Best Bread Makers of 2019 - Reviews of Bread Making Machines
We've been reviewing the best bread makers since 2014, finding the top options for those who want to skip grocery store bread and get something fresh and wholesome. We recommend the Panasonic SD-YD250, a compact machine that makes a large loaf of bread quickly and easily. You can use a preset timer that allows you to add ingredients and prep up to 13 hours ahead of time, so you can wake up to fresh bread or come home from work to a just-baked loaf. In addition, it has a variety of settings – gluten-free, rapid-bake, pizza dough and a few crust colors.
The price is relatively low but you still get some nice extras, including a clear digital display and an automatic dispenser that releases yeast at the best time for a better bread.
This is a reasonably priced option at slightly less than $70 and, despite the lower cost, still gives you features such as delay start and express bake, which means you can enjoy hot, fresh bread in less than an hour.
This goes beyond the work-arounds found on some units to give you an actual gluten-free setting, and the bake-only cycle lets you be more hands-on with your dough, if you want.
The Panasonic SD-YD250 is a compact machine designed to be easy to use. There is a simple interface with just five buttons and a digital display that leaves little room for confusion.
You can find this bread maker for less than $100, but it still has some useful extras. With some bread makers, you must add yeast with the rest of the ingredients. However, the Panasonic SD-YD250 has an automatic yeast dispenser that releases it at just the right time, which is useful if you set the machine’s delay timer to start baking a few hours after you add the ingredients – leaving yeast to just sit in the other ingredients for hours on end can make it less effective. If you want bread as soon as possible, you can use the Bake Rapid setting and get basic multigrain or French bread quickly. This model also prepares pizza dough, so you can skip the delivery guy.
This machine allows you a lot of control. You can select the loaf size – medium, large or extra-large. And you choose the type of crust you prefer – light, medium or dark. The nonstick pan and handle are designed to make cleanup simple and quick.
This Oster model costs just under $70, but still offers numerous helpful features. It can make a 2-pound loaf and has a delay timer, so you can put the ingredients in and wake up to freshly baked bread in the morning.
The window on the top is a nice touch that allows you to watch as the machine bakes your bread. The bread maker’s controls are straightforward, and a digital display lets you know each stage of the bread-making process. There is even an express bake option if you want bread in less than an hour.
The machine's nine settings help you prepare the type of bread you want. While there is not a specific gluten-free setting, you can get similar results by using the whole-grain button – though Oster's own customer support recommends looking at a different machine if you want to make a lot of gluten-free loaves. This machine can make many types of bread, including French breads, pizza dough and breads with fruit, even though it is also one of the more affordable models we evaluated.
Best for Gluten-Free Bread
A gluten-free diet that includes homemade bread may seem like a strange idea, but there are a few bread makers on the market that have work-arounds for making gluten-free bread.
Not all of them have a specific setting for gluten-free, but the Cuisinart CBK-100 does. It also has settings for French, whole wheat, sweet, packaged mix and pizza dough, so you can make a lot more than just basic bread. You can also choose from three crust colors and three loaf sizes.
A delay-start timer means you can add ingredients and set them to automatically start baking hours later. The machine makes the bread for you whenever you choose – up to 13 hours later. You can also opt to do more of the prep work if you like, with the bake-only option. The kneading paddle and other parts are removable for easy cleaning, and a power failure backup means your bread-making cycle can continue even after a power outage.
The Breville BBM800KL is a high-quality, user-friendly bread maker that’s fully programmable, and it has 13 automatic settings. It also provides four loaf sizes and three options for crust color.
The Breville is more expensive than most bread makers we reviewed, but it also has much more capability. This machine is only 9.6 inches long, but it can make a loaf of bread weighing up to 2.5 pounds. You can choose from multiple preprogrammed settings or manually input preferences for the machine’s preheat, knead, rise, punch-down, bake and warming phases. There’s even a delay timer of up to 13 hours.
This bread maker has a blue LCD display, rubber feet and a collapsible paddle. The collapsible paddle is especially nice because it prevents the hole that can be left over by the kneading paddle. The Breville has a nut and fruit compartment that holds extra ingredients until it’s time to add them. It also has an oven light button and viewing window.
Best for Whole Grain Bread
The Hamilton Beach HomeBaker is a high-quality bread maker at a midrange price. Its programming menu is easy to use, and it has specialty settings for whole grain, gluten-free, French and sweet breads. You can also make pizza and roll dough, as well as jam and cake.
When you need to add ingredients mid-cycle, the HomeBaker beeps to tell you it’s time. It comes with two paddles, which is nice if you want to make a second loaf while the first paddle is being washed. The machine has 12 program cycles and three crust settings. It can bake loaves from 1.5 to 2.5 pounds, and it has a delay timer. It also has an express option for faster baking, but loaves made with this feature are smaller and have thicker crusts than regular loaves. This bread machine’s interior baking pan has a handle that makes it easier to remove bread from the unit. The Homebaker’s outer housing is plastic, with a silver base and rubber feet.
Why Trust Us?
We've been singling out reviews of the 10 best bread machines since 2014, analyzing the attributes and features that make them most likely to benefit your household on a long-term basis. We search the marketplace for the most popular and best-reviewed machines and then compile and report our findings.
How We Researched
We've spent hours looking at product manuals and reading customer and professional reviews to find the best options on the market. We also visited the appliance sections at popular department stores and spoke with customer service representatives about what to look for in a quality bread machine. We specifically sought out bread makers in a wide price range and found good options even at the lower price points. Whether you are replacing, upgrading or buying your first bread maker, we’ve evaluated one that should work for you.
How Much Does a Bread Maker Cost?
You can expect to pay under $100 for a decent bread machine that will fit your needs for making good homemade bread. There are bread makers that cost $250 or more that come with specialty features, higher quality outer housing and more settings and options. You can expect to pay more for commercial grade machines.
Is It Cheaper to Make Your Own Bread?
We did the math based on our favorite Allrecipes.com white bread recipe made in a bread machine. Based on current market prices of the ingredients, making your own bread will cost about $3.34 per loaf. Depending on where you live, this is comparable to a quality loaf of bread you can pick up at the grocery store, though there are cheaper, lower quality breads available. However, you won’t get a fresh and hot loaf for this price at a store, and if you’re using your bread machine, you can set it to start cooking so it’s ready right when you are.
How Long Does Homemade BreadLlast?
Because it doesn’t have the same preservatives as store-bought bread, homemade loaves won’t last very long, maybe two or three days. To help it keep well, make sure your bread cools completely before you store it in a bag, plastic wrap, foil or breadbox. This will cut down on moisture and keep it from molding too quickly.
How Do Bread Making Machines Work?
Making bread from scratch takes effort, and although many people find it therapeutic, our busy lives often don’t allow enough time. The basic steps are to measure and mix the ingredients, knead the dough, allow it to rise, punch it down and allow it to rise again in the baking pan, and then bake it in the oven. The beauty of a bread machine is it does these tasks for you. You simply put the ingredients into the removable metal container, slide it into the machine, close it, input settings and press start. From the control panel, you can set such things as the weight of the loaf and how dark you want the crust.
In older machines, the mixing paddle remained inside, and loaves came out with a hole in them. However, newer machines tell you when to remove it, so you get a standard-shaped loaf. In addition, many machines have a delayed-start feature, so you can wake up to fresh bread in the morning, or a quick-baking feature, so you can have fresh bread relatively fast.
Bread machines have become increasingly versatile in recent years, and many can now make gluten-free loaves, cakes, jam, and pizza and pasta doughs. In addition, some bread makers let you do the prep work yourself – a great help if you want to release stress by kneading heavy dough – and simply bake the bread.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Bread Maker
Vertical-loaf machines affect texture, though not overall quality or flavor – they can leave a denser texture at one end of the loaf. If that would bother you, it is worth noting whether the bread machine cooks a vertical loaf or a horizontal loaf. Horizontal loaves are more like the ones you buy in the store, and most people prefer them. They generally have lighter, fluffier bread at the top of the loaf with a more dense section on the bottom half.
Bread makers can vary drastically when it comes to the size of loaves they produce. Since fresh bread does not have the preservatives found in store-bought bread, it goes bad more quickly. Make sure the machine makes the size of loaf appropriate for your household.
Bread machines have specific settings for different types of breads, including French, wheat, fruit, pizza dough and others. You should make sure the one you purchase can produce your favorites. It could be worth finding out whether it has a gluten-free setting, for instance.
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