Many of us are familiar with and enjoy the aroma of a warm loaf of bread baking in the oven. Freshly made bread tastes nothing like the sliced loaves of manufactured bread we purchase at the grocery store.
Making bread by hand is perfectly viable and a great experience, but for many of us, time restrictions make making handcrafted bread on a daily basis difficult. This is where bread machines come in: we can have freshly made bread anytime we want it with less than five minutes of effort.
Is a bread machine, however, really worth it? To be honest, it depends. Everyone has their own set of circumstances, interests, and aspirations. A bread machine is a fantastic purchase for many people, but for others, it is useless.
With this in mind, I’ll try my best to answer this subject from a variety of perspectives. My goal is that this helps you decide if a bread machine is a good purchase for you.
- Uses for a Bread Machine
- Alternatives to Buying a Bread Machine
- Final Thoughts
- What is one drawback of using a bread machine?
- Do you really need a breadmaker?
- Is it cheaper to use a bread maker or buy bread?
- Is it better to make bread in a bread machine?
- What is the best bread maker for beginners?
- Is making bread at home healthier?
- What else can I do with a bread maker?
- What happens if you use regular flour in a bread machine?
- Why do people buy bread makers?
- Do people use bread makers anymore?
Uses for a Bread Machine
First and foremost, let us discuss the functions of a bread machine. As you may know, the most typical use is for baking bread. Both yeast and fast breads may be made in bread makers.
They are suitable for a wide range of breads, from thick whole-grain loaves to airy white variations. You may also use a bread machine solely for the mixing and kneading cycle without baking the bread in it.
This is handy for making cinnamon buns, croissants, pizza dough, and any other bread that requires hand shaping.
Many high-end bread machines contain options expressly intended for creating jam, pudding, and cake, which may surprise people. This is less prevalent in less expensive bread makers, however a handful of them do contain comparable functionality.
It might be entertaining to seek for bread machine recipes online and play with all of the possible applications.
This is most likely the primary reason why most of us opt to get a bread machine. Baking bread by hand takes a long time, so utilizing a bread machine saves us a lot of time.
As I previously said, most bread machine recipes only need around five minutes of hands-on work to measure the ingredients and set them in the pan.
Once that is completed, there is usually nothing extra to do, unless you are preparing a bread with fruits, nuts, or seeds, in which case a beeping sound will inform you when to add those additional ingredients.
Another time-saving feature of a bread machine is that numerous may be scheduled to complete at a certain time. This means you can toss in your ingredients before heading out the door for work in the morning and set the timer to have the bread done just in time for supper.
Combine it with a substantial slow-cooked soup, and you may prepare your whole supper in the morning and arrive home to everything prepared and ready to eat.
In reality, not everyone will save money by purchasing a bread maker, but many will. When evaluating the cost-effectiveness of bread machines, I often compare them to purchasing equivalent bread from a grocery shop or bakery rather than baking bread by hand.
If you have the time to bake bread by hand whenever you want and nothing prevents you from doing so, investing in a bread machine makes little sense from an economic viewpoint.
If you often purchase bread from the grocery store because you lack the time to prepare it at home, a bread machine will likely pay for itself within a few months.
Before I continue, let me add one caveat: if you purchase the cheapest bread at the grocery store, the loaves that cost about a dollar, making bread at home won’t save you any money.
Most bakers, on the other hand, consider ourselves bread aficionados. We prefer excellent breads made with natural, healthful ingredients, but they are expensive at the grocery store. That is when a bread machine can truly save you money.
The raw materials are often relatively cheap, particularly if you purchase in bulk, so a bread machine will enable you to make the artisan breads of your choosing at a very low cost.
Keeping the kitchen cool in warmer months
This is very useful in the summer. Have you ever avoided making bread because you couldn’t face the notion of letting the oven heat up the house? If this is the case, a bread machine will most likely be an excellent purchase.
Most bread makers emit extremely little heat, considerably less than a traditional oven, so you may bake bread without worry all year.
Unfortunately, bread machine loaves are not usually as aesthetically beautiful as hand-formed and shaped loaves.
The main disadvantage is that they often have an indentation in the bottom where the blade was. It’s not a big problem, and the extent to which this occurs varies somewhat across computers, but it’s worth mentioning.
Another issue is that loaves produced in the bread machine are often unbalanced on top; you may notice that one side is slightly higher than the other. This is not a frequent problem, but it does occur.
Of course, hand-formed loaves may suffer from this issue as well, but in my experience, bread machines suffer from it more often.
It may seem funny to put cost as a drawback given cost-effectiveness was just described as a benefit, but I wanted to include this as a possible disadvantage because a bread machine may be an initial investment, particularly if you pick one of the higher-end models.
If you are currently on a tight budget, you should consider either purchasing a low-cost bread machine or waiting until a better time to make the purchase.
Because not everyone has unlimited room in their kitchen cupboards, we must carefully analyze the space needs of each conceivable kitchen gadget or appliance.
Unfortunately, bread machines take up some room, so if you live in a small apartment or have a very small kitchen, you should take this into serious consideration.
Alternatives to Buying a Bread Machine
When deciding if a bread machine is worthwhile for you, I believe it is useful to evaluate the alternatives. There are three viable options to consider:
1. Buy all of your bread at the grocery store or bakery
This isn’t the cheapest or most tempting choice for most bakers, but it’s what a lot of people do, so it’s worth noting.
2. Make all of your bread by hand
Some folks really like the whole bread-making process. Kneading dough may be a stress reliever or a fun form of exercise for some people. Making bread completely by hand may be a lovely experience if you have the time.
Even if you purchase a bread machine, you’ll undoubtedly prefer preparing a loaf or two by hand on occasion.
3. Use a stand mixer or food processor to do the kneading
Using a food processor or stand mixer for kneading may reduce the amount of time spent on the hands-on side of breadmaking. You’ll still need to be home to shape and bake the loaf, but you’ll spend less time in the kitchen, so this might be a nice compromise if you don’t want to invest in a bread machine.
Bread machines are great time savers, and many of us use them multiple times each week. They are, however, an investment, therefore it is critical to thoroughly assess the benefits and any drawbacks before buying.
With this knowledge, you should be able to make the best selection for your specific circumstances and needs.
What is one drawback of using a bread machine?
Cons of Using a Bread Machine
The initial cost of a bread machine. Because retail breads sometimes include chemical preservatives, homemade bread generally gets stale sooner. Inability to manufacture huge bread loaves. Many bread makers have a maximum bread loaf capacity of 2 pounds.
Do you really need a breadmaker?
If you need to create a lot of loaves or want the added convenience, you should invest in a bread machine. Perhaps you are bored of preparing bread by hand, have a hectic schedule, or suffer from a physical impairment. It might be a money problem, or you may be new to bread making.
Is it cheaper to use a bread maker or buy bread?
Making bread from a machine is somewhat less expensive than purchasing it, as long as you consume enough bread to offset the cost of the gadget. I consider this as a wise buy for households who go through bread rapidly, such as big families or residences with several roommates.
Is it better to make bread in a bread machine?
The Brioche’s Texture
On the dough option, the machine handles all of the effort of kneading and allowing the dough to rise and rest. This not only saves time but also reduces the amount of baking mess.
What is the best bread maker for beginners?
If you’re new to creating bread at home, Hamilton Beach’s selection is the finest bread maker. From simple white and gluten-free bread to French loaves and cinnamon buns, this gadget can produce it all. It’s also less costly than many of the other solutions on our list.
Is making bread at home healthier?
It also has less calories than store-bought bread. Making your own bread is also an excellent method to save money. Quality ingredients may be purchased for a fraction of the cost of store-bought bread. So not only is homemade bread healthier, but it is also less expensive!
What else can I do with a bread maker?
Other than bread, what else can you make with a bread machine?
Cake. After bread, cake is the most frequent dish made in a bread machine.
Dishes with rice and pudding.
Soups and sauces.
The last word.
What happens if you use regular flour in a bread machine?
Yes! Gluten level in all-purpose flour ranges from 9% to 12%, whereas gluten content in bread flour ranges from 10% to 13%. You may use all-purpose flour in the bread machine even if it lacks gluten. The worst that can happen is that your bread will not rise as much as it would if you used bread flour.
Why do people buy bread makers?
A bread machine is often used to correctly mix, knead, and proof bread. The dough is then transferred to a pan and baked in the oven. This manner, they avoid the indents created by the paddles in the bread.
Do people use bread makers anymore?
Vertical bread machines are still in use today. They have a smaller footprint, so they take up less counter space and are easy to store. They are also less costly and produce smaller loaves of bread, making them an excellent choice for small homes or anybody who does not consume a lot of bread.