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What’s the best bread machine to buy?

The one thing Tollgate likes to make most with fresh ingredients is bread. We would get fresh fruits and organic nuts quite often so there is nothing better to make than fresh bread. Nowadays it’s easier than ever to make your own bread at home with the invention of the bread machine. It used to take a long time to make because you have to prepare the dough and then watch as it bakes. On top of that it would be difficult to control the baking process because the dough and natural conditions (humidity or temperature) are different each time. So with a bread machine the whole process is more precise as it relies on technology. But when buying a bread machine, there are many brands to choose from. How do you know which one is the best?

Thanks to the Bread Machine Pros who have done a comprehensive bread maker comparison we were able to select a couple of the top models which we will talk about below.

Zojirushi BB-PAC20

Though difficult to pronounce, the Zojirushi brand is the godfather of bread machines. It is a Japanese word meaning “elephant mark” which suits its products really well because they’re the massive leaders in home appliances. The Zojirushi BB-PAC20 has a 120 volt power source which is powerful enough to bake all sorts of breads. It is able to make wheat bread, French bread, fruit bread, nut bread, marble bread, you name it. The capacity of the machine is a 2-pound loaf. You can adjust the color of the crust to either light, medium or dark. It’s a very versatile machine that comes with an easy-to-use LCD control panel. The best part about the bread machine that others don’t have is a heater on the top of the lid. Since most machines don’t have this, those breads typically get cooked without even browning at the top. So this is a great feature.

Features:

  • An extra heater on the lid that allows for even baking
  • Unique “Home Made Menu” function has 3 memory settings
  • It only takes 2 hours to bake bread under the quick cycle
  • Comes with easy-to-follow manual, instructional DVD, and booklet with recipes
  • You can set up the machine to bake up to 13 hours later with the timer
  • Menu settings include: basic bread, wheat bread, gluten free bread, sourdough starter, dough, jam, cake, quick bread and the 3 “home made menu” settings

Panasonic SD-YD250

Another bread machine rated well is the Panasonic SD-YD250 which features a powerful 550-watt power supply. Despite its size it can make 3 different loaf sizes of up to 2.5 pounds. This bread machine epitomizes what you would expect from 21st century Japanese innovation. It offers a simple to use digital control menu that you can program to make white bread, whole wheat bread, multigrain bread, French bread, fruit bread, and more. Like the previous machine, this one has highly customizable crust settings too. The cool thing that makes this machine great is the ability to add fruit and nuts at a later stage so that they won’t get crushed during kneading. The machine will beep to notify you when it’s time to add them. Other things you can do with the Panasonic SD-YD250 machine is make dough for pizza, focaccia, croissants, and other pastries.

Features:

  • Easily bake bread or make dough for other items
  • Highly customizable options at the push of a button on the LCD panel
  • Choose to bake bread in 3 different sizes and 3 different shades of crusts
  • A convenient yeast dispenser to add yeast at the optimal time
  • Get professional results each and every time

Other machines that are great picks are the Breville BBM800XL and the Cuisinart CBK-100. They all had impressive features and some even had unique ones. For a complete read of the reviews of the best bread machines and more information about bread making don’t forget to visit www.breadmachinepros.com.

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Benefits of cooking with pressure cookers

There’s a reason why households are buying up pressure cookers. They’re one of the most used appliances in the kitchen because no matter what you’re trying to cook, the pressure cooker is the best tool for the job.

We strongly recommend you reading pressure cooker reviews at www.cookwithpressure.com to find out why, but the Tollgate Tavern’s chefs have come up with a list of benefits of cooking with a pressure cooker.

Time

Because a pressure cooker is designed to seal in any vapor by being air tight, heat accumulates inside the cooker and it does so very quickly. When the inside temperature is able to reach scorching temperatures, food will cook more rapidly. For busy professionals and parents, that means they can whip up a nutritious, homemade dinner in a jiffy. When you lock in heat, pressure builds up which is why these cookers are called pressure cookers. You will get a higher boiling point which cannot be achieved if the lid wasn’t closed shut like many other pots. So if you want to save time, then getting a pressure cooker is the best choice for this need.

Retains nutrition

It’s not rocket science that the longer you cook your foods, the more nutrition it loses. This has led scientists to urge you to eat raw vegetables whenever you can instead of cooking them. To a certain extent, most people even urge you to eat raw meats and eggs as long as they’re fresh. Well with the pressure cooker, you don’t have to eat raw food to get the nutrition. That’s because pressure cookers cook food fast and thus are able to retain more ingredients than from regular cooking methods. Most of the time, if you use regular methods, the ingredients end up in the pot and not in your food.

Save energy

Owners of pressure cookers have raved over how much they save on energy bills. If you use a pressure cooker, it will use up to 50% less energy than an electric or gas stove and up to 70% less energy than a traditional oven. This is good for the environment and good for your wallet. Not to mention that food that cooks in a pressure cooker is normally much more tastier than the same food cooked on the stove or inside an oven. The reason is because the tight environment allows for a more concentrated flavor.

Easy to clean and use

Contrary to common belief, pressure cookers are not difficult to use at all. They may require a bit of a learning curve at the beginning but overall, once you get the hang of it it is no problem even for someone who doesn’t cook often. It’s as simple as adding the ingredients to the pot, locking it up, and waiting for it to cook which is never over 10 to 15 minutes on average. Pressure cookers are very durable as they are typically made with aluminum and stainless steel, and this is also the reason why they are very easy to clean. You just have to use a simple solution of soap and warm water and a non-abrasive scrub.

So if you are convinced about all the benefits of using a pressure cooker and are now looking for the best one, Tollgate Tavern recommends checking out the brand called Kuhn Rikon. It’s a Swiss company that makes high quality cookers.

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