There are few things better than the smell of freshly baked bread. And it’s hard to beat a slice of warm bread with butter on it. So delicious! On top of that, homemade bread just tastes better than store-bought bread. When you buy a loaf of bread from a store shelf, it will almost certainly contain preservatives and other ingredients that are hard to pronounce. Without all the added ingredients, homemade bread is simply the best.
Making homemade bread doesn’t require fancy tools. You can make your own bread using just a few ingredients, a spoon, a bowl and an oven. But the good news is homemade bread doesn’t have to be time or labor intensive. With bread machines (also known as bread makers), all it takes is a few minutes to throw the ingredients together, push a couple buttons and wait for the timer to beep.
With so many bread machines on the market, it can be tough to decide what brand and model to choose. We wanted to take an opportunity to introduce you to a few of our favorites so you can be off to a great start with a trusted bread maker. Here are a few great options to get you going in the right direction.
Table of Contents
- Best Automatic Bread Maker
- Best Programmable Bread Maker
- Best Convection Bread Maker
- Best Professional Bread Maker
- F.A.Q. About Bread Makers
- Who needs a bread maker?
- Things to consider when choosing a bread maker
Best Automatic Bread Maker
Panasonic SD-YD250 Automatic Bread Maker
The Panasonic SD-YD250 Automatic Bread Maker is an excellent choice for individuals who want to enjoy home-baked bread without fussing around with the settings.
This model comes with a yeast dispenser that will save you a lot of time. You place the yeast in the small compartment at the top of the lid and it is released into the dough at the correct time. It also has a delay start feature that allows you to set the bread maker to begin baking any time of day you choose without having to physically be there to push the button.
The model also comes with various dough and preset bread options that give you more flexibility to make different types of recipes.
Panasonic SD-YD250 Automatic Bread Maker delivers consistent results with every loaf. It will help you to produce great bread with a dark, crispy crust. Most of the customers who have already used this bread maker consider it easy to operate.
Additionally, the model is sturdy and stable ensuring that it provides you with dependable service for many years to come.
Why people love this automatic bread maker?
- Easy to use
- Consistent results
- Choice of three loaf sizes
- Automatic yeast dispenser
Weaknesses of this automatic bread maker
- Large. So not ideal for small kitchens
- Heavy to move around
Best Programmable Bread Maker
Oster CKSTBRTW20 Bread Machine
Though all the bread machines we discuss here have some sort of programmability, we chose the Oster CKSTBRTW20 Bread Machine as the best programmable option because of the amount of options available for programming the machine.
It has 12 bread settings, 3 crust settings, express bake (bakes in less than an hour), and a 13 hour programmable timer so your bread can start baking whenever you want it to. Needless to say, it is pretty versatile.
This bread maker has a 2lb loaf capacity and comes with a programmable menu that is easy to use. The model also features an LCD screen that allows you to see the time remaining as well as temperature setting.
The model also comes with a circular viewing port in the lid that allows you to observe the progress without having to lift the lid.
Another great feature that comes with this product is the removable bread pan. It allows you to clean the pan quickly.
The Oster CKSTBRTW20 Bread Machine also includes useful features such as the measuring cup, scoop as well as a removable kneading blade tool.
You are also provided with the user guide as well as recipes to help you get started.
Why people love this programmable bread maker?
- Easy to wash
- Great features
Weaknesses of this programmable bread maker
- It is a single-paddle design that leaves a small hole in the bread after baking
- Small in size (though this might be a positive if you have a small kitchen)
Best Convection Bread Maker
Cuisinart CBK-200 2-Lb Convection Bread Maker
The Cuisinart CBK-200 2-Lb Convection Bread Maker comes with a set of robust features and a convection fan for enhanced baking. As a quick side note, for your reference, convection baking uses fans to circulate the air making the contents bake more evenly and without hot spots.
This model comes with sixteen pre-programmed settings including low carb, gluten free, artisan and whole wheat bread settings. The bread pan is non-stick making it easy to clean.
The easy to use control panel is another excellent feature that comes with this bread maker. Although it does not have a backlit screen, the controls have raised buttons which are easy to use.
You also get a recipe book that has clear instructions and a good amount of recipes so you can get off to a good start.
This Cuisinart CBK-200 2-Lb Convection Bread Maker weighs about sixteen pounds and measures 19 by 16 by 13 inches.
Additionally, the machine is made with a combination of polished and brushed aluminum making it durable and easy to clean.
Why people love this convection bread maker?
- Quiet operation
- High quality
- Convenient settings
Weaknesses of this convection bread maker
- LED screen is not backlit and might be difficult to read
- You cannot program your own custom bread making cycle
Best Professional Bread Maker
Breadman BK1050S Professional Bread Maker
For those who are serious about baking bread that rivals your local bakery, the Breadman BK1050S Professional Bread Maker is an excellent choice.
One feature we are really impressed with is the collapsible paddle that prevents a hole at the bottom of the bread when removing from the pan. It is a real bummer to pull out a beautiful loaf of bread but end up with a hole at the bottom due to having to pull the paddle out. But with this model, the kneading paddle collapses prior to baking so you get a flawless loaf of bread.
This machine is designed to produce 2 pound loaves at its maximum capacity although it can also make 1 pound and 1.5 pound bread.
It produces bread in three crust colors and comes with 14 preprogrammed bake settings.
When we consider the price, this product comes with more features than most of the products in the same budget range.
Why people love this professional bread maker?
- Great design
- Features an artisan dough mode
- High quality
Weaknesses of this professional bread maker
- There have been some complaints about the paddle failing to fold
- Some feel the machine is bulky
F.A.Q. About Bread Makers
Q. Are bread makers easy to clean?
A: Yes, most bread makers are easy to clean although you need to make sure that you select a model with a removable tray.
Q. Can bread makers help to make both whole grain and white bread?
A: Yes, the bread makers we’ve reviewed are designed for all types including whole grain and white bread.
Q. Can I make bread that is similar quality to a bakery?
A: Absolutely. These bread makers can allow you to make bread that have a similar size, shape, color, and taste of that from a bakery.
Q. What are they made from, metal or plastic?
A: Most of the bread makers are constructed using stainless steel although you can still find high-quality models that are built using durable plastics.
Q. In what order should I add ingredients?
A: Always put the liquids in first, the dry ingredients in next, and the yeast in last. Make sure there is no contact between the liquids and the yeast. You do not want the yeast to be activated too soon in the process. It is especially important when you’re using the Delay Bake option.
Who needs a bread maker?
If you are tired of store-bought bread and you would like to control the ingredients used in your bread, you need to consider purchasing a bread maker.
Additionally, you can use a bread maker for various other things as it allows you to knead and ferment dough. For example, you could make dough for bread, cinnamon rolls, buns and pretty much any other type of dough. It is excellent for people who would like to make dough with less of a mess.
Things to consider when choosing a bread maker
- Consider the size
There are many different sizes of bread makers available on the market. For this reason, one has to decide according to their requirement. The best size for you depends on the size of your family and how much bread you intend to make each time.
- Bread shape
Do you prefer a bread maker that helps you to bake a traditional rectangular loaf or prefer a loaf of bread that is round or square?
Or would you like your bread to stand upright instead of horizontally long? Regardless of the shape, it is easy to find a bread maker that will help you to bake a loaf your preferred way.
- Consider the price
Another important consideration when selecting the best one is the price. You’ll find that many of the higher priced bread makers tend to be more durable and reliable. But there are also some great models that work well that are lower priced.
- Look at the quality
There are various things for you to check to ensure that you select the best quality bread maker. Start by looking at the materials used to construct the bread machine.
Cheaply made bread machines made from plastic materials tend to break more easily. Go for models that are constructed with high-quality materials.
- Consider the features
The top bread makers come with various features that make your work easier. Features like baking style, delayed baking using a timer, and the type of dough take a lot of guesswork out of the baking process.
Baking your own bread is a wonderful and a low-cost way to get fresh and tasty bread anytime you want it. Selecting the right bread maker will help you to achieve this quickly.
The products we have listed are easy to use, affordable and durable. Selecting any of the products listed here guarantees you a great experience when making fresh bread for yourself and your family. However, it is also good to go through the features of each product to ensure you find the best bread machine that fits your needs perfectly.