Ultimate Bread Maker Review

An Ultimate Bread Maker should have advanced features that will make it easy to bake a wide varieties of homemade bread from raw ingredients to a finished loaf.

A brief history of bread machine

In the year 1986, the world’s first bread machine home appliance was invented in Japan. Despite the limited loaf shapes and baking cycle in the earlier models, they usually produce satisfactorily results. It quickly become popular in the European countries where bread is a staple food.

Since then the design of bread machines has continued to evolve with advance features like automatic kneading of doughs and programmable baking cycles. Today, bread machine is so common that it has become a standard kitchen appliance in the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States.

How bread machines work

A bread machine looks just like a small oven usually put on top the kitchen counter. It has a hinged lid at the top, some model also have a see through window on the lid. Beside the lid is an electronic control panel and keypad. Inside the machine is a removable baking pan or bread bucket.

At the bottom of the baking pan, there is 1 or 2 kneading paddles used for mixing and kneading the dough. The baking pan is where ingredients are put in and finished loaf are remove when done baking.

The typical process of creating a loaf of bread using a bread maker:

  1. The necessary ingredients are measured according to recipe into the baking pan.
  2. The baking pan is snapped into the bread maker and the lid is closed.
  3. The baking program or cycle is selected from the control panel and the baking is started.
  4. The baking cycle begin by first mixing and kneading, turning the ingredients into dough using the paddle.
  5. The baking cycle allow the dough to proof and rise using ideal temperature control.
  6. The baking cycle then start baking the dough into a loaf.

The above process usually takes 2 to 4 hours depending on the recipe used. Once the process finished, the pan can be extracted from the bread maker and the loaf is freed from the pan. The kneading paddle, now stick at the bottom of the loaf, is removed, leaving a small paddle-shaped indentation or hole.

An ultimate bread maker should have these features:

Built-in Fan

Conventional models uses regular oven that rely on heated air to flow naturally. The latest convection bread maker usually comes with built-in fan that forces air circulation around the baking pan, and thus achieved a uniform distribution of heat. Circulating hot air around the baking pan has a number of benefits, the most notable one is the elimination of “hot spots” around the loaf, resulting in evenly baked loaf with better crust and beautiful texture.

Because air circulation improves heat transfer onto the dough, convection bread maker can literally operate at a lower temperature than a standard conventional bread maker and yet bake more quickly. Another benefit is with preprogrammed cycles of various fan speed to achieve precise temperature control for special purposes like making sourdough starter, dough proofing, keep loaf warm after bake etc.

Programmable Cycles

Most modern bread machines today have different kneading cycles for different kinds of dough like Basic, Whole Wheat, Whole Grain, French, and Dough-only for pizza dough and shaped loaves baked in conventional oven. For the baking cycle, some models allow you to select crust setting for Light, Medium & Dark crust and some high-end models allow the user to program a custom cycles for example to make a meatloaf or even make fruit jam.

Advanced Timer

Timer is a must have feature to allow the bread machine to function without user intervention, or allow for delay baking. Advanced models timer can even sound a tone and pause the process in the middle of a cycle to allow user to remove dough for other treatment or to add nuts or raisin.

Warranty

Check for the warranty period carefully before you buy, it should have at least 1 year limited warranty for the peace of mind knowing that one is protected from any manufacturing defect. I came across one manufacturer that offer a 3-year limited warranty, that shows how confident they are with their product quality and you should definitely take this into consideration.

Conclusion

The Ultimate Bread Maker should have the above features, it will makes it so easy to bake hundreds of variety of bread from raw ingredients to finished loaf. Homemade bread is safer, healthier and tastes better because you have control of what goes in it. It is also much cheaper than store-bought, thus a good decision in purchase can pay for itself in the long run, you will never want to buy commercial bread again.



Source by Danny Dee Gees

The Breadman TR-4000

Whether you are an occasional bread baker or a serious break making enthusiast, the Breadman TR-4000 by Salton, better known as the “Breadman Ultimate Dream Machine” has got something for everybody. Though there are several types of Breadman breadmakers, this model is definitely the top of the line.

Not only is the Breadman TR-4000 breadmaker able to successfully bake all different types of breads, it also has an LCD readout that tells you how to make them step by step. This breadmaker also has an automatic add-in dispenser. With this dispenser, you load your bread add-ins, such as nuts or fruit, and the machine will put them in at the appropriate time. This is a great option, since it means that you do not have to constantly monitor the breadmaker while it is running in order to put your add-ins in at the right time. This machine does it all for you!

Another great thing about the Breadman TR-4000 is that it has a delay timer. Load it up with the ingredients for your bread at night, including any add-ins in the dispenser, and you can set it to cook at a specific time in the morning, so that you can wake up to a freshly baked loaf of bread. Imagine setting your coffee maker and your bread machine at night, and when you wake up your coffee and fresh baked bread is all ready. Not only is this a time saver for busy people, it is also a real luxury!

The Breadman TR-4000 has special settings and cycles for making different types of breads. There is a setting for sourdough bread, where the machine will mix the special sourdough “starter” ingredients, and then ferment them for a certain period of time. When the starter is done fermenting, (this can take up to 2 days), the machine will let you know when to add the other ingredients, and then it will finish the baking process. Most of the older bread machines cannot bake sourdough bread successfully due to the extra steps that are needed.

Even though the Breadman TR-4000 is basically for making bread, it can also, believe it or not, make jam. Using a special setting and cycle, the TR-4000 can make homemade jams in just about any flavor. What other machine can both make your bread and the jam that you like to put on it?

All in all, the Breadman TR-4000 truly is an ultimate dream machine, and is well worth its upper-end price.



Source by John Gibb

Sourdough Biscuits

There is something about sourdough biscuits and cowboys. Maybe it’s the simplicity of both, or maybe its the freedom. Sourdough biscuits aren’t something that should be made with an exact recipe, it’s just something that you should do with your heart. What you want to aim for is getting a crunchy outside and a soft inside, so that as you make your way through the biscuit you experience all kinds of sensations and flavors. To get started with making the biscuits you first need a starter. You will also need: milk, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda and bacon fat.

Pour the flour onto a flat surface and mix it with the starter, then add the: sugar, salt, baking soda and powder to the mixture. Mix it until you get a nice dough, now its time to knead it, knead it until you have a 1/2 inch thick dough. Cut the biscuits out of the dough and dip them into the warm bacon fat. Place the dipped biscuits in a baking dish and cover the dish with plastic wrap and leave it for half an hour to rest. After it rested put it in a baking oven for half an hour or so at 375°F. Don’t worry about the bacon fat, it doesn’t overpower the taste of the biscuits, it gives them a special touch. When they are done, let them cool for a few minutes and try one, when you dive into the biscuit and go from crunchy to soft you will know that it was worth your while making these very special sourdough biscuits.



Source by Antonio Musa

Sourdough History

Sourdough has been made since ancient times; it dates back to Ancient Egypt around 1500 BC. In Europe it has been used as the main kind of bread until they developed a way to cultivate yeast in the Middle Ages. Rye bread is still popular in Europe and since baker’s yeast isn’t really useful for leavening rye bread the sourdough method is still used.

Sourdough also has a history in the US, during the California Gold Rush it was used as the main kind of bread because it was more reliable than other kinds of bread and could last for longer periods of time. One of the most famous breads in the US is the San Francisco sourdough which is very popular to this very day.

It has been made for over 150 years and has become popular due to its fine taste with seafood and soups alike. Today sourdough isn’t very popular, it takes too long to make but some restaurants keep it on their menus.

There are many kinds of sourdough but most are made the same way, one exception is the Amish Friendship Bread which isn’t sour due to the presence of milk and sugar in the recipe. While sourdough isn’t the most efficient kind of bread and it might not be the best tasting, it has something unique to it and shows the way nature works, it doesn’t rush anything and it doesn’t try to do more than its possible, yet everything that’s important gets done.



Source by Antonio Musa

Basic Sourdough Starter Recipe

Anyone who has tasted authentic sourdough bread made from a sourdough starter knows that the depth of flavor and beauty of a well made sourdough loaf is hard to surpass.  You may think that unless you live in a region well known for its sourdough bread (such as San Francisco) it is nearly impossible to create such a loaf in your home.  This is far from true, however, and almost anyone can make superb sourdough bread using a homemade sourdough starter.  What’s more, making your own homemade starter is actually a very simple process relying on only two simple ingredients:

  1. Flour.  I recommend using unbleached bread flour, although you can also experiment with using whole wheat and rye flours. Organic flour is ideal, but not absolutely necessary.
  2. Water.  Tap water will work, unless the water in your area is strongly chlorinated (or treated with other chemicals) or bad tasting.  If so, you may want to try boiling your water before using, or use bottled water.

You will also need a container in which to store the sourdough starter. A transparent glass container is best so you will be able to see the activity happening as the sourdough starter develops. A quart size canning jar is ideal, as is an empty glass pickle or mayonnaise jar.

Instructions for Creating a Sourdough Starter at Home

Your homemade sourdough starter will rely on the natural “wild” yeast that is found in every home.  The process to create a viable starter that has the power to raise a loaf of bread takes about a week, but it is an exceedingly simple process.

Day One: Clean the jar you will be keeping your sourdough start in well.  Then add one cup of flour and one cup of warm water to the jar. Stir well with a wooden or plastic spoon (avoid using a metal spoon with the starter), and then cover the top of the jar with a damp towel and place somewhere warm, ideally between 70 and 80 degrees (F).

Day Two: You may notice a few bubbles in the jar at this point, but if not, do not worry.  Do not do anything on day two except ensure it is still in a warm spot in your house.

Day Three: Today you should notice some activity in the jar (bubbles) and a slightly sour smell. You are now going to “feed” the sourdough starter. Discard half of the starter, and then add half a cup of flour and half a cup of warm water to the jar and stir again.  Cover the jar and return to its warm location.

Days Four through Seven: Repeat step three on each of these days.  Be sure to discard half of the starter each day, however, or you will soon be overwhelmed by your sourdough starter. 

By day seven, your sourdough starter will be ready to use.  You should notice that the starter now is full of bubbles and expands in volume after its daily feeding.  At this point you are ready to bake some sourdough bread using the starter, or you can refrigerate the sourdough starter until you are ready to use it to make sourdough bread.



Source by Michelle Day