The bread maker is a helpful machine that makes fresh bread. You no longer have to work hard to get the great smell of fresh bread in your house. However, because it’s so easy to use, we might forget to take care of it. You don’t need to spend a lot of time on maintenance. You can keep your bread maker working for many years with a little effort. The maintenance is easy, but you need to do it regularly. That’s why sometimes we forget to take care of it.
Always read your instruction manual
The first thing to do when using a bread machine is to read the manual. Each bread machine model is different, so follow the instructions provided. Though it might be boring to read the details, it’s better to prevent problems by following them than trying to fix things later.
Bread maker parts
Bread maker parts are the different components of a bread maker machine. These parts include the motor, bread pan, kneading paddle, control panel, heating element, and various sensors. These combined parts make the bread maker machine functional and easy to use. Knowing the different parts allows easy troubleshooting and repair of malfunctioning components.
The engine of the bread machine is what enables it to function correctly, and it is responsible for powering the kneading paddle that expertly mixes and kneads the dough to perfection.
Bread pan (also called Baking, Basket or Bucket pan)
The “bread pan” is where you put the dough, mix it and bake it. It has a kneading blade (paddle), a rotating shaft (spinning stick) that drives the paddle, and a wire handle to lift the pan out of the bread maker. Some bread machines have two paddles, so the bread comes out rectangular, but most are square. You should use silicone utensils on a non-stick surface and wash them by hand. Use an oven glove or tea towel to remove the hot pan when the bread is done.
Kneading blade (also called kneading paddle)
The kneading paddle is responsible for mixing and kneading the dough to create the perfect texture. Some kneading paddles collapse after the kneading cycle but will still leave a hole in the bottom of your bread. The more the paddle sticks, the bigger the hole will be.
The control panel
The control panel allows the user to select different settings, such as the type of bread, crust colour, and baking time.
Users can choose the type of bread they want to make through the control panel, whether it’s white, whole wheat, or gluten-free. Depending on the user’s preference, the crust colour can also be customized to a light, medium, or dark hue. Moreover, the baking time can also be adjusted to ensure the bread is soft and perfectly baked. The control panel paves the way for a personalized baking experience, allowing users to experiment with different recipes and techniques, creating unique and delicious loaves of bread.
The viewing window
A window on a bread maker isn’t needed, but it can be handy to watch your bread bake and check on how it’s doing. If you don’t have a window, you might be tempted to open the lid too soon, lowering the temperature and messing up the bread’s rising.
The heating element
The heating element is crucial in providing heat for baking the bread properly. This heating element creates the perfect temperature to activate the yeast and other ingredients to make a perfectly risen and baked loaf of bread. The bread could not rise or bake without the heating element to its desired texture and flavour. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that the heating element is in good working condition and is properly maintained to ensure optimal use and longevity of the bread maker.
Sensors are added to check the temperature, humidity, and other variables to ensure the bread is baked perfectly.
The cool wall
All the bread makers have insulated outer walls that stop the surfaces from getting too hot during baking. Nonetheless, they get warm – especially ones with a stainless-steel external body.
How to clean the bread maker?
To keep your bread machine running well, clean it after each use by following these steps regularly. The longer you wait to clean it, the harder it will be.
How to clean inside of the bread machine oven
Some people may be tempted to continue baking bread without cleaning the machine. If you don’t clean your bread machine, leftover breadcrumbs could mix with your new dough and affect the quality of your bread. These bits will keep getting baked and burnt with every fresh loaf, making it difficult to remove them. This can affect your machine’s performance and give your bread a burnt smell. To avoid this, remove all the leftover bits of dough and flour before using your machine again. After baking, unplug the machine, take out the baking pan, and let it cool.
Make sure the machine is unplugged.
Check the bottom of your bread machine. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove the crumbs and leftover flour carefully. Then, wipe away any remaining debris with a paper towel or slightly damp non-abrasive cleaning cloth. You can also use a small paintbrush or pastry brush to gently sweep the crumbs out of the machine.
Be gentle around the heating element. And NEVER use water for this task.
How to clean the heating element
Keep the heating element inside your bread maker clean. It is a critical appliance part that can cause a fire if it gets dirty or has bread dough sticking to it. Make sure to avoid getting dirt or crumbs on the heating element. If you see bread dough on the element while baking, turn off the bread maker, open the lid, allow the dough to dry, and carefully remove it.
NEVER use detergent to clean your bread maker because its heating element is fragile. Use a damp sponge or microfiber cloth, but ensure you wring it dry first. Wipe the sponge or cloth gently along the entire length of the heating element until it’s clean.
Be careful not to bend the heating element.
Do NOT pour water into the oven because it can damage the heating element. It’s essential to keep the gears of your bread machine dry..
How to remove the moisture if liquid spills inside your bread machine
Use a microfiber cloth, to remove the moisture if liquid spills inside your bread machine. Rinse the cloth well, and add mild dish detergent and warm water. Wring out the cloth so it’s almost dry, then wipe the area where the liquid spilled. Do this multiple times until there’s no more moisture on the heating element.
How to remove moist dough from the lid or sides of your bread machine
If your bread rises too high and gets stuck to the top or sides of the bread machine, don’t panic. Remove the pan and leave your machine open. Let the dough dry, and then try to remove it. If some are still stuck, put a damp piece of paper towel or microfiber cloth on top of the stuck dough. Once it softens, you can wipe it away gently. You can clean the glass top with glass cleaner and a non-abrasive cloth. NEVER use bleach or harsh chemicals. Just use soap and water to clean it.
Be careful not to scratch the inside of the machine while cleaning.
How to clean the bread pan
The bread pan and kneading blade usually have a non-stick surface, which makes cleaning easier, but you still need to take care of them. You might scratch the non-stick surface with metal utensils, so use soft silicone tools instead. Let it soak for ten to twenty minutes, but do NOT let it sit and soak for over 30 minutes, as it could damage the non-stick coating and lead to rust. If you need to clean the bread pan, use a damp cloth, sponge, or plastic scrubber with mild dish detergent. NEVER use anything abrasive, like steel wool, as it will damage the non-stick coating. If you find a loaf sticking to the pan, let it soak in warm, soapy water. Remove the kneading blade when cleaning. Some baked bread can accumulate beneath it, which could affect the efficiency of the bread maker.
- Don’t use non-stick cooking spray to take care of your non-stick pan. If you do, it can make your pan sticky and hard to clean.
- Also, you should not put your bread pan in the dishwasher or immerse it in water. Instead, fill it with warm water and soap for up to 30 minutes before cleaning.
- Don’t use anything abrasive to clean the pan, as it can damage the non-stick coating and cause it to deteriorate.
- Use a silicone spatula and clean the pan with a warm, wet cloth.
- If you scratch the pan, it may deteriorate; if it flakes off, you should replace it.
How to care for the kneading blade
The bread machine kneading blade is what kneads the dough. It’s essential to take good care of it. You should clean the blade and the spindles after every loaf you make. Most machines let you take out the kneading blade. You can clean it easily because it has a non-stick coating. Sometimes the blade gets stuck in the bread or at the bottom of the pan. It’s better if it comes off in the loaf because you can remove it quickly and clean it by hand. If it does get stuck, don’t use vegetable oil on the spindle. Instead, soak the pan in hot water for 30 minutes and try to remove the blade carefully. Clean any dough from under the blade so it works properly. You can use a toothpick or pipe cleaner to remove tiny bits of bread and wash it with warm, soapy water.
Be careful not to damage the blade.
How to clean the bread machine body
Use a wet cloth to clean the outside of the machine. You don’t need to worry if the colour of the bread machine changes because it’s normal due to steam and moisture, and it won’t affect the machine’s performance.
- To clean your bread maker, ensure it is unplugged in and has cooled down.
- NEVER pour water into the bread maker; it can damage the machine’s circuitry. Instead, only put liquid in the bread pan.
- NEVER put the bread pan in the dishwasher or soak it in water, as it can damage the machine’s non-stick surface. Clean the pan with mild dish soap and dry it well.
- Do NOT soak the parts of the bread maker for more than 30 minutes, or they may rust and corrode.
- NEVER use metal utensils, abrasive cleaners, or harsh chemicals when cleaning the machine. These can scratch and damage it. Use only a mild, non-abrasive cleaner when cleaning the bread maker.
After cleaning, let it dry completely
Ensure your pan and kneading blades are fully dry before putting them back in the bread maker, and leave the machine open to dry completely. Taking care to dry all parts is very important to avoid rust. Rust can cause problems with the mechanics of the machine and is challenging to manage in this warm and moist environment. By allowing everything to dry completely, you can help extend the life of your bread maker.
Storing your bread machine
To keep your bread machine safe and clean:
- Ensure it’s dry before storing it.
- Put all the parts together so it’s ready to use next time.
- Store it in a cool, dry place with the lid closed. Keeping it in a cabinet, cupboard, or pantry will keep your counters neat and ensure increased protection.
- Don’t put anything heavy on top of it.
I hope my easy tips will give you the confidence to step into the kitchen and prepare delicious meals to eat with a handful of close friends.
Have you made a Fast2eat Recipe? I love seeing your take on my recipe!