Bread and butter are two essential components of breakfast. In fact, some people will have bread more than three times a day. However, the bread that is available in the market might not have your preferred texture or taste. Well, that is why people take the responsibility of baking them right at home!
When it comes to baking bread at home, bread maker vs handmade is a hot topic. And you are probably looking for in-depth information about this. Well, you have come to the right place! We will fill you in every bit of information regarding the topic.
Allow us to first start with the process that you might have already tried yourself. Handmade bread is sometimes as good or even better than the packaged ones! Yes, you will have full control over the ingredients, texture, and taste when you are making a loaf by yourself.
There are other things as well. To get a better understanding of handmade bread, learning about the bread’s characteristics would help.
When you are baking a loaf with your hands, you need to make the dough manually. For this, the right ingredients added in the correct quantity are essential. Kneading is also a manual process for handmade bread. You would have to use your muscle power throughout the entire dough-making process.
Even though the manual process might seem a bit tiring, you will have complete control over the dough. And by mixing and kneading the dough properly, it would be possible for you to get a premium bread-eating experience while being right at home! This is what makes handmade bread stand out the most.
You can set the bread’s texture, kneading time, temperature to your liking, and bake for the required time. For that reason, it will vary from one batch to another. Nevertheless, you should end up with airy bread if you use a conventional oven and knead it properly.
In the case of shapes, the loaf should look like it should if everything is done correctly. On that note, if the texture is right, the shape should be right as well. And by the right texture, we are referring to the perfect amount of aeration and fluffiness.
In addition to that, if you use a proper bread-making tray, you should end up with a perfect-looking loaf. It should not have any holes in the exterior, and it should look like a loaf that just came out of the bread factory.
The crust will highly depend on how long you bake the bread. It will also depend on the overall temperature. Usually, bread that is baked for a longer period of time has a dark brown crust. On the contrary, the ones baked for an adequate amount of time have a light brown crust.
Additionally, the crust’s thickness remains the right amount if you can manage to bake it at the right temperature. But if the temperature is too high, the crust might be too thick. Also, the hardness of the crust will depend on the temperature and the baking time.
Not all of us have the time to prepare the bread manually. The preparation of the dough and kneading takes a considerable amount of time. And let us not forget the effort that you would have to put in. Well, that is where the bread makers step in.
Like the handmade bread, if you take a closer look at the loaf’s overall traits that come out of the best bread maker, you would better understand the machine.
For the bread makers, you don’t need to prepare the dough manually. The device will do it for you. All you need to do is put in the right amount of ingredients. Some manufactures are even offering special flour just for the bread makers. With those, the experience will be a bit hassle-free.
However, you will lose control if you make the dough manually. The kneading time is pre-defined. Also, considering that some machines will knead for a long time, the bread might become dense (more on that on the texture section).
Different machines will offer you different textures. And the texture will highly depend on the dough-making and kneading process. Also, it will depend on the ingredients that you are using. However, the kneading process has the most impact when it comes to texture.
Usually, most of the time, the kneading timer is pre-defined. The machine will not offer any control regarding that. For that reason, the loaves tend to be less aerated. And no matter how much yeast you use, the density remains more or less the same. The amount of fluffiness will be pretty low as well.
Another thing that will vary on the machine that you are using is the shape. Not all machines will have the same-sized container. For that reason, the shape is not consistent with each of the devices. However, the shape will be loaf-like, but a bit compressed.
In other words, the shape will be a bit off. This happens because of the longer kneading process. Also, as the texture inside is denser, the shape might not end up according to your expectations. And, if the container has things sticking out, the loaf will have holes on the exterior.
The crust is not that great when the bread is baked inside a bread baker. It will be browner than usual. As you do not have control over the temperature and the baking time, it would not be possible for you to get a light crust on the exterior. So, this is a factor that you should consider before buying one of these devices.
Additionally, the crust will be a bit denser than usual. It will be thicker, which means you have to cut away a large chunk of the bread if you make a sandwich with this loaf. Also, as the bread maker does not have any pre-heating mechanism, you will have no control over the thickness.
Which One Is Better?
If you ask us, we would recommend getting the bread makers. But there is a condition. You can use the device for making the dough and kneading it. After the dough is mixed, you should use the conventional oven for baking the loaf.
That way, you can save time and energy and also allows you to enjoy the taste of homemade bread.
However, if possible, get the makers that have an adjustable kneading timer. With that, you can get fluffy, airy, and adequately shaped loaf every time.
When it comes to bread maker vs. handmade, there is no clear winner. If you want convenience, use the bread maker. However, if you want the loaf to turn out your way, you need to make it manually.