Bread Machines – What Do They Do?
Well, the name of these machines is pretty much self-explanatory if you ask us, but there’s still some curiosity on the process that’s behind bread-making machines.
You might wonder what’s the difference between baking bread by hand and using a machine to bake one – of course, the fact that this is an automated process is the main thing that pops in our mind.
Yet, there are plenty of questions that can be asked – and therefore answered – when referring to the things bread machines do.
Maybe you’re new to this whole automated bread-making thing, as you’ve purchased a bread machine, hopefully one of the best value bread machines, or you are just a bit curious on the science behind it.
Well, look no further, as you have reached the end of your journey – where all of your questions will be answered, and you will know how bread machines work and how they are able to provide you with the tastiest bread you’ve ever tried!
Bread Machines – Where Your Job Basically Ends
Your job in making bread using a bread machine ends as you complete the first step required to start the bread-making process. This is where your attention should be fully focused in order for the rest of the process to happen just right.
The first thing a bread machine does is accepting the ingredients required to bake bread.
You’ll have to be very careful when measuring them, as one single mistake can lead to a ruined loaf of bread – as we said, the machine knows how to do its job, but you have to supply it with the right ingredients and in the right amounts.
Don’t worry, it’s not that hard! It’s just like baking by hand – follow the recipe closely and then tuck in the ingredients in the bread machine.
The Mixing and Kneading of Your Ingredients
Of course, a bread machine will save you from something you might have found tedious in the past – mixing the dough for the bread.
After you’ve carefully placed the salt, sugar, flour, yeast, water, and fat inside the bread machine – it’s time for this nifty device to start doing its magic.
In the first two minutes, and aided by its trusty dough hook, the bread machine will mix the ingredients we have mentioned before. After some proper mixing, the machine will stop turning its dough hook – for about ten, fifteen minutes – in order for the dough to rest and thus develop its gluten.
By now, you probably remember those times when you were making bread by hand, and after beating and mixing the ingredients well you’d let it rest in a bowl and watch the dough grow. Well, those are old times, no need to wait anymore.
We mentioned kneading as well, right?
After the time required for the dough to develop its gluten, the hook will begin to run again, for about six minutes, but this time kneading the mixture inside the machine instead.
Bread Machines make your dough – Rise, Rise, Rise!
Your new gadget – also known as a bread machine – comes equipped with a thermostat. You probably already know what that is so we won’t stick for too long onto this matter.
So, this thermostat’s only responsibility is to make the dough inside the machine rise. Basically, it will gradually increase the temperature around the dough, so the latter would be able to rise properly and in a fit amount of time as well.
As we said before, no more idling for your precious bread – just let the bread machine do its work.
Bread Machines help you – Bake, Bake, Bake!
After the thermostat will do its job and raise the dough accordingly, the bread machine will switch itself to the baking mode. No user interaction required – nifty, right?
But, the thermostat is not done yet. After making the dough suitable for baking, it will turn on once more and raise the temperature inside the bread machine. The second involvement of the thermostat in the process means, basically, the baking of your bread.
The time needed for the machine to bake your bread depends on the program you chose at the start of the baking process. After fully breaking your bread, the thermostat will stop functioning again, the bread machine will turn itself off and – voila! – your bread is all done.
Now, you can let your bread cool inside the machine, but we recommend you remove it as soon as the process ends, as leaving it inside will cause the top of the bread to soften – because of the moisture that will accumulate in the machine.
We’ve covered up the entire process the machine does in order to bake the bread for you. But there are still some things you have to take into account before leaving your machine running alone in the kitchen.
In order to get familiarized with your machine, and – of course – to get to know it and how it works even better, it’s recommended that you take a look at its settings as well. Most of them come with pre-set programs such as White or Basic, Sweet, Rapid, French, Dough, and Whole Wheat.
You’ll have to know how the machine works in all of the mentioned programs so that you can properly prepare the ingredients – and, eventually, clean the machine after you’re done using it.
There are even machines that come with a Crust setting! With it, you’ll be able to decide whether your bread will have a Dark, Medium or Light crust.
So, what a bread machine does is very simple – it bakes bread. While for some, this information might be enough – it shouldn’t be enough for you, as one should know exactly how this machine works, in order to prevent any problems that might occur.
Learning what every program of the machine does and when the machine is doing a certain thing will help you get that perfect and tasty bread!