Making bread, pizza dough, croissants, pitas, and anything else you could find a recipe for when using your bread machine. Making bread by hand can be a tedious process, not to mention messy. When using a bread machine, you can experiment with different kinds of bread, flavors, and combinations.
Bread makers have come a long way since the first model; they have timers, LCD screens, bread type options, and large capacities for larger loaves. Follow me to check out our top 5 best bread machines we think you’ll fall in love with this season.
What to Look for in a Bread Machine
Bread machines have so many features nowadays that it makes it a little hard to pick one out. There are certain things you should look for in a bread machine, and I’ll help point those out to you.
The machine you’re considering should be a known brand. The reason for this is to ensure quality in the product and that you’ll be able to reach customer service if any issues do arise with your machine.
Secondly, the bread machine should have bread settings or programs. If it doesn’t, it’s not going to bake your bread properly. You’ll end up with either a doughy mess or a burnt loaf.
Capacity size is an important consideration. Depending on the size of your family, or how often you eat bread, you should consider the cooking sizes of the bread machine. Most machines will bake between 1-2 lb. loaves.
How to Use a Bread Machine
Using a bread machine is a relatively simple process. The machine should come with a user manual, so make sure to read that for important information. If your machine was bought second hand and doesn’t have a manual, there is always information on how to use bread machines.
After turning your machine on, you’ll want to prepare the ingredients for the type of bread you are making. You can either find recipes online, or some bread machines will include a recipe booklet.
Place the ingredients into the bread machine and pick the type of bread and crust setting, if your machine has this option. You can also choose to delay the time until you’re ready for the bread to start baking if your machine has that feature.
Special Features of Bread Machines
The best bread machines always have a lot of features to entice you to buy them. Some of them are some you may never use, but others are the best part of the machine, besides the bread!
1. Delay timers
This feature is so great to have. If you want to have fresh bread, but want it to be ready for dinner, set the delay timer and the bread will automatically cook right up and finish at the time you want dinner on the table!
2. Multiple Bread Settings
This is a nice feature to have. You don’t have to worry about how long your special flavor of the bread is supposed to cook because there is most likely a setting for it! Most bread machines will have settings for bread types, such as white, rye, French, baguettes, gluten-free, and even jams!
3. Crust Settings
You read right. You can now choose your crust setting to your preference. I prefer a medium crust myself, but you pick between light, medium, and dark. My mom likes the dark crust because it’s crunchy and holds up in soups and stews.
4. Loaf Sizes
Most bread machines will have a maximum of a 2-lb. loaf. This means they can bake a loaf anywhere between 1 and 2 lbs. This is great for smaller families if you want to make a small loaf, or for when guests come, and you need that extra bread!
Advantages of Using a Bread Machine
There are a lot of reasons why you should own a bread machine. They save your time and energy so you can focus on something else. Bread machines take care of the whole process, all you need to do is add the ingredients and select your options. This makes it very worthwhile to have around.
You get to decide what goes into your bread. This is important to a lot of people, and it might be important to you. You get to choose the type of flour, ingredients, and everything that you add. You will always know what is in the bread you are eating.
You will save money by investing in a bread machine. Making bread is much cheaper than buying bread. You can invest that money into another part of your household that you won’t have to cut back on.
Disadvantages of Using a Bread Machine
As with any products you buy, there will be some disadvantages to using a bread machine. You won’t get the real experience of making the dough and kneading it by hand. You won’t get the opportunity to watch it rise and then bake it in a warm oven.
Sometimes, what you want from baking things from scratch is to go through all the steps and feel a sense of accomplishment by doing it all yourself. When using a bread machine, you skip all of the steps and miss out on all the hands-on parts of scratch making bread.
You need to buy the ingredients you want for your bread. If you like the multigrain seed bread from the store, well, you’re going to have to buy the flour, sugar, milk, butter, yeast, seeds, and so forth. It is an investment. If you want to make multiple loaves of bread in a variety of flavors, you will need to buy them and store them.
Reviewing the Five Best Bread Maker on the Market
Oster 2-Pound Expressbake Bread Machine with 13-Hour Delay Timer is a 2-lb. Loaf machine that includes 12 bread settings, 3 crust settings, and an express bake option. This machine has a 13-hour baking timer that can make fresh bread anytime you want, so long as you provide the ingredients.
With its large LCD screen, the timer is easy to read, and programming it takes no effort or time at all. This machine is easy to use and understand, so you’ll be baking fresh bread in no time at all.
This machine isn’t just for 2 lb. loaves. It can also cook 1 lb. And 1.5 lb. Loaves as well. Depending on your family size or how much bread you want, this is a great option to have.
This machine weighs only 8 lbs. and is only about 13x13x14 inches in size. It does take up a small corner of your kitchen but can also do well stored or placed on top of another appliance. It is easy to clean, and the bread loaf pan is nonstick. Your bread will come out easily every time, and the cleanup afterward is minimal.
- Easy to clean up.
- Options for loaves between 1 and 2 lbs.
- 12 settings for bread types.
- 3 crust settings.
- Quick bake mode to make a loaf in an hour.
- Large LCD screen.
- Easy to use and operate.
- Doesn’t heat up the kitchen when in use.
- Takes up about a foot of space in all directions (13x13x14).
- With continuous use, the nonstick coating wears down.
- Its appearance wears with age.
- The buttons begin to wear down with use.
Cuisinart CBK-100 2 LB Bread Maker is a 2-lb. Loaf maker that can also bake 1 and 1.5 lb. loaves. It has 12 programs for bread types, 3 crust settings, and a 13-hour delay timer so you can have fresh bread whenever you want.
This bread machine has a lid with a view, so you can see your bread as it goes through the processes and bakes. The handles on the machine are always cool, so you can move it around even when it’s baking.
This bread machine comes with a measuring spoon, measuring cup and a recipe booklet so you can start baking bread right away! The lid, pad, and paddle attachment are all removable and easy to clean. The pan is nonstick, so your bread will come out perfect each time.
This machine weighs 18 lbs. And takes up a good amount of counter space (12x18x15-inches). It is a stainless-steel machine with a large side menu and small LCD screen.
The buttons are flat, and you will need to be able to read the screen to see what you are baking. It has an automatic 60-minute warm cycle to keep your bread warm and fresh until you can get to it.
- Has a 13-hour delay timer so that you can have fresh bread anytime.
- Has a 60-minute automatic warm cycle after baking.
- Can bake 1 to 2 lb. loaves.
- Has a gluten-free cycle.
- Can make jams.
- Affordable pricing.
- The machine has a sleek, modern style.
- You should select the bread program before size and crust settings.
- Heavy machine.
- Takes a significant amount of counter space (12x18x15-inches).
- The machines’ end timer is very loud.
- The nonstick coating fades quickly.
- The machine moves during kneading.
Sunbeam 5891 2-Pound Programmable Breadmaker, Whiteis a 2-lb. Bread maker that can also bake a 1.5-lb. loaf. It has 12 bread settings, 3 shade styles, and a 13-hour delay timer. This machine can make bread overnight, or while you’re at work so you can have fresh bread anytime.
The baking pan is nonstick, and you should use nylon utensils. It has a small LCD with a button control display. This machine weighs about 18 lbs. And takes up a small chunk of counter space (14x19x13-inches).
It comes with a viewable lid so you can watch the bread bake. The machine is user-friendly and can be easily programmed. It is easy to clean, and the pan is removable. It comes with a recipe book for beginner-friendly recipes.
- Has a 5-year limited warranty.
- Can make 1.5 to 2 lb. loaves.
- It has a delay timer for fresh bread any time.
- Has a nonstick pan.
- Easy to use. Easy to clean.
- This machine is affordable.
- Comes with a recipe booklet.
- The machine is heavy.
- Small LCD screen.
- The machine is an older style.
- This bread machine takes up a significant amount of space (14x19x13-inches).
Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso Breadmaker with Gluten Free Menu Settingbakes a 2-lb. Loaf in the traditional horizontal style. This machine contains to paddles that knead the dough thoroughly.
The machine has an additional heater on the lid for even baking but does not allow the bread to be watched while baking. Has a medium sized LCD screen and push button display.
The machine is stainless steel and black, which makes for a modern, sleek design. It weighs in at 22 lbs. And takes up a larger area because of the horizontal baking (10x18x13-inches).
It has 10 bread settings, including jam and gluten-free, and 3 crust settings. It also has a 13-hour delay timer, which allows for bread to be made whenever you want, just add the ingredients.
This machine comes with a memory feature, allowing you to save up to 3 of your favorite bread styles at a time. It also comes with a DVD, recipe booklet, and a measuring cup and spoon.
- Sturdy and durable high-quality materials.
- Sleek design.
- Comes with a recipe book, DVD, and measuring utensils.
- Makes traditional looking loaves.
- An extra heating element in the lid bakes evenly.
- Will last a long-time.
- Extremely quiet machine.
- Doesn’t move on the counter.
- Lid sensors pause the baking when the lid is opened.
- Heavy and bulkier, so it takes up more counter space.
- The aluminum comes off the paddles.
- Nonstick coating wears off after a few months.
- Only bakes 2 lb. loaves.
- Expensive compared to other bread machines.
- No lighted display on the machine.
Hamilton Beach Programmable Bread Machine, 2-Pound Bread Maker with Gluten-Free Setting a 2.-lb bread machine that can also do 1.5 lb. loaves. It has 12 settings for bread types and 3 crust settings.
The pan is nonstick, and the machine and parts are easy to clean. The pan is dishwasher safe and comes with an extra paddle attachment.
The machine is equipped with nonslip feet so that the machine won’t move during the kneading process. The machines’ timer is loud.
The machine weighs just under 12 lbs. and is made of plastic. The bread machine is black, and the design looks to be from about the early 2000’s. It’s slim enough for a counter (12x16x12-inches).
- Can fit on the countertop or top of an appliance.
- It is lightweight and easy to move or store.
- Can bake 1.5 to 2 lb. loaves.
- Easy to clean parts.
- Dishwasher safe pan.
- Extra paddle attachment.
- It is an affordable machine.
- It is noisy.
- The nonstick coating comes off.
- The plastic material cracks.
- The machine can overheat.
- Isn’t heavy enough to keep from moving during kneading.
Picking a bread machine isn’t an easy task; in fact, it can be intimidating or even daunting. I’ve reviewed these 5 bread machines to find the best bread machine to bake bread in. With my reviews and what you should look for in a bread machine, the best bread machine is the… drum roll, please.
Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso Breadmaker with Gluten Free Menu Setting, hooray!
The Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso Breadmaker with Gluten Free Menu Setting has the LCD screen with bread settings, including special diet settings, and is heavy enough to stay in place during the mixing and kneading process.