Balmuda Inc (Musashino City, Tokyo) announced the “Balmuda the Toaster,” a toaster equipped with a humidifying function.

The Balmuda the Toaster is a new toaster that generates water vapor inside it and finely controls the pattern of temperature change. It can bake both sides of a slice of bread well while keeping enough amount of moisture in it, the company said.

The price of the toaster is ¥22,900 (excluding tax, approx US$184). Balmuda will start to ship it in mid-June 2015.

The toaster has two major features. First, it is equipped with a boiler using a mica heater in the lower front side in addition to a pair of conventional bar-shaped heaters located on each of the upper and lower sides. Second, it controls inside temperature with its own heating patterns.

The user of the toaster supplies 5cc of water through the water supply port located on the top face before baking bread. When it begins operation, it starts to be filled with water vapor by the boiler, forming a thin water layer on the surface of the bread. As a result, the surface of the bread is lightly baked by the upper and lower heaters first, keeping moisture inside it. Then, the bread continues to be heated to warm up the inside. After that, its surface is browned at a high temperature to finish the cooking.

By adjusting the time when steam is generated and the timing of applying electricity to the upper and lower heaters, the toaster can make a toast full of contrast that has a good scent from the surface and enough moisture inside, Balmuda said.

The toaster comes with four heating patterns: (1) the “toast mode,” (2) “cheese toast mode,” (3) “French bread mode” and (4) “croissant mode.” In the toast mode, for example, a slice of bread is baked at a temperature of about 60°C to pregelatinize starch and improve the softness and flavor of the bread and, then, at a temperature of about 160°C to make the surface turn light brown and warm up the inside of the bread. Lastly, the temperature is raised to about 220°C to brown the surface and improve its flavor.

Because the temperature at which a slice of bread can be warmed up and the temperature that can brown its surface differ depending on the kind of the bread and ingredients, the toaster controls the temperature so that the flavor of any kind of bread can be maximally improved, Balmuda said.

In addition to the four modes, the toaster comes with the “classic mode,” in which bread is heated with a constant heater output as in the case of conventional toasters. The output level in the classic mode can be selected from 300, 600 and 1,300W.