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Have you ever gone away for a week or two, forgotten you left the bread in the cupboard and come back to what appears to be, an edible loaf of bread?

At that point, have you wondered what on earth they are putting in the bread to maintain the state of being? Lots of numbers and preservatives, being ingested by you and your love ones.

Baking your own bread is very easy. A bread maker does all the work and the house smells like a bakery. Not to mention the cost savings.

Normal bread without all the additives will start going moldy on about day 4, which is the correct time it should be going off.

There is no hands on application with a bread maker. You measure the ingredients, add it to the machine and off it goes. The next time you open the lid you will have a piping hot fresh loaf of bread.

They do more than just bake bread though. You can have the machine knead the dough for rolls, pizzas, focaccias, etc. You don’t have to bake the dough at once, it can be frozen for a later time. Certain models can combine cake mixes and create the right environment for make jam

You have to decide what you want out a bread maker so you can buy the right model, as not all bread makers are the same. They can offer different functions.

• Different crust variations
• Varied cooking times
• Different taste variations (eg – white, whole meal, wholegrain, yeast free etc.)
• The options of sweet loaves with fruits or nuts.
• Options such as banana bread

If you have yeast or gluten intolerances, then making your own bread might be an attractive choice.

With such a wide range of recipes you are sure to find ones that suits your needs.

Handy functions that can be found in a bread maker are:

• Progress indicator – this allows you to monitor what stage the bread in up to, preheating, kneading, rising baking and warming. It should also let you know how far off your bread is from being finished.
• Add ingredients indicator – this function reminds you to add nuts, fruit, herbs, etc depending on the loaf you are cooking. Some machines have an ingredients dispenser for you and will add the extras at the appropriate time.
• A removable lid – This allows the cleaning process to be more thorough
• See through lid – For no other reason than it is fun for you and the kids to see the bread making process.
• Manual and automatic programs
• Delay timer
• Durable design
• Different size loaf options
• Power interruption protection

Bread making is easy but it really requires your concentration with measurements. The right mix of the right ingredients is crucial to a successful loaf.

When it comes to cutting the bread, wait until the loaf is cool, then cut the whole evenly with an electric. It stops it going stale too quickly. Make sure the bag you place it in has as little air in it as possible.

There is no reason a bread maker shouldn’t get years of use once purchased. You will get into a habit of the time you make your bread and it will become part of your routine. Be careful though, you may make a rod for you own back because the whole household will snub store bought bread for yours. This is the satisfaction baking your own bread will bring.