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Do you love baking bread? A baking appliance could be a good investment!
Depending on your requirements, you may need a stand mixer or a bread machine. However, it can be tough to decide between the two of them, especially if you’re not sure about what they both do.
Bread machines and standing mixers both do different tasks.
Bread machines turn raw foods into baked bread. Stand mixers have a durable motor that can handle mixing tougher ingredients. Bread machines can mix, knead, and bake bread dough, but stand mixers mix ingredients to create dough.
You’ll find a more detailed explanation of each appliance in this article, as well as their pros and cons so you can decide which one you should go for.
Keep reading this article to find out which appliance is better for your kitchen.
What Are Bread Machines?
Bread machines both mix and bake bread loaves for you. All you need to do is put the ingredients in it and turn the machine on.
The system mixes the raw ingredients, then kneads the dough and lets it rise. Afterward, it bakes the bread to your preferences without having to go through any extra steps.
Bread machines will go through all of the bread-making steps and will tell you when your bread is done. These normally come with a baking tin and kneading paddles.
Some of these come with a window, so you can watch your bread while it bakes.
The baking tin also works as a kneading pan. The baking bowl is found in the middle of the oven component inside the machine. This is normally non-stick, so the dough doesn’t stick to the sides.
It will have little kneading paddles and built-in handles, so it will be easy to remove and store back in the device.
Bread machines often come with program settings that let you choose how your bread is made. We’ll cover how they work below.
How Do Bread Machines Work?
A loaf of bread traditionally takes a long time to make. The process involves measuring the ingredients correctly, kneading and proofing the dough, then baking it in the oven.
This is a lengthy process that can be quite tiring.
A bread maker takes all of the efforts out of making homemade bread. It handles all of the necessary steps without you putting in the work. Simply add the bread ingredients, select the right setting, then observe as the dough becomes fresh bread.
The majority of bread makers now can handle several bread recipes. Depending on the type of loaf you want, you can create French, gluten-free, and Italian bread.
You can also decide how big or small your loaf will be, though this varies with each machine. In most cases, bread makers support loaves weighing between 1.5 and 2 lbs. Other varieties can handle ones that weigh under 2.5lbs.
Before you start making bread, make sure you know how much weight your machine can handle. It’s important to know this number so the machine won’t struggle later on.
Most bread makers let you select what type of crust you want, such as dark, medium, or light. You can also find ones with timers that control how long or short the bake cycle is.
Overall, bread makers make baking homemade bread a lot simpler, but they also let you tailor your bread to your desired preferences.
Bread machines can also let you attempt various new recipes without putting in taxing work. You can use your machine to the fullest by purchasing a bread recipe book and trying all of the methods yourself. You may be able to find options that come with additional bread recipes.
Things Bread Machines Can Do
Bread makers don’t just make bread! They can make dough for other food items, like pizza, pretzels, and pasta. These machines can also make casseroles, tomato sauce, and cakes, so they are a versatile kitchen tool!
Bread Machine Advantages
Bread machines save you time and effort as they do all of the work for you. They’re also relatively easy to use. Bread makers don’t require any special skills.
All you need to do is measure the ingredients correctly, put them in the baking tin, then flick a few switches. Bread machines make baking bread easy without all of the added mess.
Over time, bread machines can save you money too. Bread may not cost extortionate amounts, but it can get expensive over time, particularly if you enjoy bread a lot. A bread maker means that you just need to purchase some relatively affordable ingredients to make bread at home.
Bread machines also mean you have complete control over what you eat. This lets those on specific diets or who have allergies omit certain ingredients, like gluten, salt, or nuts.
Bread makers also let you proof dough. They give a controlled setting that allows the dough to rise, so it won’t be affected by external temperatures. Proofing dough can be tricky to get right, but a bread machine has specific settings so you’ll always know the outcome.
As a bread machine bakes your bread automatically under controlled settings, your bread loaves are likely to turn out well-baked with an even consistency.
Bread Machine Disadvantages
Bread machines have amazing advantages, but they do have a few drawbacks.
Bread makers can only produce one loaf at a time. This isn’t ideal for those that want to make bread on a larger scale.
You also can’t control the shape of your loaf. The bread machine only produces bread in the shape it’s designed for.
What Are Stand Mixers?
Like bread machines, stand mixers are also efficient kitchen tools that bread enthusiasts love. These appliances are great at kneading dough, so they make it much easier to make bread.
Despite this, they do have their limits, as they only have one purpose, to mix and knead bread dough.
A stand mixer may knead the dough, but you still have to perform the other steps yourself. Once the kneading process is finished, you need to take the dough out and wait for it to rise, then bake it in the oven.
Stand mixers don’t look after all of the baking steps, though this may be ideal for those that just want help with kneading dough.
How Do Stand Mixers Work?
Stand mixers come with a kneading hook and a mixing bowl. They’re simple appliances to use.
You begin by adding your ingredients to the mixing bowl. Set a timer, then turn the mixer on. It will mix and knead the dough for you, so you can do other tasks in the meantime.
Once the kneading cycle has finished, you will remove the dough and will manually perform the next steps. The stand mixer has done its job, so now you need to let the dough rise, place it in a baking pan, then bake inside an oven.
Stand mixers may not look after all of the baking steps, but they do knead bread dough well. This is a task that requires a lot of strenuous work.
The process may take longer compared to a bread machine, but it still saves you some effort, so you won’t have to do any physically tiring steps.
Things Stand Mixers Can Do
Other than mixing and kneading dough, stand mixers have other uses. They can mix cakes, cookies, and pretzel mixes for you.
Stand mixers can often handle additional attachments, so you may be able to fix a food processor tool to it. This can make hummus, frosting, whipping cream, and even coleslaw.
Stand Mixer Advantages
Stand mixers can become versatile kitchen tools depending on the attachments you add. You can add a blender, juicer, or food processor tool to handle extra tasks in the kitchen.
Unlike a bread maker, a stand mixer lets you control the shape of your bread loaf. You can mold the dough to whatever shape you want before baking it.
Stand Mixer Disadvantages
Stand mixers do come with some disadvantages.
The main drawback is that these appliances only knead the dough. They don’t look after all of the baking steps.
Though most modern stand mixers come with timers, those without one may need to be monitored as they knead.
Stand mixers don’t prove the dough. As the temperature environment isn’t controlled, the way the dough rises can be unpredictable. You may end up with less than desirable results.
Stand mixers may take some effort out of the process, but the bread is still made with manual and machine steps. This means that it may be difficult to get the bread to bake evenly throughout.
Bread Machine Or Stand Mixer: Which One Should You Buy?
Both of these appliances have advantages. If you want a device that handles the whole bread-making process, a bread machine will be a better choice.
If you would rather perform most of the steps yourself, and just need some help with kneading, a stand mixer may be better for you.
Those that want to make loaves with different shapes may prefer a stand mixer too. If you want perfectly made bread with an even consistency each time, opt for a bread machine.
Bread machines have many advantages, but if you go for a less expensive model, it may end up being low-quality. This may not bake bread as efficiently as better-made models on sale. It’s always better to do some research and choose a high-quality appliance.
Bread machines and stand mixers are both good investments if you like baking bread. It can be tricky to decide which one you should go for, but the advice above should help you do so.
If you’re a beginner or care about making well-made bread, go for a bread machine. Stand mixers are better for those that only need help with kneading, as well as those that want to make different shaped loaves.