The 12 Best Bread Machines in 2021

WR Team
  Dec 4, 2021 8:47 PM

You love the smell of freshly baked bread but don’t have the time and patience for mixing, kneading and all of the work to make a delicious loaf of bread. The best bread machines are your short cut!.

Becoming a home baker has never been easier. Just add all the ingredients and push a few buttons, then you’re done. The machine even includes gluten-free and low-carb settings which are incredible to accommodate food allergies. 

If you are going to buy a bread machine and don’t know where to start, this article is exactly what you need. So keep on reading. A few minutes of reading will save you time and money later.

Buying Guide

As you start to choose the best bread machines, various models with different shapes and functions will make this process more complicated. To find the product that will fit you the most, spend some time doing a little comparison based on these criteria. 

1. Loaf size

The loaf size varies from machine to machine, so think about the number of people you are going to feed. Many models like Breville BBM800XL allow you to customize the loaf size, which helps you minimize food waste. 

The most common capacity for bread makers is from 1 to 2 pounds. Also, there are models with larger capacity, targeting families with more people.  

Choosing the right load size is important because you won't be able to bake a quality loaf with the wrong size machine. Trying to make a 2-pound loaf in a machine designed for only 1 pound may lead to a pale, underdone loaf. Vice versa, if you use a large-capacity machine to bake a small batch loaf, you will not get the desired result. 

2. Kneading paddles

Most bread machines should come with at least one kneading paddle, but two paddles are recommended for the best kneading result. Models with dual paddles have higher prices while the budget bread makers are usually single paddle. 

You may want to check whether the kneading paddles are collapsible or not. If it’s not, your bread will have one or two holes at the bottom. For many people, it is not a big deal but if you don’t like this little aesthetic flaw, look for bread machines with removable or collapsible paddles like Breadman BK1050S.

3. Delayed start

Bread machines can be packed with a lot of functions, and some of them are not really necessary. However, the delayed start is a practical function that your machine should definitely have. 

A delayed start or delayed timer allows you to decide when the bread machine starts working. For example, you want to have your fresh-baked bread ready for breakfast. You just need to add ingredients the night before and set the timer several hours before you wake up. The bread maker will do its job when you are sleeping, and finish just the right time. Isn’t that awesome!

Offering a delayed timer that can delay baking for up to 13 hours, Zojirushi BB-HAC10 makes sure a fresh hot loaf of bread is waiting for you whenever you want. 

4. Gluten-free option

This might not be important for everyone but for those who are gluten-sensitive, this option is crucial. The process of making gluten-free bread is different from making regular bread, so your machine must have a particular function for it. 

Although many bread machines include a gluten-free setting, you should look for models that put a priority on this feature, and have multiple gluten-free styles. Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus is among the top bread makers for special diets including gluten-free, sugar-free, and vegan.  

If you’re planning on using the same machine for both gluten-free bread and the regular one, you need to clean carefully, so there is no leftover gluten residue before making gluten-free loaves. 

5. Pre-programmed settings

When it comes to pre-programmed settings, it varies greatly between models and price ranges. The low-cost machine may have a few variations while the higher-end models tend to include multiple settings for whole-grain bread, sweet loaves, French bread, pizza dough, and more. There are different pre-set kneading time, rising time, and baking time for each of these settings. 

If your goal is to make a basic sandwich every time, a simple bread maker at an affordable price is enough. But if you like to experiment with different types of bread, it’s worth an investment in expensive models with various settings.

The pricer machines also give you additional options with greater control. You can choose to knead dough without baking or select the desired darkness of the crust. The best bread machines such as Breville BBM800XL or Hamilton Beach Premium have automatic fruit and nut dispensers built into the lid. 

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FAQs

1. How long does homemade bread last?

At room temperature, homemade bread will last for 3 to 4 days on average which is shorter than store-bought bread. Storing your homemade bread in the refrigerator can increase its shelf life by 3 to 5 days. But it’s not recommended because the cold turns the bread stale faster. 

The best way to keep your bread fresh longer is the bread box. They can be made of wood, ceramic, or metal. If you don't have a bread box, use a dry, clean kitchen towel to cover the bread, and then put it in a paper bag. 

2. How to clean a bread machine?

To keep your bread machine sanitary and last for longer, you should clean it after every use. Cleaning should be done before use if you don’t use the machine for a while. 

Follow these step to clean your bread maker properly:

  • Unplug the machine and let it cool down.

  • Take apart any removable components such as the bread pan and mixing paddles. Wash them with dish soap in the sink. 

  • Use a clean paintbrush to sweep out the flour residue and crumbs. If there is liquid inside the unit, use a dry towel to absorb the moisture and wipe it up.

  • Any leftover moist dough should be left to dry out, so you can brush them away. 

  • Wipe the heating element with a slightly damp cloth. Don’t spray it with water or scrub too hard to avoid any damage. 

  • Let everything dry and then put it back to the bread machine. 

3. Is homemade bread healthier than what I buy from the store?

Yes, it is. Homemade bread does not have stuff like artificial preservatives, food coloring, emulsifiers, and additives. 

And you are the one who makes the bread from scratch, so you have full control of the ingredients. That means you can reduce the salt intake and fat, or create a nutrition boost with various add-ins like sesame, pumpkin, linseed, and fruits. 

4. Should I grease the bread pan?

Yes, you should. It is not compulsory because most bread pans are non-stick, but this layer can lose its effectiveness over time. 

So greasing the pan before putting in ingredients will help you remove the loaf of bread from the pan easier. You can use either olive oil, cooking oil, or butter.

5. Why is my loaf of bread soggy?

When the bread machine finishes baking, if you don’t remove the hot loaf from the pan, the bread will steam. This is the reason for your soft and soggy bread. 

The solution is to remove the loaf right after it is done baking.

Another reason is the weather. The warm and humid weather can speed up the yeast action and cause your dough to rise too fast. 

If you live in a place with such weather conditions, avoid using a delayed timer. You can also reduce the yeast amount and refrigerate the liquids if your room temperature is over 27℃.

Final Thoughts

Bread machines give people the chance to make homemade bread with minimal effort. They are pretty simple that mostly follow the same lines. However, the best bread machines produce a quality loaf that tastes much better. Its excellent performance also remains consistent. 

We've rounded up here the best products according to different budget ranges. 

  • Best overall: Zojirushi Virtuoso Plus offers the best of a bread machine, from 15 different settings, rapid courses, delayed start, easy-to-read LCD display. On top of that, it makes a good loaf every time. 

  • Best for beginners: If you are a novice in bread making, CBK-110 Cuisinart Compact Automatic Bread Maker is just your perfect fit. It has a compact footprint, a viewing window, and an interior light, allowing you to check what's going on inside. The LCD display with a countdown timer and 12 different pre-programmed options will help you make various types of bread successfully right the first time. 

  • Best budget machine: with under 100$, ExpressBake 2-Pound Bread Maker is your best bet! It's lightweight to be easily stored away when not in use. With the Expressbake feature, this machine can finish a loaf in under an hour which is quite amazing for its price. 

  • Best for family use: With the maximum loaf size up to 2.5 pounds, Breville BBM800XL is great for a family. You can also customize the loaf size to 1 pound, 1.5 pounds, and 2 pounds.  This model offers lots of other convenient features like automatic fruit and nut dispenser, collapsible kneading paddles. A 60-minute power backup guarantees a good result even when the power is cut off suddenly. 

With all the information above, we hope you are now ready to choose the most suitable bread maker for yourself. 

Thank you for reading and Happy baking!