other kitchen appliances are a sort of one trick horse; take the rotisserie as an example, it can roast hot-dogs, shish kebabs, chickens and the like but if you are not eating these as a staple part of your diet your rotisserie may significantly see more shelf life than active duty.
With a bread machine you can produce food for every meal and snacks in between. There is nothing quite like hamburgers on homemade buns, morning coffee with your perfected recipe for toast, custom breads for sandwiches and more. The possibilities are truly endless.
Video: How to Use an Automatic Bread Maker for a Perfect Loaf of Bread
Do you want a Bread Maker or Stand Mixer?
Before you take off to the department store to purchase your own bread maker there is one more essential point to consider: do you want to buy a bread machine or stand mixer? First of all, what are the big differences?
With a Stand Mixer…
… all the ingredients can be added to a bowl; but then you will have to supervise the kneading process which can take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes. Then take out the kneaded dough and transfer it to a greased bowl, cover it and allow the dough to rise. Rising time is dependent on the type of bread you are making – whole wheat or white flour, amongst others.
When the dough has risen it must be laid on a floured surface, punched down in the center, shaped into greased bread pans and allowed to rise once more. Then go ahead and pop those pans into the oven and in thirty to forty minutes you should have some gold-brown loaves that can be cooled and eaten.
With a Bread Machine…
All the ingredients are carefully measured and added to the inner container. Hit the “Go” button. Stick around for a few minutes to observe the kneading process and double check that the dough is the consistency you expected. Then go about your other activities. The biggest advantage of the bread maker is that it only requires about 10 minutes of preparation time (not including the time it takes to rise), hence it’s easier and more convenient to use.
The only time that a stand mixer would be an advantage over the bread machine is if you needed to bake a large amount of bread in one day. If you supply staples for a large family and have a baking day arrangement to knock out the entire week’s work in one shot then a stand mixer would probably be the best option for you. However if the maximum number of loaves you would ever need to make in one day is 2 or 3 then a bread machine would still provide you with a convenient service.
If you do decide that a stand mixer is the best choice for you, I would advise against purchasing the K-Mart or Target brand. The best names in dough making are Magic Mill, Bosch and Dimension 2000 among a few others. These appliances are sure to cost a bit more; for serious bread making, however, you can accept no substitutes. These brands can withstand many years of kneading dough without the many malfunctions and dough climbing that is common among the more economical options.