- Bread machine
A bread machine or breadmaker is a
home appliancefor baking bread. It consists of a bread panwith a paddle mounted in the center, in a small special-purpose oven, with a control panel. While most bread machines have different cycles for different kinds of dough (including straight white bread, whole grain, European-style (sometimes labeled "French"), and dough-only for pizzadough and shaped loaves baked in the oven), many also have a timer to allow the bread machine to activate without operator attendance, and some high-end models allow the user to program a custom cycle.
The first breadmaker was released in
Japanin 1986. A decade later they had become popular in the United Kingdomand the United States. While not viable for commercial use due to the fixed loaf shape and the limited duty cycle, bread machines often produce the best results when dealing with kneaded doughs [The King Arthur Flourtest kitchen uses bread machines extensively in their recipe testing; for more details, see "King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion", Countryman Press, 2003.] .
Use and features
To create a loaf of bread, ingredients are measured into the bread pan in a specified order (usually liquids first, with solid ingredients layered on top) and the pan is then placed in the breadmaker. The order of ingredients is important because the instant yeast used in breadmakers is activated by contact with water, so the yeast and the water must be kept apart until the program starts.
The machine takes a few hours to make a loaf of bread, first by turning the ingredients into
doughusing the paddle, then baking the loaf. Once the bread has been baked, the pan is extracted from the breadmaker and the bread freed from the pan. The paddle, now at the bottom of the loaf, is removed, leaving a small paddle-shaped indentation or hole. The shape of the finished loaf is often considered unusual, with many early bread machines producing a vertically-oriented, square or cylindrical loaf very different from commercial breads; however, more recent units generally have a more traditional-appearing horizontal pan.
Bread machine recipes are often somewhat smaller than standard bread recipes, and are sometimes standardized based on the capacity of the machine's pan; most common in the United States market are 1.5lb/700g units, and the majority of recipes are written for that capacity; however, 2lb/900g units are not uncommon as well. Packaged bread mixes are available, specifically designed for breadmakers, containing premeasured ingredients including flour and yeast, as well as flavorings and occasionally dough conditioners. Only water usually needs to be added. Bread machines generally do not deal well with non-wheat flours, so any recipe that requires a substantial addition of a grain such as
ryeor cornthat lacks glutenwill prove difficult at best in a bread machine, as will any dough with unusually large amounts of liquid (such as ciabatta).
Generally, homemade bread goes stale faster than bread from a commercial baker because the former does not include
preservatives. However, it is possible (though rather difficult) to use a natural leaven or a pre-fermentin breadmaker dough recipes if the starter is sufficiently fast to rise. Sourdoughcontains a symbiotic culture of yeast and lactobacteria; the yeast provides some flavor as well as carbon dioxideto provide lift, while lactic acidproduced by sourdough's lactobacteria greatly preserves bread, as well as enhancing its flavor, while pre-ferments provide some of the same benefits as a sourdough culture with the greater predictability of domesticated baker's yeast.
Breadmakers are often equipped with a
timerto control when the breadmaking begins. This allows them, for example, to be loaded in the evening but only begin baking early in the morning, to produce a freshly-baked loaf for breakfast. They can also be set only to make dough, for instance to be used to make pizza. Some can also be set to make other things besides bread, such as jam, pastadough, udonor mochi, a kind of Japanese rice cake. One of the most recent innovations is the facility to add nuts and fruit during the kneading process automatically from a tray.
Selected manufacturers of bread machines
Black & Decker
Hamilton Beach Company
Salton Inc.(Trades as Russell Hobbs in UK)
West Bend Company
* [http://www.recipezaar.com/recipes.php?s_type=%2Frecipes.php&q=bread+machine&Search=Search&Searcht Large archive of bread machine recipes]
* [http://breadmakerrecipes.blogspot.com Breadmaker Recipes]
* [http://www.sankey.ws/bread.html Canadian bread maker recipes]
* [http://www.free-recipes.co.uk/cook-book/b-recipes/free-bread-machine-recipes UK bread maker recipes]
* [http://www.diet-recipes-to-go.co.uk/Breadmaker.htm Diet bread maker recipes]
* [http://www.recipes.eu.com/recipes30subcat265 Large breadmaker recipe archive]
* [http://www.recipe-ideas.co.uk/bread-machine-recipes.htm Comprehensive breadmaker recipe archive]
* [http://www.time2changeuk.com/recipes/breadmakerrecipes.html British breadmaker recipe archive]
* [http://www.carrsbreadmaker.info/recipes/index.html Carr's flour -- breadmaker recipes]
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