How does a bread maker work?

What is a bread maker and what does it do?

Baking bread involves several steps and a significant amount of time. You prep the ingredients, prepare the dough, let it rise, and knead it all by hand before putting it in a container and then in the oven, hoping it will bake and rise. 

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Zojirushi BB-PDC20BA Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus Breadmaker, 2 lb. loaf of bread,...
  • Various healthy course settings include Multigrain, Whole Wheat, Rapid Whole Wheat, Gluten Free, Salt Free, Sugar...
  • Double Kneading Blades thoroughly knead dough for superior results; Dual heaters on the bottom and lid of the bread...
  • Rapid courses allow you to bake a loaf of white or whole wheat bread in just 2 hours and 25 minutes
  • Large, easy-to-read LCD display with convenient key code on lid simplifies course selection; RAPID SETTING: Use...
  • Electrical Rating 120 volts / 700 watts.Cord Length:39 inch

Or, you can have an appliance that does it all for you. This appliance is called a bread maker or bread machine. We will often use those two terms interchangeably. So whether you see someone say bread maker or bread machine, they’re really talking about the same thing.

This is definitely an appliance that makes your life simple. Using a bread machine has never been easier considering how technologically advanced these appliances are nowadays. 

In a bread machine, a motor turns the paddle in order to mix and knead the dough just the right amount. Similar to what you would do with your hands. 

Then, the heating element provides the warmth needed for the dough to rise, and then when it’s ready, the higher temperature kicks in and bakes the bread perfectly. 

Making fresh bread used to be complex and tiring, however with the latest technology and automatic bread machines on the market, it is very easy to make your own bread at home. The speed with which bread machines are sold shows that thousands are making their own bread at home.

Just like by hand, wet ingredients are added first, then oils and fats, then dry ingredients, and finally yeast is added if your recipe calls for it. 

Your awesome bread machine will mix, knead, rise, and bake the dough and make you some delicious, fresh bread!

Bread that is freshly baked is great to eat and nothing beats the smell of homemade bread.

Along with the wonderful fragrance of freshly made bread come great childhood memories. If you want your spouse and kids to experience the same, you should at least try to make bread at home.

There are many advantages when it comes to baking your own bread at home

Fresh bread: There are very few things that can compare with the smell of fresh-baked bread early in the morning. You will love eating it and since it is freshly made it is healthier.

Gluten-Free Bread: Since so many people nowadays are striving to maintain a gluten-free diet, having your own bread maker is a step in that direction. 

Buying GF bread is so expensive! And it doesn’t taste very good, but the best bread machines have a gluten-free setting that allows you to create a custom loaf of bread that fits your taste and also your lifestyle.

Cost: You can bake bread at literally a fraction of the cost that you would pay for bread from the bakery. In a short while, the bread machine literally pays for itself.

The “WOW” Factor: Nothing beats the feeling of guests coming over to your house and seeing that you have baked fresh bread and the look of admiration in their eyes.

Bread is one of the most versatile and oldest foods. You get a variety of bread right from the basic sliced white loaf of bread to complex and exotic focaccia and ciabatta. We also use the dough for a variety of purposes like pizza bases and rolls to loaves.

When we eat bread, we don’t realize the effort that goes into making the bread. Though the bread maker has made baking bread easier, the time taken still is long because bread-making is a very time-consuming process.

You still will have to wait for hours for your bread. The advantage is that since the best bread machines on the market are automatic, you don’t have to be involved.

You can do other household chores while your bread is getting baked. It may take several hours to bake the bread because it takes time for the yeast to work on the flour.

Now let’s get to the interesting part. How the bread machine works.

What are the steps to make bread?

First, figure out what kind of bread recipe you’re looking to make. Gather all of your ingredients and make sure that you know how to use your bread machine.

Then, you add all of the ingredients to your bread machine, what then? The main process of baking bread, in general, falls into 5 steps.

Step 1 – Mix the dough

Select your preferred dough cycle and press start. The bread making begins!

The bread maker takes the yeast, bread flour, fat, sugar, water, salt, and mixes all of these ingredients together to make the required dough. The critical issue here is the right quantity of the various ingredients have to be just right.

Step 2 – Kneading

Once your ingredients are mixed, the bread maker bashes the dough until it gets elastic and stretchy. If it doesn’t knead the dough properly, it won’t rise properly.

Step 3 – Rising

Your bread maker then begins warming it for anywhere between 5 minutes and 60 minutes, depending on the type of bread that you’re making.

This is the stage in which the yeast starts working. Air enters and with the yeast, it works on the dough. The dough expands to more than double its size.

Step 4 – You have to knock down the dough 

Believe it or not, there’s a second kneading that has to take place!

This makes the loaf evener and ensures that air bubbles come out. Then the dough rises for the second time so that it rises evenly.

Step 5 – Baking

The last stage is the final heating. This bakes the bread to a light, medium, or dark crust, depending on your settings.

If you feel that the above five steps are too overwhelming, don’t worry as the bread maker automatically does all the five steps.

Why are there different cycles and settings?

There are many different types of bread that can be made with a bread maker. 

The best bread machines will have these cycles pre-programmed for your convenience. 

It’ll have all kinds of settings like bread baked like a cinnamon roll, crusty loaf, french bread, white bread, and even Hawaiian bread.

Bread makers also have a dough setting that makes the dough but stops right before baking it. 

This is super convenient if you need dough but not baked bread! A good example of this is if you need to make pizza dough, quick bread, pound cake, rum cake, even jam, and chutney.

So what makes a bread machine work?

The best thing when you use an automatic bread maker is that all the above five processes or steps are done automatically for you.

A bread maker is an electric oven that is compact. It can generally hold a single bread pan which will be reasonably large. There are a variety of sizes that are available in the market.

The pan has an interesting design. It has an axle at the bottom. This axle is connected with an electric motor from below. There is a small metal paddle on the axle which is inside the tin and has a waterproof seal. This ensures that the bread mixture does not escape from the bread maker.

So, now to how it works. You need to put the paddle in the bread pan and remove it from the bread maker. Mix and add your ingredients into the tin. Put the bread pan in your bread maker.

Then you need to select the program that you need when via the electronic control panel. You then need to close the lid and get to other chores.

That’s it. Simple, isn’t it? 

Pretty much anyone can use a bread machine.

Especially when you compare it to the effort that you need to put in to bake the same bread manually.

Many bread makers on the market have glass lids. This allows you to see the bread being created. When you hear the motor whirring and the paddle spinning, you know that the bread is in the second stage of kneading.

After that, there will be a quiet time which is stage three of the dough rising.

You will again hear more kneading and then a quiet, which is the fourth stage.

Finally, you will see steam coming from the vent on it. You will get the smell of homemade bread.

This is the way normal bread is made. You can also try different bread recipes. Most bread makers come with a recipe book.

What if the power goes out mid-cycle?

Many bread makers have built-in memories which help if you have power outages. Once the power comes back it remembers the stage it was in and continues to work from there.

This is necessary as the duration of making bread in a bread maker is long.

What about a delayed start?

There are bread makers which have a delayed start. You can set it up before you sleep and it will start at a pre-set time and you get a loaf of homemade bread in the morning.

In Conclusion

Homemade bread that I personally baked in my bread machine is the best. Why? Because you get the taste and character of homemade bread with the ease of having an appliance do it all for you!

We hope that you gained some insight into bread makers, how they work, and why you might want one.

Overall, there are a TON of bread makers to choose from. In this article, we outline some of those bread makers with the best value.

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