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The purpose of this buying guide is to help you find the best bread machine for your lifestyle. If you are in the process of researching top bread makers then we hope you find these “How to buy a bread maker” guides helpful!

Here are links to the complete guide:

In Part 1: Bread Machine Basics we discussed the basic features of bread makers. Here we talk about the some of the extra bells and whistles some bread machines will offer so you can decide if your needs make it essential, a luxury, or a distraction you won’t need.

Onward!

How To Buy A Bread Maker

NOW, LET’S DISCUSS SOME EXTRA BREAD MACHINE BELLS AND WHISTLES

Jam and Jelly Making

Believe it or not, some bread makers have facilities for you to also make jams and jellies with your bread! Very very convenient, and most of the bread makers that have this feature actually make them pretty well. Some may be more difficult to clean than others, but it definitely is a nice little luxury to have to add to your homemade bread.

Can you imagine, when entertaining, giving someone not just homemade bread but homemade jelly? Wow!

Crust Control

Panasonic SD-YD250 Crust ControlsAnother feature we are finding most budding bread makers like, and so this is becoming much more common now: Nearly all machines have a crust-control feature. This works just as it sounds: you choose the colour of the crust of your finished product. Generally, you can set the program in three crust colours: dark, medium, and light.

Pictured right is the Panasonic SD-YD250 Bread Maker with crust control which works fairly well.

This also seems to be the feature of a bread machine that does not always work as advertised. So it seems bread makers are still trying to get this one right. In fact, for some, the lighter crust settings will sometime result in a gummy-topped bread.

So if you are picky about crust control, don’t just look to see if the feature is there, but research to see if it actually works!

Bread Additives

For fancier bread making, many people like to have what I call “chunky style” bread. If you are that type of person, how easy is it to add grains, nuts, fruits to your bread? The yeast, fruit, and nut dispensing option is for those bread makers who want to be very accurate when adding yeast, or want to make special fruit and nut loaves.

And not just being able to add the ingredients, but *WHEN* to add them is also important. Certain models also have an indicator that signals when it’s time to add late ingredients.

Removable Loaf Pan

Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Removable Loaf PanOf the extras you will find, this one is becoming more commonplace. While a minor consideration, this makes cleanup much easier and will prevent small unreachable fragments of dough from getting into the crevices of your bread machines.

The Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Bread Maker has a heavy-duty removable loaf pan (pictured right) – great for some intense bread making and easy cleanup.

Power Saver

The main function of a power saver is to allow you to recover your bread-making sessions in case of any power interruption. Some machines take as fast as 10 seconds to recover.

A nice feature to have, not anything you’d want to pay extra for necessarily (?)

Rapid-Bake

For those on-the-go, the Rapid-Bake option can be very handy. The rapid bake option, which trims about one hour off the entire baking time, shortens the knead and rise time and tends to produce a denser loaf.

Keep-Warm Feature

When your bread is ready before you are, the keep-warm option maintains warmth for up to 30 minutes. This feature also prevents the bread from sticking to the pan when you can’t get to it immediately.

Advanced Timer

For some people, a luxury is having their homemade bread warm and ready for them right when they wake up in the morning. Or ready for them when they get home from work. A 24 advance timer allows you this luxury. If you want to start baking before you get home, a digital timer allows you to preset the bread machine to start at a certain hour. The latest machines offer delays of up to a 24 hours.

THAT CONCLUDES THIS PART OF OUR COOKWARE SET BUYING GUIDE

We hope that Part 2 of “How to Buy a Bread Maker” buying guide has provided you with some great information on helping you pick out the best bread maker for your budget and lifestyle.

Be on the lookout for:

Part 3: Helping You Choose

Where we go over some thoughts on how you should go about choosing which bread machine is best for you.

Here are links to the complete guide:

Until next time!

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