Bread machines are the fastest way to get fresh bread to your table. We’ve all had “fresh” bread from a supermarket that ends up getting hard entirely too quickly from sitting out all day or because of the bag it’s in.
With a bread machine, you can set your own timer and have ultra-fresh bread ready for you when you need it. One less task to take on in the morning before your meals, you can focus your culinary efforts elsewhere without leaving the house.
Best Bread Maker Reviews – 2017
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Best Overall – Zojirushi BB-CEC20 Review
One of the best bread makers on the market, the Zojirushi is jam packed with features for the average newcomer as well as the more seasoned veteran. Features of the BB-CEC20 bread maker include the following:
- Rectangular loaf (traditional styled)
- Quick backing cycle – 2 hours maximum
- 13-hour delay timer
- Auto-shut off for safety purposes
- Recipe booklet, instruction video, manual + more
It’s easy to write off a bread maker as a counter-top appliance that you don’t need; however, it’s important to understand how imperative it is to have one if you’re a busy person with a lot of people to cater/attend to. Being able to bake a traditional 2lb loaf in two hours on a quick baking cycle, you can prepare last minute without worrying if it’s going to be good or not.
If you’re still preparing elsewhere, this machine is equipped with an auto-shut off timer for safety purposes and to keep your bread at edible. You don’t have to constantly check on this bread when you manually choose your desired settings and then begin creating.
Beyond this, the packaging contents include a recipe booklet, instruction video, and manual for easy recipe creation that the newest of bread makers can follow. Even if you’ve never been good at following a recipe, you’ll be able to complete these recipes with ease.
The Advantages of the Product
There are many benefits to using this Zojirushi machine, but first and foremost: you don’t have to worry about not having any variety. The BB-CEC20 is a machine that allows you to create more than bread and has a plethora of items on the list you can tackle. Other items you can make in this machine include cake, strawberry jam, homemade meatloaf, and much more.
Having this as an added bonus allows you to give away or put other appliances in storage that are taking up too much space. The BB-CEC20 also features a compact design, giving an added bonus of saving counterspace. By replacing larger and bulkier appliances as well as have a variety of functions, you can use your counter-space again for meal creation.
The Disadvantages of the Product
There aren’t too many disadvantages to this bread maker, although, if you’re looking to create loaves of bread for 6+ people at a time, you may want to look elsewhere for a bread make that has a larger capacity. While not a true disadvantage, this doesn’t affect the performance of the bread maker whatsoever.
Best Budget Breadmaker – Oster 2-pound Express Bake Review
If you’re looking for a bread machine that’s not going to take up much space, you should look towards the Oster 2-pound express bake bread machine. With a variety of features, some of these include the following:
- loaf capacity
- 12 bread settings, 3 crust settings
- Express bake settings
- 13-hour programmable baking timer
- Large LCD display
The Oster 2-pound express bake bread machine is a best seller on the market due to its fulfilling features and fulfilling product: delicious bread and various pastries. With an ability to create more than bread in a very quick timeframe, you don’t have to worry about being short on appetizers or desserts every again when you have friends or family over.
You also won’t have to worry about not pleasing anyone, as there are 12 bread settings and 3 different crust options for those picky eaters in your family. You may be wondering, “but how do I bake everyone something in time?” Simple: the express bake option allows you to cater to everyone’s needs in less than an hour. If you want to watch this process, not only is there a viewing door on top of this compact bread maker, but there’s also a LCD screen display for indication of the bread making stages.
The Advantages of the Product
The entire machine is an advantage to its self, allowing you to prepare food in under an hour, along with the loaf of product being large. With 12 various bread settings that include pizza, bread, jam, and much more. Having these options allows you to put away bulkier appliances and focus on decluttering counterspace.
Another advantage to this machine is that there is an add-in component, allowing you to add nuts and fruits at a specific time. The dispenser is auto and is a setting that you can choose on the machine.
The Disadvantages of the Product
There aren’t many disadvantages that we’ve found, but there may be a thing or two that goes against your personal preferences. However, the only disadvantage that we found was that there are no gluten-free options within this product. If you’re someone who has a gluten intolerance that knows the ingredients they can or cannot use, then you can manually make this within your bread machine. It doesn’t affect the performance whatsoever.
Best Gluten Free Bread Machine – Breville BBM800XL Review
Manufactured by Breville, the BBM800XL custom loaf bread maker is one that’s sleek and fits in with most, if not all styles of kitchens. You won’t have to worry about this countertop appliance stomping on your style. Features of this bread maker include the following:
Automatic nut and fruit dispenser component
- Collapsible kneading paddle for mixing
- Smart LCD screen + progress indicator
- 13 automatic settings, 3 crust colors
- 4 loaf sizes
We could go on and on about the features, but let’s stop at the above and discuss them. The Breville is a leader on the market due to its many features, including the automatic nut and fruit dispenser component. You can add the ingredients you wish automatically (without stopping what you’re doing), but filling up the compartment with what you want to add and having it dispense at the correct time.
You also have a collapsible kneading paddle within this unit for seamless mixing and kneading. These paddles collapse in order to minimize the amount it sticks into the bread during the baking process. Having this as an option means that your bread can be taken out effortlessly and you can clean the kneading paddles with ease.
The smart LCD screen allows you to view the progress of the bread making process along with the 13 automatic settings and various bread options. Beyond this, there are 3 crust color options and 4 different loaf sizes for optimal customization.
The Advantages of the Product
There is just so much to talk about with the BBM800XL – one of the biggest advantages to this bread maker includes the ability to choose between 4 loaf sizes and 3 crust colors. Not everyone’s family likes all of the same things, and it’s important to give variety during family functions like Thanksgiving, or other cultural events.
Another benefit to using this bread machine is that there are 46 recipes included within the contents of this package. You can make whole wheat, gluten-free, basic, yeast-free bread, dough, jam, and much more.
The Disadvantages of the Product
Without many disadvantages, the BBM800XL is a leading contender based on the variety of what it can create along with the inexpensive price tag. The only disadvantage to this machine is that it doesn’t create artisan bread, which uses water in the creation. However, it doesn’t affect the performance whatsoever and there are a ton more types of bread and crusts that you can create.
What’s a Bread Maker?
A bread maker is a type of countertop appliance that enables you to create your own bread from home. You can create a plethora of items beyond bread include jam, pizza doughs, pastries, cake, and much more. The device itself consists of a number of components including:
Bread pan – this is where you place the dough. If you have a bread machine that uses a dispenser unit for fruits and nuts, this is where those lead out to. At the bottom of this bread pan, you’ll find built-in paddles or those that are removable for optimal cleaning. Basically a self-purpose oven, this fits on your counter top with ease.
Kneading paddles – As mentioned, there are kneading paddles built into the bottom or removal ones so that you can clean them. These kneading paddles knead the bread for you, so you don’t have to take any preparation steps before baking.
LCD screen/settings buttons – The LCD screen aspect is self-explanatory, but you’re able to hit a button and choose your settings for a timer, bread style, crust style, and more. The built-in computer allows you to handle everything from this one screen.
Viewing window – Most, but not all bread makers have a viewing window for you to physically check in on the bread without having to open the lid. When you open the lid, you disturb the baking process. Having this window allows you to make sure everything’s going according to plan and you’re not going to get a surprise when you open the lid.
Many bread makers take a few hours to create the perfect loaf; however, newer models are coming with express options for bread creation in under 2 hours. With recipes that are similar to your traditional bread recipes, most also feature a recipe booklet in the packaging contents or on the website for optimal use by a newcomer.Go to Top
You didn’t think there was just one type of bread maker, did you? There are in fact, many types designed for a variety of lifestyles that should be lived up to. It’s important to note that there aren’t tiers of bread makers, but major things to look out for. In this article, we’ll discuss the types per family size.
Most bread makers create bread between 1lb. and 2.5lbs. Those that are 2lbs. and 2.5lbs. are for larger families that may have 4-7 people in them.
- Small family (1-2 people) – A bread maker that creates 1lb. of bread will suffice a family size of 1-2 people. Unless you like to have it every single day at the exact times, you may want to prepare in advance and find something that has a capacity of 1.5lbs. It’s important to note that most machines will allow you to have variable sizes and you aren’t limited to just one size.
- Medium sized family (3-4) – A bread machine that is able to create between 2lbs. and 2.5lbs is one that will work well for your family. Machines that have a larger capacity as such may reflect in the price, but it’s important to note that you’d save money over time by creating your own bread.
- Large family (5+) – While many machines on the market do not create over 2.5lbs, a bread maker that can create upwards of 3lbs. isn’t impossible to find. They’re rare, but they exist. If some of your family members only eat minimal amounts of bread, a machine that can create 2.5lbs may work just fine for you.
Having gluten intolerances? No problem!
Most modern machines come with the option for gluten-free creations and whole-wheat options. If you have a sensitive stomach, there are settings that work out for you; you just have to make sure to read the specifications. Not all bread machines provide gluten-free options, but it’s not impossible to create a gluten-free option with a non-gluten-free machine. If you know bread recipes by heart that follows your dietary restrictions, you can still create the bread in most machines.Go to Top
Why You Should Have One!
Bread machines are becoming a hot choice as the Food Network inspires us all to be professional chefs (kidding, but not really), and there are many benefits to buying one other than to splurge on an appliance. Here are some of my favorite reasons to have one:
Create fresh bread – When you want, you can create fresh bread. You don’t have to get dressed in the morning, head to your local super market and scavenge through the “fresh” bread section like many other families have done already. Instead, create your own warm, toasty, soft, and delicious bread for any meal of the day.
Saving time – A huge advantage is you can set up your bread maker and then go off and do other things for meal preparations while the bread is baking. Bread machines need little to no hover-supervising like an oven might or a boiling pot of water might.
No mess whatsoever – Instead of going to the store and buying one loaf of bread that may sit on your counter-top and go bad, or may not be of the freshest quality, you can buy a bread maker and create your own loaf with NO mess. Because most bread pans are non-stick, you can take it out of the machine seamlessly and put it in the dishwasher for cleaning. With the bread pan in the machine, you also don’t have to worry about a mess all over your counter-top.
Not just bread, either – One of my favorite reasons is that you aren’t limited to bread. You can create pizza dough, different types of jams, various pastries, and even cake in many. Those who want to try their hand at that random recipe they curated online can do so with little to no knowledge.
Better taste and freshness – Overall, there is a more delicious taste because of how fresh the bread is. It’s no secret that supermarkets way a bit before putting the bread out, and not all of the bags are secure. When they aren’t secure, air gets into the loaf and they sit there hardening until someone picks it up and eats it. With your own bread maker, some come with “keep warm” options that allow you to keep it within the bread pan until you want to eat it. In doing so, this creates a better tasting loaf and saved you money!
Little learning involved – The settings are already within the machine. All you need to do is pop in the required ingredients as mentioned in your trusty recipe booklet (or your memory), hit a button and go! In doing so, you save time and energy while focusing your culinary efforts elsewhere.Go to Top
Buying Guide: What to Know Before Buying
Before you purchase a bread maker, there are a few things you must know before taking the plunge. While most are inexpensive, it’s still a purchase that should be worked into your budget. Here are the things you must know:
- The size of your family
- How often will it be used?
- Does it allow recipes for your dietary restrictions?
- Do you have ample counterspace for the machine?
While there aren’t many things to think of before buying a bread machine, the aforementioned are the most important. The size of your family will ultimately determine the size you’ll be using. Unless many of your family members don’t eat bread, then you should focus on our mini-family guide in a previous section. In doing so, you can find the best bread maker for you that won’t allow you to create too much bread.
How often will it be used? – this is yet another important question that should be answered before buying. Are you just baking for yourself? If so, you may want to ask yourself if you eat bread and pastries or jam often enough to purchase. If you do, a lower-end capacity machine should be purchased. If you have a larger family that comes over often (maybe one a week or so) for dinner, then you’ll want to go for one with a larger capacity.
If you are using it often, the question “do you have amply counterspace?” should come to mind. If you have a smaller kitchen and other appliances that you don’t use, this should be answered. If you buy a bread machine, will it make up for other appliances on your countertop? Can you make room for this one? By making room for your bread machine, you’ll be able to use it with ease and declutter your kitchen.
Lastly, a bread maker is perfect if it can meet your dietary restrictions. Many machines on the market offer gluten-free and wheat settings for various restrictions on your diet. In having this, you can ensure that you can keep your tummy safe from an intolerance upsetting you. However, if you know gluten-free recipes by heart, you can always incorporate them into machines that don’t have these options readily available.Go to Top
The aforementioned section will ultimately help you decide which features you need, but it’s important that you ultimately define your own needs and desires. Features that you may want to look for include the following:
- Collapsible kneading paddles – collapsible kneading paddles are not always removable, but those that are collapsible ensure that they won’t be “baked” into your bread. In having this feature, you can be ensured that removal of the loaf of bread will be seamless and you won’t have to pull apart the bottom from the baking pan. Ones that are removable allow you to clean these with ease.
- Crust color settings – Most, if not all bread machines come with crust color options of light, medium, and dark. If you’re someone who has a preference other than the three mentioned, you must get picky and begin making a list. There aren’t many that come with more than four options, but we’re sure they’re out there.
- Gluten-free setting – We’ve talked about this numerous times, but having a gluten-free option will save a lot of time and effort for those with intolerances. You won’t have to worry about composing your own recipe to get by not having this feature, but many of the machines on the market today offer this.
- Express option – Last but not least, having an express option allows you to make bread and other items within 2-hours. When you don’t have this, you run the risk of rushing around and making sure everything’s baking long before you have to. The inclusion of a delay timer also makes this feature much more appealing, as you can customize when you want the bread.
Are They Safe?
With a bread machine, you know everything that’s being put into your bread and you don’t have to worry about weird chemicals or possible gluten being placed within. Accidents happen and we’re all human, but ensuring that you’re getting what you need in a loaf of bread is imperative to the success of eating it. While it sounds weird, if you have dietary restrictions and a loaf was labeled wrong, you could suffer immensely whether through allergic reaction or otherwise. Making your own bread can eliminate this entirely.
You may be wondering if the machines themselves are safe and the answer is: yes! Like most appliances, bread machines have to undergo a series of tests to ensure their quality is that of a high standard. Being able to function with various ingredients inside whether liquid, harsh or hard, or soft, a successful and safe machine can handle all of the above – especially with kneading paddles.
With any countertop appliance, it’s important to take safety measures before using or opening post-bread creation. If the machine is still hot, we suggest that you wait until it cools off and use tools to help you get the bread pan out. It’s a no brainer, but you should also unplug the machine before putting your hands anywhere near the inside, as you don’t want a Final Destination scene with kneading paddles to haunt your dreams. You should never touch the bread pan when hot or put water near the electrical components of the machine.
It’s also worth mentioning that you should never open up mid-creation while still plugged in and begin putting your fingers or hands near there. With any hot appliance that creates something, the aforementioned should be taken into account.Go to Top
There’s still much to know about bread makers themselves, but the following section will answer any questions you may have.
What yeast to use? It’s important that you use the right type of yeast each time. You shouldn’t use instant yeast and should look towards dry yeast types. It doesn’t matter if this machine is traditional or not, using a dry type of yeast ensures the best type of bread possible with no side effects.
What are the types of dry yeast? There are various types of dry yeast, including the main two under the umbrella: regular, active yeast the is dry, and instant yeast as we mentioned. The instant yeast is also known as rapid-rise or quick rise. While they can be interchanged, you should always venture towards dry so that the yeast doesn’t cause the bread to rise out of the pan during the creation process or before the bread making process is done.
How should I be putting in the ingredients? First, you’ll want to put any of the liquids. Then you want to add one of the most important components: the flour. After this is done, you can add the dry ingredients like milk powder, seasonings, sugar, salt, and others.
How do I store yeast for my bread? It’s important that you store yeast properly in order to use it for the bread. If your yeast is unopened, you must store this in a place that is dry or else the exposure to oxygen will decrease the performance of the yeast.
Do I put in fresh ingredients during a delay timer? The answer for this one is short: no. If you’re placing your machine on a delay timer, you do not want to add in fresh ingredients like eggs and milk. If you do, bacteria will grow and you run the risk of causing everyone to get sick via food poisoning. Never keep these ingredients sitting out in room temperature.
Can I put nuts or fruits in? Many machines will allow you to place add-in ingredients like nuts and fruits via a compartment. This compartment will automatically drop these ingredients in at the perfect time in the baking process to ensure a delicious and well-mixed loaf of bread.
How easy are they to use? Don’t worry; a bread machine isn’t as scary as it sounds. Even the newest of bakers can use one with ease. You don’t have to be a Food Network professional to run a machine and many allow you to put the ingredients in, hit a button and go!
It may seem like there’s a lot that needs to be learned about a bread machine, but the process is pretty simple. Even if you’re someone who is a newcomer, you can use and operate a bread machine seamlessly. Bread machines are becoming more common to use in a household, so the price of many has gone down. You don’t have to worry about spending an arm and a leg, as a bread machine is no longer a top-tier luxury.Go to Top