Bread makers are what turn novices into bakers in no time at all. They’re easier to use than manually preparing and baking bread, and they’re a lot less of a hassle, too. Here’s how to use your bread maker so it tastes just as good as oven-fresh loaves.
Read the Manual
So many people feel like they know how appliances work and then wonder why they aren’t working as expected. Manuals, while boring, are essential to read if you want to make the most out of your machine. This is especially true for bread makers, as these specialized appliances are a lot more complex than something like a microwave oven.
What’s more, different bread makers will have different settings and layouts. So even if you have experience with bread makers in the past, it may still be worth skimming over that manual so you know what to do every step of the way. It’s boring, but reading the manual is well worth the trouble you go through.
Follow the Proportions
When you get your bread maker, it will probably come with at least one recipe for a basic loaf. This is arguably the most important recipe you need to remember. If there’s one recipe you shouldn’t forget, it’s this.
Why? Because the recipe will tell you the specific proportion of ingredients required for the loaf. The proportions for the ingredients required in baking bread the traditional way will probably be different from the proportions on the manual. And that’s not a mistake - it’s likely that because of the unique way the bread maker bakes the bread, it needs a unique proportion to bake the perfect loaf.
So, if you want to make bread properly with the maker, you need to memorize the recipe. You can experiment in the future, but at the very least, you’ll know one tried-and-true recipe that will work no matter what.
Once you’re familiar with making the special bread maker loaf, then it’s time to start adding in your own flair. Because you’re using a bread maker, you can’t add as many little intricacies as you could through traditional baking, but there’s still room for creativity.
An easy way to spice up the loaf would be by adding an extra ingredient. Adding a few raisins, for example, could add a bit of sweetness to the loaf with minimal changes to the bread itself. You could also go for a more fundamental change by swapping out a key ingredient with another. Using a different type of sugar or a different brand of flour could change the bread’s texture or flavor dramatically. Since bread makers allow you to easily make loaves, don’t be afraid to experiment - just don’t let a single loaf go to waste, and finish it if you can.
If you aren’t confident with baking using an oven but want to make your own loaves, then bread makers are a great solution. By learning the ins and outs of the appliance and understanding how to make bread maker loaves, you can then start to add in your own changes to bake a loaf that fully represents you.