Breadmakers Buying Guides

Is there anything that smells more appealing than a freshly baked loaf of homemade bread? No one ever forgets the heavenly aroma, and yet few people actually take the time to make bread "from scratch". After all, there is the measuring, mixing, kneading, waiting for the dough to rise, the shaping, the waiting for the dough to rise again, and then the baking. Only then does the baker know if their bread is a success, and because yeast is a finicky thing, the loaf may not actually rise. 

This is one of the main reasons behind the popularity of breadmakers, and this buying guide will help a consumer to find the right machine for their needs.


What to Consider

A lot of people are totally unsure of the features to consider as they narrow down their choices for breadmakers, but the good news is that there are not many things you actually need to explore. Firstly, it is the size of the loaves produced that matters.


Modern breadmakers are different from much earlier designs. Rather than tiny little one pound loaves that would be gobbled up in a single meal, today's machines can handle up to 3 pound loaves.


So, if you know that you want to have more than just a slice leftover after baking, you want to start by choosing a machine that will make a larger loaf. Generally, this means 2 pounds or more.


Next, is the desire to have a "normal" looking loaf, or one that is vertical. For example, if you want your bread to have the look of homemade bread and not the obvious looks of a breadmaker, you want to find a machine that creates a "horizontal" loaf. Do be aware that such a machine requires two paddles for kneading the dough, and tends to have a much higher sticker price.


In addition to these factors, you have to then consider the options available on the machine. For example, early models of breadmakers did not offer more than some adjustable time settings. Today, however, you should be able to indicate the colour of the crust, the type of flour you have used, the specific type of bread you are making (i.e. French or whole wheat), and even if you are making other foods. For example, many of the best machines have a jam-making feature, pasta settings, and cycles for pizza dough.


There can also be a setting that lets you delay the process. In other words, if the idea of waking in the morning to the smell of freshly baked bread is appealing to you, look for a breadmaker with the time delay. This feature usually also appears on machines that have "start and stop" options. This is in order to allow the bread baker to add things before the final kneading process.

 

In addition to these factors, you may want to consider the type of cooking that the breadmaker uses. Some are now made with convection cooking or open racks instead of sealed pans.


Prices

Of course, the more that you ask for in the bread machine, the more it will cost you. Currently, it is the horizontal models that seem to come with the heftiest prices, but there are also some full-featured models that are even more.

 

This means that the wisest thing to do is to begin by listing the features that matter most and then going online to do some comparison shopping. You should be able to find a range of machines with the options you desire, and you can then compare prices.

Don't choose based on price, however, because that usually leads to an unsatisfactory experience. Instead, make sure that you are narrowing down choices based entirely on the features you will use. There are many households with breadmakers that sit and gather dust simply because they do not produce satisfactory results.


Often, scouring the Internet for customer feedback will allow a buyer to avoid the worst models in their price or category. Look especially for warnings about noise levels, problems with specific functions, and issues relating to inaccurate results. For example, if a machine has a setting that allows for the specific level of "doneness" to be chosen, and yet the user feels that this never occurred, do not purchase that machine if this level of control is important to you.


The good news is that breadmakers are available for almost any budget and will end up saving a consumer a great deal of money. Making your own bread, pasta, and other baked goods is also a much healthier way of life. So, it is worth the time to explore, compare, and identify a few models that meet your needs. You can then use a reliable comparison website to find the right one at the ideal price.