The Best Bread Maker


Last updated: May 31, 2019




We've rounded up the best bread makers and tested them, looking at ease of use, features, look and feel, and pros and cons, and summarized our findings below.

Jump down to our bread maker buying guide if you want to know more about what to look out for when choosing.We've also added some frequently asked questions (and answers!).





Bread maker buying guide 2019

Making bread can be lot of work, but if you want that freshly baked bread smell wafting around your home there's little option than to get your oven gloves out and start baking. That is, until the invention of the bread maker. If you want to enjoy homemade bread and other baked goods without the hassle, a dedicated bread machine is the way to make it happen. Using these helpful machines, you can make your favorite types of bread efficiently and without the usual clean up.

For any bread lover, a bread maker is a must-have machine. If you don't own one already, you're missing out. The convenience of these machines eliminates the downsides of making bread at home and allows you to save money by not having to buy all your bread from the store.


How do bread makers work?

When you see a bread maker working for the first time, the whole process seems like magic. You put the ingredients in, turn on the machine and before you know it, your bread is ready.

You don't have to do anything with the dough or get your hands dirty in any way as the machine takes care of the entire process. There is one thing that you need to do though - measuring the ingredients. The recipe and the ingredients you use have a large impact on the final result.


What makes bread makers better than traditional methods?

There are many reasons why bread makers are superior when compared to traditional bread making methods. The first of these reasons is the one that we've already mentioned, which is convenience. Instead of doing all the hard work needed to bake the bread yourself, you can get a bread maker and let it handle the entire process. No more sore arms from kneading dough when you're using one of these machines.

Another great thing about getting a bread maker is the fact that it can save you money. As it makes baking bread much easier and gives you excellent results, you'll be buying less bread when you use one. As bread you buy at a store is much more expensive compared to the cost of making bread at home, you'll end up making a saving over time.

Being able to control the ingredients that go into your bread allows you to use ingredients of much higher nutritional value compared to the bread you buy from a bakery. If you want some gluten-free bread and you can't find good options anywhere nearby, this machine can help you make some at home.


Getting the bread maker that's right for you

Now that you're familiar with what makes bread makers stack up compared to traditional bread making methods, you're probably thinking about getting one. After all, the perks of having one of these machines make it so hard to give up if you're baking often.

The only thing that's left to know is the important considerations to keep in mind when buying a new bread maker. With different models available on the market, you need to know exactly what you're looking for so you're able to get a model that's right for your needs.

A model might be good overall but it might not be suitable for your specific needs. Before you buy, keep these in mind so you have an idea what you're looking for. The following are the important considerations that you should always keep in mind when you're buying a new bread maker.


Capacity

It's true that all bread makers make bread. This is something that they all have in common. What they don't have in common though, is the amount of bread they can make at a single time.

When choosing your new bread maker, this is an important point that you should always consider. The capacity of these machines is calculated in pounds. The higher the capacity of a bread maker, the bigger the loaves it can make.

The capacity of most models that you can currently find on the market ranges between one to three pounds. To most people though, this number doesn't really mean anything. So, to make the capacity issue easier for you to grasp, a one pound loaf is around eight slices of bread.

Most machine allow you to choose the size of the loaf you're making to avoid wasting any bread when you don't have to. Despite being able to produce larger loaves, the width and length of the loaves is the same.

Bread makers with higher capacity produce loaves that are taller than the average ones. The majority of bread makers on the market have a two pound capacity, which is suitable for most families.

Delayed Timer

If you're the kind of person who loves to enjoy fresh bread with your breakfast, this feature is simply a must-have. What a delayed timer does is allowing you to set your bread maker to start working by itself at the time you specify.

To enjoy fresh bread in the morning, all you have to do is put the ingredients in the machine and set the timer so it starts working and has the bread ready by the time you wake up. With that, you don't have to get up earlier than usual to start the bread maker yourself, which is really convenient.

Noise

As you would expect from a machine that does lots of mechanical work like kneading dough, bread makers can be noisy. This is especially true in some low-end models, as they have overall poor build quality.

Most premium bread makers make muffled sounds that won't be an annoyance of any kind. If you intend on using your bread maker often and noise could be an issue, then you should try to get similar models.

Build quality

You should also keep in mind that some of the low-end models can even move when in use, which is a result of having poor build quality. Not only can this be annoying, but it can also be dangerous as the bread maker can fall off the counter-top and break or cause injury.

Programmable options

Some people are very picky when it comes to their bread. If you're one of those people, having lots of programmable options is something that you should be always looking for in your new bread maker.

Instead of having to use pre-set modes only, programmable options allow you to control everything about making your bread. You can control things like baking time, how much you want the bread to rise so you can have bread with the exact taste and texture that you want.

Having such level of control always translates into a higher price tag. If take your bread seriously though, it's totally worth it. Not being able to control how your bread is made is the major downside of using bread machines instead of traditional methods. With such level of control, you're left with nothing short of a perfect experience.

If the bread maker that you're buying doesn't give you the ability to create custom programs, you should try and get one with as many pre-set programs as possible. This will make using your bread maker much more convenient and gives you more flexibility in terms of what you can make with it.

Price

Bread makers come with different price tags. Like pretty much anything you can buy these days, there are budget and premium models. Generally speaking, premium models are of higher quality and come with more options. However, you can get a budget model of a decent quality that does the basics pretty well.

Which model you should get depends mainly on your budget. If you can afford it, high-end models are a better choice over time. If not, a decent budget model will do, if you're willing to compromise on features. One thing that you should keep in mind though is that some of the more expensive models can be used for other things like making jam.

If you want a bread maker that gives you a lot of options, you should set a budget that allows you to get such a machine.

Ingredients dispenser

An automatic ingredients dispenserIf you like bread with nuts or fruit included, an ingredients dispenser is essential.

If you plan on making bread with nuts and/or dried fruits, you have to wait until most of the kneading is done before you can add them. The reason is that these ingredients will be crushed if they were added for the entire kneading cycle.

This is a process that you have to do manually in most bread makers. Except ones that have an automatic ingredients dispenser. When the time to add nuts and dried fruit comes, the dispenser does this automatically without you having to stop the machine and add them yourself.

Interruption recovery

Most people start their bread makers and forget about them until the bread is ready. If the power goes out or the machine is interrupted for any other reasons, most models will not resume on their own. They'll just stop until you start them over. In most cases this also means you'll lose the dough.

In models with the interruption recovery feature, the machine will just resume on its own as soon as electricity is back. This makes them much more convenient, especially if you set the bread maker to work while you're sleeping.

Keeping the bread warm

This is another feature that's a must for people who love to enjoy fresh bread. Bread makers that have this feature will keep the bread warm for a while after the baking process is over. If the machine has finished making the bread and you're not ready to eat yet, it can keep it warm and fresh for a longer period so you won't have to reheat it.

Kneading Paddles

Kneading paddles are responsible for kneading the dough inside your bread maker. They come in different shapes and most machines come with just one. What you need to know about these paddles is that some machines come with different paddles for kneading things other than bread.

If you want to make something that requires a special kneading paddle like pasta, you should make sure that the bread maker that you're buying can handle that. Also, having a spare paddle is recommended. Some machines add a spare paddle as back up, which is always a good thing to have.

Which bread maker is best for me?


The best overall bread maker

If you're looking for the best, the Breville BBM800XL Custom Loaf Bread Maker is our overall top scoring bread maker you can buy. If you just want the best, get this.


The best value bread maker

We recommend the Hamilton Beach HomeBaker Bread Machine for those on a budget. The combination of essential features at a low price point means this is the one to get if you don't want to spend too much.


Frequently Asked Questions

How can I make bread that isn't too moist or too dry?

There are many factors that can affect this so there isn't a single exact answer for all cases. You should keep in mind though that the type of flour that you're using and the amount of liquids in your recipe play a major role. Keep experimenting with them until you reach the texture you want.

Can break makers be used for things other than making bread?

Of course. Bread makers can be used for making pizza dough, pasta, cakes, jam and more. Always check what a machine can make before making a purchasing decision.

Do bread machines add the right ingredient quantities for a recipe?

No. Adding the recipe ingredients in the right amounts is the one thing that you'll have to do yourself when using a bread maker, the exception being machines with automatic ingredient dispensers. These will release extras (like fruit) into the mix at the necessary time, but you'll still need to have added all the other ingredients manually.

Can I add nuts to my bread?

Yes. You can add things like nuts and dried fruits to your dough when using a bread maker. Just remember not to add them from the beginning so they're not crushed in the kneading process.


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Kristine Fuller's profile picture
This article was written and researched by Kristine Fuller.
I'm Kristine, writer and researcher for Expertly Tested. I usually review products of all types for the home and kitchen, and I'm the go-to person for these on the team!