How does a breadmaker work? Can I make gluten-free bread in a breadmaker? Can I make dough in a breadmaker and cook it somewhere else? These are just a few of the many questions our experts receive regularly. This post will tell you what a breadmaker is, how it works and how to use it to make bread in just a few simple steps.
What is a Breadmaker?
Typically, making bread involves several steps and a lot of time – at least an hour for rising. A stand mixer is recommended, although you can, of course, make it by hand with a little more effort and patience. Alternatively, a breadmaker does all the work for you. A motor turns a paddle to mix and knead the dough just the right amount. A heating element provides the gentle warmth needed for rising and a higher temperature needed for baking.
You add the ingredients, and the breadmaker makes and bakes the bread in one handy appliance. Liquid ingredients are added first, then oils or fats, dry ingredients, and finally yeast (if called for). It mixes the ingredients, kneads the dough and lets it rise. Then it kneads the dough again, lets it rise for the second time and then bakes it to a beautifully soft bread with a crisp crust.
What Are the Steps for Making Bread?
Once ingredients are added to the breadmaker, what happens? First, the breadmaker combines the ingredients and kneads the dough with a paddle that connects to the bottom of the bread pan. Once the first kneading is complete, a heating element provides just enough warmth for the dough to rise without baking it. Depending on the type of loaf you’re making, the dough rises for anywhere from 5 to 40 minutes. Then, a second kneading takes place, as does an additional rise for most cycles. Lastly, the breadmaker bakes the bread to a light, medium, or dark crust depending on the selected setting.
Why Are There Different Breadmaker Cycles?
Many different types of bread can be made with a breadmaker. Breadmakers have a variety of pre-programmed cycles to accommodate everything from a soft and sweet cinnamon bread to a crusty loaf of french bread. Differences in cycles include the amount of time needed for kneading, rising, and baking. Breadmakers also have a dough setting that makes the dough but stops before baking it. This lets you bake it in a conventional oven or cook it on the grill (think grilled pizza). Quick breads, cakes and even jam can be made with a breadmaker.
What About Gluten-Free Bread?
Many people are choosing to maintain a gluten-free diet. Buying gluten-free bread can be expensive, and commercially-produced gluten-free breads may not suit your tastes. By experimenting at home, you can create a loaf that fits your tastes and dietary needs by using any of the gluten-free mixes on the market – or create your own recipe using gluten-free flours.
How Can I Bake Bread at Home?
You know the feeling when you walk into a bakery and smell the aroma of fresh baked bread? Now imagine getting the same inviting scent in your own kitchen in three easy steps. No baking experience is necessary to use a breadmaker, and most breads consist of just five main ingredients: flour, yeast, liquid, salt, and sweetener. Simply measure your ingredients and add them in the following order: liquids, dry ingredients, yeast. Select the settings for the type of bread you are making and press Start. That’s it. In as little as 1 hour, you can have a hot and delicious loaf of bread.
Try this recipe if you prefer the taste and texture of white bread but want the nutritional benefits of whole wheat.
Whatever your taste preferences or dietary needs, you can satisfy them with Hamilton Beach® Bread Machines. Developed with nutrition in mind, they feature settings such as gluten-free and whole-grain so you can bake wholesome breads using a variety of flours.