In this article I’m going to lay out which machine you should choose to help you make your own home made bread. A classic bread maker or a stand mixer.
I’ve taken a look at the pro’s and con’s of using a bread maker or a stand mixer. I’ve decided that it is much more practical for me to use my bread maker to make home made bread rather than a stand mixer. Let me explain.
There are a lot of options to consider when you want to make your own home made bread. You can make bread by hand of course, but these days it can be a lot more convenient and practical to let a machine do the work for you.
There are really only two machines that I would consider to do the job: a bread maker and a stand mixer.
There are pro’s and con’s to both of these machines, but I believe there is a clear winner when we take all of the variables into consideration.
BREAD MAKER VS STAND MIXER
EASE OF USE
SHAPE OF BREAD
RISE OF DOUGH
TEXTURE OF LOAF
The above table makes it easy to compare a stand mixer to a bread maker, but let me break down why I gave my vote to each machine.
Pro’s and Con’s of a Bread maker
EASY TO USE: You can literally set it and forget. All you need to do is add in your ingredients and let the machine do the work for you!
AFFORDABILITY: Bread machines range in price from the cheapest one on amazon being around $80.00 on sale to the most expensive one being around $400.00. You can readily find bread makers second hand for even less of an investment.
DOUGH RISE: A bread maker offers a controlled environment for your dough to rise in. this leads me to my next point..
PREDICTABLE RESULTS: time and again, if you are measuring your ingredients properly and selecting the right cycle for your bread maker you will always have the result you wanted.
TEXTURE OF LOAF: The texture of your loaf will always be consistent as well, as the bread maker runs for a set time (kneading and rising).
VERSATILITY: Your bread maker will be able to create dough only-this allows you to shape your finished bread into buns, braids, etc. Some bread makers also have a “preserves” function where you can make jam. These are the only two things you can really do with a bread machine though.
SHAPE OF THE FINISHED LOAF: Most bread makers bake your loaf in a taller fashion rather than a traditional horizontal style. The horizontal machines tend to be either more expensive, bake smaller loaves, or both! In addition to this, if you want to use the bread maker as intended as a “set and forget” tool, you will need to remove the dough paddle from your finished loaf. This can cause tearing and a hole to form inside your bread.
Pro’s and Con’s of a Stand Mixer
VERSATILITY: Most stand mixers have different attachments you can use. With these you can make cakes, cookies, pasta, meringue-the list goes on. I know my kitchen aide mixer actually has attachments that go on the front of the stand mixer as well. This allows me to grind foods, cut pasta dough and more.
SHAPE OF THE FINISHED LOAF: For arguments sake, I guess you could use the “dough only” cycle on your bread maker and shape the loaf however you want, then bake in the oven. I gave this pro only to the stand mixer though because when you use a stand mixer to make home made bread you have no other choice but to shape the loaf yourself and then bake in the oven!
EASE OF USE: I mean, it’s definitely easier to use a stand mixer to knead bread rather than doing it by hand, but there is a lot to consider. You need to decide the speed to knead, how long to knead it for, and where and how long to allow it to rise.
AFFORDABILITY: Even for a basic stand mixer that is capable of kneading bread, you will be looking at an investment of at least $150.00. For the ultimate Kitchen Aid stand mixer, we’re talking about $800.00! You CAN get one used, but they are harder to come by.
RISE OF DOUGH: As I mentioned above, the environment is far less controlled when you’re using a stand mixer to make bread at home. On a warm, humid day you’ll get one result, and then on a cold winter morning, a completely different one!
TEXTURE OF YOUR FINISHED LOAF: Of course, the length of time the dough was kneaded, the rise, and how often it was punched down will all affect the finished texture of your loaf. If, you’re a skilled baker with a lot of experience (I do NOT fall into this category!!) then you might be better off controlling you finished product. However, for the vast majority of us at home cooks, we might be better off taking the guess work out of making our own bread!
Will you choose a bread maker or a Stand mixer?
I hope you have found this article helpful and that it makes your decision a little easier!
I personally own both a bread maker and a stand mixer! But I have to tell you that 95% of the time, when I am making my own bread at home, I use my bread maker.
I do enjoy making my own bread by hand once in a while, when time allows!
And, my Kitchen Aid is pretty helpful for pizza dough’s-mostly because I’m impatient and I never let it fully rise before throwing it in the oven!