Bread baking has always fascinated me. Growing up on wonder bread really skews your thinking about what bread can be and what it can taste like. Then going to France and having their croissants or Italy and its fresh baked bread, or even Germany with its hard grainy bread opened my eyes.
I have always been tempted to try making home made bread. I would watch people like Jamie Oliver and even bought his cook book but could never bring myself to try one of his recipes. Then I would watch how they made San Francisco sour dough bread and realized, making good bread is hard.
Induction Range for making bread?
When I replaced my entire kitchen with new counters and new appliances, as you all know, I purchased an induction range. Upon the installation, I looked at the top control panel, and noticed things I always thought would only be professional or super high end stoves.
It is important to realize that appliance makers ranges and stoves for all price ranges. If you want to go super high end and get the semi professional Viking or Wolf, you are able to. I would never have room for those beasts in my kitchen. But in an old place, I went for the low end range as well which cost me very little but comparing to the stove I have now, got me very little.
Induction ranges sit at the top of of most appliance makers ranges and stoves. And besides the electronics that go into it, there are a variety of other factors that make it more expensive. Some of those include things like, hidden heating element, more consistent and accurate heat, but as I found in my Kitchen Aid model, can with a lot of functions bakers and bread makers would want.
First would be convection. If you look at professional ranges most are convection. All a convection oven does is have a fan to make the air move around in the oven. Watch old episodes of Burt Wolf and you will remember how loud the kitchens were because of the convection ovens they had.
Second would be water. Super high end and professional ranges might even have built in misters to spray water in the oven. I found out watching how sour dough bread is made, the moisture is what gives you that nice crunchy crust. And the hack normally is to put a bowl of water underneath the bread while baking. But my model has a water tray that is integrated. So you can add enough water, that in combination with the convection, gives you that mist you want.
Third would be proofing. Depending where you live, you need to find the proper place to proof your bread and let the yeast activate. In old homes in hot weather, they would have a proofing drawer that allowed circulation so it didn’t get to hot. If you live in cold climates, then the oven is the ideal spot. The great thing is there actually a proof function that will keep the oven interior at the ideal temperature for proofing bread.
Finally is the steam bake function. If you are used to working without induction, than steam bake is another great option. When you choose the steam bake options it has four pre-programmed food options including Fish, Refresh/Reheat, dessert and you guessed it, breads.
And because the water reservoir is integrated into the rack, you have more room to bake multiple trays of breads and desserts.
Can you skip the bread machine?
Maybe. If you are tight on space, then having another uni-tasking machine in the kitchen may not be ideal. One thing I found annoying about bread machines is they only seem to have room for a single loaf. So if you want to make croissants you can’t. If you want to make muffins, you can’t. If you want to make baguettes, you can’t
So if all you are looking for is to make a loaf of bread easy, then a bread machine might be a safer bet. But if you want to make different kinds of breads in different shapes, than take a look at an induction range. It may be the way to go.