Here at kitchenpractical.com, we’re committed to providing our readers with comprehensive and unbiased bread machine reviews. We’ve put dozens of models through their paces to give you an overview of the best appliances on the market today. We’ve had the opportunity to cover all of the major brands, and rated each bread machine on numerous criteria – such as price, weight, cooking options, LCD options, warranty time frames and more. We hope that our unbiased reviews will help you to make an educated buying decision when choosing your next bread machine.
We’re a team of bread making enthusiasts who also happen to be mothers and fathers. We’re typical guys (and girls) who use bread machines in our day-to-day lives. Collectively, we’ve had the chance to use dozens of different bread machines, and we’ve collated all of our own opinions to form one central review of the appliance. We also collate and compare reviews from consumers who have first-hand experience with the model; bringing all of this together to give you a complete overview of the model.
There’s nothing quite like freshly baked bread. One reason is because of the sheer length of time it takes to make from scratch. Unfortunately, spending that much time on a baking project isn’t that feasible in most people’s lives. A bread machine can save time and effort, although there are dozens of different kinds to pick from. This buyer’s guide seeks to shed some light on the different components to consider when looking to buy a bread machine.
Convenience is the most obvious benefit of getting a bread machine. All you must do is measure some ingredients, press the right buttons, and you’ll have fresh bread waiting in a few hours. These machines have been around for a long time, but the features have evolved immensely. Some models can mix ingredients, knead dough and come out with bread with minimal work on your part. Some can even delay baking so the loaf is ready at a scheduled time.
Size and Pan Shape
All bread machines are a little different from one another. Each variation serves its own purpose, however. The amount of bread you expect to need will determine how large a machine you need to look for. This will help narrow down the decision by more than you think.
Size is also important because you don’t want to get a machine that is bigger than you can reasonably store. If you cannot tuck it away in a cabinet or conveniently keep it on your counter, then it just isn’t going to work for your kitchen. If you have little counter space to work with, smaller machines are likely the better choice. Not only that, but lighter machines will be easier to lift up into the cabinet, so this is also worth considering.
What size will the loaf be when the bread machine works? It may be better to think of it in terms of slices; a standard loaf of bread from the store is cut into 20 slices. With that in mind, knowing how heavy the finished loaf is can help you figure out how much bread you’ll get:
- 1 pound: 8 slices
- 1.5 pounds: 12 slices
- 2 pounds: 16 slices
- 2.5 pounds: 20 slices
Rapid Bake Option
Someone who doesn’t have much time to spend cooking a loaf of bread will find the Fast Bake and Rapid Bake options greatly appealing. Obviously, these features are meant to expedite the process of baking bread. Be sure to look at this specification closely since the exact rate of speed will differ depending on the specific bread machine.
Large households who don’t care for fancy ingredients over how much bread can be cooked each day should certainly get a bread machine with a rapid bake option.
It is also a very good idea to get a bread machine that has pre-programmed settings. Not everyone is intimate with the science of breaking bread, so a quality machine will have up to 12 different settings for different loaves like raising, white, wheat, whole grain and other types of bread to ensure it always comes out fresh and correct.
Those who are interested in shaping dough by hand will find convenience with the dough cycle on a bread maker. To put it simply, you can remove the dough from the bread machine at this stage, shape it manually, and then place it into the oven to bake further. This is a useful feature for anyone who likes to bake rolls or pizza dough.
What kind of dough can the machine make? Most can make white, multigrain and whole wheat bread. However, if you want to prepare dough for a pizza or shape a bagel, then you’ll need a machine that can accommodate your needs. Always be sure the bread machine you’re comparing can make the type of bread you want to have most often.
There are some bread machines that have just one kneading blade, though others have two. It’s usually best to get two for best results; this is especially true if you make horizontal loaves, or else you run the risk of poorly made bread. The difference in price between machines with varying kneading blades are quite negligible.
All machines have the ability to produce dark, light or medium crusts. To get a uniform crust all over, however, it’s an excellent idea to get convection cooking. Most top-of-the-line machines have these settings available. It isn’t always necessary to use, but it can often be convenient. Note that machines with this option tend to be more pricey than others.
Some bread recipes require that you put the ingredients into the batch at a later stage of the cooking process. For example, you wouldn’t cook dried fruit or nuts all the way from the beginning. Some machines offer a small alarm or beep to indicate to the user that it’s time to add secondary ingredients. Others offer a special compartment to automatically dump the ingredients at the correct time; this lets you load them up at the beginning and make great bread without a second thought.
Some models will even dispense yeast at the appropriate time. This takes even more effort away from the process, making it that much easier to get delicious results.
There are many recipes out there compatible with bread machines. Special cookbooks offer these recipes, as do various websites. Those who have their own recipes might want to get machines with preset features, allowing the user to program a recipe into the machine to quickly access later. This is a very convenient choice for those who like to repeat recipes regularly.
Get a bread machine that makes the correctly sized loaf and has the features needed for your desired recipes and type of bread.
Know what Bread Machine Brand you want? Simply head over to our relevant section!
Bread Machine Benefits Summed Up – Why You Need One
Bread Machines are an innovation to today’s society. We live in a world where heading down to the local supermarket is the norm. We have lost touch with our inner selves. Cooking food the manual way has been in our very society and culture for thousands of years, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. Why is it then, that many of us choose to purchase food from large corporations instead of making it ourselves; when the latter usually delivers more nutritious and delicious food?
Believe it or not, it’s estimated that roughly 30% of all Americans own some form of a Bread Machine – whether that’s a conventional bread machine or merely a hybrid appliance. The true reality is, is that Americans really do enjoy home cooked Bread, and we’re here to increase that number. We believe that home cooked bread not only provides lots of nutritional benefits, but also spreads happiness and love all around a family home. The smell of fresh bread coming out of the bread machine is a smell that no other food can replicate – it is simply heaven; and that’s why we absolutely love our Bread Machines.
With that said, it’s time to get down to the real benefits of owning a bread machine:
- Simple Assembly, Simple Clean Up: It could be argued that no other kitchen appliance is as easy to use as the bread machine. Most modern models simply involve dumping (yes, dumping) the ingredients into the machine, fiddling around with the settings for a minute or two, and pressing start. The clean up process is simple, and often only requires one pan and a blade.
- More Time For You: It’s no hidden secret that using a bread machine is far easier, and far less time consuming than making bread by hand. All of that mixing and kneading makes hard work for poor souls. Luckily, bread machines automate all of this for you – meaning your energy gets spent on actually tasting the food, rather than dithering away at laborious mixing. Don’t worry, you’ll still thoroughly enjoy your end product too.
- Better Texture, Higher Bread Yield: When you mix and knead a loaf of bread using a Bread Machine, you’ll find that the finished result is a bigger and better loaf of bread. I’m not entirely sure why machines are better at making bread than us – but they are. In dozens of independent tests that we’ve conducted, we have consistently achieved higher bread yields and better texture quality by using a bread machine.
- Useful Timers and Settings: Bread Machines are notorious for being rather bland looking kitchen appliances. That’s because you don’t get any fluffy settings with them. Instead, you get useful programmable options and settings that really add to your baking repertoire.
- You Can Literally Forget About Your Bread: Unlike Food Processors or Blenders, most Bread Machines operate a set-and-forget policy. Once you’ve chosen your desired settings and options, you can usually forget about it completely until you hear that all important bleep to indicate that the bread has been baked and is ready to be eaten. From our own experience, you’ll often associate that beep with an overwhelming sense of happiness and excitement.
Why You Should Buy A Bread Machine
Bread winners? Let’s talk bread machines, which allow you to easily prepare your own bread at home. Right now, there are many brands to chose from that are compact, fool-proof, have tons of settings, and are easy to use. Why should you buy a bread machine? From saving money to filling your home with the great aroma, there’s good reason to invest in a machine of your own.
- Invest Now, Save Later: A bread machine can be a great investment. All you have to do is use it! The cost of bread has risen tenfold in the recent decades. Quality breads are going for more than just a few dollars these days. Purchase a bread machine now, and you will have made your money back after the first dozen loaves. The ingredients to make bread, such as flour, and yeast are easier on your wallet and can compose the same loaf of bread on the pricey-end of the grocery shelf.
- Natural Ingredients: Not only are the ingredients affordable, but they are natural. Check-out the vast majority of bread on your supermarket shelves and you will find surprising ingredients such as loads of sugar and high fructose corn syrup. By making your own bread at home, you’re in control of what goes into your body. The taste of a homemade loaf should be timeless, simple, and delicious. If you care about the food you are putting into your body, having your own bread machine at home is one ideal way to take control.
- Options and Ease: A bread machine will open the door to a world of culinary options. From savory sourdough and rye to pizza dough, or slightly sweet Hawaiian rolls, a bread machine can offer an expanse of bakery delights available to you any time. Modern machines are built to please, offering a variety of features such as pre-set temperatures, timers, cool down, and shut-off modes. The machine will let you know when the loaf is ready. A new bread machine will be accompanied by a book of recipes that are simple for even the beginner to prepare.
- Less Mess: Why buy a bread machine when you could knead and bake dough in the oven? Because bread machines do the heavy-lifting for you. Without a bread machine, one must mix and endlessly knead a hulk of dough into the right shape, requiring space and strength. On the other hand, you can toss ingredients into the machine, close the lid, and let it do its magic. Easily remove the perfectly-shaped loaf, slice to desired thickness, and marvel at the fine texture and exquisite taste.
Embrace the perks of modern technology and take a peek at some of the great bread machines on the market these days. Fill your home with the mouth-watering aroma of fresh baked bread with just a few ingredients and the touch of a button.
Tips for Making Homemade Bread: In the Oven or in a Bread Maker
I have been making homemade bread since I was around 13 years old. If you haven’t had the chance to taste homemade bread, you’re really missing out. Homemade bread is not only easy to make, but it’s better for you. Homemade bread isn’t filled with preservatives, because you control the ingredients that go into it. Being able to control the ingredients also means that you control the quality of the ingredients. In this article, you will find tips to help you prepare wonderful homemade bread.
Tips for Making Homemade Bread: Hardware
When making homemade bread, there are a few pieces of equipment you will need. How much equipment you need will depend on how you plan on making your homemade bread.
Pizza Stone: A pizza stone is a great piece of equipment to have if you plan on baking bread in your oven. The stone will get the bottom of the bread nice and crisp, while the inside stays nice and chewy. If you do decide to purchase a pizza stone, you will also need a peel to help you get your homemade bread in and out of the oven.
Load Pan: Another piece of equipment you will need is a loaf pan. Many homemade bread recipes are baked inside of a loaf pan. You can buy loaf pans in various sizes, so you may want to check your recipe before making your purchase.
Stand Mixer: A powerful stand mixer will take the work out of kneading homemade bread. Also the job will be completed much faster. The best stand mixer for bread dough is a KitchenAid stand mixer. These mixers are powerful enough to withstand the work required to knead bread dough. They also come with a dough hook that will not bend or break when making bread dough.
Bread Maker: The easiest way to make homemade bread is to use a bread maker. A bread maker will handle everything from the kneading to the baking. But, you will still have the option to remove the dough and bake it in your oven. This is a great gadget to have if you plan on making cinnamon rolls or even pizza dough.
Tips for Making Homemade Bread: Ingredients
When making homemade bread, you need several special ingredients to achieve the perfect crumb texture. A bag of bread flour and yeast is essential for any type of homemade bread, but there are other ingredients you will need when making homemade bread in a bread maker. Many recipes for a bread maker require dry milk. This isn’t an ingredient that most people keep on hand. Certain recipes may also ask for a certain type of yeast. Before making homemade bread, make sure you have all the ingredients you need on hand.
Tips for Making Homemade Bread: Additional Bread Maker Tips
Before throwing your ingredients into a bread maker, be sure to read the instructions that came with your machine. Different models will require you to add the ingredients in a different order. Some may ask for the wet ingredients to be added first. Others may require you to add additional flour after a dough ball has formed. One last tip is to always dry off the pan when you get done making your homemade bread. If you skip this step, your pan may rust.
- 1 Bread Machine Buying Guide
- 2 Tips for Making Homemade Bread: In the Oven or in a Bread Maker
- 3 Tips for Making Homemade Bread: Hardware