A few months ago I wrote about my bread maker, I bought it with my Amazon vouchers for my birthday and was really excited to get going and try it out. Fast forward to now and I thought I would do an update with tips for using a bread maker.
So after the initial flurry of using it, I stopped for a while. Life got in the way and I kept forgetting to put it on. About a month ago I decided to fire it up again and now I am committed to using it regularly.
In reality, it is actually much cheaper than buying shop bread. Even with Tesco selling bread for 50p you can make a loaf for about 30p with the machine, although that doesn’t include electricity cost.
Buying a bread maker.
With so many brands on the market, I would never be able to recommend one in particular. My advice would be to find out how much you’re willing to spend and pick one at that price point. I bought this one from Amazon. But have my eye on this beauty as well. I really fancy one with a seed and fruit holder and yeast compartment.
Remember you can use cash back sites if you shop elsewhere than Amazon such as Swagbucks, TopCashBack and Quidco. I know off the top of my head that Curry’s do cash back on some sites.
Using your bread maker.
First things first, I’m going to recommend that you read the manual. It tells you the important information you need to know before you branch out to other recipes.
1. It’ll tell you what kind of bread each setting is suitable for.
Most bread makers have a lot of settings for different bread types whether it’s for a sweet bread (like a brioche) or a dough setting. Just familiarising yourself with each one is invaluable for success.
2. It’ll tell you whether your bread maker is a “fluid first” type or “dry first”.
You need to know if your maker is a wet or dry first so that when you try alternative recipes you put the ingredients in in the right order. The idea is that you make a barrier between the wet ingredients and the yeast, your manual will tell you which you need to do first.
3. It’ll tell you if you need to “prepare” your bread pan.
What some bread pans need is to be lined with oil and heated in the bread maker to optimise their non-stick coating. Some need this, some don’t so have a gander at the instructions to find out.
If you take nothing from this post, I would like you to take this. Very often the manual’s recipes are a bit poo. I found the bread far too sweet and, well, disgusting, so after I gleaned the necessary information I pretty much threw the manual away. And I bought these two books. They are AMAZING. I did purchase them myself and they aren’t for review on my blog, but I just bloody love them.
This one has so many scrummy, but basic recipes, for example their plain white loaf only uses strong white bread flour, yeast, salt and water, no oil or sugar. I only got this book very recently so I am still trying all the recipes but I have my eye on the “Sundried Tomato and Rosemary” bread as my next experiment.
This was the first one I bought and the one I always return to. The selection of recipes isn’t as vast as the other book, but it concentrates on the basics and helps you understand your machine and the ingredients. The only thing I would mention is that the wholemeal bread ALWAYS sinks for me. I think there is too much yeast so I am still perfecting that, other than that I have had no failures.
Before I leave you I have one last piece of advice to impart.
“If you are making bread with a pre-made mix, use the fast bake setting, every. single. time.”
I’ve been burned (pardon the pun) with this far too many times by putting it on the “basic white” setting, and every time it failed. Since I’ve used this piece of information they have never failed.
So what are your bread maker tips?
If you fancy leaving comment, please do, they always make my day!