A bread maker is a home appliance that has revolutionized the process of making breads. First manufactured in 1986 in Japan, breadmaker since then moved its way to homes in the United States and United Kingdom. By means of a breadmaker, automatic baking has become possible and more convenient.
As with ordinary baking, ingredients must first be measured according to the recipe. The mixture is then poured into the bread pan that is placed in the machine. The breadmaker will then take some hours to bake the bread by first turning the mixture into dough and eventually baking it. The process of making dough is helped by a built-in paddle. Once the baking is done and has been allowed to cool down, the bread is then freed from the bread pan. The paddle at the bottom of the loaf should be removed from its place.
Breadmaker breads are much easier to get spoiled as compared with the commercial breads due to the absence of additives. However, it is possible that sourdough starter may be added to the ingredients to prolong the shelf life of the breads.
Breadmakers have built-in timers that may be set for easier baking. Other machines can be programmed to only prepare the dough and not to bake the bread later, in this case the dough is baked in an oven. Breadmakers have other uses as well. They may be set to make jams, pizza bases, wheat-free loaf, cakes, and pasta and in some instances, mochi- a Japanese rice bread.
Considerations in choosing a breadmaker:
- the over-all capacity of baking loafs
- the quality of bread produced
- the duration of time it takes to make one loaf
- the featured programs
- type: may either be single loaf breadmaker or multi loaf breadmaker
However, like with normal baking there may arise several problems concerning the quality of the bread produced. These may either be caused by the process of baking or the quality of breadmaker itself.
This problem basically concerns the temperature of the breadmaker. The built-in thermometer must read 190 F. Once the baking is over and the loaf is still doughy, you may choose to continue baking it in a conventional oven or wait till the breadmaker cools down and start the whole process over.
Lack of liquid added to the dough. The problem starts with the dissolving of the yeast. If too little liquid is used, the yeast may not be stimulated to produce the necessary carbon dioxide, which is instrumental in making the dough rise. Without this, the loaf may become dense and will be much smaller.
Collapsed or flat-topped bread
Collapsing is mainly due to too much addition of liquid to the dough. The yeast in this case is overly stimulated, producing more gluten than the dough may withhold. This leads to the collapsing of loaf structure.
Bread sticking in the breadmaker pan
This can be resolved by brushing the breadmaker pan with oil before adding the water into the dough. This works well in the majority of conventional ovens as well.
Too much rising of the loaf
This problem may be controlled with the use of salt. Adding one half teaspoon of salt may be sufficient to keep the rising of the bread in balance.
One need not be an Einstein to run a simple machine such as the breadmaker. For more instruction and self-help tips, users may check the manual of the machine.
'Big D' Danny Raposo
President of Big D's House of Munch
& Food Writer
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