Nothing tastes better than hot bread straight from the oven. With a bread maker, you can toss in the ingredients and do something else until your savory loaf is ready for sampling.
- Several companies now have bread mixes made especially for bread makers. They're available at grocery stores.
- Some bread makers make round loaves, some make elongated loaves in a bucket-style container and some make horizontal loaves. If you have a preference, keep looking until you find what you want.
- No matter how much bread your family consumes now, when you have hot bread coming out of a bread maker, their consumption will increase considerably. Take this into account when choosing the size loaf your bread maker will produce.
- Make sure you have enough storage space for a bread maker.
- Choose the capacity of the bread maker based on the amount of bread your family eats. Most produce 1, 1.5 or 2-lb. loaves.
- Select a bread maker with a delay timer if you want bread ready for dinner or fresh for breakfast.
- If you just want to make dough (as for pizza or cinnamon rolls), choose a bread maker that will make dough but not cook it.
- Choose a bread maker that signals you to add ingredients during the bread making process. This is a good feature if you need to add fruits or nuts.
- Pick a bread maker with a “keep warm” function if you're not likely to be around when the bread is done.
- Check for other special features, such as crust control, French bread or whole wheat bread cycles, or cycles for fruit or nut breads.
- Study the warranty and service options.
Bread that sits in the bread maker for a considerable amount of time after it's through baking sometimes gets soft or soggy, so don't put too much stock in the "keep warm" feature.