- Food and Cooking
The Best 5 Bread Machines
Bread Machines Evaluated
It's time to review the 5 best bread machines. I have been a user and lover of bread machines for years. And, of course, have had many of these over the years. Some have been almost useless, as far as I'm concerned. Some have been exactly what I wanted in one way or another.
With all this experience, I decided it was time to rate the bread machines that are available now. I'll give you my opinion of each one. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
Only the ones that make horizontal loaves are included here. For very good reason. All of the bread makers that I had that made vertical loaves were useless. I felt I had wasted my money buying those. The horizontal loaf machines just make a better loaf of bread and I'm not dealing with trying to cut this absurd-looking thing that is supposed to pass for a good loaf.
An Introductory Word Here About the Best Bread Machines
Why All Amazon
My top 5 picks for horizontal bread machines are all available from many stores, online souces and outlets. I put them here through Amazon.com for a reason. Actually several reasons.
The prices through Amazon are the best I have found. These all are sent with free shipping. Amazon ships out very quickly. And best of all, Amazon has a generous and friendly return process. This is truly no-hassle returns.
Just a word of caution here: save your original packing materials. I realize for most of us, this can be a problem. Where do you store that empty box? Still, it can save you more effort and hassle than you can imagine.
Zojirusha BB-CEC20 Bread Machine - A supreme choice in the Top 5 Best
This model comes in white as well. But both are very easy to clean, so you can leave your machine sitting out on the counter for daily use.
Zojirushi Home Bakery Supreme
My top pick for Best Bread Machine
I'm starting off with the Zojirushi BB-CEC20 Home Bakery Supreme machine for good reason. I think it is the best on the market today.
This machine makes a consistent 2-pound rectangular loaf of bread. But more than that, it can make jams, even meatloaf.
It has double kneading paddles, a requirement to make consistently rising bread every time; a large viewing window to see what's going on without lifting the lid; and a lift-out pan, which makes removing the finished loaf and cleaning so much easier.
Featuring a wide range of options, it includes crust settings, multiple dough cycles and quick-making options. The programming is very user-friendly and the LED screen is easy to read.
The Zojirushi BB-CEC20 machine has two additional features that I consider invaluable:
- ingredients pre-heating: just toss in your bread ingredients and turn it on.
- delay start: you can set it to start up to 13 hours later. Put it on at night and wake up to fresh bread for breakfast.
I have had Zojirushi machines for years and never been disappointed, ever. I did ruin my pan at one point (a whole other story). With one quick phone call to them, the replacement was on it's way. I delighted with how helpful they were.
The only negative is the price. This is just about the most expensive bread machine on the market today. My daughter, quite a breadmaker herself, is now considering getting this machine. She wants to get the same results as her mother, every time.
Breadman TR-2700 Programable Convection Bread Machine
A trusted brand in the Top 5 Best
This machine has some great features and makes consistently good bread. The Breadman series has been a popular and dependable bread machine for a number of years now.
It features 100 different options for programming bread types, including a 3-way crust setting. It features the double paddle for better kneading and higher rising, and a viewing window, along with a 24-hour delayed start feature. The screen is easy to read and the programming is not difficult to do.
What it also includes is a convection fan which gives you a more even crust.
There are two issues that I want to call your attention to. First, it is made by Black and Decker. This company is not known for it's quality customer service. You have to take your machine to an authorized repair service for any repairs and that can be a problem, depending on how good that independent repair service is. Second, the pan is hard to remove. So be very, very careful when removing it hot!
And the Top 5 Bread Machine Cookbooks - Branch out!
Each machine comes with some basic recipes, true. But, why not branch out and try some new recipes?
I have a favorite recipe book that I add lots of notes into. When I try something a little different with a recipe, I add my notes about what I did and how it came out. It is getting dog-eared and splattered with all sorts of bread ingredients, but I love it. All the family favorites are recorded and easy to find.
These books also give you nice tips to help make better machine bread. Anyone is worth having.
Cuisinart CBK-200 Automatic Bread Maker
A 2-pound horizontal loaf machine
This is another trusted name in the small kitchen appliance department. Cuisinart used to be considered the top of the line, with a cost that matched. But that has changed.
With a cost that now sits in the middle of the road, the CBK-200 model has a nice combination of features. Of course, the double paddle that makes for a better rising loaf, and a multitude of programming options. It also includes the convection fan allowing for more even crust results.
There seems to be issues with whether this Cuisinart model is really a consistent performer. Most people see this machine as making a great loaf of bread, but enough others have had serious problems with the bread coming out right that it is worth considering.
When I discovered the number of people who had problems with this machine, I became wary of the quality. Had Cuisinart, needing to compete in a lower priced market, sacrificed qualtiy control? Would I end up with one of their lemons? It is something to be aware of.
Start Your Own Recipe Book
The best bread recipes
Here's the perfect gift for that special bread maker in your life. Customize a bread recipe book just for her or him.
Click on any one of these to see more about it.
West Bend 41300 Bread Machine - Dual-Blade, Hi-Rise
This machine has all the features that you would expect from a bread machine that makes a horizontal loaf. Dual paddles, programable options, 3-way crust control, viewing window. It is recommended by many people because of it's consistently good loaves.
It does have a great feature of being priced lower than $100. Although it lists at $120, Amazon offers it at $85.
It does have two major flaws worth considering here. First, it has a bad, as in incorrect and incomplete manual. This is very important if you want or need to use the manual. Which most of us do. The recipes listed are wrong, in some cases horribly wrong, so don't count on using the manual for its recipes.
The second flaw is that you have to heat your own ingredients to the right temperature before they go into the machine. This is important for making perfect bread.
West Bend seems to have issues with the lemon problem. The internal heating device may, or may not, heat up properly, which results in underbaked bread. Something to watch out for.
T-Fal OW5005001 Bread Machine - Emeril's Bread and Baguette Maker
This is another dual-paddle large loaf machine. But it has the added feature of making a 3 pound loaf and comes with an insert tray to make 4 baguette loaves. The T-Fal machine features programable options, a 3-way crust control, and a 15-hour delayed start option.
Emeril lent his name to this machine so you would think it is good, right? Not necessarily. Some people had perfect loaves every time, others had horrible experiences with not only the bread results, but with the machine as well.
In fact, more people had problems with it than had good results. It seems that T-Fal is willing to replace defective machines just fine, but turns out that the replacements are also defective.
If you get a good one to start with, you will probably be happy with the results. If you get a bad one, my recommendation is to return it and find a different brand altogether.
Take Care of Your Homemade Bread - Those indespensible goodies
You have gone through all the trouble of making that delicious homemade bread, you need to keep it fresh.
Try one of these bread keepers.