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Bread Maker vs Oven

Bread Maker vs Oven: Which is Better For Baking?

Last Updated on March 23, 2024 by Lori Walker

Crafting homemade bread is a pleasurable pastime that fills your kitchen with alluring aromas. Yet, the choice between utilizing a bread maker or an oven can be a challenging dilemma.

As someone who loves baking, I stand ready to guide you in the intriguing debate of bread maker vs oven.

Let’s dive into this oven debate and discover which option is best for you.

Oven & Bread Maker Main Differences

Making Bread on a Bread Maker

Many make bread at home to save money, and a bread maker is designed to be a convenient alternative to oven baking because it cuts out the hassle and time.

Baking bread in the oven is time-consuming, so a bread maker helps skip all the labor-intensive processes.

Regarding productivity, oven baking gets the upper hand because you can make more than one loaf in the oven.

Another thing that stirs up the debate is the failproof baking process of a bread machine and the rewarding feeling of making bread in the oven.

Also, I noticed that the homemade bread machine bread has a heavier texture while the fresh bread from the oven is lighter.

Quick Overview

FactorBread MakerProduces consistently good quality bread with the desired texture
Material QualityUsually made of durable materials like stainless steelVariety of options available, ranging from basic to high-end models
AffordabilityWide range of prices available, suitable for different budgetsInitial cost of oven may be higher, but offers long-term value
Overall Cooking PerformanceConsistent and even heat distribution for reliable resultsRequires proper temperature control and timing for optimal baking
SelectionsPre-set programs for different bread types and recipesVersatile for baking bread as well as other cooking purposes
ConvenienceAutomated process with different settings, preset programs, and timer featuresManual process requiring temperature adjustments and monitoring
QuantityBakes one loaf at a timeBakes multiple loaves at a time
Quality of BreadDependent on the user’s skill and familiarity withDependent on user’s skill and familiarity with

Comparing Their Differences

Baking Time

One of the biggest reasons people are torn between using bread makers vs ovens for baking is the baking time.

The baking time for bread [1] in a bread machine is typically longer than in an oven.

You have to wait two to three hours for a loaf of bread, but you only need to put all the ingredients based on the recipe, press a few buttons, and wait for your fresh bread to be baked.

On the other hand, baking bread in an oven is generally faster but time-consuming and labor-intensive because you must be present for the whole process.

The whole baking process in the oven takes one to two hours, with a baking time of 20 to 30 minutes. But what’s the difference between a Dutch oven and a crock pot?

Texture 

Bread machine bread tends to have a more uniform texture and can be slightly denser due to the limited rising time.

On the other hand, oven-baked bread offers the potential for a lighter and airier texture, thanks to longer rising times and greater control over the process.

Bread Shape & Thickness

One of the typical problems I encounter with the bread machine is that it gives me misshaped loaves.

It’s not a big issue, but I noticed the loaf comes out rounder than a square from the bread pan, plus it comes in one shape only. Also, I find the kneading paddle holes annoying, even if I use a collapsible kneading paddle.

On the other hand, one of the most fulfilling things I love about baking my gluten-free bread in the oven is its beautiful shape and thickness.

Shaping the bread by hand can be a tricky thing, but it gives you the freedom to shape it the way you like- dinner rolls, baguettes, or pleated loaves.

Convenience & Supervision

Baking bread in the bread machine has its own advantages: convenience and supervision. A bread machine is the answer if you are not a skilled baker or have no time for mixing and kneading.

“Cooking is not about convenience, and it’s not about shortcuts.”

– Thomas Keller, Chef 

Bread makers save you from the hassle of bread making and allow you to do more tasks. If you are busy but still want fresh homemade bread every morning, no matter how many loaves, bread makers are for you.

As a home baker, I totally agree with the convenience of the bread machine. However, baking bread in the oven is more rewarding than putting the ingredients in the bread machine and waiting for it.

Baking Capacity

When it comes to bread maker vs oven capacity, baking in the oven gets the upper hand in baking capacity because you can only bake a loaf of bread one at a time in a bread maker.

On the contrary, you can bake multiple loaves at a time in an oven. You can save time baking your own bread in the oven, but since you will do it in a traditional way, expect it to be labor-intensive.

But how does Dave’s Killer bread differ from Ezekiel bread?

Uses & Versatility

An oven is more versatile than a bread maker because you can use the oven for other cooking processes.

You can bake whole wheat bread, white bread, sandwich bread, banana bread, gluten-free bread, and other types of bread in the bread machine.

However, you can bake cakes, pasta, and pizza, and cook different foods in the oven [2], a feature that bread machines cannot do.

Check out the distinction between a Dutch oven and a stockpot here.

Ease of Use & Equipment Functions 

A bread machine is generally easier to use when making bread compared to an oven. With a bread machine, the process is simplified and automated; you don’t have to mix and knead.

All you need to do is measure the flour, yeast, and other ingredients, select the appropriate bread type (whole wheat, gluten-free, etc.), and press a few buttons.

The machine handles the kneading, rising, and baking, requiring minimal intervention. Also, it has a delay timer to have your bread ready whenever needed.

In contrast, using an oven involves more steps- mix, knead [3], monitor, adjust the right temperature, and monitor baking time.

Price Point

A bread machine is cheaper than an oven. However, while ovens may have a higher upfront cost than bread makers, they often provide long-term value and versatility in the kitchen.

“Crusty perfection or automated delight? The battle of bread domains.”

– Leonelli Bakery

Ovens serve various purposes beyond bread baking, while bread makers have a more limited function and are primarily designed for bread making.

Also Read: How Does A Braiser Differ From A Dutch Oven?

Do They Have Similarities?

Image of an Oven

Bread machines and ovens share several similarities in their baking functionality. Both appliances are utilized for baking different types of bread.

They employ heating elements to generate the necessary heat for baking, ensuring even and consistent results.

Bread machines and ovens often feature a timer function, allowing users to set a specific start time or delay the baking process.

Furthermore, customization is possible with both appliances. Bread machines have a dough setting for different bread types, crust darkness, and size options.

In contrast, ovens provide oven temperature control and baking time adjustments to accommodate specific recipes.

Read:

FAQs

Is it cheaper to bake bread in a bread maker or oven?

Baking bread in a bread maker is generally cheaper than using an oven (considering using the same recipes).

Bread makers consume less energy during baking, as they are designed to be energy-efficient and focus on a smaller enclosed space.

But what’s the difference between a Dutch oven and a stainless steel pot?

Does a bread maker make better bread than in the oven?

No, the bread maker does not make better bread than in the oven. Bread baked in the oven (old fashioned) is more delicious, fluffier, and has a better texture.

Also, the machine is a helpful appliance if you have no skills in making bread from scratch [4]. But what are the best countertop ovens for baking a cake?

Can you make dough in the bread maker and bake it in the oven? 

Yes, you can make the dough in a bread maker and then transfer it to an oven for baking. Many bread makers have a dough cycle designed for combining and kneading dough.

Once the bread dough is ready, you can remove it from the bread maker, shape it into the desired form (loaf or rolls), and then transfer it to a preheated oven for baking.

But what are the best commercial ovens for baking bread?

Final Thoughts

Baking your bread in the oven is better than using a bread machine loaf. The taste and texture of the bread are better, and it’s worth taking the time and effort to make bread.

An oven is an excellent investment because it is versatile kitchen equipment for future kitchen endeavors.

However, a bread maker is handy if you are after convenience and don’t have baking skills.

References:

  1. https://www.britannica.com/topic/bread
  2. https://www.nytimes.com/1984/09/12/garden/kitchen-equipment-versatile-toaster-oven.html
  3. https://www.thedailymeal.com/1118384/signs-to-know-your-bread-is-kneaded/
  4. https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/bread-baking-guide/
Lori Walker

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