Home Bread Making Machines



We all love the idea of waking up to the appetising smell of “fresh-baked bread” permeating through our home in the morning. But how can we achieve this?





For years people used to make bread at home using tried and tested methods. Bread machines, or bread makers, became all the rage in the 1980s and 1990s and proved popular wedding gifts, sadly most being consigned to the kitchen cupboard after the initial excitement wore off.


However, the benefits of bread making machines are being revived, especially with more people leaning toward organic and healthy food. Bread makers empower the average person to custom-make bread. They can avoid additives and there is no need for preservatives as the bread is consumed fresh.



Budding bakers simply add the ingredients, select from a list of options – loaf size and crust colour – and press “start”. Homemade bread from start to finish is accomplished automatically and without fuss in a matter of hours, and cleanup is also said to be ‘a walk in the park’.


A variety of loaf sizes can be produced from bread makers in variously shaped horizontal or vertical pans. Sizes range from around 500g to 1.5kg loaves which might be either square or rectangular. People are used to a standard sandwich sized loaf and many find the loaf shape disappointing.


Good news is that the final bake of the bread does not necessarily have to be carried out in the bread maker. Some users prefer to only use the bread maker to do the hard work of preparing the dough before removing it and baking it in their regular ovens.




For bread to rise properly it is best to have the ingredients at room temperature, however some bread machines have a preheat cycle to warm the ingredients.


Many machines have different cycles for different types of bread; for example there may be a “whole wheat cycle” or a “French bread cycle”. These vary the raising or kneading time in order to accommodate special recipe requirements.


It is important to note that using the rapid bake cycle on a bread machine will usually result in slightly flatter loaves and will require “fast rising” yeast.


Windows are handy to have on the bread machine, allowing the curious to take a look when necessary. There are also crust colour selectors, yeast dispensers and more.



Bread makers generally range in price from about R830 to R6 000, depending on the features.

The 610W Salton Elite Bread Maker SFBM01 is one of the least expensive options. It affords loaf sizes of 500g, 750g and 1 000g with a 12 program menu, has two fast bake options, adjustable crust control and a 60 minute keep-warm function. Its non stick bread pan and kneading blade are dishwasher safe and comes with a handy sandwich bread recipe


A few hundred Rand more affords the Russell Hobbs RHBM1500 electronic bread maker that features a non-stick vertical loaf pan with the same three loaf sizes. It has a handy delay bake timer – up to 13 hours in advance – and a 15 minute power back-up in the event of accidental disconnection.


The Breadman BK1050S is an attractive machine with a stainless steel casing that takes up less space on the countertop. It is a workhorse performing multiple bread functions, crust colours, time bake, and more. The 14 pre-programmed bake settings can create white, wheat, French, artisan, jam, and more.


The 600W Coolwall Ma-baker III from Mellerware is ideal for baking basic, professional or even gluten/yeast free breads and cakes at the touch of a button. It bakes 750g and 1.5kg loaves at an impressive 15 hour time delay, while offering 76 baking and kneading options, 8 programmable memory settings, as well as an automatic fruit and nut dispenser, and power interruption program protection.


At the top end is the Zojirushi BBCCX20 Home Bakery Supreme Bread Machine. It has over 100 pre-programmed settings, is easy to use, and has a preheat feature ensuring consistent performance through rising, baking, and kneading cycles. It also has a sourdough starter cycle.


With so many options, bread machines allow for almost infinite possibilities. Bread-making can be as precise or a simple as desired. There are bread machines to fit every personality and every budget.




You can make almost any type of bread you like, when you begin with a basic recipe. This is a white bread recipe, but to make whole wheat bread, simply use equal portions of white flour and whole wheat flour.


Mix together 1 cup warm (not hot) water, 2 tbsp. honey and 1 (¼ oz.) package dry yeast in a small bowl. Place it in the bread machine pan and let it sit for about 10 minutes, until it is completely dissolved and foaming. Into the bread machine pan, pour ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, 3 cups all-purpose flour and 1½ tsp. salt. Press the Basic button and then the Start button.


That’s it. The bread machine will do the rest, and all you have to do is enjoy the yeasty scent that fills your home. Of course, the appreciation of your family will be equally as enjoyable.




Try something totally different from a traditional loaf. Does your family love pizza? Then try some:

Pizza bread: Use the ingredients for the basic recipe. Add any, or all of the following: 1 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, ½ cup chopped pepperoni, 1/3 cup mixed cheeses (mozzarella, cheddar, Monterey Jack), 1/3 cup canned mushrooms or ¼ cup Italian herbs and spices (from the grocery store).



Sour cream and onion bread: would be a natural accompaniment to a roast beef, steak, prime rib, roasted chicken or turkey dinner. To the basic recipe, above, add a package of dried soup mix and a cup of sour cream. Cut the water down to ½ cup, from 1 cup, or you will have too much liquid. This recipe works well with half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour.



Dessert bread: This cinnamon bread is fine for breakfast toast or an after-dinner snack with hot chocolate. To the basic bread recipe, add ¾ cup packed brown sugar and 2 tbsp. cinnamon. Exchange butter for the extra virgin olive oil. If you like, add raisins and nuts to this recipe. Spread on a cream cheese topping for extra fun. Just mix a 3 oz. package of cream cheese with a cup of confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar) and ½ tsp. of vanilla.


Happy home baking.




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