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The purpose of this buying guide is to help you find the best bread maker for your lifestyle. This will be part one in a four part series.

Here are links to the complete guide:

With more and more consciousness on healthy eating and special diets, more and more people are looking into making bread at home, especially with the popularity of gluten-free and wheat-free diets. With the several and continuously growing number of bread makers, you’ll find that this is a young market and many manufacturers, well-known and not-as-well-known, are in the market.

Here are some tips on how to buy a bread maker for an extra fun dough session.

Enjoy!

How to buy a bread maker - breadmakers reviews

IN PART 1, WE REVIEW THE BASIC FEATURES OF A BREAD MACHINE

At its most basic what even the best bread maker is just that: a bread maker. It makes bread. So you want to consider your basic requirements for the bread you want to make.

Loaf Shape

One of the first features that you have to consider is shape. Bread makers may vary according to the shapes of bread they can produce. Some bread makers may create tall loaves rounded on top while others may create square-shaped ones.

Additionally, some bread makers create extra varied forms and designs and may be akin to what you see in a commercial bakery. The most typical shapes that bread makers create are horizontal and vertical. These bread machines have rectangular loaf pans to produce longer loaves.

Loaf Size

Sliced BreadNext thing that you have to consider is the capacity of the bread maker. A typical bread maker can produce up to two and a half pounds enough to produce several loaves. Back in the days, an ordinary bread machine can only create one block at a time but now there are bread makers that can produce two to three loaves at once.

Ideally, a one pound of loaf can produce 8 slices at most. It is essential that you consider how many loaves are you planning to produce per session to help you decide which bread machine suits for you. Be careful when inspecting the labels of these machines as some may indicate a capacity of 2 and ½ pounds when in reality it can only accommodate up to 1 and ½ pounds.

Loaf Pan

Along with the above two features, the loaf pan determines the size and shape. As mentioned above, bread machines may produce different shapes: oblong, rectangular, square, and round loaves. So, if you are planning of investing in a bread machine for a specific purpose, say you want to make sandwiches, then it is important to consider the pan shape. Rectangular pans are probably the most flexible shape to pick. It can go very well if you are planning to make bread loaves. The pan shape will not be a great thing to consider if you intend to do the stuffing on the dough cycle.

You also have to check out what the pan is made of. Materials used to make a pan can either be thick or thin cast aluminum. Thick-shaped aluminum pans make thicker and darker crusts while thin-shaped ones produce thinner and lighter crusts.

Loaf Weight

Aside from the capacity, you also have to consider the bread machine’s weight. It is best if the brand of your choice specifies the estimated weight of the finished bread. This can typically range between 2-3 pounds. Larger bread makers, especially those intended for business, may still create smaller blocks of bread. Keep in mind that the weight refers to the finished product while the capacity pertains to the raw ingredients put on the machine.

Bread Type and Cycles

Different Bread TypesThe basic machine will be able to create traditional white breads. Most machines now will also be able to create other basic breads such as wheat and multi-grain. Then you will want to consider if you will want to make fancier bread types and dough types: cakes, pizzas, bagels, pastas, and even specialty breads like gluten-free and wheat-free.

Some common cycles available:

Bake-Only
This is best for creating frozen doughs.

White or Basic
This is the most flexible cycle you can have as this is present in almost all types of bread machines. The white or basic cycle is applicable in all your baking sessions.

Whole Grain or Whole Wheat

This cycle is perfect if you are making heavier breads with its extended rising times. While this is not present in all bread machines, you can actually program yours by adjusting the baking and kneading settings.

Rapid or Quick

There are machines which are programmed for rapid baking. This trims down the cooking time at around 2 ½ hours.

Manual or Dough

This cycle comes in very handy when mixing and kneading the dough and allowing it to be a little fluffy and rise. You can also do it manually by shaping the dough with you bare hands and letting it bake in a conventional oven.

Other cycles

Latest bread machines have also added a variety of cycles that you can choose from. With those bread machines, you can instantly make rice, pizza dough, pasta, and cake.

That Concludes This Portion Of Our Buying Guide

Now that you know the basic features to consider, we’ll move on to “extra special” features to think about as you read all those bread machine reviews.

Part 2: Bread Machine Bells And Whistles

Here are links to the complete guide:

Cheers!

Check out all our bread makers reviews

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