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Home Bread Machines: How To Choose The Best Bread Maker For You!

Updated on July 26, 2017

Considering A Home Bread Maker? Wondering Which One To Buy?

If you love freshly baked bread and don't have much time (or talent) for making it by hand ... then a home bread machine may be for you.

From ciabattas and challahs . . . to panettones and pizza dough . . . to sourdoughs, whole grains and so much more . . . you can easily produce all kinds of hmm-hmm-good breads in a home bread maker.

You may be wondering, "with so many choices on the market, what is the best bread maker to buy?" Well, that depends on you and what your specific needs are.

Whether you are buying for yourself or looking for a really neat gift idea (hint-hint), here are several tips to help you choose from among the top-rated home bread makers around . . .

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Above image credit: breadman.com

What Is A Bread Machine?

Photo used under Creative Commons from: avlxyz, on Flickr

Let's begin by getting a good understanding of what a bread maker is:

A bread making machine or bread maker is a home appliance for baking bread. It consists of a bread pan (or "tin") with a paddle mounted in the center of a small special-purpose oven, with a control panel. ~ Wikipedia

Truth be told . . . when I first heard the term "bread makers," I thought they were an adult version of the basic Easy-Bake Oven, my little sister had as a kid.

Silly Me! Bread makers can be used to do any (or all) of the following:

  • mix the ingredients
  • knead the dough
  • let the dough rise
  • bake bread to perfection

Making it a cinch for anyone to make all kinds of bread.

Video: See A Bread Maker In Action

Pumpkin Bread Made In A Bread Maker

Photo used under Creative Commons from: turtlemom4bacon, on Flickr

Pumpkin Bread [Bread Maker Recipe]

Recipe by turtlemom4bacon

Bread Ingredients:

  • 3/4 can pumpkin, canned
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/3 cups bread flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons yeast

Instructions:

  • Place all ingredients in your breadmaker pan in the order given.
  • Place the pan in your machine.
  • Select the Basic/White cycle and press Start.
turtlemom4bacon says, it "... takes a couple hours before you can enjoy the delicious bread this makes:)

Powdered Sugar Drizzle:

  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine ingredients and pour slowly over the top while warm.

Is Space A Concern?

Some of us have ample counter space (or storage)

and some of us don't.

If you really want a bread maker, but space is a consideration, the following are good choices.

Zojirushi BB-HAC10 Home Bakery

Zojirushi BB-HAC10 Home Bakery 1-Pound-Loaf Programmable Mini Breadmaker
Zojirushi BB-HAC10 Home Bakery 1-Pound-Loaf Programmable Mini Breadmaker

With a foot print the size of a sheet of paper (8" X 11") and standing 12 inches high, you're sure to be able to store this programmable bread maker. It can easily produce 1-pound loaves of breads (or cakes). There are settings for cookie and pasta dough, too! Includes an LCD control panel, a viewing window, a 13-hour timer and carrying handle.

 

Breadman TR520 Bread Maker

Breadman TR520 Programmable Bread Maker for 1, 1 ½ , and 2-Pound Loaves, Cream
Breadman TR520 Programmable Bread Maker for 1, 1 ½ , and 2-Pound Loaves, Cream

Measuring 13-1/2 X 12 X 13-1/2 inches high, this programmable breadmaker bakes 1-, 1-1/2-, and even 2-pound loaves. With a non-stick baking pan, delay timer and 8 functions for breads and doughs; this somewhat compact model also includes a fruit-and-nut add-in signal bell which comes in handy.

 

Poll: Have You Ever Baked Your Own Bread?

Photo used under Creative Commons from: ccharmon, on Flickr

Have You Ever Baked Your Own Bread?

See results

Looking For Gluten-Free Bread Makers?

Because of the special needs of gluten-free baking, many experienced bread machine users suggest choosing a model that offers a host of "programmable" cycles

you can set in the order you want.

The next selection fits the bill:

Cuisinart CBK-100 Programmable Breadmaker

In addition to the "Breadman TR520" (listed above) and the Zojirushi BB-CEC20 Home Bakery Supreme (see below), here is another bread maker that is excellent for gluten-free baking . . .

Cuisinart CBK-100 Programmable Breadmaker
Cuisinart CBK-100 Programmable Breadmaker

With 12 menu options ( includes a "gluten-free" setting), this programmable bread machine bakes 1-, 1-1/2-, and 2-pound loaves. ee what's cooking with the viewing window and set the 13-hour delay-start timer to have fresh bread ready when you want. Extras include stay-cool handles a paddle for easy clean-up, plus more ...

 

Oatmeal Bread

Photo used under Creative Commons from: TimButton, on Flickr

Is Cost A Concern?

There are several top-notch bread machines for under $100!

These are highly rated but very affordable.

Sunbeam 5891 Programmable Bread Maker

Sunbeam 5891 2-Pound Programmable Breadmaker, White
Sunbeam 5891 2-Pound Programmable Breadmaker, White

This modestly-priced, 600-watt programmable bread maker makes 1-1/2- or 2-pound loaves of bread. It features a touch-control panel with twelve cooking functions, and delay timer. Easy to clean and comes with a removable nonstick baking pan.

 

West Bend 2 -Pound Bread Maker

West Bend 2 Lb. Breadmaker
West Bend 2 Lb. Breadmaker

This simple bread maker boasts 600 watts of power, twelve electronic settings, a delay timer and a non-stick coated 2 pound loaf pan which allows you to bake a 1-, 1 1/2-, or 2-pound loaves.

 

Want All the Bells & Whistles?

So you already know that you'll delight in having all the bells and whistles. Look no further . . . these are the top-most, popular choices:

Zojirushi BB-CEC20 Home Bakery Supreme

There is a reason, this Zojirushi model is referred to as the "Home Bakery Supreme." This counter-top bread machine makes it easy to create bakery-style artisan bread right at home.

Zojirushi BB-CEC20 Home Bakery Supreme 2-Pound-Loaf Breadmaker, Black
Zojirushi BB-CEC20 Home Bakery Supreme 2-Pound-Loaf Breadmaker, Black

The Zojirushi BB-CEC20 bread maker provides two blades for thorough dough kneading and a higher rise. It sports a large viewing window, 10 pre-programmed settings (with an exclusive Home Made Menu function with three memory settings), a 13-hour delay timer, a start/reset button, and a removable non-stick rectangular two pound bread pan for easy cleaning. Overall, a durably built, 700-watt bread machine.

 

Panasonic SD-YD250 Automatic Bread Maker

Panasonic SD-YD250 Automatic Bread Maker with Yeast Dispenser, White
Panasonic SD-YD250 Automatic Bread Maker with Yeast Dispenser, White

This very popular bread maker mixes, kneads, rises, and bakes loaves of bread in three sizes (up to 2-1/2 pounds). Customizable settings include options for white, whole wheat, multigrain, French, quick breads and cakes. Like many of the other programmable bread machines, this model has 13-hour delay timer and a removable non-stick pan.

 

Homemade Panettone Made In A Bread Maker

Photo used under Creative Commons from: Nicola since 1972, on Flickr

Things No Home Bread Baker Should Be Without

Imagine Serving A Hearty Soup In Bread Bowls You Made Yourself

Photo used under Creative Commons from: Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar, on Flickr

A Really Good Bread Machine Cookbook

Each bread machine comes with an instruction manual and a host of recipes that work well with its particular model.

However, if you really want to step beyond some basic recipes, you can't go wrong with bread maker recipes created by veteran bakers and bread maker aficionados.

The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook: A Master Baker's 300 Favorite Recipes for Perfect-Every-Time Bread-From Every Kind of Machine
The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook: A Master Baker's 300 Favorite Recipes for Perfect-Every-Time Bread-From Every Kind of Machine

This book features bread maker recipes for a wide range of breads including dozens of sweet breads, croissants, coffee cakes and traditional holiday confections.

 

Straight From Your Breadmaker To Your Table

Photo used under Creative Commons from: madlyinlovewithlife, on Flickr

Hope This Helped You Discover the Best Bread Maker For You! - Or, just let me know you stopped by ...

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    • profile image

      bluescot 3 years ago

      I can vouch for the Pumpkin Bread recipe above - fantastic.

    • kabbalah lm profile image

      kabbalah lm 4 years ago

      Always wanted to try one of these machines

    • profile image

      SYC2002 4 years ago

      Yes, I have stopped by and learned more... thanks

    • nicenet profile image

      nicey 4 years ago

      I was thrilled when I read your lens about bread maker machine. Thanks for the information. I'll save up to get one .

      Good job!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Wow, I can sure see how you got your purple star here...very well deserved. I'm not gluten free but have been more sensitive to that because of so many people having to go that way and it never occurred to me that they need some specialized features in a bread machine, you certainly have done the leg work and told me all I knead to know about bread makers here!

    • profile image

      miaponzo 5 years ago

      I have one now (new) that I can't seem to get the recipe right with! I will try one of these! Blessed!

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 5 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Hi. Thanks for your review on these bread makers! The pumpkin bread looks so tasty. I asked Santa for a bread maker so I guess I'll find out on Christmas morning. I have baked bread several times from scratch but it didn't turn out. Happy Holidays!

    • JohnMichael2 profile image

      JohnMichael2 5 years ago

      thanks for a great lens and good info

    • MayaBella LM profile image

      MayaBella LM 5 years ago

      Very helpful! I love homemade bread!

    • sarahrk lm profile image

      sarahrk lm 5 years ago

      Yum fresh bread, how good is that!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      the oatmeal bread would be a fun recipe to make, enjoyed my visit on your lens this morning, thank you indeed, squidliked ya too!

    • Craftymarie profile image

      Marie 5 years ago

      Congrats on being one of the 35 favorite product review lenses :)

    • JoyfulReviewer profile image

      JoyfulReviewer 5 years ago

      That hearty soup in a bread bowl is really making me hungry. BTW, congratulations on having one of the 35 favorite product review lenses!

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Goad 5 years ago

      Almost 15 years ago I got a bread machine and it is still doing very well. I have tried various recipe books and the one I recommend is the one that comes with the machine itself.

    • sagebrushmama profile image

      sagebrushmama 5 years ago

      Wonderful lens, congrats on the purple star! I HAD a decent bread maker, which my then 13 yo used to learn to make bread. She forgot to clean it one time, left it for too long, and the infestation of unthinkable little critters was terrible...end of bread maker, beginning of her learning to make bread by hand, and I must say that now, 5 years later, she makes the most scrumptious breads and rolls!

    • Grasmere Sue profile image

      Sue Dixon 5 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      Lots of great ideas and suggestions. Cogratulations on your purple star!

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      Wow! Home Bread Machines have really improved over the years since the last time I actually looked at one. From what I have read and seen here they work just as well as baking from scratch. Very well done. Congrats on your purple star, it is well deserved! *Squid Angel Blessed* and I've added your link to My Squid Angel Wings to be featured in the "Food & Cooking » Kitchen Appliances & Gadgets " neighborhood.

    • profile image

      seosmm 5 years ago

      Great info. Very nice lens!

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 5 years ago from UK

      What a tasty page, you have me craving some home-baked bread. There's nothing quite like it, and a bread machine makes it easy. I have never seen bread bowls before and would love to try that. Congratulations on a deserving win!

    • joanhall profile image

      Joan Hall 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      This is really nice. I'm going to feature this on my "Kitchen Gadget Gifts for Struggling Families" lens.

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 5 years ago from So Cal

      Lots of great choices for machines. Mine is many years old and someday, hopefully not too soon, I will have to replace it. I would be lost without a bread machine. Imagine having to make bread by hand. UGH!

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 5 years ago

      Great lens. Just took my bread from my Sunbeam bread maker and it smells delicious. Love making my own bread where I control the salt, sugar and quality of ingredients. Had a Panasonic before and it was also great until the cat knocked it off the bench and broke the lid. Hugs