Features that are common in many machines to assist with the bread making process may include: 1) A control panel with lighted indicators to display when each step is completed or the current status of each step; 2)Timers to display the amount of minutes remaining for each task; 3)Procedure menus to program the machine for various functions; 4)Stop button to alter or discontinue the current process; 5) Audio indicators such as beepers to alert when various phases of the process have finished or when ingredients and procedures are to be added or begin; 6) Removable bread pans for mixing, rising, resting, and baking tasks; and 7) Viewing windows so the process can be visually inspected at each phase.
When selecting a bread machine, consider the options desired for making the bread at home, such as loaf sizes, operating procedures, machine construction, machine size, and the actual taste of the bread produced by the machine. To have the opportunity to actually taste bread from the machine being considered may require an attempt to locate someone who can provide not only their testimonial for the machine but also a sample loaf to test the flavor. Consider the value of longer cycle times on various machines. Often the longer time required for preparing the bread may mean that the dough can rise more slowly and the bread move through processes that result in a more flavorful and full textured product.