Bread machines have been around for well over 10 years now. I myself have owned one or more for most of that time. My first machine with a Hitachi and cost well over $300, but even at that price it was worth it. Today bread machines can be had for as little as $40 or as much as $200, they are still worth it.
There are literally thousands of kitchen appliances on the market. There are very few that are worth owning. The bread machine is one of them. What makes an appliance worth owning? An appliance worth owning must…
- Be versatile to the point your mind races with ideas for putting it to use.
- Be innovative.
- Be fun.
- Add to the quality of life.
- Help you save money and eat better.
- Be one that is used several or more times a week.
Of all of the appliances on the market few do all of the above. The bread machine does, it can make literally thousands of different kinds of breads, rolls, and baked goods, it makes what used to be a hard and time consuming to make food easy enough for everyone to make. It is fun for men, women, and even children. Fresh bread is one of the few foods that can comfort, nurture, and bring peace to ones body, mind, and soul. Homemade bread is much cheaper than store-bought, you have control of what goes in it, it tastes better and is better for you.
Whenever I buy a new kitchen appliance, I’m always concerned about whether or not it is going to be used or end up sitting on a shelf collecting dust. Well, I have to tell you if you are anything like me your bread machine will not be sitting on a shelf collecting dust. For the 10 plus years, I have owned a bread machine I have used mine at least once per week and more often than not once per day. Therefore, I don’t think you have a thing to worry about. Once you get started, you won’t want to stop. There is nothing like fresh warm bread, rolls, bagels, etc. for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. With the timer, you can have a loaf of fresh bread ready to eat when you get home from a hard days work or when you get up in the morning. There is no limit to the things you can make.
It is the bread machines ability to make all kinds of different things that have made it so popular. Many appliances have limited uses. A rotisserie for example is only good for roasts, chickens, shish kabobs, etc. If you don’t eat these several times a week, then you will most likely put the unit in a cupboard and forget about it. A bread machine on the other hand can make bread items that you can serve with every meal no matter what it is. You have not lived until you have had a hamburger served on a homemade hamburger bun or, how about grilled hot dogs on homemade hotdog buns. The possibilities are literally endless.
Bread Machine or Stand Mixer?
I am asked this one question often. My answer is…the bread machine is easier. With the stand mixer you put the ingredients in and turn it on, you then have to stand there until the kneading is done usually 10 to 20 minutes. You then have to remove the dough to a greased bowl, cover and let rise. You then have to punch the dough down, knead a little bit, shape it, and then place it in a greased bread pan to rise, then pop it in the oven, wait around 30 to 40 minutes and then remove it from the oven.
With a bread machine, you put the ingredients in. Start the machine. Watch the kneading for a few minutes to make sure the dough is the correct consistency and then you are free to go. You can even leave the house and not have to worry about your bread. The main advantage is you spend 10 minutes making a loaf of bread verses the 30 to 40 minutes it would take to do it with a mixer, this doesn’t include rising times.
I have a several stand mixers including and older Hobart made Kitchen Aid, a K-Tech and a Dimension 2000 Kitchen Center I like them all a lot. However, I do not make bread in them very often and if I do it is because I need a lot of bread at once. The only time I really would recommend a stand mixer over a bread machine is for someone that needs more than one loaf of bread a day. If you have, a large family and the free time a mixer maybe the better way to go. However, even if you need say two loaves of bread a day a bread machine may still be easier. You can just do them one after another. This is something you need to consider.
If you do decide to go with a stand mixer then I strongly urge you to forget about the ones you can get a K-Mart, Target, etc. Even the Kitchen Aid stand mixer isn’t the right choice for people that want to make bread. My Kitchen Aid has a dough hook, but what happens is the dough climbs up it and then spins around like a crazy drunk and doesn’t get the proper kneading it needs. In addition, the new Kitchen Aids just aren’t the same high-quality units they once were. No, what you want to look at for bread dough making is the Bosch, Magic Mill, Dimension 2000, or the K-Tec Champ mixers. These will cost you more, but they have the quality and the power to handle heavy bread dough’s and does a proper job of kneading them. Along with a wide range of bread machines we also offer a good variety of quality stand mixers in our online store.