Bread machines are remarkable modern kitchen appliances that can make a baker out of anyone. These appliances give you the pleasure of making your own bread without breaking a sweat. All it ever needs is selecting and measuring the finest ingredients and pushing a few buttons on the machine. That is how effortless making bread is with these small kitchen wonders.
Bread Machines: Creating Delicious at Home
Having the best bread machine in your home gives you access to fresh homemade bread any time of the day. You can have friends dropping by, and you do not have to rush to the bakery to get bread for your sandwiches. You can encourage your friends to join in the fun of making bread that you can share later on.
These machines are effortless to operate. They can be exceptional learning tools for young cooks. Your kids will never have any issues trying a recipe from your bread cookbook. Of course, you can always assist them, especially in the preparation and the measurement of the ingredients. As far as the mixing and kneading of the ingredients go, you can leave these to the bread machine. The best bread machine kneads your dough in a very even manner.
The same is with the rising of the dough and its eventual baking. There is no need to fret about the time needed to raise the dough or the correct temperature to bake a particular bread. You never have to monitor the level of browning of your bread crust either. The best bread machine takes care of all of these things for you. You will get golden-brown bread every time, any time.
The Versatility of a Great Bread Machine
The best bread machine is not only great at making a traditional loaf of white bread. This kitchen appliance can also surprise you with different types of pieces of bread. Fans of gluten-free bread will love what the machine can offer. Those who want to make pasta and even pieces of bread for jams and jellies will find the best bread machine to be more than capable.
The only way you can enjoy all of these things is if you buy the best bread machine. Unfortunately, it is a challenging prospect. The market has heaps of these small kitchen appliances that can make choosing frustrating and confusing.
Fret no more. This article is your window to 10 of the best bread machines money can buy.
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I. Top 10 Best Bread Machines for Home Bakers
1. Our #1 Pick:Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus Bread Maker
Zojirushi makes excellent bread makers that even seasoned bakers use in their homes. The Virtuoso Plus combines elegant styling and innovative technologies to make your bread-making adventures as worry-free as possible.
This machine has a sleek and well-defined exterior that complements its powerful bread-making technologies. It has dual efficient heaters that promote faster baking and uniform browning. A pair of blades knead the dough more efficiently while giving you the shape of a traditional loaf of bread. The Virtuoso Plus is not only excellent in making white bread. It can accommodate whole wheat, multigrain, and other ingredients to produce gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan, and salt-free loaves of bread at a mere push of a button.
The only downside is that Virtuoso Plus can only make a maximum of 2 pounds of bread. So it is quite expensive, too.
Nevertheless, if you are after a bread machine that takes care of every process in making bread, then the Zojirushi Virtuoso Plus is for you.
- Ideal for making gluten-free and other specialty loaves of bread
- Dual heaters at the lid and bottom of the machine
- Large and clear viewing window
- Convenient user controls and display
- It comes with dual paddles
- 2-lb maximum bread capacity
2. Runner UpCuisinart CBK-100 Compact Automatic Bread Maker
Cuisinart offers home bakers the chance to make fantastic slices of bread easily and at a more reasonable price than other brands. The company’s CBK-100 is a small kitchen appliance that can create up to 12 different types of bread in 3 different sizes and 3 different shades of browning.
The CBK-100 looks a lot like the Zojirushi Virtuoso Plus. However, it can also make European pieces of bread and gluten-free courses at a touch of a button. There is also a bake-only function perfect for certain recipes, plus a backup system in case of power failure.
One comment about the Cuisinart CBK-100 is its small user interfaces. The screen is small and quite dark. The prints or labels of the different functions are also small. This can be an issue for people with visual problems.
Despite this, the Cuisinart CBK-100 remains a good option for those who want an effortless way to make homemade loaves of bread. It is compact, intuitive, and affordable, too.
- Features 12 preset options and 3 browning levels
- Includes an option for gluten-free bread
- It comes with a power failure backup
- Allows for a bake-only function
- Removable paddle
- Small and dark display
- Small labels on the user control
3. Budget PickHamilton Beach 29882 Digital Bread Maker
The Hamilton Beach 29882 is an affordable bread machine that makes fascinating bread in a jiffy. This kitchen appliance is best for small families and other households who do not consume as much bread as other families.
While this bread maker is inexpensive, it does not skimp on the features that make bread-making easy and fun. You can program the appliance to make your preferred bread or choose one from any 12 options available onboard. It also allows you to choose from three different crust settings. The appliance will not occupy that much space, too.
The Hamilton Beach bread maker also comes with a gluten-free bread cycle. Unfortunately, the outcome is not as consistent as other products. Also, this is a single-paddle device that can make cube-shaped pieces of bread.
If you can forgive the odd, cube-like appearance of your bread, then the Hamilton Beach 29882 is for you. It offers enough functionality and ease of operation to make it a great bread machine for beginners.
- Good for small families
- Programmable design
- It comes with 12 preset courses
- Easy to operate and maintain
- Very affordable
- Makes cube-shaped bread
- Gluten-free setting not as reliable as other brands
4. Upgrade Pick Zojirushi BB-PAC20BA Home Bakery Virtuoso Bread Maker
The Zojirushi Virtuoso is similar to the Virtuoso Plus, except for its price and a few features. It offers versatility and convenience in the making of different loaves of bread. The Virtuoso is a great upgrade to your existing bread maker.
The Virtuoso provides 10 preset options to make bread-making as effortless and fun as possible. From organic baking to making gluten-free recipes, this machine can get it done in no time. What makes this possible is the inclusion of a heating element under the lid. This complements the bottom heating element to create slices of bread with even cooking and browning.
One drawback to Virtuoso is the absence of an automatic dispenser. However, this is not a big issue if you also want to be more involved in making your bread.
The BB-PAC20BA Virtuoso is an excellent bread machine for those who want reliability, performance, consistency, and convenience. It is still pricier than others; although, it is worth every penny.
- Versatile design with 10 preset options
- Comes with gluten-free setting
- Dual heating elements for more efficient and uniform baking
- Allows for 3 customizable settings
- Solid construction
- It does not include an automatic dispenser
- 2-lb maximum bread capacity
5. KBS Pro Bread Machine
The KBS Pro is a lovely-looking bread machine that can be a lot better than some high-end units on the market. This inexpensive bread maker has a clean and sleek look that can complement any modern kitchen.
This bread maker already features 17 preprogrammed options, including natural sourdough, French, gluten-free, and sugar-free recipes. The user interface has a straightforward and functional layout. The display screen is bright and large. There is a notification alarm, too, when it is time to remove the paddle before rising and baking. Adding fruits and nuts is also a cinch because of an automatic dispenser built into the device.
Programming the KBS Pro can be quite challenging. The user manual is also not helpful because of how the instructions are written.
Regardless, the KBS Pro is still an excellent buy because of the exceptional value that it provides. With more presets than what other brands can offer and a friendly price, this is a bread machine that’s perfect for budget-conscious home bakers.
- Programmable settings
- It comes with 17 preset programs
- Features an automatic dispenser
- The large and readable display panel
- Quiet operation
- It can be tricky to program
- Illegible user manual
6. Oster Expressbake Bread Maker
Oster continues to strengthen its position as a reliable manufacturer of kitchen appliances. Its Expressbake is one of the most revered in the market because of its good combination of form and functionality at a price that will not make you cry.
The Expressbake is a small bread machine that can produce a 2-pound cube-shaped bread. The 12 pre-programmed settings make it ridiculously simple to make different loaves of bread. All you need are the ingredients, put them into the pan, and choose the right setting. There is a large viewing window to help you check on what you are baking. In addition, it has a small footprint that makes it ideal for people who may have small countertops in their kitchen.
The user interface is intuitive. Unfortunately, the LCD screen is small and in grayscale. A blue backlight would be nice.
The Expressbake is a good option for people who may not have the luxury of space in their kitchens. It is efficient enough to make delicious loaves of bread for a small- to medium-sized household.
- Customizable baking functions
- Features 12 different preprogrammed settings
- Easy to operate
- Space-saving design
- Robust construction
- Small grayscale LCD screen
- It makes a large bread cube
7. Panasonic SD-YD250 Automatic Bread Maker
The Panasonic SD-YD250 is an automatic bread maker that provides enough options for beginner home bakers to make bread that can wow their families and friends. In addition, the appliance has a fun design that offers a welcome respite from stainless steel appliances.
The SD-YD250 has a simple user interface that gives you access to 6 different preset programs. You can also tweak these programs to achieve the size of bread and the level of browning or crusting that you want. The bread machine also features an automatic yeast dispenser. This is handy because some people tend to forget to add yeast to their bread ingredients.
As a single-paddle device, you can expect the Panasonic SD-YD250 to make odd-looking, tall pieces of bread. You might also find the preset programs to be less than what other products offer.
However, this bread maker remains a popular choice among modern home bakers. It is easy to operate and gives them the chance to make amazing loaves of bread effortlessly.
- Easy to program or customize
- It comes with automatic yeast dispenser
- It offers two modes: baking and dough
- Can make some specialty slices of bread
- Easy to use
- Makes tall, not rectangular pieces of bread
- A fewer number of preset options
8. Sunbeam Programmable Bread Maker
Sunbeam’s Programmable Bread Maker is a good choice for novice home bakers. It offers enough versatility to create fabulous pieces of bread that the whole family can enjoy.
The Sunbeam comes with a modest number of preprogrammed settings to make common loaves of bread. However, if you are on a gluten-free diet, this device is not the one to buy. Other than that, you should be able to find its programs useful in the making of your favorite slices of bread. For example, make a classic white, French, whole wheat, sandwich, jams, or even cakes. Navigating the different settings is also easy as the buttons have a simple layout.
Unfortunately, this bread maker does not offer programming options. However, it does give you the ability to determine the level of shade that goes into the crust.
Budget-conscious and beginner home bakers will find the Sunbeam to offer them the right combination of functionality and portability. Unfortunately, it is not the best on the market. However, it has enough appeal to make it a mainstay in anybody’s kitchen.
- It comes with 12 preset options
- Tough and durable construction
- Easy on the pocket
- Intuitive operation
- Small footprint
- It does not have a gluten-free setting
- No customization or programming options
9. Cuisinart CBK-200 Convection Bread Maker
The Cuisinart CBK-200 makes fresh bread that has the characteristics of convection oven-baked goods. The bread you make has a crispier exterior and a more luscious interior. It is the kind of bread that you will never be ashamed of sharing with your guests.
One of the most remarkable things about the CBK-200 is its ability to make low-carb pieces of bread. This is perfect for people who are very cautious about their carbohydrate intake. It also makes the baking of gluten-free baked goods a breeze. A simple press of a button is all it takes to come up with these amazing loaves of bread. Keeping track of your baking is also easy with audible alerts. You’ll never miss adding your favorite ingredients to your bread.
The device tends to bake slices of bread a little longer than other brands. There is also an issue with the consistency of its crusting.
Even with these drawbacks, the Cuisinart CBK-200 remains a popular choice for those who want effortless bread-making at home.
- Good for people on a gluten-free diet
- It comes with a low-carb setting
- Offers 16 preset menu options
- Intuitive controls
- Audible notification alerts
- It takes a slightly longer time to bake bread
- Complaints of uneven crusting
10. Zojirushi BB-HAC10 Home Bakery Programmable Mini Bread Maker
Zojirushi’s Mini Bread Baker is the perfect solution for small households and families who do not have a large requirement for bread in their diet. Its compact design is also great for households with limited kitchen countertop space.
While the Mini is small, it still packs enough performance to make fantastic pieces of bread in less than an hour. The large display offsets its grayscale nature. It allows you to see the different settings that the machine is currently operating in. The buttons are crisp and responsive. It makes using the Zojirushi Mini so much fun that even your kid will not have problems operating the machine on her own.
You should know about the Mini Bread Maker because it does not have a setting for gluten-free courses. However, it does offer you access to French, dough, jam, and cake courses, among others.
If you love the reliability and solid construction of Zojirushi products, you will also like the BB-HAC10 Mini Bread Maker. It is a small home’s trustworthy companion for making excellent loaves of bread.
- Space-saving design
- It comes with bread texture control
- Energy-efficient design
- Easy to operate
- Great for small families
- It does not have a gluten-free setting
- Makes tall slices of bread
II. Best Bread Machines for Home Bakers Buyer’s Guide
Bread machines are not that different from the other small electric appliances you may already have in your kitchen. However, these items come in different sizes and shapes, with varying features and price tags. Choosing the bread maker to buy requires perseverance in the assessment of several factors. Do not skimp on the thorough evaluation of these parameters because these will spell the difference between a good buy and something you would rather forget.
Traditional bread has a rectangular shape. However, the majority of bread machines produce square- or cube-shaped loaves of bread. This is not surprising, given the design of most bread machines.
Many of these small kitchen appliances only use one paddle for kneading the dough. This requires a design that is deeper than it is wide to accommodate the length of the paddle. What you get is an odd-looking, tall bread.
Machines with a pair of paddles can produce a more rectangular shape of bread that we are all familiar with.
The paddle initiates the process of making bread by mixing the different ingredients. This creates a dough with uniform consistency.
One characteristic of pieces of bread made with this small kitchen appliance is that they tend to have a hole or two in them. This is because most machines do not allow you to remove the paddle before baking the dough. This leaves the paddle in the dough during baking, creating a hole or two when you finally remove it.
There are also bread machines that have removable or collapsible paddles. The machine lets you know when it’s time to collapse and remove the paddle right after kneading. You can then resume with the rising and baking of the bread.
It is important to check the overall construction of the bread maker. First, check the materials used in its construction. Stainless steel is both strong and very resistant to staining and rusting. Plastic is also strong and lightweight, although you might have to address a few concerns.
If anything, it is the motor that you should assess. This component is what powers the kneading function of the machine. Most brands provide excellent warranties for their motors. So you might want to check that out.
Also, assess the sturdiness of the paddles and the durability of the pan. Inspect the gaskets, too. These elements are not immune to wear. So, make sure that replacement parts are readily available.
You will also need to determine the size of the bread you want to make. Some machines make a 1-pound bread, perfect for one- or two-person households. However, if you have a family who cannot last a day without a sandwich or two, you should pick a 2-pounder or even one that can make 3 pounds.
Different breeds require different ingredients, kneading processes, rising periods, and baking times. These differences require different settings from your bread machine. For example, making pasta dough or cake dough is quite different from making traditional white bread dough. Therefore, a machine with pre-programmed settings is ideal. It can take the hassle of figuring out the correct kneading, rising, and baking processes off your shoulders.
Take your time in assessing the different settings that the machine has. If you are into gluten-free loaves of bread, you will have to make sure that the bread machine you buy has this setting. There are also bread machines that allow you to control the browning of the crust.
It also makes sense to get a machine that lets you program your own bread-making cycles. This is perfect for anyone who likes to experiment with their recipes.
Ease of Use
The ideal bread machine lets you use it straight out of the box. The labels should be self-explanatory. Setting the machine should also be straightforward. Notifications will always come in handy. You don’t have to sit in front of the bread maker just to make sure you have perfect bread.
Some of the useful features you can look for in a bread maker include automatic dispensers, quick-bake settings, and delay timer, among others. These features are not essential. However, they can make your bread, making adventures more fruitful and less stressful.
- How does a bread machine work?
This machine performs four essential processes – mixing, kneading, rising, and baking – all in one convenient package. It does everything from start to finish, including browning your bread to your preference.
- Do I really need a bread machine?
Yes, if bread is a mainstay in your diet. A bread machine is more economical in the long run than buying your slices of bread from the bakery. It is also healthier, as you can choose the ingredients you use. The bread is also fresher and can taste better, too.
While you can make homemade bread without a machine, doing so is more tiresome and inconvenient. You will also not get consistent results. A bread machine eliminates the guesswork associated with the mixing, kneading, rising, and baking of loaves of bread.
- Other than making bread, what else can a bread machine do?
The things that a bread machine can make depend on the design and programming of the machine. It can produce white bread, gluten-free bread, and whole wheat bread. Some machines can also produce jellies and jams. Other machines have a rapid rise bread cycle to reduce the time required for making bread.
- What is a bread-type cycle?
This refers to the specific cooking settings that a certain type of bread requires. It can also include your preferred bread characteristics, such as the level of browning. Each bread cycle has its own specific baking temperature and time. This ensures optimal dough performance.
- Why is the maximum delay timer set at 13 hours?
The majority of the bread ingredients will go bad if you leave them in the pan for more than 13 hours without baking. That is why bread machines will not have delay timers longer than 13 hours. This is to ensure the freshness of your bread.
Getting the best bread machine is like having a personal, professional baker right in your kitchen. It simplifies the process of making fresh, tasty, and healthy bread anytime you want. A top-of-the-line machine can erase any doubts you may have about making fantastic pieces of bread. You can also encourage your children to join you in your bread-making adventures.
The ideal bread machine lets you unleash your bread recipe making creativity. It is perfect for parties, family get-togethers, and even for your own personal use.
That is why you should pay close attention to the buying advice we shared in this article. If you want to be smart about it, you can always pick one from our list of the 10 best bread machines. You can feel confident these machines will make your bread-making adventures more worthwhile.
Take your pick and start serving fresh, delicious homemade bread to your family today.