Bread Machines

Bread Machines

These computerized bread makers combine the functions of a mixer, a dough kneader, a proofing box, and a miniature oven. Some models even bake cakes and cook jams. When choosing a bread machine, decide whether you want a basic or multifunctional model. If you're still learning how to program your VCR, you may want to skip the models that require a lot of programming and opt for a basic model instead. Just make sure that your machine has a dough or manual cycle that allows you to remove dough after it rises, so that you can shape it as you wish or bake it in a conventional oven. Multifunctional models have pre-programmable baking cycles and settings for different types of bread. If you're a fan of whole wheat bread, look for a heavy-duty machine with a whole wheat cycle or at least one that can be programmed for a longer knead and rise cycle.

To make a successful bread from a bread machine, measure carefully. Bread machines are not as forgiving of casual measuring as conventionally made loaves. Too much yeast could cause the loaf to collapse or to fuse itself to the lid of the machine, while too much sugar or fat could make a loaf cave in. Also, since bread machines vary, add the ingredients in the order specified for your model.

When cleaning after using, use a dishcloth or sponge on the paddle and pan. Avoid the dishwasher, knives, and other sharp or abrasive objects that may scratch the nonstick surface.

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