There is nothing better than coming home to the smell of freshlymixes'>bread mixes can cut down on the prep time, but the bread will still take at least an hour to cook. Before purchasing your bread machine, consider what features are important to have and which models to buy depending on your needs.
* '''Loaf Size and Shape'''
** The first thing to decide when choosing a bread machine is how big you want the loaves to be. If you are baking for just one or two people, a sourdough starter option.
** Machines also have crust control light, dark; soft, chewy, crispy; etc.
* '''Additional Features'''
** Some machines have a meatloaf setting or jam setting.
** There might be an option to add certain ingredients (cheese, fruit, nuts) later in baking.
** Dough setting (for pizza dough etc.).
** Some machines have numerous settings, while others may have only a few. Evaluate your baking plans before deciding what features you need. Don't pay for settings you don't need if you only want a nice loaf to have with dinner, you probably don't need all those features.
* '''Timers and Warming'''
** Some machines can be programmed to start at a particular time.
** Some machines can delay start for several hours. (Don't do this with recipes containing eggs or milk!)
** The "keep warm" feature keeps the bread warm for up to half an hour after baking.
* '''Cleaning Up'''
** Fresh bread is wonderful; cleaning is not. Look for models that offer easily removable parts for cleaning.
See some important essentials below for mixing your bread before placing it in the machine.