A Guide to Buying the Best Bread Maker
And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, making the face brighter than oil, and bread that sustains man's heart. (Psalms 104:15)
If you go to a supermarket, you’ll see an amazing selection of types of bread, ranging from plain white sliced bread to French bread, to specialty bread, and even gluten-free options. What’s even more amazing is that you can prepare these same types of bread in your own home! A bread-making machine is a compact, affordable appliance that can provide you with fresh bread in a variety of types and sizes. It does all the kneading for you, waits for the dough to rise, and bakes it for you, at the press of a button!
Depending on the model, a bread maker can prepare as many as 10 different types of bread, as well as cake, pasta, yogurt, and even jam! And you can also vary the type of crust on your bread, as well as how brown you’d like the crust. They also have programmable timers, so that you can have the bread ready for precisely the time you want to serve it!
We’ll go through some of the options available among the best bread makers in the Best Reviews Guide list. We’ll see how you can prepare fresh bread, free of preservatives and other additives, which is both satisfying and delicious!
Types of Bread Makers
Looking at the Best Reviews Guide list of the best bread makers, we see that there are two basic types:
Traditional bread maker: This relies on heating elements in the bottom, and perhaps also the lid, of the bread maker cavity. But it lacks a convection fan. An example is the Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus Breadmaker (Model No. BB-PDC20BA). Besides being able to prepare white bread, whole wheat bread, European bread, gluten-free, and multigrain bread, it also has a rapid-baking option which will have a loaf of bread ready for you in 2.5 hours!
Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus Breadmaker
Convection bread maker: These also include a fan to circulate air inside the cavity. This will produce a more even texture and crust. The Cuisinart Convection Bread Maker (Model No. CBK-200) is a convection model.
Cuisinart Convection Bread Maker
What reviewers say
Here’s what customers say about their choice of bread maker:
Saves time: Customers say that a bread maker also saves them time in preparing bread. You simply add the ingredients whenever it's convenient for you, and set the time on the machine’s delay timer, for when you want the bread ready. The bread maker will start kneading the dough at the proper time and let it rise. It will have the bread prepared at precisely the time that you set with the bread machine.
Working with the dough: If you want to prepare a braided loaf of bread, many machines allow you to only knead the dough at first. After the kneading cycle is finished, you can take the dough out and braid it, or form it into individual rolls. You can put it into the bread pan again, and hit the “Bake” button for the dough to bake.
Dough with sugar will come out darker: One customer noted that if your dough has sugar in it, the bread will tend to come out darker than the pre-defined setting. If you set it for a light-colored crust, it may come out medium instead. Also, if the salt or sugar doesn’t mix sufficiently, it will cause the flour to stick to the walls of the baking pan and tend to burn.
Here are some features of the best bread maker, which may help you decide on one model over another:
Bread sizes and varieties: Most bread machines allow you to prepare a loaf of bread in a variety of sizes. The Pohl Schmitt Bread Maker allows for a loaf that’s 1 lb, 1.4 lbs, or 2.2 lbs. (The Breville Custom Loaf Bread Maker allows for 4 different size loaves: 1 lb., 1.5 lbs., 2 lbs, and 2.5 lbs.) You should set the bread size according to the number of members in your family. A 1-lb. loaf is usually enough for two days for an average family. You can also find bread makers that allow you to prepare artisan bread, French bread, focaccia dough, pizza dough, hamburger buns, and more. Some bread makers, like the Breville Custom Loaf Bread Maker, also give you an audible cue to add fruits or nuts to your bread during the kneading stage, and provide a chute for where to insert them.
Breville Custom Loaf Bread Maker, illustrating the compartment for adding fruits & nuts
Keep-warm function: Many bread makers also have a “Keep-warm” function, if you don’t remove your bread within one hour after it’s finished baking.
Making jam: There are bread makers that allow you to prepare jam as well (which is a nice combination together with a fresh loaf of bread). You mash the fruit from which you want to prepare jam and add it to the bread maker with sugar and lemon juice. It will heat the mixture for around 1.5 hours, evaporating any excess moisture in the fruit. You then let the mixture thicken by cooling it.
Easy to clean/dishwasher-safe parts: Many bread makers will have a non-stick interior, which helps you get the bread out easily. Some also feature dishwasher-safe parts. You’ll have to clean the bread pan, as well as the kneading paddles.
We saw a few of the options among bread makers, noting the variety of types of bread that they can make, as well as how they can save you time when preparing bread. A bread maker can add lots of variety to your baking repertoire, allowing you to prepare cakes, muffins, pizza, and more. Look over the Best Reviews Guide list, and choose one out today!