Bread might be the staff of life, but when it comes to making it, so many of us give up after complex recipes and failed attempts.
Fortunately, there’s a range of simple-to-use electric bread-making machines to take the arm ache out of the process. Here’s the lowdown on what to consider when purchasing a breadmaker.
Breadmakers vary tremendously in shape and dimension. If you have limited counter space, don’t be tempted to buy one too big. It could end up gathering dust – but also be mindful that even larger models may reveal a small baking pan inside, useless for a family’s needs – so look inside to check before buying.
Typically, machines make loaves from 1lb to 3lb. As machine-baked bread lasts around two days, buying the right size maker with the correct-sized pan for your needs will reduce your chances of wasting more than bread dough!
Breadmakers today offer many shapes and forms of bread from vertically oblong to horizontal tin style, and round. Decide what shape of loaf you like to eat and choose your bread maker accordingly.
Some breadmakers do not have a removable bread pan. If you get one of these, bear in mind it will be much more difficult to clean and could end up a relic at the back of a cupboard!
The more money you pay, the more functionality you get – but not all of them will necessarily be useful for your needs. A delayed timer function is handy to ensure a fresh loaf in the morning. Other features you should look for are a viewing window to check on the progress of your loaf, gluten-free option for those who are wheat intolerant, and rapid bake for people in a hurry.
Luxury models offer such features as a collapsible kneading blade which mixes ingredients then collapses before the “bake” function to allow for the dough to expand and makes sure you don’t have the unsightly hole in the middle of the loaf that you’d have with a normal breadmaker.
Ease Of Use
Automatic breadmakers are generally straightforward to use, but like any appliance, don’t complicate things. Too many functions can take the fun out of breadmaking.
Before you buy, consult independent reviews on sites such as www.which.co.uk and www.breadmachinepros.com which give real user reports that are unbiased. Expect to pay from £50 for a
basic model to over £300 for an all-singing, all-dancing one.