If you’re anything like me, no meal is complete without bread. You consider yourself a connoisseur of fine bread. You get frustrated trying to find quality bread that’s made without additives and preservatives, and you’re willing to search to find bread that meets your high standards.
Perhaps, in your attempts to have the best bread possible, you’ve even tried to bake your own. If you have, you know that it can be a lot of work. Baking great bread takes time. You have to find the right recipe, make the dough, let it rise, knead it and bake it. Few of us have time to do all of that on a daily, or even a weekly basis.
The good news is that you don’t need to spend hours of your valuable time making bread from scratch. Bread machines are widely available, and more affordable than ever. The right bread machine will do all of the hard work for you, and you can wake up with fresh-baked bread every morning.
On this site, you will find reviews of many different types of bread machines. We’ll include information about size, efficiency and cost that will help you pick out the best bread machine for you and your family.
Choosing a Bread Machine
If you’ve never bought a bread machine before, you’re probably wondering where to start. There are many different models available, and at a wide range of prices. How much money should you spend? Are the higher-priced models worth buying? What kind of quality can you expect? Here are some things to keep in mind.
The first bread machines available baked vertical loaves that bore little resemblance to the bread you buy in stores. Nowadays, many machines bake traditional-looking horizontal loves. These loaves are easier to store and slice, and because of that we recommend them for most people.
Another consideration when picking out a bread machine is the size of the loaf it produces. Bear in mind that you’ll be making homemade bread with no preservatives, so its shelf-life will be shorter than that of commercially-produced loaves. Typically, bread machines make loaves ranging from 1.5 pounds to 2.5 pounds. You may want to pick a slightly larger loaf size, since there’s a good chance you’ll be eating more bread than you usually do once you see how delicious home-baked bread can be.
Here are our picks for the best bread machines by size:
- Best small bread machine, 1 lb. loaf – Zojirushi BB-HAC10 Home Baker Mini
- Best medium bread machine, 2 lb. loaf – Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso
- Best flexible-size bread machine, 1.5, 2, 2.5 loaf sizes – Panasonic SD-YD250
It’s important to check the available setting for any machine you are considering, especially if you want to bake specialty breads such as gluten free options. Some potentially useful settings to consider are:
- Types of Bread – Some bread machines include special settings that will adjust automatically depending on the kind of bread you want to make. Examples include gluten-free bread, sweet breads, whole wheat breads or artisan breads. The machine will tailor things like the kneading and baking times to the kind of bread you’re making, eliminating a lot of the uncertainty involved with trying something new.
- Non-Bread Options – Certain models allow you to make items other than bread, such as pasta dough, pizza dough, and even cake. If you want a machine that can multi-task, look for one with the ability to go beyond bread.
- Timer – If you want the option of waking up to freshly-baked bread in the morning, consider getting a bread machine that has a built-in timer. You can load in the ingredients, set the delay timer, and wake up to fresh, hot bread.
- Recipe Programming – Most of us end up making favorite recipes over and over again. Some higher-end bread machines give you the opportunity to program in certain recipes for repeat use.
- Quick Bake Option – Even with a machine, baking bread takes time. If you want to allow for the possibility of making bread at a quicker pace, look for a machine with a quick bake option.
Finally, it’s important to choose a durable machine with a decent warranty. This will protect you in the event anything goes wrong after you buy your new bread machine.
Our Top Picks
- Best Bread Machine: Zojirushi BB-PAC20 – The best machine available
- Best Value: Panasonic SD-YD250 – A lower-cost machine with great features
- Best Inexpensive Bread Machine: Oster CKSTBRTW20 – Homemade bread on a budget
- Best Gluten-Free Bread Maker: Cuisinart CBK-100 – Delicious gluten-free bread every time
- Best Express Bread Machine: Oster CKSTBRTW20 – For when you need bread in a hurry
- Best Small Bread Machine: Zojirushi BB-HAC10 – Homemade bread for small family(single or couple)