A bread maker is a wonderful addition to any home in this day and age. They are highly affordable, easy to use and allow you to wake up every day to the freshest of bread with minimum of hassle. We have tested and reviewed several bread makers to bring you recommendations of the best so that you can craft your perfect loaf at home.
There are many benefits to making your own bread. Firstly, you have complete control over what goes into the loaf, so if you are allergic or intolerant to specific ingredients then you can easily avoid them. There are even bread makers with special gluten-free settings to make it simple for those with conditions such as celiac disease. In the long run, bread makers often work out far cheaper than buying readymade bread, with the average cost of a loaf being around $1.50.
Best of all, the machines are extremely easy to use, just add the ingredients and leave it to do its work. If you are looking to enjoy freshly made bread on a daily basis, then checkout some of our reviews below.
The Zojirushi Virtuoso Plus is widely considered one of, if not the, best home bread maker. It has fifteen different settings including gluten-free and vegan, so it can accommodate a wide range of needs. The settings include two different rapid bake options that will produce white or whole-wheat loaves in just 150 minutes. The machine also has a delayed start timer for up to 13 hours, so you can be sure of having a fresh loaf at just the right time as well as displaying the actual time when the loaf will finish baking (rather than a countdown).
It is certainly more expensive than many other bread makers in the market, but for true bread enthusiasts, it will be worth the investment. It is able to produce standard-sized loaves of a high quality without any issue. The machine itself is very well made and features two kneading blades to create a 9×5 inch loaf. The Virtuoso Plus is known for always producing mouth-watering looking loaves with a good crust and a consistent texture throughout. There are three crust options – from light to dark – and it also allows users to customize many of the settings in order to produce exactly the loaf they desire. For instance, it is possible to adjust kneading, rising and baking times to the minute, and you can then save up to three custom cycles, something that is offered by very few other machines.
The Zojirushi bread makers come with a standard one-year warranty and many users report that they last for at least four or five years. Overall, the Virtuoso Plus is an excellent choice for those looking for a reliable, durable and customizable home bread maker that will create delicious fresh loaves day after day.
The Hamilton Beach bread maker is a far more affordable option than most other bread makers, immediately making it a more attractive machine for newcomers. And due to its many features, it is also a machine used by many experienced bread makers. It can produce 1lb, 1.5lb and 2lb loaves, meaning it is suitable for small and large families, it offers three different crust settings; light, medium and dark, and it has 14 pre-programmed settings, including a gluten-free option.
As the machine’s name suggests, it has a special artisan course, which gives the dough more time to rise and develop flavors and textures, and the dough can then be shaped and baked in a traditional oven to produce bread akin to that found in bakeries. The other programs will allow you to make white bread, whole-grain bread, gluten-free bread, French bread, a quick loaf (which takes less than two hours), sweet breads (those with fruit juices and pieces), and more. You can even use it to make jams with fresh fruit.
The Beach Artisan Dough & Bread Maker is a well-made machine with a durable stainless-steel body. It has easy to use buttons and a large display that is very clear. It features a delay timer, allowing you to add the ingredients and start the baking process at a later time, and the countdown can be seen on the display screen. The machine will also automatically keep the bread warm after cooking if need be, and the bread pan can then be placed in a dishwasher for cleaning. Included with the machine are a measuring cup and spoon, a kneading paddle, and a paddle-removing tool. The latter is very useful to remove the kneading paddle from the bottom of the loaf after baking (this is one of the biggest disadvantages of an automatic bread maker). Overall, it is a very reasonably priced machine that is packed with features, making it excellent value for money.
For a number of reasons, this is one of the bestselling bread makers. It is compact, simple to use, and offers many different functions, making it a highly versatile machine. While the maker may look small, it is still able to produce a 2lb loaf in its vertical bread pan, as well as smaller sizes. The bread maker has 12 pre-programed options and three crust settings, meaning that it can produce a very wide range of different breads. Other features include a 13-hour delay start timer, a 15-minute power failure backup to resume bread making if the power is restored quickly, and a viewing window and interior light to make it easy to monitor the bread making process.
As mentioned, the machine has twelve preprogrammed options, it has three crust options (light, medium or dark), and can produce 1lb, 1.5lb or 2lb loaves. The most basic program is White Bread, but it can also produce French Bread, Whole Wheat Bread, Ultra-Fast Bread (it takes around two hours), Sweet Bread, Gluten Free Bread, Artisan Dough (this mixes and kneads dough, before letting it rest and rise for five hours, and it can then be baked in the over), Dough, Jam, Packaged Mix, Cake (this is for making batter breads), and Bake (this can be used to bake dough that is bought from a shop).
While there are a number of machines that offer similar programs, very few are as easy to use as the Cuisinart CBK110, and that is why this machine is such a great option for beginners. It is not too expensive, it has a wide range of functions, and it has been very well designed, making it truly user-friendly. Anyone looking for his or her first bread maker should give the Cuisinart CBK110 careful consideration.
The Breville BBM800XL came to market in 2014 and to this day, it remains a leader in the field and has some advantages over many more recent machines. To start with, this machine can bake loaves that are up to 2.5-pounds, so it is suitable for a large family (as well as bake loaves as small as 1lb). If you have previously owned a bread maker, then you will be familiar with the fact that the kneading paddle leaves a hole in the loaf when you remove it. However, the BBM800XL avoids this with its collapsible paddle. After the kneading is complete, it collapses into the unit prior to baking to avoid leaving any holes.
The machine takes its name from the customizable programs. There are a number of automatic programs, such as gluten free, yeast free, crusty loaf, dough, and jam. However, there are nine custom settings that can be changed and stored, allowing you to build your own recipes. You can adjust the preheat, knead 1 and 2, rise 1 and 2, punch-downs, bake, and more, so that you can be very demanding with the loaves that you bake.
The other standout feature of the Breville BBM800XL is the automatic fruit and nut dispenser. If you are looking for a machine to bake dessert breads or breakfast loaves, such as raisin bread, then you will need to add certain ingredients in the middle of the kneading process. This machine will add those ingredients automatically at the appropriate time, meaning that you really can leave the machine to do its work. If you are looking for a bread maker that can produce large loaves, is fully automated, and offers a large amount of customization, then the BBM800XL is an excellent choice.
The Cuisinart CBK-200FR stands out from the crowd due to its convection fan that circulates the hot air inside the baking chamber to make the machine more efficient. This can be particularly useful when making gluten free bread as temperature is highly important when trying to achieve consistency throughout the loaf. However, it is not only good for gluten free bread; the CBK-200FR has sixteen preprogrammed options and can be used to make many different types of breads.
The preprogrammed options include White, Rapid White, Whole Wheat, Rapid Whole Wheat, French/Italian, Rapid French/Italian, Quick Bread/Cake, Low Carb, Gluten Free, Dough/Pizza Dough, Artisan Dough, Jam and more. In other words, there is more than likely to be an appropriate setting for the kind of bread that you wish to make. All of these programs incorporate some highly useful features. For instance, they can all be paused for up to 15 minutes if you want to dough to rise for a few minutes longer before the baking cycle starts. The programs also feature a number of audible tones that act as reminders. For example, there is a reminder to add mix-ins near the end of the second kneading cycle and there is a reminder to remove the kneading paddle in order to decrease the hole in the bottom of the loaf.
Other features of the CBK-200FR include a power failure backup. If the power fails, then the bread maker will keep the cycle in its memory for up to 15 minutes. It can produce 1lb, 1.5lb and 2lb loaves and has three crust colors (light, medium and dark). It also comes with a measuring spoon and measuring cup as well as a recipe booklet that contains a few choices for each of the maker’s pre-programmed options so you will not have to research recipes that are suitable for the machine.
If you are looking for a machine that offers a number of pre-programmed options and reliably produces evenly kneaded, risen and baked loaves but you don’t want to spend a large amount, then the T-fal ActiBread is an excellent option. It offers all the features that you may need and enough flexibility to ensure that the vast majority of people will be able to bake exactly the kind of loaf they are aiming for.
There are fifteen pre-programmed options including three for gluten free bread (regular, sweet bread and cake). Other programs include rapid whole wheat bread, whole wheat bread, salt free bread, rapid bread, rapid sweet bread, French bread, sweet bread, bread dough, cake, jam, and pasta. These are the same options as found on many other bread makers, but due to the T-fal ActiBread’s lower price point, it represents great value for money. The bread maker is able to produce three loaf sizes; 1lb, 1.5lb and 2lb, and it has the usual three crust color settings; light, medium and dark. The machine’s lid has a viewing window so that you are able to keep an eye on the process, and there is also a 15-hour delayed program start timer if you just want to put the ingredients in and leave it to work.
The T-fal ActiBread comes with a measuring spoon and cup, a kneading blade removal hook, a kneading blade and a recipe book containing 25 recipes that all work well in the machine. This is not a fancy bread maker, but it is easy to use. Furthermore, it does not use up much space on the kitchen counter and it is very modern looking due to its stainless-steel body and black plastic top. It is a great choice for those looking for a versatile machine without spending a large sum.
There are bread makers that can make loaves that are 2.5lb or more. However, unless you have a large family, you probably do not want to produce loaves of that size on a regular basis. This is where the Cook’s Essentials 1.5lb bread maker can be an excellent solution. It is highly affordable and offers a number of pre-programmed options and other features that make it a great choice for people seeking a simple and efficient machine.
The bread maker has ten preset functions; white bread, rapid cycle, whole wheat, French bread, multi-grain, raisin or nut, sweet, gluten-free, knead and bake. While there are certainly machines with more options, for many people, these ten will be more than enough. It is possible to select crust color from light, medium and dark, while the machine also offers a 15-hour delay time function and a 60-minute keep warm function. This is a relatively small bread maker, its measurements are approximately 11″H x 8″W x 10″D and it weighs roughly 7lbs, 5 oz. This means that it does not require much space and it is very easy to store when not in use.
This is certainly a stripped back machine in many ways, it bakes smaller loaves, has fewer options, and it is physically smaller. However, it reliably produces evenly baked loaves and many people will find that it offers all the features they need. If you are not looking to bake large loaves, then this bread maker is certainly worth considering.
There is a lot to consider when buying a bread maker, especially as they do not come cheap. Be sure to take into account each of the following when choosing a machine.
There is no point in buying a bread maker that leaves you with loaves that are too small for your family or loaves that are so big that you are continually throwing stale bread in the bin. Many bread makers can bake a range of different sized loaves, but check that the maker you are interested in is size appropriate for your need.
Nearly all bread makers offer a number of pre-programmed options and you should check in advance to make sure it offers the ones that are relevant for you. For example, if you will be making gluten free bread then make sure that this is one of the options, some bread makers even have multiple gluten free options. If you are interested in artisan breads and want to make the dough in the machine before baking in your oven, then look for a machine that offers this as an option. Alternatively, if you simply want a bread maker that will quickly produce a standard loaf of bread then look for a bread maker that offers a rapid bake option.
Are you a newcomer to making bread or have you been doing so for years? If you are an experienced bread maker then you may be looking for a number of extra features in your machine, such as the ability to customize different elements of the preprogrammed options. However, if you are new to making bread, you do not want to be confused by a huge number of extra options, it is better to start with a simpler machine while you get the hang of things.
Kneading paddles vary from machine to machine. There are many different shapes and some machines have additional paddles for pasta. You will find bread makers with two paddles and others with one. Furthermore, many models have paddles that can be removed after the kneading cycle, which is important if you do not want bread that bakes with the paddle, thus leaving a hole at the bottom of the loaf. Be sure to check that your chosen bread maker has the paddles suitable for your needs.
These are both very common features, but still worth examining in greater detail. A delayed timer will allow you to load the ingredients into the machine and then set when it starts baking. This means that you can set the machine to finish when you wake up in the morning or just as you get home from work. The alarm function is useful if you are planning to bake bread with fruit or nuts. It will notify you when it is time to add these ingredients (although some machines will do this automatically) and when it is time to remove the paddle (when relevant to specific makers).
This is instant yeast that is faster rising and specially formulated to be used in bread machines to reduce the time it takes to bake bread.
There is a wide range in prices of bread machines. They start around $100 (some of them are just under) and the most expensive ones are $300+.
Bread machines are very simple to use. You need to add your ingredients to the machine (it is important to be accurate with the quantities), select the program that you want to use, and then let the machine do its work.
Bread machines use instant yeast that is designed to help bread rise as fast as possible. However, you can also use active dry yeast in bread machines.
This very much depends on the type of bread that you are looking to bake. The most basic type is bread flour, which is high in the protein that produces gluten and will result in a nicely risen loaf.
There are many advantages to owning a bread maker. They allow you to enjoy freshly baked bread on a daily basis and most machines are able to produce many different types of bread. By taking into account the above information, you should be able to find the machine that is right for both your needs and your budget. Whether you are looking to bake the simplest of white loafs or you want to create a very specific type of artisan bread, the right bread maker will allow you to do so with ease. Choose your machine today and start tomorrow with a freshly risen loaf.