How do bread vending machines work?
Many of us like to go to a good baker and buy their bread fresh and oven warm. But we can also bake such a fresh and fragrant bread ourselves – with a practical bread baking machine it works quickly and easily. A bread baking machine does not cost much, takes up very little space and does not require any special knowledge in bread making. Modern automatic baking ovens are easy to operate and provide the whole family with oven-warm bread from our own production.
A bread baking machine basically functions like a conventional electric cooker – but it has many additional functions. At first glance, bread ovens look like toasters; they fit easily on any kitchen worktop. From above, you can look inside the machine through a glass lid to see how far the bread has already been baked. This lid is opened upwards to remove the bread at the end.
For vending machines without a viewing window, a digital display helps to determine how long it will take before the bread is ready. However, the lid should never be opened during the baking process – you would risk the entire dough collapsing. Some bread makers even have integrated interior lighting for a better view inside. This makes it even easier to determine when the desired result has been achieved.
- FRESH HOMEMADE BREAD IN JUST 3 STEPS: Just add your ingredients to the bread maker, select the cycle and press start. Choose between making either 1.5 or 2 lb loaves.
- MAKING FRESH ARTISAN BREADS right at home is now fool proof and automatic. The Elite Gourmet bread maker does the kneading, rising and baking for you
- Cuisinart-quality technology promises superior crust, color and texture
- Various healthy course settings include Multigrain, Whole Wheat, Rapid Whole Wheat, Gluten Free, Salt Free, Sugar Free and Vegan
Inside the automatic baking oven there is a common box-shaped baking tin integrated, as you know it from baking cakes. In this baking tin there are two dough hooks which move during the baking process and knead the dough. In this way, they ensure that all ingredients are mixed correctly.
There are different dough hooks for each type of bread; these are either bought in, or they are already included in the delivery. The dough hook often leaves a hole in the bottom of the finished bread, but this can be avoided by removing the hook before the last dough cycle. If a bread maker has two different drive shafts for two dough hooks, as is the case with some models, even two smaller loaves can be baked at the same time. A double baking tin (two single, small baking tins) can be used for this purpose. A temperature sensor on the appliance ensures that the optimum baking temperature is neither exceeded nor undershot and is evenly distributed.
For whom are bread baking machines suitable?
A bread baking machine is basically suitable for anyone who wants to bake their own bread, whether daily or just every two weeks. The financial and time expenditure is low; the bread comes out of the machine after three to five hours of baking time. The devices can be operated intuitively throughout, which is why no technical knowledge or other experience is required. Most bread baking machines are also suitable for making marmalade or yoghurt dishes and thus appeal to a wider circle of users. It is particularly reassuring for allergy sufferers and people with gluten intolerance to know exactly which ingredients are hidden in their bread.
What do I have to consider before buying?
Before buying a bread machine, there are a few points to consider; after all, you should choose a machine that is perfectly tailored to your needs:
- What is the demand for freshly baked bread? A one-person household should choose a machine that can bake small loaves of bread weighing 500 grams or a double baking pan. For larger families or singles with a large freezer who like to bake in stock, a machine for breads weighing 1,250 grams is an option.
- Are there any special wishes or is there a “normal” bread? The more extensive the functions, the more expensive the machine will be. A wide range of functions is only worthwhile if many of your own recipes are to be saved. Otherwise a simple bread baking machine without many functions does the trick.
- Is the bread baking machine used exclusively for baking bread? Even then, you can fall back on a cheaper appliance that only has this one function.
- Allergy sufferers and people with incompatibilities should make sure that an appropriate program is integrated in their machine. Alternatively, they should choose a machine with individual programming of the baking processes.
- How much comfort is necessary? Practical extras such as a viewing window, timer, ingredient dispenser and interior lighting also push up the price, of course.
Hobby bakers and those who want to take a look at the whole thing with the bread baking machine are well served with an entry-level model. Also these devices usually deliver excellent results, but do not cost much. Later you can still switch to a bread baking machine with a larger range of functions if the demands on the homemade bread increase with time.
How do the ingredients get into the container?
Finished bread and baking mixes require that certain ingredients such as nuts, kernels, yeast or herbs be added to the machine at different times. There are two ways to do this: Either the bread baking machine has an automatic ingredient dispenser or after some time it beeps to indicate that an ingredient must now be added. On automatic bread machines with automatic ingredient dispensers, all ingredients can be filled into the machine right at the start, and the machine does the rest; it gradually feeds everything into the interior.
Finding the right bread maker
Finding the right bread maker is not always easy. The market offers models with a wide range of functions. Some functions are essential for an automatic bread maker, others are just a nice extra. We will show you which functions may be worthwhile for you.
Display and display elements
Around the display, which among other things shows the baking progress, there is a control panel with several keys on each bread baking machine with which the various programs of the machine can be controlled and settings made. The settings made are shown on the display. If the key labels on the machine are in English, you will find the German translations in the operating instructions.
Various baking programs
For each baking machine, you can choose between preset baking programs and individual settings. The standard programs such as “wholemeal bread”, “white bread” or “jam” can be set within a few seconds. A self-created baking program means that the user himself determines the individual steps of the baking process, i.e. he determines the times for the addition of the respective ingredients and the duration of the individual phases.
The operating instructions contain a detailed description of the procedure for the preset baking programs. The individual phases of the process are explained in detail. The sequence of the phases is fixed for each program: first there is a kneading phase, then the rising phase and finally the actual baking phase. These last as long as the manufacturer or – in the case of a self-programmed process – the user has specified. However, certain settings can be defined individually for each baking process. These include the degree of browning, the weight of the bread and the time at which the baking process is to start.
Create your own baking programs
A self-programmed baking process is particularly useful for people allergic to cereals or with special preferences – especially if the desired bread is to be baked regularly. But also other people who have not found the ideal process for themselves among the pre-programmed varieties benefit from this function. Nobody has to be afraid of the technology – how the programs are created is described in detail and well in every operating manual.
Scope of functions
All bread baking machines are also supplied with matching measuring cups or measuring spoons, which enable the exact input quantity of the ingredients. A power failure safety device is also useful. With this function, the device detects a power failure of up to 10 minutes and then continues the program as usual. This has the advantage that the entire baking mixture is not lost and you have to start all over again.
Automatic baking ovens with an integrated temperature sensor can inform the user when the interior has cooled down sufficiently to start a new baking process. This function is particularly recommended if larger quantities are baked regularly. If you only use the vending machine to bake your own bread once a week, this function is of no interest to you. What is always worthwhile, however, is an automatic warming function that keeps the bread warm for longer after baking. The bread can be kept warm for up to an hour. Acoustic signals, such as beeps, which are emitted when a program is finished or an ingredient is to be filled in, are particularly useful if you do not stay in the immediate vicinity of the appliance during the baking process or if you do other things in between.
Care and cleaning of the bread baking machine
Of course, everyone wants as long as possible something from his bread baking machine. Regular cleaning and good care is essential. The individual cleaning steps do not take up too much time with most bread baking machines.
Before using the machine for the first time, it should be thoroughly cleaned, as there may be residues that are harmful to health. It is also advisable to clean the machine after each use to prevent contamination from settling stubbornly – later cleaning is usually much more difficult. Regular cleaning prolongs the life of the machine.
It must be ensured that the breadmaker is disconnected from the power supply before cleaning. In addition, you should only clean the appliance when it has cooled down completely so that the material does not become porous and the protective coating does not flake off. For reasons of health, do not use strong detergents.
Clean all parts of the bread baking machine.
Depending on the design of the machine, the individual parts must first be disassembled after use in order to clean each part individually. It is best to remove the baking tins and dough hooks in order to get better access to the inside of the machine.
It is not recommended to clean individual parts in the dishwasher, as the dishwashing detergent contained is too aggressive for the protective coating of the bread baking machine. Complete immersion in water should also be avoided. The existing technology could be damaged.
The most important thing when cleaning the bread baking machine is that the non-stick coating of the baking tins, which prevents the bread from sticking to the tins during baking, is not damaged. The coating could peel off if cleaned incorrectly and then mix with the dough the next time it is baked. For the same reason, rough sponges should not be used. Soft cloths or a microfibre cloth are best.
Bottle brushes are particularly suitable for cleaning the dough hooks. For an optimal result, the dough hooks should be soaked before washing, as they come into contact most with the sticky dough. They also have a non-stick coating. The same care should therefore be taken as with the baking tins. Special care should be taken when cleaning the dough hooks, as residues of the dough can lead to a limited function during the stirring process.
Regular and conscientious maintenance of a bread baking machine pays off; it should be borne in mind that it is often expensive to buy more functional individual parts. In order to avoid the development of odours, the bread baking machine should preferably be placed with the lid open when not in use. Natural cleaning agents such as citric acid or baking powder prevent the formation of bacteria without attacking the sensitive coating.
If the dough hooks should give up despite good care, the bread baking machine should first be tested in idle mode. The drive spindle often leaks out in bread baking machines that are often in use. However, you can quickly solve this problem yourself without having to buy a spare part.