We just can’t resist the fresh aroma from a bakery. That’s the craving of mouth-watering, fresh bread. Now you can get that aroma to your kitchen as you can bake your delightful bread with a bread maker. Even better, you don’t have to go to store to buy bread and you can always get quality and healthy bread with no added preservatives.
No matter what time of day it is, you can always get fresh bread. You can enjoy the healthy and delightful loaf to start your day or get some slices with milk when you get back from work. From wholegrain raisin toast to banana bread for kids, you can try out different recipes with the best bread maker.
These machines were nothing but a piece of luxury a few years ago, and found only in bakeries and high-end outlets. Now, bread maker is a perfect staple to make different kinds, sizes, and shapes of breads. You can get your favorite bread makers in different predefined settings to make various recipes. You may even add ingredients like nuts and fruit cheese to bake the bread just the way you want.
You may pick the Best Bread Machine for small family and bachelors or even or large family. If you have health concerns, you can even make whole-wheat or gluten-free recipes and horizontal bread. Along with bread, you can also make delicious dough for cookies, pizza, cakes etc. and jam.
Types of Bread Makers
Usually, bread makers include built-in paddles, bread pan, and oven. There are different types of bread makers according to shape, size and shape of bread you want to make. Some bread makers are also made for different purposes.
Based on Size
- Small Bread Makers – These bread makers are best for couples, bachelors, and small families, and in kitchens with low space. Usually, they can bake loaves of up to 1 to 1.5 lbs.
- Large Bread Makers – They are designed to serve large families as they can bake up to 1 lb. to 3 lbs of loaves. For example, 2.5 lbs of loaf can make bread for up to 4 to 6 people.
- Vertical – These are most common types of bread makers. They can bake vertical loaves and yield round slices. These loaves can save a lot of space.
- Horizontal – These make usually horizontal loaves just like the ones made in bakeries. As a result, you will get bread with very amazing and traditional feel. You can easily make bread for making toast and sandwiches.
- Gluten-free bread makers – These types of bread makers are dedicated for making gluten-free breads. You don’t have to find out the right baking cycle.
Buyer’s Guide – What to Look For?
To transform your kitchen into a dedicated bakery, you need to choose the best bread maker machine and there is no lack of options. From baking choices and weight to ease of use and price, there is no dearth of choices. In this buyer’s guide, we will consider different factors to make an informed decision.
Here, you need to consider the amount of space you have and bread you need. Keep in mind that you won’t get any preservatives in your homemade fresh bread. So, aim to make dough for just 1 day or two. If you store your bread for longer, it will be spoiled. Consider the need of your family before making it.
You can make loaves in different sizes, i.e. from 1lb. to 3 lbs. You can get different size options to make different types of loaves for various occasions. You can also try different bread recipes. 1.5 pounds of loaf is enough for two to three people. Consider the space and size of bread maker. Be sure to have enough space for large space.
To learn some amount of program ability, you need to spend some time with a bread maker. For example, you can choose from dark or light options for crust control. Sometimes you need to knead dough, not bake (like making dough for pizza) or sometimes you need to bake dough, not kneading. It includes pre-defined settings for various types of bread.
Some controls are pre-programmed as per the needs for different recipes, by considering the type of flour used and to adjust the time for baking, kneading, and proofing.
You can also find setting to make special kind of bread, i.e. gluten-free or whole-wheat to French, artisan, or sweet bread. Some machines also have settings to make anything from dough for pasta to homemade mixed-fruit jam.
You can also program your own settings in some machines. You can make bread with nuts and dried fruits. Some bread makers also have indicator lights to notify you once they are ready. Some also add ingredients from trap doors.
You can also schedule timer for up to 20 hours so you can easily plan the baking process. For example, add ingredients just before sleeping and set it to bake at 3am. You will get your bread early morning or when you get back from work to well baked bread.
- Shape of Bread
Do you want round or square bread or traditional rectangular loaf? It is up to your choice. Do you want horizontal or vertical bread? Machine should have two blades for kneading to knead and blend ingredients for horizontal loaves.
- Bread pan
Choose a bread maker that comes with detachable bread pan or it will be difficult to cleanup. It should also have non-stick coating to keep the dough from sticking and improper kneading.
Most bread makers make some noise while kneading and mixing dough. It is up to the quality of machine. Don’t compromise with quality as they will make too much noise. Some machines also vibrate and prone to falling from the counter to the floor. Choose quality machines which are quiet and made of durable materials.
- Kneading Paddles
Some machines have several kneading paddles for better kneading. Some bread makers come with paddle for pasta and dough. Some also have spare paddles. See if you can remove the paddle before baking cycle.
Price of the bread maker literally depends on the number of programs and features. So, you will get what you pay for. Basically, the price of bread makers varies from $55 to $350.
Best Buy Bread Maker Reviews For 2018
1. Hamilton Beach 29882 2-Pound Programmable Bread Machine
With Hamilton Beach 29882 bread maker, you can make anything from white, sourdough, whole-wheat, French, or country bread, or even jam. No matter what your taste is, you can make your delicious breads with this foolproof bread machine. It has whole-grain and gluten-free settings by considering your health concerns. You can use different types of flours to bake healthy breads. You can also make your favorite cakes, pizza dough, jams, croissants, and flat breads.
It is also very convenient and simple to use as it is designed tastefully to make it even easier to make bread. It also has detailed manual with user-friendly instructions, images, baking tips, and custom recipes. Simply add your ingredients, choose cycle, and press start.
- Convenient and easy to use
- Includes extra paddle
- Carrying handle in baking pan to remove bread
- Prevents scratches with rubber feet on counter top
- Dishwasher safe kneading paddle and bread pan
- Bread has thicker toast and smaller loaf in express mode
2. T-fal PF311E ActiBread Programmable Bread Machine
Now you no longer need to compromise quality for taste thanks to T-fal ActiBread Programming bread machine that comes with gluten-free settings, stainless steel housing, LCD display, and non-stick coating.
It has three gluten-free programs as well as recipes to make delightful gluten-free bread. It is very handy and convenient machine with 2-pound of capacity. It keeps your bread warm for up to 1 hour after program finishes. It also has delay timer for up to 15 hours. Just add ingredients, program and delay start and enjoy your delicious, aromatic, warm bread anytime.
- 15 programmable settings for gluten free sweet bread, whole wheat bread, gluten-free cake, salt-free, dough, French bread, and even more
- Delay the baking for up to 15 hours
- Made of stainless steel to fit any home décor
- Non-stick inner pan
- Not easy to clean
- Handle is prone to break
3. Sunbeam 5891 2 Pound Programmable Breadmaker
Make delicious bakery-worthy artisan bread at the comfort of your home within just one hour. Sunbeam offers this programmable bread maker to make your favorite whole-wheat sandwich bread, cinnamon-raisin bread, or buttery rolls for dinner with ease. It comes with large LCD display on control panel which indicates desired settings and shows process in each stage. It has large viewing glass window to keep an eye without opening the lid.
You can also delay the timer up to 13 hours for baking so you will wake up to well-baked bread or come back to a fresh aroma of loaf at the end.
- Programmable bread maker to bake variety of breads at home
- Non-stick baking pan is removable
- Delay baking time up to 13 hours
- Not metal utensil safe for baking pan
- Not dishwasher safe
4. Oster CKSTBRTW20 2-Pound Expressbake Bread Machine
This Express bake Bread Maker from Oster is the best-selling bread machine on Amazon for a reason. It comes with capacity of 2 pounds which can be made within an hour thanks to its EXPRESSBAKE cycle. You can also customize your bake schedule up to 13 hours.
It has clear LCD display and 9 bread settings with 3 crust settings as well. You can easily make your favorite sweet bread, whole-wheat, French, and gluten-free recipes.
- User friendly
- Keeps the bread warm for hours after baking
- Prepares well-baked bread within an hour
- Add other ingredients anytime during the process
- Easy to program delay timer for up to 13 hours
- Bread ends up with a hole due to single-paddle design
5. Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Virtuoso Home Bakery Breadmaker
This home bakery bread maker machine from Zojirushi gives performance like never before. It literally transforms the bread making process with its unique heating element. You can always get well-browned crust and feel like a pro baker. Anyone can get the most of this cutting-edge bread maker as it has a lot of options and menu settings.
All you need to add ingredients, close its lid, and choose from LCD control panel and it will do the rest. You can easily bake up to 2 pounds of rectangular loaves to perfection. With 10 settings, it has light, medium and dark crust shades. You can easily set the timer up to 13 hours to get the freshly baked bread when you wake up or come back from work. For proper dough kneading, it has two blades. In addition, it includes start/reset button, large viewing window, indicator light, and non-stick removable pan for easy cleanup.
- Bake variety of pizza dough, meatloaf, strawberry jam, whole wheat bread, cake and even more with its 10 pre-programmed settings
- Large viewing window to sneak at the baking process
- Inner cooking pan is easy to handle and remove
- Manual is not clear
- Unable to handle whole wheat
6. Cuisinart CBK-100 2 LB Bread Maker
Freshly baked bread can literally add warm feeling to your home. Cuisinart CBK-100 is an automatic and programmable bread maker which just needs ingredients and time from your side to take care of the rest. It also includes lots of bread, jams, and pastry recipes. It is a lot more than just a bread maker.
It also has power backup system for added safety, something which makes it stand out of the rest. In case of power outage, it stores the bread making cycle in its memory and resumes when supply is available. It can store memory of up to 15 minutes. It has dishwasher safe attachments like spoon, cup, paddle and pan. It has removable lid for easy cleanup with damp and clean cloth.
- Dishwasher safe attachments
- Different menu options for making different types of bread
- Power backup system to store making cycle of around 15 minutes
- Not suitable for whole wheat and gluten-free breads
- Manual is not clear for time table
7. Panasonic SD-YD250 Automatic Bread Maker with Yeast Dispenser
Panasonic SD-YD250 is designed strategically to bring the same old taste of homemade, freshly baked bread to your home without stressing out with the tiring manual process of kneading and baking. This cool product can bake the perfect loaf with its pre-programmed settings.
It also includes four baking modes and automatic yeast dispenser so your bread will bake and rise with simply one touch. In addition, non-stick pan is easy to cleanup.
- 550W Bread maker for all sizes of loaves
- Different crust settings
- Nonstick coating on removable bake pan
- Product is not long lasting
- Exterior gets hot
What are the Top Benefits of Having Bread Maker at Home?
A bread maker can improve the quality of life in the following ways –
- Freedom to Make Your Favorite Type of Bread
It’s up to you to make whole-wheat bread, traditional white bread, and even continental or French bread. These machines also include bread recipe books with different baking modes to make your favorite bread. You can try thousands of bread recipes on it. Now you don’t have any limit to what kind of bread you see on the stores.
- Control the quality of bread
Store-bought breads often have added sweeteners, preservatives and flavors and even conditioners for taste. Most of these breads are not safe. For example, some bread is made with hydrogenated oil to prolong their shelf life. Trans fats are also harmful to your heart.
Sugar is also a major problem. Some manufacturers use sweeteners to add volume for yeast. It increases LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. They also lead to hormone disruption, weight gain, and diabetes. On the other side, you can use all natural ingredients in your bread maker. You can choose what you want to eat. You can make healthier bread at home.
- Better texture
Instead making bread manually, a bread maker can do everything right, i.e. from recipe to mixing everything.
- Ease of Use
Bread makers are also easy to use. All you need to pour your ingredients, set your desired setting, and hit Start button. Let it do the rest until you hear beep signal that your bread is waiting for you.
- Save More
Consider your bread maker as your investment. Bread has become expensive over the years. You can save your money by making loaves yourself. It is something like how solar panels save on utility bills. As compared to packaged bread, cost of yeast and flour is a lot less.
You really don’t have to stress out on making bread manually because kneading is very time-consuming and tedious. You can automate the whole process and you will get well baked fresh loaf finally.
- An alternative to several appliances
For example, you can easily make cake from the very beginning with its cake setting. In addition, it is also an alternative to oven, hand mixer, and stand mixer. Also check my list for best loaf pan for baking bread.
Bread Maker Usage Instructions
First of all, you should check manual and learn about the settings, features and timer of your machine.
Learn how it works and consider manufacturer’s caution (such as which parts are dishwasher safe, weight limits, and adding ingredients). Be sure to clean your bread maker properly before use.
These machines are automated. You need to add settings and ingredients. Measure all the ingredients properly and set controls. Don’t use ingredients like eggs and milk which are fragile, when setting delayed timer, because bacteria might build up and cause contamination.
Use the type of flour according to your desired result. For example, consider bread or all-purpose flour for high rising bread. Use whole-grain flour for heavy and dense bread.
Use warm and soapy water to wash your bread maker after every process. You may wash kneading paddle or other attachments separately which are removable.
Put water in the pan and let it soak for up to 15 minutes. Wipe it with damp cloth. Make sure the bread maker is dishwasher safe.
Don’t use abrasive materials to clean the inner parts of the machine. It may attract scratches and makes next cleaning process difficult.
Lubricate the shafts of kneading paddles once in 6 months. This way, it will run smoothly and prolong its lifespan. Use oil according to manufacturer’s specifications. Avoid mineral oil or cooking oil or it will damage the system. To apply the oil, turn the pan over, add 1-2 drops on the center of bearings and bolt.
Choose a bread maker which makes right loaf size according to your requirements along with right features. Crust color, delay timer, and ease of use are other important features to look for. Don’t compromise quality when choosing a bread machine.
You should settle for your desired features first before looking for budget-friendly products. Price must be last consideration. Make sure you will get value for money. You can find different products online and compare with the above reviews.