Friday, October 15, 2010

Bread Machines Are Cool for Baking in the Hot Summer

By Naomi Gallagher

The aroma of freshly baked bread can bring out one's appetite and remind them of home at the holidays. During the cold months baking is like a national past-time. We have so many great recipes for pies, cakes, cookies and specialty breads, it's a shame to not use them. But who wants to be in a hot kitchen with the oven on for any amount of time during the summertime? Most of us find other activities during the heat of summer.

A lot of people do baking only at the holidays and for special occasions. It takes time and planning to put together a great dessert or to bake a fresh loaf of bread from scratch. Many of us find it hard to come up with the time to do baking, so we take shortcuts when we can like using a bread machine to make bread and other goodies.

Bread machines can help to fill the void when you don't have time to cook, let alone bake. It's as simple as measuring ingredients into a mixing pan, selecting a bread cycle, and hitting the start button. In a few hours the bread will be perfectly done and ready when you are.

Many bread machines have a delay cycle where the bread cycle doesn't start for the selected time period. This feature allows you to ready the machine at night and have freshly baked bread in the morning. Or, you could set up the bread maker before you leave for work and come home to a fresh loaf. Be forewarned that some recipes won't work well on a timer-delay cycle. Basic breads that don't have any ingredients added during the kneading cycle, like raisins, seeds, or nuts, are good candidates for a timer-delay cycle.

One fantastic thing about bread maker ovens in general is that the heat they produce is contained very well. It won't heat up your house or the kitchen when you make bread using a bread machine. If you enjoy baking breads and cakes, try using a bread machine in the summer.

Bread machines can also make your bread up to the dough stage. In other words the machine will mix all the ingredients, knead the dough, and let it rise in a warm atmosphere. All you need do is measure in the ingredients and take out the dough after about an hour and a half. Then, you can let the dough rise again, shape it into a loaf or scoop it into a baking pan. During the colder months try using the bread maker to make the dough and finish off the bread in your oven. That way, you can have the best of both worlds by having the machine do most of the work, yet you can enjoy the added heat given off by your kitchen oven.

Naomi Gallagher is a writer and a fantastic cook with a love for machines that help her make the most of her time in the kitchen. Making homemade bread has become one of her specialties. Learn more by visiting her sites where she likes to write about making bread and cooking great food: and


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