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How to Choose the Best Sourdough Bread Maker for Your Kitchen

Nothing beats the aroma of freshly baked bread in the kitchen. There are numerous methods for making homemade bread, but a bread maker is the simplest. Put in the dough and wait for it to cook! 

Bread makers are not inexpensive, but if you find the right one, it will last for years! The key is to find one that is of high quality and affordable. 

We are aware of how frustrating online product research can be. We hope you will never need to return a product we recommend because it is precisely what you desire. We consulted a professional baker about the equipment they would purchase for their home kitchen. 

How Does Sourdough Differ From Other Bread? 

Sourdough has long been a favorite among artisan bread bakers and is quickly gaining popularity in supermarkets. This bread is made using a very different method than regular bread, which can be tough to master. 

Bread is made with yeast that ferments within the dough, producing tiny carbon dioxide bubbles. These magical bubbles contribute to the lightness and airiness of our loaves! The gluten in the flour prevents these bubbles from rising to the top of the dough and bursting. 

Standard bread yeast is typically fresh or dried baker’s yeast. This is ready-to-use, fast-acting yeast that begins fermenting the bread as soon as it is combined with the other ingredients. Bread yeast will be available at most grocery stores. 

Different rules apply to sourdough for a variety of reasons. Firstly, you will not be able to purchase sourdough yeast in a store because this is something you make at home. 

And this process is not quick! It takes several weeks to make a sourdough starter (the active fermenting yeast used to make sourdough). The procedure entails combining flour and water and leaving it in a warm location, hoping it will ferment. 

It must be colonized by naturally occurring yeasts for this to happen. Some individuals hasten the process by adding yeast-rich ingredients such as apple peel. If your sourdough starter begins to exhibit signs of life, it will require careful care, much like a pet rather than an ingredient. It must be maintained at the ideal temperature and fed daily with fresh flour. 

But if you succeed (and many have tried and failed! ), you will be rewarded with the primary ingredient for the most flavorful bread you have ever prepared. In addition, once this initial process has been completed, your starter can live for many years and develop its flavor profile. Many individuals name their sourdough starters and even take them on vacation. 

When it comes to baking bread, sourdough requires a very different method. It takes significantly longer than regular bread, typically 24-48 hours. Your sourdough starter will require feeding approximately 4 to 8 hours before you intend to do this. Many individuals do this in the evening so it can be baked the following day. 

The active starter is then used to make bread dough, which requires additional time. You may have to wait up to 12 hours in colder temperatures for a single rising sourdough cycle. 

Warmer temperatures can reduce this time to 2-4 hours, but this process cannot be sped up. Sourdough bread differs significantly from conventional bread recipes! We will require a bread machine with features to achieve the best results when baking sourdough bread. 

How Is A Bread Machine For Sourdough Different? 

There are a few considerations to remember if you intend to use a bread machine to make sourdough loaves. It takes much longer for sourdough bread to rise than bread made with baker’s yeast. Therefore, your bread machine will require settings to produce sourdough bread. 

There are two ways to accomplish this. First, locating a bread machine with a sourdough setting is possible. This will be meticulously adjusted to produce the ideal conditions for baking a sourdough loaf. 

Optionally, you can use a bread machine to adjust the program settings to bake sourdough bread manually. This necessitates a machine with customizable programs for kneading and rising the dough and then baking the loaf. You have various options for this. You can set your machine to “dough only” to knead the dough and begin the rising process. 

A customizable dough-only setting will allow you to extend the proofing time, enabling the machine to proof sourdough. If you cannot extend the proving time, remove the loaf pan and place it in a warm location until the sourdough has doubled in size. The loaf is baked in a conventional oven or returned to the bread machine with the “bake only” setting. 

How to Choose the Best Sourdough Bread Maker for Your Kitchen. 

The bread machines elevate the baking experience to a higher level. Everything is performed automatically. Measure the number of ingredients, press a few buttons, and your sourdough bread will be ready for consumption. Mixing, baking, etc., no longer require laborious effort as they did previously. Although making sourdough bread is not particularly difficult, it does require time and focus. Some machines are dedicated to banana bread, others to gluten-free bread, and others to pizza dough. 

Although there are a few factors to consider before purchasing a bread machine for sourdough bread, they are as follows. 

Loaf capacity 

A loaf is a molded food mass that indicates the amount of food to be prepared. Before baking bread, you must determine how many people you must feed. Numerous bread machines offer various loaf sizes for sourdough, but the maximum size varies between brands. You can also add additional water or flour to the bread machine to ensure a successful bake. However, it must be considered that a device with a 1-pound capacity cannot bake a 2-pound loaf of sourdough. 

Loaf Pan Shape 

You must choose the size and shape of your loaf pan if you want to bake sourdough bread in an oven, or you can make loaves by hand. Every bread machine includes a loaf pan that gives each loaf the same shape. Additionally, some bread machines have rectangular or vertical loaf pan. 

Overall size and weight of the machine 

What does your home look like? Will you prepare homemade bread nearly every day? Or will it only make appearances on special occasions? Before purchasing a bread machine, it is essential to consider the following questions. 

If you intend to make sourdough bread only a few times per month, purchasing a heavy-duty bread machine may discourage you from baking altogether! It would help if you did not exert yourself every time you put away the bread machine. Either Cuisinart model is ideal for regular storage. 

Preprogrammed Settings 

Modern bread machines can produce various types of bread. The most basic machine has settings for multigrain, loaves, and French bread, among others. All these settings are preprogrammed for optimal product output. The advanced sourdough bread machines are equipped with time- and labor-saving features. 

Crust control 

To broaden your bread-making horizons, you can experiment with different flour colors to determine which your family prefers. Your crust settings range from light to medium to dark. 

If you’re interested in crust control, purchasing a bread machine with a viewing window is a good idea so you can observe the bread-making process. This will help you determine how much additional time is required to achieve excellent color. 

Delayed start 

This is an excellent option for people on the go. Imagine working all day and returning home to the aroma of freshly baked bread. No, it is not an intruder who has entered your home and decided to bake bread. It’s your bread machine with a delay timer, delivering bread at a convenient time. 

The delayed start will allow you to determine when the bread is ready to consume. You can prepare it the night before, and it will be ready in the morning. Warm sourdough bread in the morning is an excellent alarm clock. 

Settings for different types of bread 

Even the most basic bread machine will offer a wide variety of bread settings. This includes gluten-free and wheat bread, as well as cakes and jams! You are the oyster of your bread maker. You can experiment to your heart’s content with the available settings. 

A fruit and nut dispenser are available, which automatically dispenses additional ingredients during the kneading process. This will save you time and prevent the heat from escaping through the window. We need to retain that heat! 

There are also bread machines with a quick bread or rapid baking option. This is perfect for last-minute dinners, unexpected guests, or bread cravings. (They are a thing!) 

A window with light is also an ideal setting to seek out. Numerous bread machines include a window that allows you to observe the baking process. 

Having that additional assistance during the process will provide you with any necessary information. Such as excess flour adhering to the sides or bread appearing too moist. Light offers a quicker response time to process-related issues, allowing you to bake the perfect loaf of bread. 

Number of kneading paddles 

A bread machine with two kneading paddles is ideal for the best bread to be served at the table. However, this does not mean you won’t end up with tasty bread if there is only one loaf. In most cases, a budget bread machine only includes one kneading paddle. This accomplishes the desired result, but it may not satisfy the needs of avid bakers. 

Due to the stationary kneading paddles, the bread may have a hole in the bottom when it comes out of the machine. This flaw won’t affect the flavor of your bread, but it will alter its appearance. 

Before the final bake phase, collapsible paddles (like those on the Breville and Breadman) will move out of the way of your bread. This indicates that your bread will slide out of the bread machine without needing paddles. 

Removable paddles can be removed after a reminder alert has been triggered. During the final phase of baking, you remove the paddles and reinsert the dough. 

Type: Vertical vs. horizontal 

Vertical 

Typically, vertical bread machines are less expensive. They generally are smaller and more maneuverable. Due to the shape of their loaf pans, they are ideal for small families that don’t consume much bread. 

However, vertical bread machines produce taller bread slices. This makes it more challenging to fit bread into a toaster. In addition, there is no heating element on the top of vertical bread machines. This will result in uneven color distribution, typically a dark crust on the bottom and a light crust on top. 

Vertical bread machines are top-rated. Despite a few flaws, it can still produce delicious sourdough bread. 

Horizontal 

An awkward slice may become annoying if you intend to make a lot of toast with your bread. You can achieve the desired store-bought bread shape with a horizontal-shaped bread pan. 

A larger bread pan equals a larger bread machine. This means it will take up more space and require more effort to store than its vertical sibling. 

Your bread will have more room to move in a horizontal pan. This means that it is likely to stick to one side during the kneading process and may not produce a high-quality loaf of bread. Obtain a machine with two kneading paddles to avoid this. This will result in the dough being evenly dispersed without cause for concern. 

Typically, a bread machine with two paddles will be more expensive. If you are unwilling to pay extra, you should seek out a bread machine with a window. This allows you to monitor the bread’s development and any potential problems. 

Usability And Flexibility 

When searching for a new kitchen appliance, most people prioritize usability. Your new sourdough bread machine should be user-friendly, comfortable, and free of unnecessary mess. 

The loaf pan should be simple to remove and replace within the machine. It must be made of a durable non-stick material and be simple to disassemble for cleaning to prevent the loaf from sticking to the pan. 

Additionally, looking for a bread machine with simple settings that allow you to bake various pieces of bread is advisable. Sometimes you may want to bake something other than sourdough, regardless of how lovely it is! 

Price 

As we have discussed, you cannot arbitrarily select a bread machine manufacturer from the current market. Bread machines can range in price from $100 to $150. Some bread machine brands sell their devices for less than $100, but they are not for long-term use, whereas the more expensive brands are for longer-term use and come with a warranty. 

Common Concerns Regarding Sourdough Bread Makers 

Your sourdough bread may be dense if it hasn’t been fermented long enough or if the starter wasn’t sufficiently fermented. However, with one of these fantastic bread machines, you won’t have to worry about the proving time! 

Before cleaning, it is essential to unplug the bread machine and let it cool down. Hand-washing the mixing paddles and bread pan is recommended. Fill the bread pan with hot water and allow it to soak for a while. This causes the dough to soften and pull away from the sides. Then, wipe the interior with a damp cloth to remove any remaining debris. 

Yes, stand mixers are ideal for sourdough production. If your stand mixer has a dough hook and a paddle hook, you can make sourdough bread in no time. 

The paddle hook will be used to combine the ingredients before the process. The dough hook is used in a stand mixer to knead the dough. It will accelerate the process of kneading sourdough bread. You will not need to knead the dough by hand, as the stand mixer will take care of it. 

Essential Tools for Sourdough Bread Baking
  1. Sourdough Starter.
  2. Containers.
  3. Baker’s scale.
  4. Batter bowl with lid.
  5. Bench scraper.
  6. Banneton or proofing bowl.
  7. Bowl covers.
  8. Bread lame.

Glass and plastic are both excellent choices for sourdough starter containers. They’re clear, durable, and dishwasher friendly. So while ceramic sourdough crocks are absolutely gorgeous, I don’t find them to be as functional as glass or plastic.

Technically, any grain-based flour works for making a sourdough starter. Flours made from rice, rye, spelt, einkorn and wheat all work. However, bread flour works the best and yields the most reliable starter. Even if you raise your starter on bread flour, you can still make bread with other types of flour.

There are a lot of baking myths out there. One of them is that you need a dutch oven to make perfect sourdough crusty bread. This simply isn’t true! While many home cooks, including me, use dutch ovens in their sourdough baking, there are alternative methods to achieving the same results.

So many! There are benefits both for the bread baking itself and also for the consumer. Sourdough adds flavor to the dough (the flavor we all know and love!) and also helps the bread to hold its shape better. The natural bacteria in the bread also helps it to keep for longer (around 5 days on the counter)

Spraying sourdough with water and using steam is a really good way to bake and finish sourdough so that it looks the best it possibly can along with a tasty and crispy crust.

If you push bulk fermentation or the final proof too far, your dough won’t spring up as vigorously in the oven. This lack of oven spring usually means the taut outer wrapper on your shaped dough never pulls back enough to peel away and form a distinctive ear.

It will need a lid or cover, but not something airtight: Sourdough starter emits gas, and a sealed canister can explode. If you have intermittent baking plans, you may want something that can be lidded more tightly and stashed in the refrigerator.

Final Verdict 

We believe the Breville BBM800XL is the best sourdough bread machine. It includes all the necessary features and more. It will be especially beneficial for those who bake frequently. 

Oster Expressbake is the best option for novice or occasional bakers. You can still prepare warm sourdough bread without breaking the bank. Can sourdough bread be made in a bread machine? With one of these convenient devices, you can! 

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Why Trust Us

You will find what you are looking for at Jody's Bakery. From classic to luxury brands, you'll find both. We will help you to select appliances that fit your needs, budget and lifestyle. Whether you want to stop by to learn more — or plan to make a major purchase — we’ll treat you like family and assist you every step of the way. Shop with us today to receive friendly and experienced help along the way.

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