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How to choose the best horizontal bread machine

Some people prefer store-bought bread, while others prefer to bake their own. They value the freshness and quality of their bread, as well as the enticing aroma that fills the entire room. If you wish to maintain your bread-making abilities, we can assist you in locating a horizontal bread machine. Most people are unaware that bread can come in various shapes and sizes. By baking, you can achieve any desired shape or size. 

However, most store-bought loaves we consume are baked vertically because these machines require less space. However, whether you are baking at home or running a small business, you should prioritize horizontal baking machines. Bread machines can be challenging to locate because the exterior does not indicate how the bread is baked, but fortunately, we have compiled a list for you based on customer feedback. 

Have You Heard? 

1928 saw the invention of the first slice-and-wrap bread machine by Otto Frederick Rohwedder. There is nothing more delightful than freshly baked bread. Homemade bread is unparalleled in terms of aroma, flavor, and nutritional value. Therefore, people enjoy making bread from scratch at home, even though it requires a lot of effort. What if you could toss all the ingredients for making bread into a machine and obtain fresh, flavorful bread without effort? Doesn’t that sound like a dream come true? Essentially, this is what a bread machine does. 

Place the ingredients, such as flour, water, yeast, and salt, in the machine, adjust the settings, and wait a few hours for fresh, delicious bread. There is no need to measure, mix, or knead the dough, nor wait for it to rise. The bread maker instantly performs all your laborious tasks, producing a fresh brown loaf made to your specifications. Numerous state-of-the-art bread machines on the market effortlessly mix the ingredients, knead the dough, and create bakery-quality bread. If you are considering purchasing one of these beautiful appliances but do not know how to choose the best bread maker, then the following advice will help you make the right decision. 

What exactly is a bread maker? 

A bread maker consists, at its most fundamental level, of a pan (typically non-stick) with paddles for kneading the dough mounted in the center of a special oven. 

The bread maker will mix the ingredients, knead the dough so that the yeast can adequately rise, and bake the bread to perfection when the dough has risen to the proper level (based on models one has). After baking, the loaf slides out of the pan and is ready to be sliced and served. 

How to choose the best horizontal bread machine 

If you enjoy freshly baked bread, it would be wise to invest in an electric bread maker that makes baking bread simple. This article provides simple tips and characteristics for selecting a bread machine. 

Capacity 

The bread maker’s capacity and loaf size are determined by the amount of bread your family regularly consumes. For a family of two or three, a bread machine with a loaf capacity of 1.5 pounds should suffice. For a more prominent family that regularly consumes bread, a bread machine that produces loaves weighing between 2 and 3 pounds is required. It is advisable to look for a device with two to three loaf size options to obtain the appropriate loaf size for your needs. 

Material of Baking Pan 

It is essential to note that all bread pans are made of aluminum with a nonstick coating. The bread pan should be made of thick cast aluminum if you require bread with thicker, more robust crusts. Thin aluminum pans would be adequate for lighter, thinner crusts. Choose a bread machine with detachable pans that make cleanup much more straightforward. 

Loaf Shape 

While older bread machines could only produce vertical loaves, newer models can make horizontal loaves that resemble supermarket bread and are much simpler to slice and serve. However, these horizontal breadmakers are expensive and require much more space than vertical breadmakers. Furthermore, they do not always thoroughly knead the dough, leaving small amounts of flour in the pan’s corners, which can be highly irritating. Ensure that a horizontal bread maker has two kneading blades so that the ingredients are properly mixed and kneaded if you intend to purchase one. 

Delay Timers 

Selecting a bread maker with delay timings is advisable. Some machines can be programmed to produce bread at the appropriate time. Therefore, if you desire warm, fresh bread in the early morning, you can program the bread machine to make fresh bread ten hours later. Most machines offer this function and can be programmed to bake bread up to 13 hours in advance. Some devices also include a ‘rapid’ process for making quick breakfast loaves and the ability to pre-program your recipes. 

Kneading Blades 

Kneading blades are small paddles located in the bread bucket’s center. They oversee combining all ingredients and kneading the dough. The dough bakes around the kneading blade when it is baked. Therefore, the blade frequently adheres to the bread’s bottom. After the bread has cooled, it is necessary to remove the blade. Look for horizontal bread makers with two kneading blades if you intend to use one. 

Ingredient Dispensing Feature 

Some bread machines have a feature that allows you to add additional ingredients, such as nuts and dried fruit after the bread has been baked. The bread machine indicates when an ingredient must be added. Specific bread machines, such as the Panasonic SD-RD250, are equipped with special compartments that dispense additional ingredients. 

Crust Control Feature 

This standard feature allows the user to control the crust’s browning. Depending on the desired level of crust browning, a bread machine offers three crust settings: regular, medium, and dark. Consequently, whether you prefer a crust that is dark brown and stiff or light brown and soft, the bread machine produces the perfect crust. 

Produces various types of bread 

Want to bake gluten-free bread, whole wheat bread, pizza dough, artisan bread, dessert loaves, or cakes? Choose a bread machine with additional settings and preprogrammed cycles that enable you to bake various pieces of bread. The programs for the multiple slices of bread adjust the mixing, kneading, and baking times based on the type of flour and additional ingredients. For gluten-free bread, for instance, the baking temperature must be adjusted. 

Storage Space 

A bread maker is a large appliance that necessitates considerable storage space. Ensure that your kitchen has free countertop space to accommodate this appliance. A horizontal bread machine will be more comprehensive and require more space than a vertical model. 

Price 

Prices for bread makers can range from USD 40 to USD 200. You can find a good one in the price range of USD 100 to USD 130. A more expensive machine does not necessarily perform better. Usually, the high price is due to the additional bells and whistles. Choose a device that produces the optimal loaf size for your needs and has frequently used features. Do not pay extra for features you will likely never utilize. 

Additional features to watch out for include: 

  • A window that allows you to observe the bread-making process. 
  • Indicator lights that illuminate when the cycle is complete. 
  • Bread makers with an attractive exterior finish, a digital LCD, and a stable base receive additional points. 
  • Some bread machines have a “keep warm” feature that keeps the bread warm while baking. 
  • Consider purchasing other items such as measuring cups, spoons, and cookbooks. 

Why are the pan’s shape and the number of blades significant? 

At the beginning of bread machine history, most bread machines produced long and tall loaves, as depicted by the pan on the left. It is not the loaf shape that consumers are accustomed to. In addition, the odd shape revealed that it was baked in a bread machine. 

However, manufacturers quickly figured out how to construct a machine that produced horizontally shaped loaves that resembled supermarket loaves. Unfortunately, horizontal pans do not always adequately knead the dough, leaving unincorporated flour in the pan’s corners. Incomplete mixing is a major drawback! 

In my experience, upright configurations allow for superior mixing. HOWEVER. Since I’m not using a machine for baking the bread, the pan’s shape is irrelevant. In contrast, some modern machines (see image) are horizontally shaped and have two blades. Two blades instead of one are more effective for thoroughly combining all ingredients and developing the gluten. 

How about the variety and number of cycles? 

I’m not impressed by bread machines with a multitude of cycles. I want a bread machine with a strong enough motor to effectively mix and knead the dough. Whether it produces jam or quick bread is irrelevant to me. If you intend to bake whole wheat bread in your machine, whole wheat cycles can be helpful. Think about your baking habits. 

If you are searching for a machine to make gluten-free bread, keep in mind that gluten cannot develop. It would be like purchasing an oven to store additional cooking pots. Yes, it can be used for that, but that is not its primary function. The paddles of bread machines are not designed to mix dense dough, such as that of gluten-free bread. A robust stand mixer will perform a superior job of blending the batter. There are no holes in the loaf’s bottom when using a stand mixer and baking in the oven. 

Bread machines that advertise that they can be used to make sourdough can be deceptive. If you wish to pursue this path, you should conduct research and be aware of the constraints. My favorite machine, for instance, has a cycle for sourdough starters. You don’t need this if you have a warm location in your home where you can grow a seedling. 

You can use a standard bread cycle for a sourdough recipe containing commercial yeast. However, if you want to make a traditional sourdough recipe without commercial yeast, you cannot easily set the timer on a bread machine. The timing of these loaves varies from time to time. 

Which horizontal bread machine is the best? 

My favorite is the Zojirushi Virtuoso. As I explained as soon as I began reviewing it, this machine exemplifies precisely how a horizontal bread maker should function. 

Having a baking pan with two kneading paddles, this model achieves the desired rectangular shape sought after by many individuals. The Virtuoso and the Supreme share many similarities, but I have the impression that a few little shortcuts were taken when creating the Supreme. Although there are several negative reviews for Virtuoso, I do not have this impression when using it. 

Nothing is perfect, so you should always read positive and negative reviews before purchasing. The following item is the Breville Custom Loaf Bread Maker. It is an impressive model, but I believe Virtuoso is superior. However, when it comes to making bread or dough, they perform exceptionally well. 

Then there are the two inexpensive models from Cuisinart. I like both, even though both machines have numerous negative reviews from purchasers. Nonetheless, the CBK-100 and CBK-200 are the two horizontal bread machines to choose from if you are on a budget. 

However, if you can find it on sale, the Zojirushi Supreme can almost be considered a budget-friendly option for the best horizontal bread machine, which is awesome. 

FAQs

  1. Loaf size settings.
  2. Crust settings. 
  3. Viewing window. 
  4. Keep Warm and Timer settings.
  5. Fast modes. 
  6. Automatic Fruit and Nut Dispensers. 
  7. Additional cooking programs.

The Cuisinart CBK-100 is a good choice for those looking for a solid horizontal bread machine minus the fancy features of Zojirushi and Panasonic. It is perfect for small families since it can make a small 1-pound loaf, yet equally perfect for large families with a 2-pound loaf capacity.

A bread machine that makes a 1-pound loaf should be adequate for singles and couples. And small families of 2 to 4 people should go for a machine that makes a 1.5 or 2-pound loaf. We noticed that it’s getting tougher and tougher to find good bread machines that bake more than a 2.5-pound loaf.

It’s considerably cheaper to make your own bread than to buy it, if you’re comparing similar types of loaves. In a recent comparison*, the ingredients for a loaf of homemade classic sandwich bread cost $2.06, or 13 cents per slice.

Some people state that the difference between a bread machine and a bread maker is that a bread maker generally only has one function: bake bread. On the other hand, a bread machine often has additional functions, such as making pizza dough or jam. The truth is that these terms are interchangeable.

If you have a bread machine it does not mean you will not be able to make artisan bread. It only means that you have an extra tool in your arsenal. At the end of the day, bread machines are very convenient, useful and worth every penny.

With proper care and maintenance, your bread maker can easily last for 10 years or more. So, if you’re looking for a long-lasting kitchen appliance, a bread maker is definitely a good option.

To prevent mold, it should be kept sealed at room temperature or colder. Room-temperature bread typically lasts 3–4 days if it’s homemade or up to 7 days if it’s store-bought. Refrigeration can increase the shelf life of both commercial and homemade bread by 3–5 days

Just so you know, instant yeast has many names and varies from one brand to the next. However, they are all considered instant yeast. Red Star: Quick-Rise Yeast – also referred to as fast-acting or fast-rising instant yeast.

Most bread machines have different cycles for different kinds of dough—including white bread, whole grain, European-style (sometimes labelled “French”), and dough-only (for pizza dough and shaped loaves to be baked in a conventional oven).

There are two heating elements at the side for baking the bread. The round thing in the middle at the bottom is the electric motor that does the kneading. The tin is a bit special: it has an axle at the bottom that connects into an electric motor underneath. A small metal paddle clicks onto the axle inside the tin.

Any yeast loaf recipe using 3 cups of flour (or slightly less) should be baked in an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ pan. A recipe using 3 1/2 cups of flour can go either way.

A bread machine that makes a 1-pound loaf should be adequate for singles and couples. And small families of 2 to 4 people should go for a machine that makes a 1.5 or 2-pound loaf. We noticed that it’s getting tougher and tougher to find good bread machines that bake more than a 2.5-pound loaf.

Bread machines that make horizontal loaves, like the loaves you buy from the bakery, have bread pans with a rectangular shape. Automatic bread machines that make traditional shape bread loaves have two kneading paddles to ensure that the ingredients are mixed and kneaded well.

In the ’90s, 25 million Americans had bread machines. Today, they’re starting to come back.

Collapsible Kneading Paddle

The smartly designed kneading paddle collapses before baking to prevent holes in the bottom of loaves.

Final Thoughts 

The best horizontal bread machine reduces bread-making expenses because you only need a single appliance. In addition to kneading dough, it also bakes various types of bread. They have various baking modes that produce perfect loaves when used. Users will also feel like pros with the delay timer settings and other features that work together to create excellent bread. Additionally, they can always enjoy warm bread due to their keep-warm cycles. 

Another aspect of baking that most people dread is cleaning. With a bread machine, cleaning is simplified because baking pans are typically nonstick, preventing crusts from sticking and facilitating speedy cleanup. Quality nonstick coatings allow users to clean dishwasher baking pans, depending on the product. Kneading paddles are also detachable and straightforward to clean. 

Choose the appropriate horizontal bread machine with features that meet your needs, particularly if you have strict dietary restrictions. Any of the products listed here should be excellent options.

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