Who doesn’t like fresh bread? We’re all about fresh food. But we understand that it can be a challenge (and a mess) to bake your own bread at home. Today we want to talk about bread machines which are appliances that bake bread from scratch by mixing your flour, kneading your dough, and baking your bread all in one.
There are many benefits to owning a bread machine:
- Make fresh bread – The most obvious benefit is having fresh bread at home. Most bread machines have a timer function which you can set to bake bread at a certain time. This is useful if you want to prepare the ingredients in advance and let the machine do its work while you work on something else. With a bread maker, you can have fresh bread right at your fingertips.
- Control your ingredients – By baking your own bread, you can control what ingredients you want to add which can be useful for those with allergies. You can also choose to add delicious ingredients like dried fruit, walnuts, or sunflower seeds.
- There’s no mess – Some people don’t bake because it makes a mess in the kitchen. Since a bread machine does everything from mixing the dough to kneading to baking, there will be no mess. Besides, each bread machine comes with a removable pan which can be easily cleaned.
- Saves money – Buying bread at the store can be expensive, especially if you need have dietary restrictions. Bread machines are capable of handling gluten-free bread, whole wheat bread, and other unique breads. They can also make pizza dough, pasta dough, jam, and if you get a Japanese bread machine (Panasonic or Zojirushi) you can even make udon and mochi at home. Although it may seem like an expensive item upfront, you’ll find that the best bread machine is incredibly affordable and given the number of items you can make, you’ll be saving money in the long run. Just buy your favourite flour in bulk and you’re set.
- Makes more than bread – As we outlined in the point above, you can make more than bread. You can make jam, pasta, dough for your homemade pizza, and more depending on which machine you buy.
- Superior taste and quality – Nothing beats the taste of fresh bread. Since you can count on yourself to control what ingredients you add, you can expect a superior quality than store bought bread, which tends to have that manufactured taste.
- They’re easy to use – Not good at baking? No problem. Bread machines are programmed to make perfect loaves. All you need to do is follow the recipes that come in the user manuals and you’ll be baking delicious bread in no time!
These are some of the reasons why we think having a bread maker is beneficial. Everyone has their own reasons, but we’re sure that if you enjoy eating bread, a bread machine might be just what you need to bake bread at home.
Not sure which bread machine to buy? Our favourite bread maker is the Panasonic bread machine sd-yd250. We like it because it has an automatic yeast dispenser and makes large loaves. We would absolutely suggest you take a look at it if you will be shopping for a bread machine.
We’re big fans of fellow Canadian company Instant Pot, who design and manufacture a line of electric pressure cookers. Last year they released a new pressure cooker called the Instant Pot IP-DUO60 and we purchased one. Pressure cookers help us cook a variety of foods such as rice, chick peas, and lentils. Today we’re going to introduce you to the Instant Pot IP-DUO60 and tell you why we love using it.
Instant Pot has dominated the electric pressure cooker market for a number of years. Their pressure cookers are designed by Canadians specifically for North American consumers. In 2014, they released the Instant Pot IP-DUO60 which is the 3rd generation of their pressure cooker. Today’s model features the largest pot size ever, more cooking features, and integration with technology such as an iPhone app that allows you to program and monitor cooking. An Android app will be available in March 2015. The previous generations had 5-quart capacities but this one has 6-quart capacity.
Many people buy an electric pressure cooker to replace their slow cooker and rice cooker. What’s interesting about the Instant Pot IP-DUO60 is that it has many more functions that warrant the purchase. What we mean is you can make porridge and yogurt with the settings on this machine, which was previously not possible. Compared to old machines, there are two pressure levels that you can choose instead of one. These are just some of the new benefits. We urge you to compare electric pressure cookers to understand in more detail how each generation’s machine has evolved.
We love the Instant Pot IP-DUO60 and in general electric pressure cookers because they’re easy to use. We don’t have to monitor it in comparison to stovetop pressure cookers. This is a huge advantage when cooking for a lot of people. You can use your time to do other things like setting up and preparing ingredients.
The inner pot and lid is made from 18/8 stainless steel that is FDA approved which we like more than nonstick coating that can be dangerous to health when you cook with it too much. This is an expensive material that is more rust resistant and of higher quality, so when you buy a used pressure cooker make sure it has the certificate. Some counterfeit items are not unusual.
But here’s a caveat. Given the material that is used to make electric pressure cookers, there’s no way it can achieve 15psi which is the standard pressure level that most recipes require. Instant Pot could definitely make one that hits 15psi, but the materials would cost $300-500 to make, meaning you wouldn’t be able to purchase the cooker at an affordable price. Most people won’t want to purchase one at that price point. So what you have to do if you buy an electric pressure cooker is allow your food more time to cook than if you used the stove.
If you wish to make healthy meals fast, but don’t want to stand in the kitchen all day, you’ll want to purchase an Instant Pot. It’s highly versatile and the more you use it, the more you’ll discover the many things you can make with it. If you live in the UK or Europe, there’s a 220~240v version too. Unfortunately, it’s still not yet available for Australia, Asia, and other countries.
You can find more information about the Instant Pot IP-DUO60 at Cook With Pressure (update: the website seems to be down), a blog started by chefs to help foodies find the best pressure cooker and to show how to use them. Have you used a pressure cooker before?