- Food and Cooking
Home Bread Machines: How To Choose The Best Bread Maker For You!
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 . . .................................................................
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
- 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
- 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.
Powdered Sugar Drizzle:
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
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
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
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?
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 . . .
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 ...
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
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
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.
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
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.
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