Bread machines are ideal for when you love baking homemade bread but don’t really have the time to do it all yourself. All you need to do is pop the bread ingredients in the bread machine, press a few buttons and in a few hours the whole house smells of freshly baked bread with zero effort on your part.
The bread comes out perfect..or almost perfect… The one thing that a lot of bread machine owners will say they find annoying about their bread machine is the hole the paddle leaves at the bottom of the bread.
If you feel the exact same, you might be wondering when to remove the paddle from the bread machine and if it’s even possible to do so.
Removing the paddles before the bake cycle
It is definitely possible to remove the paddle from the bread machine, you just need to time it well. If your bread machine alerts you between each stage, then removing the paddle is easy. Once the second rise is finished, and before the baking starts, you will have a few minutes before the bread pan starts to get hot. At this time, open your bread machine and carefully lift the dough out. Remove the paddles and pop the dough back in. In a short time you’ll have a perfect looking dough without any holes at the bottom.
You can also take the paddles out of the bread pan just before the second rise. This requires you to closely monitor the rise of the bread so timing is essential. Have a timer handy as this will ensure you take the paddles out at the right time. Most bread machines will show a timeline of each step (this might be in the manual), so with some simple maths, you’ll be able to work out how long the bread will take to rise. If you’ve mastered the timing, take the dough out just before the second rise, pop it on the side and remove the paddles. Reshape the dough to your desired shape and place it back in for the second rise and bake. Again, your bread will come out beautifully baked with no holes underneath.
Baking the bread in your oven
There are also other ways to ensure you don’t get the holes underneath your freshly baked bread made in the bread machine. If it’s a really big issue for you, you can always bake your bread in the oven instead. Let’s be real, kneading bread makes your arms hurt for days and waiting for the bread to rise always feels like forever. Let the bread machine do all the hard work for you! Pop in your bread ingredients in the bread machine and let it knead and rise the dough for you.
Remember to set your bread machine to the dough setting and not on the bake cycle. This way, it will go through all the kneading and proving stages but not the baking stage. Once the second rise is over, take your dough out and place it in a tin. Make sure you have preheated your oven to around 180 degrees C and pop your bread in. This way, you let the bread machine do all the hard work and then let your oven bake your bread to perfection without the hole!
Bread machine with collapsible paddles
If you are the sort of person who delays your bread maker so you have freshly baked bread first thing in the morning or when you get back from work, then you may want to consider getting a bread maker that has collapsible paddles. This way, you won’t get the prominent holes at the bottom of the bread. You just let the bread maker do it’s thing without worrying you need to remove the paddles midway.
With a collapsible paddle, the paddle will go from being upright to falling on its side just before the bread starts baking. The loaf will come out with just an indent mark rather than a hole going through the loaf. There are not that many options out there of bread machines with collapsible paddles, have a look at some that we tried out!
Bear in mind that the paddle might get stuck while it’s collapsing, preventing it from fully collapsing, but most of the time it works well.
The Breadman has not just 1 but 2 collapsible kneading blades. It offers a dual pan baking system, which makes this bread maker quite unique. With the dual bread pan, you can either make two 1 pound loaves or one 2.5 pound loaf.
This bread maker comes with 4 paddles. Two collapsible ones that you use for the big loaf and 2 non-collapsible ones that are placed for the 1 pound loaves. There are also 13 settings to choose from as well as having an automatic fruit and nut dispenser.
Top tip: Paddles sometimes don’t collapse properly and the fruit and nut dispenser is not the best.
This bread maker is an absolute favourite of ours. Aside from being one of the best bread makers out there, it also has a collapsible paddle which, like the Breadman, gives you the perfect finish to your loaf!
This is a durable, modern, stainless steel bread maker with an LCD screen that offers 13 bread settings for you to choose from. It has 4 loaf size options, adjustable time and temperature settings for every stage of the bread making process, as well as a great automatic fruit and nut dispenser.
It might be a bit on the pricer side, but trust us, it’s worth every single penny.
Top tip: It’s quite a bulky machine so might take up quite a bit of space in your kitchen.
Although the Breville is the pricer one out of the two bread makers with collapsible paddles, it’s definitely worth the investment. As well as ensuring your bread has a nice finish without a hole at the bottom, it is also a very durable bread machine that will give you top quality, bakery standard bread each time.
You can remove the paddle from the bread machine yourself and there are many ways to ensure that your bread bakes to perfection without a nasty hole going through the bottom of the bread. But removing the paddles and trying to time it correctly takes a lot of effort, so if you want your bread to bake perfectly every time without having to remove the dough and the paddle in between stages, treat yourself to the Breville BBM800XL and you won’t be disappointed!
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