Besides the crockpot another great kitchen gadget to have is a bread maker, no not your mom or grandmother ;-) .
Ever since bread makers were invented, there has been a serious rivalry between woman and machine. But regardless which option you use, once you’ve had homemade bread, store bought is completely out of the question. So which method of homemade bread brings the most to the table? Let’s knead out the differences and see which style rises higher. ;-)
Ease of Use Handmade vs Bread Machine
Bread machines, especially those that mix the dough in the machine, allows it to rise and bakes it, are as simple as combine and forget. Add a timer so it goes on and off when you want it to and it almost feels like you are cheating when it comes to making the perfect loaf, after all, your grandmother slaved for hours over her bread.
With handmade bread, there is plenty of time mixing, combining, stirring and let’s not forget the kneading. Who can forget what seems like hours upon hours of kneading! If you under-knead, you will get a giant mess of goop that will not combine all the way or rise like it should. If you over-do the kneading, your bread will be a rock solid hunk of loaf.
The ingredients in homemade bread are pretty straightforward; you should have most, if not all in your pantry. Just combine, mix and knead until your arms fall off and presto – bread. With bread makers you’ll need to make sure you have a couple extra ingredients on hand in your pantry like dry milk.
Taste and Texture
Nothing beats the taste of homemade bread and while nothing can ever compare to your grandmother’s favorite bread recipe, the bread maker does come in at a close second. The bread machine doesn’t require anything but pouring the ingredients into a single container and the taste will always be consistent as long as you use the same recipe.
As far as the texture goes, we mentioned above the dangers of over kneading and under kneading. Bread makers have their own built in mixer that perfectly combines the ingredients until they have reached the perfect consistency. This being done, you will have a consistent texture on all of your bread making, all of the time.
After considering the three categories above, the bread mixer comes out the winner here. The only thing to remember is to make sure you have all of the right ingredients on hand in case you want to make some bread on a whim. While it might feel like cheating, bread makers are a great way to make consistently delicious bread without too much effort, and like the crockpot you can set it and go, your bread will be ready in time for dinner.
A final note here: there is nothing that says you have to let the bread maker cook the bread for you, so if you want to pull out your bread pans and bake your own, so you and your family can enjoy the even more wonderful smells of fresh bread baking. The bread machine is perfect for letting it do all the mixing, kneading and rising. Put that bread machine away before baking and others will think you slaved all day doing the hard work that the machine did for you. ;-)
Have a Wonderful Day!