There are eleven types of bread machines – non-stick, alarm, whole wheat, adjustable, programmable, delayed, auto shut off, direct motor, jam-maker, rapid bake, and gluten-free bread machines.
Finding a suitable type of breadmaker depends on how much bread you intend to eat, how many people it will serve, what kind of bread you’re looking to make, and how much baking time you have on your hands.
Knowing how the different types of bread machines function can also give you an idea of whether you need this kitchen appliance. For instance, if you’re craving a crusty, rustic-style bread, then a bread machine may not be the right appliance to use; it’s worth understanding the difference between a bread machine and a stand mixer.
When shopping for bread machines, it’s worth knowing the differences in size, shape, and functionalities to determine what’s suitable for your bakery needs.
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What are the different types available for a bread machine?
The different types of bread machines are non-stick, alarm, whole wheat, adjustable, programmable, delayed, auto shut off, direct motor, jam-maker, rapid bake, and gluten-free bread machines.
The following list includes the different types of bread machines available in the market:
- Non-stick bread machine
Non-stick bread machines have non-stick properties that prevent the dough from sticking to the unit. They are perfect for users who do not want to deal with loaves sticking to the pan and coming out in fragmented pieces.
Non-stick bread machines ensure that each loaf comes out in one perfectly-shaped piece without pouring extra oil into the pan.
- Alarm bread machine
An alarm bread machine alerts you when the bread is done baking. This type of bread machine comes with a built-in alarm. It is convenient for on-the-go bakers who cannot watch the loaf closely, preventing overbaked dough or the bread from sticking all over the pan.
- Whole wheat bread machine
A whole-wheat bread machine has built-in settings for baking using custom ingredients, including whole wheat flour. This bread machine has whole wheat or whole grain bread cycle that is great for baking doughs with large amounts of whole wheat, gluten or cracked grain – the kind of dough that needs ample time for kneading, resting and rising to create the perfect loaf.
- Adjustable bread machine
An adjustable bread machine allows you to change the size of your loaf.
Compared to small bread machines that only produce loaves in one size, the adjustable type enables you to make bread according to any size of your liking. You can make hot buns and artisanal loaves for yourself, a couple or a big party group.
The adjustable bread machine can be left on its own because, like the alarm bread machine, it automatically alerts you when it’s done baking. With this type of bread machine, you can make your favorite pastry without worrying about overbaking, having too little bread for the party, or too much that goes stale over time.
- Programmable bread machine
Programmable bread machines allow you to set the alarm (to avoid keeping the loaf in the unit for too long), temperature, start time, and any other ingredients to be mixed into the loaf.
Programmable bread machines are handy for users who want more control over how a loaf of bread is made. It allows the user to adjust the time, especially since different kinds of flour take varying times to bake.
This type of bread machine enables a more thorough and even bake. As such, newer models of programmable bread machines are better than old bread makers that are mostly manual.
- Delayed start bread machine
Delayed start bread machines are excellent for having bread ready just in time for the meals. They have numerous features like start time, temperature and cooling time.
Imagine the delayed start bread machine taking over anything that has to do with making the bread. Many bakers swear by the delayed start bread machine because it takes a lot of stress and pressure off of them, unlike vintage bread machines that require bread-sitting.
They are great for making bread while cooking multiple meals or starting the bake in time for dinner, ensuring it’s served fresh and hot.
- Auto shut off bread machine
Auto shut off bread machine comes with a temperature sensor and an automatic shut off feature, perfect for bakers and home-makers who consider safety a priority. This bread machine allows the user to leave the kitchen as the bread is baking without monitoring the hot oven. The auto shut off bread feature prevents overbaking and any risk of catching fire.
- Direct motor bread machine
A direct motor breadmaker is a quiet bread machine that uses a direct current motor. This type produces less power than the rapid bake and whole wheat bread machine, but is perfect for making a loaf late at night or when there’s a need to keep the kitchen quiet.
- Jam maker bread machine
A jam maker bread machine has a separate cooking spot for making jams. It allows you to add ingredients for your favorite jam such as sugar, fruit, pectin, lemon juice, and honey.
A jam maker bread machine saves you from all-day mixing and stirring, and from heating your entire kitchen.
Just mix all the ingredients and let the jam maker bread machine take care of the rest.
- Rapid bake bread machine
A rapid bake bread machine uses a more powerful heating element to speed up the time it takes to bake your bread. It’s excellent for making freshly-baked bread in a rush, like dinner dates at home during the week or a surprise visit by friends and family.
- Gluten-free bread machine
A gluten-free bread machine comes with settings that cater to this particular diet. This breadmaker has the appropriate baking temperatures, time settings and conditions that address the complex requirements of gluten-free ingredients.
Many people on a gluten-free diet prefer to use a bread machine as a cheaper and healthier option than buying from bakeries. They also find that making their own gluten-free bread is much more affordable than purchasing commercially-made ones that are often sold in jacked-up prices because they are healthier.
What are the different ways to use a bread machine?
There are many different ways to use a bread machine. Most bread machines have settings that allow mixing, kneading, resting, rising, punching and baking in the following cycles: basic bread, sweet bread, whole-wheat, French bread, gluten-free, rapid bake, cake and jam.
Bread machines go through cycles that include the following:
Kneading: Kneading is the first step, which involves mixing the ingredients thoroughly. It takes 15-45 minutes, depending on the power of the bread machine and the kind of bread.
Rest: This cycle lets the dough rest (“to autolyze” in more technical, baking terms) before going through another kneading cycle. Rest allows the gluten and the dough to absorb the moisture around it. The “rest” cycle lasts for 5-35 minutes, depending on the breadmaker and the kind of bread.
Rise: This cycle allows the dough to lift into a fluffy and airy loaf. The “rise” involves increasing the dough’s temperature to approximately 75 to 80 Fahrenheit, allowing the yeast to ferment within 40-50 minutes. The cycle can sometimes take longer depending on the type of bread. For instance, baking French bread takes 60+ minutes to finish.
Punch: The “punch” cycle involves kneading the dough again but in a much lighter fashion. The main reason for punching the dough is to release tiny gas bubbles due to yeast fermentation in the previous cycle. It is the quickest cycle as it only lasts for 60 seconds or less.
Bake: This cycle performs the baking. It lasts from 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the bread machine and the type of bread.
The bread machine uses different combinations of these cycles based on the bread being made and the type of bread machine. For instance, some bread like French bread will need more kneading and rising than a gluten-free one.
Here are the different ways on how to use a bread machine and the various settings available in bread machines:
Basic Bread: Basic Bread can be used for various bread such as standard white, garlic, potato and other savory variants. It is the most frequently used cycle combination that lasts three to four hours.
Sweet Bread: this setting, which goes for approximately three hours, uses sweet ingredients like sugar, cinnamon, dried fruits, sweet nuts, and many more. The Sweet Bread cycle is pretty much the same as Basic Bread, except it has a lower temperature at 65 to 70 Fahrenheit.
Whole-Wheat Cycle: this is great for baking doughs that involve large amounts of whole wheat, gluten or cracked grain in them and needs more time to rise and knead properly.
French Bread: this cycle is suitable for creating thicker crust like sourdough and involves more time to knead, rise and bake, usually lasting four hours.
Gluten-Free Bread: this setting makes the bread faster than the previous four cycles – basic bread, sweet bread, whole-wheat and French bread. The absence of gluten means less time required for kneading, resting and rising. Making gluten-free bread is typically done in two hours.
Rapid Bake: this setting bakes the bread relatively quicker than the other settings at 60 to 90 minutes, depending on the size of the bread machine or the type of bread.
Cake And Jam: this cycle allows you to make your favorite jams, compotes, preserves, and other sweet treats like cakes! A jam can be made ready in 55 minutes, while cakes and other desserts are made in 80 minutes.
What sizes do the bread machines come in?
Bread machines vary in shape, size and capacity, producing loaves that weigh from 1 to 3.5 pounds. Note that a 2-pound loaf provides 14 to 16 slices of bread.
This size usually feeds 2 to 5 heads, so if you need to serve a bigger group, you may want to consider a bigger bread maker or even a stand mixer.
When shopping for the best bread machine for your household, consider the available counter space and storage space in your kitchen. Bigger bread machines like the programmable and whole wheat machines come with multiple features, cycles and settings, but they can be too bulky for a tiny kitchen.
The following are the dimensions of bread machines based on size:
- The small-sized bread machines with a maximum loaf size of 1.65 lbs come in 273 x 412 x 182 mm.
- Medium-sized bread machines with a maximum loaf size of 2.4 lbs come in 389 x 256 x 382 mm.
- Bread machines in the larger end of the spectrum have a maximum loaf size of 3.5 lbs and a dimension of 405 x 426 x 313 mm.
What foods can I bake in different bread machines?
The foods that can be baked with bread machines are listed below:
- Bread: white loaves, whole-wheat and whole-grain, spelt, gluten-free, artisanal loaves like sourdough, French bread, Italian bread, sweet bread
- Dough: pizza, pasta dough
- Cakes and other desserts like banana bread
- Jams, compotes and preserves
- Flatbreads like roti, naan and chapati
- Chocolate pudding
Other foods – sweet and savory alike – can also be cooked using bread machines, as follows:
- Spaghetti and meatballs
- Beef stew
- Dips like artichoke
- Scrambled eggs, especially if you like them fluffier
- Rice dishes and creamy risotto
What determines the best bread machine type?
The best bread machine type can be determined according to the following: how much bread you intend to eat, how many people it will serve, the shape and size, what kind of bread you’re looking to make, how much baking time you have on your hands, features, and the settings that match your bread needs.
Bread makers come in various sizes and maximum loaf capacity, ranging from 1 to 3.5 pounds. This size usually feeds 2 to 5 heads, so if you need to serve a bigger group, you may want to consider a stand mixer instead.
Smaller bread machines like the non-stick bread machine stand at 182 mm and have a length and width of 273 mm and 412 mm, respectively. The larger ones like the jam maker and rapid bread machines are taller at 313 mm and have a length and width of 405 mm and 426 mm, respectively. Choose a model that will fit your kitchen space and drawers.
In terms of shape, some bread machines like the non-stick types have an inner bread pan that forms the shape of the loaf. Other machines like the gluten-free bread machine have square or horizontal pans that can make loaves of these shapes. Consider the shape of the bread you will regularly make when shopping for a bread machine.
Breadmaker models that come with a higher price tag include multiple features such as automatic fruit and nut dispenser, a delay timer, viewing window, rapid bake, manual pause, temperature sensor and crust color.
Lastly, various bread machine types cater to different kinds of bread you intend to make. Select the gluten-free bread machine if you are on this diet. If you’re planning to make French bread, sourdough, or whole grain regularly, then make sure you buy one that has settings for crust level and whole-grain, respectively. If you’re constantly on the go but like your bread fresh and hot, then pick a rapid bake bread machine.
Are non-stick bread machines safe?
Non-stick bread machines are generally safe to use, especially the newer models with automatic features that eliminate any risk of spilling or direct contact with heat.
Non-stick bread machines, however, may contain PTFE non-stick coatings that release perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). This toxic byproduct can cause several types of cancer like kidney, testicular, ovarian, prostrate, non-Hodgkins lymphoma, endometrial, and other cancers. According to studies, non-stick bread machines containing PTFE release PFOA when heated at 500 Fahrenheit and above.
However, using non-stick bread machines appear safe and PFOA-free since bread machines only reach approximately 210 Fahrenheit for a loaf to be made.
What is the average price for a bread machine?
A bread machine’s average price ranges from $100 to $500 depending on the size, functions and settings, type, and brand.
Certain features like the programmable and alarm ones come at a higher price tag because they give the user more control over how the bread is made. They produce different types of bread such as whole-wheat and whole-grain, spelt gluten-free, sourdough, French, and Italian bread.
The more expensive ones, regardless of type, can also make other food items like dough, cakes, desserts, jams, and other food items.
What is the lifespan of different bread machines?
The average lifespan of different bread machines ranges from 7 to 10 years; those made of expensive, durable materials last even longer.
The lifespan of different bread machines is based on the frequency of use, quality, brand, and type of bread machine. When the pan gets broken, it’s worth getting a new bread machine instead of finding a replacement accessory, which can cost more than the entire unit’s original price.
How does the bread machine type affect food?
Each bread machine type affects food based on the features and settings available. For instance, a gluten-free bread machine makes bread sans gluten, and a whole-wheat variety creates a heavier dough.
Bread machines also differ in texture compared to oven-baked bread as they usually create heavier, denser, and more compact loaves.
Many breadmakers also offer crust options and colors, which vary from light to dark. This option is suitable for home bakers who are extra particular about how crusty their bread is.
What effect does bread machine type have on taste?
Bread machine types affect taste based on the features and settings available.
Loaves made from bread machines are slightly different from handmade bread mainly because of texture, making them heavier and more compact. This does not mean that loaves made from bread machines do not taste good – they taste just as well as homemade bread, if not better.
The taste of the bread also depends on the ingredients and the kind of flour used. Whether you use the right bread machine type according to the ingredients on hand can also affect the taste and texture.
Is it better to use small or large bread machines in the kitchen?
Kitchen usability is something to be considered when picking a suitable bread machine. It refers to the function and structure of kitchen appliances that make them easier to use. If you have a small kitchen, organizing appliances alongside other items is essential to maximize space properly.
Size is a significant consideration when looking for the best bread machine. Do you have a large kitchen with ample counter space? Then there is no limitation in how bulky the machine should be. On the other hand, having a small kitchen or limited storage space may present an issue in the bread machines that best fit your bench space and baking requirements.