USING A BREAD MACHINE VS. HANDMADE BREAD
Making bread by hand or in a bread machine comes down to personal preference. Both are healthier than store-bought bread. However, the methods are slightly different, and so are the results.
BAKING IN A BREAD MACHINE VS. IN THE OVEN
Let's go over the pros and cons of using a bread machine and vice versa for baking in an oven.
Which is better? Let's find out.
THE PROS OF BREAD MACHINES:
THE CONS OF BREAD MACHINES:
- Once the machine is working, it proofs and bakes on a schedule, whether the dough has risen properly or not. This means you might not always get the perfect bread.
- Bread machines have a maximum flour capacity which limits the size of the loaf you're baking.
- Conventional recipes will need to be adjusted and scaled according to the amount that the machine can take.
- Only bread flour is recommended. Swopping in all-purpose flour will require you to adjust the recipe. Unfortunately, Whole wheat bread recipes often result in unsuccessful loaves.
- High hydration bread requires slow gluten development, usually in a fridge, and therefore can't be made in a bread machine.
- Many artisan breads, sourdough, and other no-knead bread are too wet for a bread machine.
THE PROS OF OVEN-BAKED BREAD:
- Shaping bread by hand gives you more control over the outcome.
- You can use human discretion throughout the process.
- You're able to use any kind of flour you like.
THE CONS OF OVEN-BAKED BREAD:
- You have to be there for all stages of the baking process.
- There is a certain level of skill required to measure ingredients, knead and shape your loaf.
- Failed loaves can happen easily with simple human error, like setting the oven incorrectly or missing a step in the baking process.
THE FINAL LOAF
Many bakers have found that, although bread machines eliminate the need for labor-intensive mixing and kneading, they don't perform as well as conventional ovens.
A loaf made from beginning to end in a bread machine tends to have ugly holes where the blades were; a less aesthetic shape; a denser structure, and a thicker crust. Whereas oven-baked loaves rise higher, and the shape and flavor can be easily varied. It also has a better crust and a chewier consistency.
.Although making bread by hand takes work and leaves room for error, not only are the results better, it is also a form of art and expression.