Bread makers have revolutionized the bread production process as busy at home chefs can include a healthy and delicious addition to home-made or semi-homemade meals.
Bread’s history can be traced back farther than man’s recorded past. Researchers have confirmed that early man gathered grain for food when meat was scarce. People discovered that they could cultivate the food source when grain began sprouting after becoming wet.
During ancient times, bread making was a profitable skill since the process was labor intensive and required numerous hours to produce. Early bakeries also employed a large number of workers.
In the 1800s, Joseph Lee invented the first bread handling machine. His invention was a device that could crumble day old bread to use in other recipes. Prior to his design, old bread was tossed out. With the money he made from his initial invention, Lee created the first automatic bread maker. The machine could mix and knead dough, which allowed bakers to focus on forming and baking the bread. In addition to speeding up the bread creating process, Lee invented a more hygienic method for making bread.
Bakeries began purchasing the automatic machine to produce more bread products. During the 1950s, most bakeries used a bread maker. Unfortunately, at home chefs did not have access to the handy machine until 1986.
A Japanese company, Matsushita Electric Industrial Company, which is now Panasonic, created the first bread maker that could make one loaf of bread. This machine became popular and other manufacturers began producing similar versions. Each modern bread maker uses elements from Joseph Lee’s first design. In fact, today’s bread machine companies have discovered how to miniaturize Lee’s machine’s method.
When a busy cook pours the proper ingredients into a machine, the bread maker takes over and finishes the recipe by creating a delicious loaf of bread. In most cases, the cook will first add the liquid ingredients into the machine and then the dry items. The ingredients must be placed into the machine in the right order to ensure that the instant yeast becomes activated by the liquid. Therefore, the water and the yeast must remain separate until the dough making process starts.
Bread baked in a bread maker will take several hours for completion. Cooks will notice that the machine first shifts the ingredients with its paddle to create dough. Bread makers also maintain the perfect temperature, which encourages optimal rising. After the dough has been given the proper amount of time to rise, the machine will begin the baking process.
Early bread machines created loaves in unusual shapes, but today’s devices typically produce loaves that have a classic appearance. Chefs using a bread maker will need to use a recipe designed for a machine since a bread maker will often make a smaller loaf than a traditional bread recipe. In fact, supermarkets often carry prepackaged bread mixes, which contain the correct portion sizes. With a mix, the cook will just add water.
When preparing bread at home, either with a bread maker or from scratch, cooks should remember that it will be lacking preservatives and won’t last as long as store bought bread.
During 1996, numerous households owned the appliance, and 10 years later the number of households claiming bread maker ownership doubled. Manufacturers have increased the machine’s usefulness as the appliances can now make pizza dough, dinner rolls and baked goodies.
In fact, consumers who regularly use the machine have found that a bread maker can mix up almost any dough recipe, which can then be baked in a regular oven. A large number of bread machine recipe books have been released with specific directions.
Today’s bread maker has become a household staple and is one that permits time challenged cooks to provide a homemade meal for their family, which includes fresh baked bread.