Who doesn’t love the smell and taste of freshly baked bread? It used to be quite a bit of work to bake your own bread the old fashioned way until bread machines came along.
These machines are incredible and they make it super easy to bake breads and other delicious dished at home. All you have to do is add the ingredients and set the timer. The bread machine will do the rest.
Over the years we have sold thousands of bread machines on this site and I am also an avid user of one of these bread machines myself. Our family uses our bread machine a lot and our friends and family love it when we give them a freshly baked loaf of bread as a gift.
Here are the top 3 bread machines that will suite anyone’s needs and budget.
1. Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Bread Machine (Cream of the Crop)
The Zojirushi is the best bread machine on the market period. This is the one that we use at home and it has also been the best seller on this website for a few years now. Everyone absolutely loves this bread maker.
It bakes large rectangular 2 Lb loaves and features 2 kneading blades to make sure the dough is kneaded thoroughly.
The BB-PAC20 also comes with a very user friendly LCD control panel that will let you easily choose between three different crust shades (light, medium and dark) and you can choose from 10 different pre-programmed settings such as Basic, Basic wheat, Quick Dough, Cake, Jam, Sourdough and more.
The 13 hour timer is also a great feature because it let’s you delay the baking cycle for up to 13 hours. This way your bread will be freshly baked by the time you wake up in the morning or when you come back from work.
You can read our full review of the Zojirushi here.
2. Panasonic SD-YD250 Bread Maker (Best Value for Money)
If you want a bread machine that gets the job done without all the bells and whistles of the Zojirushi then the Panasonic is the one for you.
It is an excellent bread machine that received well over 2000 raving reviews on Amazon.
It bakes loaves in three different sizes up to 2.5 Lb’s and you there are settings for white, whole wheat, multi-grain, french and cakes. The Panasonic also comes with a 13 hour timer.
You can also make banana, ginger bread and pizza doughs with this bread machine.
It is an excellent mid priced bread machine and you can read our full review here.
3. Sunbeam 5891 Bread Maker (Best Low Cost Option)
Don’t let the low price of this little bread machine fool you. It is an excellent machine that produces delicious 2 Lb loaves time and time again. It does not have the bells and whistles of the other 2 machines but it also does not have the price tag of those machines.
You can also choose your crust settings and it has a 13 hour timer as well.
Read our full review here.
Bread Machines Let You Create Homemade Bread Anytime
Very few people today have the time or the skill required to craft their own bread from scratch. However, as anyone who has ever pulled a freshly baked loaf of bread from the oven can tell you, nothing tastes or smells better. The smell of a freshly baked loaf of bread will permeate your entire home and soon have everyone drooling. Thankfully with the ready availability of a wide range of bread machines, anyone can learn to create their own bread with a minimum of effort.
There are several benefits to making your own bread using a bread machine. The most important of these has to be convenience. All you have to do is measure out a few basic ingredients or use a mix, push a few buttons, and within a few hours you have a fresh great smelling loaf of bread you can be proud of and that your family will thoroughly enjoy.
Today’s bread makers have become easy to use, will mix all of the ingredients together, and knead the dough, and complete all other steps at the perfect time. All of this provides you with a perfect bakery-style loaf of bread in just a few hours. Many of the latest models also allow you to add the ingredients and program them to make the bread at a later time so that you can go to work and have fresh bread for dinner.
Loaf Size and Orientation
When you begin shopping for a bread machine, one of the first things you will notice is that the best models let you bake a range of different loaf sizes. The most common sizes are one pound, one and a half pounds, and two pounds. With this in mind you should consider buying a bread maker that lets you choose different size loafs.
In the early days all bread machines were designed to bake their loaves in an upright position. This meant it was pretty obvious the bread was made in a bread machine. Today you can buy bread makers that bake the bread in a horizontal position. Not only do these loaves look more like bakery made bread, they tend to be easier to slice and in many people’s opinion they look much nicer. While you shop for your next bread machine, you are likely to find that horizontal machines significantly outnumber vertical machines.
Different Kinds of Bread
A modern bread machine should make it easy for you to craft a wide variety of different types of bread. Many of the programmable models are designed with automated settings that let you choose the kind of bread you are making. These settings adjust kneading, proofing, and baking times to ensure you always get a perfect loaf. Among the most common settings to look for are those for gluten free breads, sweet breads, artisan breads, and whole wheat loaves. While you must still follow the recipe, these settings make the job easier.
Not Just Bread
Modern bread machines are typically designed to do more than make bread. Top models are designed to produce pizza dough, pasta, and more. There are some models that can even bake a cake for you. However, if you are thinking about buying one of these machines, be sure you actually need them as they do add to the cost.
Consider the overall versatility of the machine you are considering. A number of the newer models offer both bake-only and knead -only settings. With the knead-only setting you can prepare your dough and store it in a refrigerator for later use. If the machine you buy has a bake-only setting, it will allow you to do things like bake cakes.
If you have a big mess to clean up after your bread is made, this might discourage you from enjoying fresh bread on a regular basis. Consider buying a bread machine with a non-stick pan to help reduce the amount of hard work at the end of the baking cycle. Look for a machine that has pans with wire handles as this makes it easier to remove the finished loaf and reduces the risk of damaging your fresh bread. Also consider buying a machine with a removable pan to ensure cleanup is simple.
The early models used a heating element that did not always create a perfectly evenly baked loaf of bread. Today’s machines come with computerized heating and digital timers that can make microscopic adjustments to both temperature and baking times to ensure you always get a perfect loaf of bread each and every time. One thing to consider is that even the most modern bread maker can take several hours to go from mix to finished product. However, a number of newer models now offer a “rapid bake” feature that lets you create a finished loaf in approximately one hour.
Convection Baking, Kneading Blades, and Dispensers
You will find that the vast majority of bread machines have settings that will let you choose light, medium, or dark crusts. If you want to achieve a more uniform product, consider buying a machine that offers convection baking. While you do not have to use this setting, you may find yourself coming to rely on it for perfect bread every time.
Many bread makers come with a single kneading knife, while others are equipped with two. Most users will tell you that two knives are better than one. If you are buying a horizontal machine, it should come with two blades to ensure more efficient mixing and kneading. Since the price difference between the two models is minimal, go for the model with twin blades for best results.
Look for models that have separate compartments for each ingredient as this design lets you keep the ingredients separated and add them at precisely controlled intervals. These machines let you put everything in, set the timer, go to work or out for the day and come home to a nice fresh, ready to eat loaf of your favorite bread.
In searching for the best bread machines, KitchenChatters refers to professional testers first. These experts take the time to compare the different models in side by testing to determine which of them offer the best results. Once testing is completed, the editors will look at a number of owner reviews, they look for reviews on specific brands and models to find those that offer the most versatility, reliability, and overall best results. This information also helps us create a list of the best units and provide you with valuable information to help you choose the right steam mop. Finally we go over the results to ensure each of the different models is still available across the country.