Like most people, I had always bought prepackaged bread from a store. It lasts for days to a week, every slice looking exactly the same and you know what it’s going to taste like. Well, it’s no surprise, since most of the mass-market bread you buy tends to taste pretty bland. It’s as if the machines that made that bread also sucked every bit of flavor out of the loaves.
Then a few years ago, a friend of mine bought me a bread machine for my birthday. I had the first impression that it was a terrible gift, not much better than buying me a bag of socks or a couple of hammers. But I wanted to be polite and decided I would at least give it a try. I stumbled through the directions and managed to make my first loaf of homemade bread without setting anything on fire.
Imagine the movie scene where angels are heard singing and a light shines down from above. That’s the way I felt the first time I took a bite of the bread I made myself. Sure, the bread didn’t look perfect. It was a cube like what a child would make. But it was soft and warm and it had a taste unlike anything I’d ever had before. It was way better than bread from the stores, which was also pretty amazing.
I had the luxury of eating homemade bread for three years with that same bread machine. Until it broke down last week. It didn’t take me long to realize that I needed to get another good bread machine. I spent hours looking at the reviews on best bread machines, I wanted only the best bread maker that will last me years again. I read books about breadmaking, searched for bread recipes online, took a couple of classes to improve my skills and even sent away for some special ingredients. I was hooked.
So what should you look for in good bread machines? You want one that’s programmable, including one that has a timer so you can wake up in the morning to the smell of warm, freshly made bread. You’ll need a machine that makes different sizes of bread and one that is strong enough to handle thicker concoctions, such as banana bread dough. If you or you’re loved ones are gluten-free, you’ll want a dedicated breach machine that can handle that challenging bread mix. A viewing window at the top is a great help and you’ll appreciate one that has an easy-to-remove baking pan. Like just about any other consumer good, you generally get what you pay for. But no matter what you pay for your good bread machines, you’ll never regret taking the time to bake the best loaf of bread you’ve ever had.