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Best Bread Machines – Full Buying Guide

Bread makers are easily one of the most useful kitchen tools ever in existence, you can easily turn a mix of flour, water and other ingredients to a loaf of delicious bread in less than an hour.

With so many confusing and often contradictory options to choose from, what selection is actually the top bread maker available for me?

This will be a different answer depending on your preferences, budget, features and requirements you are looking for in a bread maker. Are you looking for one that can make enough bread for your entire 4-person family regularly? Or are you looking for a smaller machine that can make smaller but more manageable loaves of bread?

With all these factors being extremely crucial in your selection, it’s important to be knowledgeable before you decide on a model. Don’t worry, we’ve sorted through the mess regarding bread machines.

We at HomeTechie present the most well written buying guide for selecting the best bread machine available on the market today!

Our picks for the Top Bread Machines

Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso

The Zojirushi is one of the highest quality model we have on this list, Zojirushi being a Japanese company has a very good reputation amongst American customers for great quality, service and durability of its products, it has great value with an included recipe booklet and a DVD as well. One of the great features that this machine has are the great variety of options, you can bake regular bread, pizza dough, sourdough, whole wheat bread. The options are practically endless. This machine can easily feed a family of four or more, it is capable of making a 2-pound loaf. You can use the 13-hour timer to bake bread overnight, making your life much easier in the process. This machine includes a heating element in the lid allowing for more thorough cooking and a better exterior on the finished product. This is one of the top bread maker available on the market today.

Highlights:

  • Large 2-pound loaf feeds many people
  • Over 10 presets for baking
  • 13-hour timer
  • Heating element included in the lid

Zojirushi BB-CEC20 Home Bakery Supreme

Another great offering from Zojirushi, this model has many of the same great features as the Zojirushi BB-PAC20. It has plenty of preset programs that allow for easier cooking, a large 2-pound load capacity and the same 13-hour timer as well as extremely customizable options for cooking, dual paddle kneading, and a durable stainless steel design.

The only thing that differs from the BB-PAC20 and the BB-CEC20 is the heating element on the lid. The BB-PAC20 has a heating element on the lid allowing for more even cooking and better crust quality, the BB-CEC20 lacks this leading to less even cooking, this is compensated for by the slightly lower price. Our suggestion is to buy the BB-PAC20 if you can afford it, if you can’t or don’t care too much about the slight downgrade you can settle for the BB-CEC20, it’s also the same quality other than that.

Highlights:

  • 13-hour timer
  • Extremely customizable options for cooking
  • Dual Paddle Kneading
  • Durable Stainless steel design

Zojirushi BB-HAC10 Home Bakery

You might be wondering, how is it possible the first 3 out of 5 models on this list are all made by Zojirushi? It’s really quite simple, Zojirushi as a brand is incredibly high-quality and has the best reputation by far amongst consumers. The Zojirushi BB-HAC10 is a smaller, less ambitious model but nonetheless has many great features and has the same great build quality that the BB-CEC20 and the BB-PAC20 has.

It’s a small bread machine meant for mainly 2-3 member families as it can only produce a smaller 1-pound loaf instead of the 2-pounds the CEC20 and the PAC20 can. It sports also a large number of presets that allow for specific niche cooking of different types of bread and ingredients along with the same 13-hour timer that the other Zojirushi models have. Your purchase will also come with a lot of value, it comes with a DVD, Recipe booklet and measuring devices.

Highlights:

  • Large number of presets allow for niche cooking
  • Purchase comes with a lot of value: DVD, Recipe book and Measuring devices
  • Good Build-Quality
  • 13-hour baking timer

Breville BBM800XL

Being the first non-zojirushi product on this list, it has a lot to compare to, however it can easily hold its own, this has a large amount of customization, you can have up to 4 loaf sizes, 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5 pound loaves of bread. It comes with 3 crust options and 13 automatic settings. It also has custom options for different parts of the baking process, such as when the bread is rising, pre-warming or baking. It also comes with an in-depth recipe booklet (with 46 recipes covering practically all genres of bread: Gluten Free, Whole Wheat, Crusty Loaf, Sweet Bread, Basic, dough, Jam and others). The Breville BBM800XL also comes with an automatic fruit and nut dispenser, it releases the nuts/fruit at the perfect moment during the bread maker process so the extras get evenly spread through the dough. Breville also included a collapsible kneading paddle that collapses so there isn’t the huge hole in the bread after the loaf is done.

Highlights:

  • Up to 4 loaf sizes, 3 crust options and 13 automatic settings
  • In-depth 46 recipe booklet
  • Automatic fruit and nut dispenser
  • Collapsible kneading paddle

Oster 2-pound ExpressBake

A great choice for those looking to buy on a budget, this machine has many of the same great features that make more expensive bread makers great. There are 12 bread presets along with 3 crust presets, it also has a large view window above the main machine for looking at the bread while it’s cooking. The machine is also quite compact, measure 13×13.8×14.1 (Inches) and also lightweight at only 8 pounds, meaning you can basically place this machine wherever you wish.

There is an included express bake option that allows you to quickly prepare bread in under an hour. It also includes an LCD display for looking at the stages of baking as well as having the ability to cook a variety of different foods (Bread, Jelly, nuts and fruits, Rolls).

Highlights:

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Includes an LCD display
  • Budget Pricing
  • Express bake option allows for quick cooking

Factors to consider when purchasing a bread maker:

  • Budget, if you have a limited budget and don’t want to overspend, you don’t always have to sacrifice quality for price. We have plenty of cheap bread makers in our buying guide, be sure to take a look.
  • How many people you want to serve, if you only want to serve one or two people there is no point in buying an extremely high capacity maker, be sure to review the different models to make sure you have the right capacity for your family.
  • Your desires, you should look at the bread machine that satisfies your needs. Look at the machine that makes the right shape, the right type of bread, the right type of dough. All sorts of factors will make or break the right bread machine for you.
  • Any sort of dietary restrictions? Don’t want to have gluten in your bread? There are plenty of gluten-free models available, just take a look at our gluten-free bread machine buying guide.

Different Aspects of Bread Machines

Bread machines have some common characteristics, most have the ability to make at least 1 pound of bread and have a heating element, kneading paddles and can process different types of bread depending on what you decide to use as ingredients

Bread Machines vary by:

Different Aspects of Bread Machines

Bread machines have some common characteristics, most have the ability to make at least 1 pound of bread and have a heating element, kneading paddles and can process different types of bread depending on what you decide to use as ingredients

Bread Machines vary by:

Types of Bread:

Most bread makers are general purpose, this means they can do multiple different types of bread such as sourdough, pizza dough, cookie dough, fruits and nuts in the bread or other options. Being that the majority of bread makers have these options, the only real difference that exists between different types of bread machines are gluten-free options. If you are or a family member are allergic to gluten, there are plenty of gluten free bread machines available.

Customization/Programmability:

Most decent bread makers will have pre-programmed presets that will allow you to make various different types of bread, for example, some bread makers have special heating elements to allow for more even cooking, if you don’t enjoy this feature you can turn it off using the presets.

Many times there will be presets made specifically for a type of bread like sourdough or cookie dough, you can program the maker to time and knead the dough in a specific way, this will allow you to customize your recipes based on different timing, types of flour or types of bread.

Many times these programs will allow you to set and forget a piece of bread, for example a machine after inputting ingredients will automatically process the raw ingredients into the finished product without any hassle. You can also pre-program your machine to create your own custom types of bread.

A delay-timer can allow you to go to work or focus on something else while your bread is cooking, and after 13-hours the machine will automatically stop cooking, leaving a fresh loaf of bread ready to eat.

Size and Shape of the Bread:

You will have to take into account the amount of people you want to feed, note that a family of 2 or 3 will likely only need 1 pound loaves of bread, while a family of 4 may need 2 pound loaves to sustain itself (perhaps more if your family uses incredibly large amounts of bread in a week). Most bread machines will be able to produce at least 1 pound of bread, with some being able to produce up to 3 pounds at a time. Be sure to look at our guide for large or small bread machines to see which ones are the best for you.

Shape is also a preference, do you wish to have a horizontal loaf? Or a large or small normal loaf? All of these factors should be considered before you decide to purchase.

Country of Origin:

As a rule of thumb products from China are usually of inferior quality but are of much lower pricing, bread makers are usually no different. While bread makers from China work, they might break more often, or have slightly less tasty bread as a result, you might decide to purchase anyway, given their lower pricing, but Japanese bread machines will usually be better. As you can see from our top lists of bread machines, a large amount are of Japanese origin for a reason. Japanese products are usually much more expensive but offer better quality, durability and better tasting bread. This is not to say Chinese products are worse, you simply have to find the right combination of pricing and quality for you.

Usability:

Some bread machines will come with a large amount of accessories, including cookbooks, in-depth instruction booklets, online resources and communities, measuring sticks and spoons, and DVD’s while some will include none of the above (mostly the cheaper more budget oriented machines that most people will not expect these extras to be bundled with anyway) which greatly enhance the ease of use of the machine, if you aren’t too good with technology, make sure to check this out, it’s really easy to look on the Amazon page or the review while looking for the perfect selection for you.

Bread Making Equipment:

If you have the slightest idea about making bread, you’ll know that two parts are essential to the production of great tasting bread: The Bread Pan and Kneading Paddles. Bread Pans house the bread as it cooks, and as such can become a burden if not cleaned correctly. You should look for the models that include non-stick material and/or have removable bread pans, this can be very important as muck and grime can build up over time reducing the quality of the bread produced. Kneading paddles are also important, machines may often come with several different kneading paddles produced to knead different types of dough or bread. A machine may have one for just regular dough while also including one for sourdough or pizza dough, you may want to take this into account while searching for a good bread machine.

Price:

As a rule of thumb, more quality usually means more expensive, this is not always the case, we’ve reviewed plenty of bread machines more expensive than a higher quality bread machine, but usually you will have to use price as a way of determining quality.

Don’t worry, there are plenty of budget bread machines out there, just make sure to look in the right places.

Best Practices when using a Breadmaker

  • Purchase top-quality mix and ingredients, if you decide to buy cheaper ingredients your bread may turn out lower quality and may disappoint your family. Also buying good quality ingredients can help the longevity of your machine.
  • Make sure you thoroughly wash and clean your machine before usage. This will mop up any muck or excess that was left in from the last cycle. Your maker will also create better tasting bread and will also help the machine’s durability, cleaning helps prevent the heating element and other components from becoming clogged up and dirty.
  • Make sure to turn off the machine when you aren’t using it, it wastes energy and also had the bad effect of increasing your energy bill. You will also cause environmental damage due to the excess energy being used.

Advantages of using a Bread Machine vs. Buying from a store

Having a bread maker gives you a number of great advantages, you have control over the bread you eat and have the freedom to choose what sort of bread you want. Want Sicilian style bread like your grandma use to make? Try finding a recipe online and you can probably find one.

You don’t have to buy chemical-laden bread from a store anymore, you only need to buy ingredients/mix and simply make it using a your machine. Many store-brands contain huge amounts of excess fat, sugar, preservatives, carbs and other nasty stuff that you don’t want to have your children/family to eat. You can also choose the ingredients so you can be sure that you don’t feed your family any terrible chemicals.

Many models also include cookbooks, recipes, tips and instructions, allowing you to bake bread easier instead of baking bread manually using an oven. They contain in-depth instructions to make your bread as good as possible and also as easy to make.

You can also save quite a lot of money, with buying bread becoming much more expensive and the quality dropping at the same time. A bread machine can last for many years providing your family with great tasting bread. You will essentially get your money in 5 months back if you buy 3 loaves of bread every month.

Advantages of Using a bread machine vs making manually

When you make bread by hand, you risk messing up, producing horrible tasting bread or burnt bread, a bread machine can simplify this process, all you do is insert the ingredients in the right places, follow the included instructions and you should be set. It’s a lot harder to mess up a loaf from a machine rather than a hand-made loaf.

Bread machines aren’t tedious like hand-making bread is, bread makers don’t require you to spend a large amount of time, strenuously kneading and preparing the bread, bread machines automatically make high quality bread without all the stress. Many times you might have no idea how to make that delicious slice of Sicilian style bread your grandma made, or perhaps your father’s old pizza? Well many bread machines have in-depth programs already built it for these types of bread, allowing you to simply dump in a load of pre-prepared ingredients and watch it do its magic.

Different Types of Bread Machines:

  1. Large Bread Machines – Great for Families of 3 or higher
  2. Small Bread Machines – Produces enough for around 2-3 people
  3. Budget Bread Machines – These machines are cheap but high quality
  4. Gluten-Free Bread Machines – For that one gluten-free family member
  5. Horizontal Bread Machines – Produces Horizontal loaves of bread

 

Conclusion:

We hope you enjoyed reading our guide for the top bread-makers out there! We hope this guide will help you buy a good bread maker to provide great tasting bread for you and your family!

Best Bread Machines – Full Buying Guide
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