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Breadmakers - Understanding the Different Bread Options

One of the most challenging issues, once you have decided to make the leap to a Breadmaker, is deciding which model is best for your needs.

Each bread machine offers a variety of settings related to the type of bread it can make. Some machines also offer additional options, such as cake baking, jam making, or even low carb bread baking.

The manufacturers all offer some of the more basic settings, but after that, all bets are off.

If you are looking for a budget machine, you need to understand that some of the more exotic options may not be available within your shopping budget. If this is the case, I suggest that you make a list of the MUST have setting you need and shop accordingly.

For instance, I know that I want the Low Carb option for my next machine. This will immediately limit my choices among models, but I want this feature enough that I am willing to severely reduce my options.

Be aware that different companies may use different terms for these features. I have tried to use the most common terminology or use descriptive phrases, so you ll know which feature is being discussed!

In addition, for successful baking, it is very important that you read the instructions given by your machine s manufacturer for each feature and follow those specific instructions!

Bread Machine Bread Making Options

It is important to use the right bread machine setting for any given recipe. These setting have been programmed to adjust times and temperatures according the type of bread specified. They may also have adjusted kneading patterns, as well as other changes.

BASIC Bread Setting

This setting is generally used for recipes that are primarily white bread flour, although, depending on the company, small amounts of whole wheat may be possible.

If you want to experiment with a new recipe that doesn t call for a specific machine setting like French bread or whole wheat, this is probably the setting to try first.

FRENCH Bread Setting

French and Italian breads are different from Basic White Bread. They require different kneading, rising, and baking patterns in order to product the desired light interior texture and crispy crust combination. Generally, these recipes will not include butter or margarine or milk, changes which also require adjustments.

WHOLE WHEAT Bread Setting

Whole wheat flour, called wholemeal strong flour in some countries, differs greatly from regular white bread flour. Bread machines are designed to allow for these differences yet still produce a delicious bread.

Rising time is one of the factors that has been adjusted.

Whole wheat is a particularly heavy flour, so if your bread machine doesn't offer a Whole Wheat Setting, don't assume that you can make adjustments successfully. It is entirely possible to burn out a bread machine's motor trying to make whole wheat bread in a breadmaker that isn't designed for it.

MULTIGRAIN Bread Setting

This setting would be used for bread recipes that call for additional ingredients such as rye, oats, millet, corn, etc. Often these recipes are based on a whole wheat / wholemeal strong flour base.

These recipes need adjustments such as resting periods, allowing the grains to absorb the liquid ingredients. These breads are likely to be shorter and more dense than basic breads or French breads.

QUICK BREAD Setting

The always popular Banana Nut Bread is a common example of a Quick Bread. Unlike yeast based breads, quick breads rely on baking powder or baking soda in order to rise. Because of this, this setting has unique programming and should only be used for this type of bread.

SWEET Bread Setting

When I first saw this option, I thought that the Sweet setting might be a synonym for Quick Breads, but this is not the case.

If you have a recipe that contains fruit juice, extra sugar, or any other sweetening - dried fruit, raisins, coconut flakes, or chocolate, use the Sweet Setting for best results.

The sweet setting is for baking breads with high amounts of sugar, fats, and /or proteins, which increase browning. The Sweet Setting adjusts the baking in order to avoid over browning and burning.

SPEED OPTION Setting

Many brands offer a special setting allowing you to bake a loaf of bread in a greatly reduced length of time. Both the name of this setting and the baking time will vary from company to company.

Generally this option has higher temperatures for the rising and baking cycles. Often, the types of bread this can be used for will be limited, so be sure you check this out before trying to bake. In addition, the resulting loaves may be shorter and denser.

Also, some manufacturers will require that you use rapid rising yeast for best results.

DOUGH Setting