There are few things more rewarding than slaving away all morning – mixing, kneading, proving and baking – to finally create the perfect golden loaf. Mastering how to make bread really is a work of art, and unfortunately, not all of us have the luxury of spending hours in the kitchen perfecting each step of the process.
Lucky for us, a little help from your trusty bread machine takes out all of the hard work out of the task. Once the bread machine starts doing its thing, you can just walk away, get on with your day and come back to freshly baked bread with zero effort on your part. That’s the dream, right?
But what happens if you have delayed your bread maker but you are running late at work, or you fancy a lie in on a Saturday morning and your bread has to sit in the bread machine long after it’s been baked? Or what if you are just a bread machine novice, still learning the tricks of the trade and you simply want to know, ”Can I leave bread in the bread machine? Can I store a loaf in the bread machine? Will it go soggy or hard if I leave it for a while?”
These are all questions that we all had at one time or another. So today, our team of baking buffs have decided to answer some common questions about leaving bread in the bread maker. Take a read!
Will my bread keep cooking and go hard?
You might question whether your bread will continue to cook if you leave the bread in the bread machine.
All bread machines will beep to let you know that the bake cycle has ended. At this stage, your bread machine will stop baking the bread and automatically turn off. As tempting as it might be to dig into the fresh, hot bread straight out of the bread pan (we’ve all done it), it’s best to let it cool down on a cooling rack before cutting into it.
If you can’t take it out of the bread pan straight after the bake cycle, your bread machine will go into heating or warm mode. This will continue to keep your bread warm for a certain period of time, usually for about an hour. So you don’t need to worry about your bread being over baked. What can happen though, is that you might get a thicker, harder crust at the bottom of your loaf if you leave it in the bread machine for an extended period of time.
Will the crust become soft and soggy?
Leaving your bread in the bread machine after it has baked can sometimes result in a soft and soggy upper crust. The longer your bread is left in the machine, condensation will start to form as the bread machine cools down, which will start to deteriorate the quality of the crust. Even leaving your bread in the bread machine for 15 minutes to keep warm, will significantly alter your bread. So leaving it for the full hour to stay warm will definitely result in a soggier bread. You will be able to tell if your bread has been left in the bread maker for too long as the crust will start to wrinkle at the top due to the condensation.
If you want to have fresh, good quality bread, the best thing to do is take it out of the pan when it’s finished baking. This will guarantee that your bread will stay soft, moist with a nice crispy crust all over.
But, if it happens that the bread has stayed in the bread machine for a bit longer than it should, there is no need to worry. You will still have nice freshly baked bread to enjoy!