Who doesn’t love fresh bread?
Bread machines are growing in popularity at an astounding rate, and they are an excellent way to make delicious and nutritious loaves of bread.
A quick Internet search will reveal that there are dozens, if not hundreds, of different, top-rated bread maker models to choose from, so how do you know what bread machine to buy for your household?
Our website is committed to providing our readers with unbiased and comprehensive reviews on the market’s most popular bread machine models – all in one centralized location! Not all bread makers are created equal, and price does not always equate to quality. Just a few of the criteria we have touched on in our reviews include price, cooking options, weight, LCD options, and manufacturers’ warranties.
In our buying guide, we will cover what to look for when purchasing a bread maker machine, along with some helpful tips on what you should pay attention as well. After reading this guide, you will be well-equipped to make an informed purchasing decision.
|Model||Our Review||Loaf Size||Our Rating||Price|
|Oster Express Bake (Editors Choice)||Coming Soon||2 Pound||4.5/5||See Today's Price>|
|Cuisinart CBK-100||Read More||2 Pound||4.3/5||See Today's Price|
|Hamilton Beach HomeBaker||Coming Soon||1.5 Pound||4.6/5||See Today's Price|
|Panasonic SD-YD250||Read More||2.5 Pound||4.2/5||See Today's Price|
|Zojirushi BB-PAC20||Read More||2 Pound||4.9/5||See Today's Price|
What is the right bread machine to buy? This is a commonly asked question, but the answer is a little more complicated than simply pointing you towards one or two models. Before buying a new bread machine, it is important to determine which model will best suit your personal needs and those of your family. It is helpful to begin by deciding what specific features you would like your bread machine to have. From there, you can narrow down the available brands and models based on the criteria you’ve selected.
An important part of searching for a bread maker is to read, read, read reviews! Don’t just read the professional reviews. You should also pay attention to the reviews written by consumers, so you can learn what types of experiences others have had with a model you are interested in buying.
Just like the name indicates, a bread machine is a kitchen appliance that is designed specifically for making bread. Modern models consist of a bread pan (often referred to as “the tin”) at the bottom of the appliance that has one or more paddles mounted in the center. Inside the unit is a small oven, which bakes the bread. This oven is controlled using a digital display/control panel and a built-in computer.
Most modern bread makers offer multiple cycles for baking different type of breads, like white, whole grain, and even pizza dough. Pre-set timers enable the machine to operate without frequent monitoring, and higher end models allow for the creation of customized cycles.
What are some of the key points you should look for when you are searching for the best bread maker? The first thing that most consumers consider is color or design; however, bread machines have specific features, which are unique to them, that should be taken into consideration. Here is a list of the most common features you should be familiar with:
1. Loaf Size. Today’s bread machines can make loaves ranging from one to three pounds in weight. However, it is good to keep in mind that machine baked bread should be consumed within 48 hours of baking. By way of comparison, most store-bought bread will remain fresh for up to a week. You should purchase a bread machine that will provide you with enough bread for two days.
2. Loaf Shape. What type of shape would you prefer for your loaf of bread to have? Do you prefer a traditional, rectangular shaped loaf of bread, or would a round loaf suffice? Does it matter if your loaf of bread is longer vertically or horizontally? The best home bread maker is capable of making a variety of different bread shapes, so you’ll need to consider which option is right for you.
3. Bread Pan. Bread makers usually feature a removable pan that has a pair of kneading blades. Although removable bread pans are now common, there are still models available that have fixed bread pans. Ideally, you should choose a bread machine with the removable option, otherwise cleaning the pan will be difficult. Likewise, the bread pan of the model you purchase should be covered with a nonstick coating, which ensures that the bread will not stick to the pan while it is being kneaded.
4. Keep Warm Function. This is a feature that most buyers don’t consider before purchasing a new bread machine, but it is, nonetheless, an important one. This feature may be offered in addition to, or instead of, a delayed start option. Choosing a bread machine with a keep warm function will ensure that your bread remains fresh and warm if you are unable to enjoy it immediately after it finishes baking.
5. Viewing Window. Most people like to occasionally peek in on their bread as it bakes to monitor its progress; however, repeatedly opening and closing the lid of a bread maker interferes with its ability to do its job properly. By choosing a bread maker with a viewing window, periodic progress checks can be made without disturbing the bread.
6. The Warranty. Last, but not least, the manufacturer’s warranty is often a sign of how much confidence the manufacturer has in the product they’ve made. Although one to two year warranties are the industry standard, some higher end brands offer three to five year warranties. Look for a comprehensive warranty that guards against defects in the craftsmanship and parts used.
Bread makers are complex appliances that are available with a variety of different features. As mentioned, deciding in advance what features you would like for your bread baker to have will streamline the buying process.
Of course, the most obvious benefit of owning a bread machine is that you will always have fresh bread in your home. Most of these appliances boast a timer function that allows you to program the specific time you would like for your bread to bake. This is particularly useful if you wish to prepare your ingredients in advance and allow the machine to do all the work while you focus your time and energy elsewhere. Beyond the obvious, though, what other benefits does owning a bread machine have to offer?
1. You can control the ingredients that are used in the bread. This is particularly important for people who have multiple food allergies or who are gluten intolerant. By baking your own bread, you will know exactly what ingredients are being used. You’ll also have the option of experimenting with new creations and adding different ingredients, like dried fruit or nuts.
2. It involves a minimal amount of clean up. A lot of would be chefs avoid baking because of the mess it creates. From the kneading of the dough to the actual baking - the best bread machines take care of all it for you. There’s no mess to contend with. As we mentioned earlier, bread machines have removable pans, which can easily be cleaned in the dishwasher.
3. You can save a considerable amount of money. Bread in and of itself is not expensive to buy, but the cost can quickly add up – especially if you are feeding a large family. If you must buy specialty breads because of dietary restrictions, the cost goes up even more. Although a bread machine might initially seem like an expensive investment, most are affordable when you consider what they are capable of doing. In addition to making bread loaves, modern bread makers can make gluten free options, pasta dough, pizza dough, and more. In the long run, you’re going to save a considerable amount of money making your own bread. Just make sure to buy your preferred brand of flour in bulk, and watch your bread costs start dropping.
4. Bread machines are simple to use. Even if you’re the type of chef who shouldn’t be allowed in the kitchen unsupervised, it’s no problem. Bread machines are specifically designed to create perfect loaves of delectable bread each and every time. If you follow the recipes that are included in the appliance’s owner’s manual, you are guaranteed to be baking delicious bread in no time.
5. The quality and taste is unbeatable. There are few things that can beat the taste of fresh bread. Since you are in control of what ingredients are added to your bread, you can expect the end result to be superior to anything you could buy in the store. An added bonus is that there are no preservatives, processed sugar, or other artificial ingredients added to your bread – making it more wholesome and nutritious!
These are just a handful of the benefits you’ll enjoy when you own a bread machine. Everyone has their own reasons for purchasing one, but if you enjoy eating bread, we’re sure you’ll enjoy owning one of these machines.
You've done your research to find the best bread machine for your kitchen, now how does it work?
In the past, baking fresh bread has been a labor intensive and time consuming process involving five different stages: mixing, kneading, rising, proving, and baking. A bread machine does all of this for you, plus more! Learning how to use a bread maker is simple as well. A bread maker is a compact, self-contained oven that boasts a single, generously sized bread tin. The bread tin has an affixed axle that connects to the bread machine’s electric motor underneath it, and inside of the bread tin, a small paddle attaches to the axle.
In order to use your bread machine, your first step is to measure your ingredients and add them into the bread tin. Next, you place the tin inside of your bread machine, and then use the appliance’s digital control panel to select the desired program. Finally, you close the lid and wait. It really is that simple!
If your bread maker has a viewing window, you’ll be able to watch it as it works. Inside the appliance, the paddle will begin to spin as it kneads the dough. The motor often produces a whirring noise as it operates. During the rising phase, the bread maker will go quiet. Eventually, you will hear the motor start up again as the machine kneads the dough once more during the proving phase. During the last phase, the baking phase, the electric oven will turn itself on. More than likely, you will start to see steam rising from the unit’s exhaust vent. Finally, you’ll begin to smell the delicious odor of fresh baked bread wafting through your kitchen.
Using a bread machine to make simple loaves of bread is a fairly straightforward process; however, your owner’s manual should contain suggestions and recipes for how to work with more advanced dough types.
The overall cost of a bread machine will be affected by several factors. For example, the baking capacity (e.g. does it make 1 pound, 1.5 pound, 2 pound, or 2.5 pound loaves?) will affect the price. Likewise, a simple, straightforward model that only bakes loaves of bread will be significantly less than expensive than a model that makes dough, bread, pizza crusts, and so forth. The number of extra bells and whistles, like the number of programmable cycles the appliance has or a viewing window or carrying handle, will also affect its price. If you are new to baking, a cheap (but still good quality) model will run you around $50-60. If you are thinking about buying a top of the line bread machine you can find with lots of features, a great warranty and superb looks you will probably spend around $350.
Rather than focusing on the price alone, it is helpful to think of it in terms of economy. Consider the following facts when searching for a bread machine:
Within a year, your bread machine will have repaid its cost several times over. Plus, there is the added bonus that freshly baked bread just tastes better than anything you could purchase in the store!
The bread maker vs. oven topic can often be heated. While most consumers love the taste of homemade bread, there are a handful who do not like the texture of bread baked in a bread machine, and for this reason, they often overlook the convenience that a bread maker has to offer. There are others who simply prefer to be more hands on during the baking process than a bread machine would allow them to be. For still others, making bread by hand and baking it in a traditional oven offers an enjoyable nostalgic factor than a bread machine cannot duplicate.
Most often, your decision in the bread machine vs. oven debate will come down to personal preference; however, a bread machine offers a few advantages that an oven cannot, including:
Finally, there are few better feelings than coming home from a long day at work to the smell of freshly baked bread wafting through your house.
We sincerely hope this guide will help you in your quest to find the best bread machine for your home. It’s not meant to be exhaustive, but simply an introduction into all that bread machines have to offer. We’ve purposefully avoided offering specific bread maker reviews because we think it is important for you to understand its features, so you can make your own informed buying decision. Happy baking!