Welcome to our post which reviews the best breadmaker machines.
There really is nothing to beat the aroma of homemade bread baking in the kitchen. Now, with the simplicity of the modern day bread making machine, impressing your friends and family with your very own freshly baked bread could not be easier.
For a more convenient way of baking, the automatic bread machine takes all the hassle, complexity, mess and mistakes out of baking bread whilst at the same time delivering the satisfaction of being able to achieve either basic or artisan level breads, cakes and even jams with a minimum of fuss! All modern day appliances come with extensive recipe baking functions and timing guides, ensuring great loaf baking is within the reach of any budding chef.
Best Breadmakers for 2017
5 Popular Bread Maker Machines
The Best Bread Maker Machine Buying Guide
If you are interested in buying the best breadmaker machine there are a number of factors that you should consider before settling on any one particular product. To assist you with the buying process we have produced this simple buying guide of product features and things to consider.
What size of bread will you make?
A good starting point is to consider how much bread you will want to make and how often. Bread machines can produce loaves of bread in sizes ranging from 1 to 2.5 pounds with the most common size sitting at around 2 pounds. Some bread makers will make only one size of loaf whilst others may produce bread in a number of different sizes.
The amount of bread that a person or a family will eat will also vary greatly. Homemade bread is more perishable as it does not contain all the artificial preservatives found in commercially produced bread and so it may make sense to bake smaller amounts but more regularly. Alternatively if you have a large family or are large consumers of bread you probably need a bread maker closer to the 2.5 pound mark.
Another way of estimating how much bread you might make is to think of it in terms of bread slices. A standard loaf has approximately twenty slices of bread. Although thickness of slice must be considered the following table will provide a very rough guide to weight and by slices.
* 1.0 lb Loaf = 8 slices
* 1.5 lb Loaf = 12 slices
* 2.0 lb Loaf = 16 slices
* 2.5 lb Loaf = 20 slices
Pre-Programme Options to look out for
All the best breadmaker appliances come with a wide array of pre-set programmes to make baking bread and other bread products as easy as possible. Take a good note of what programmable features your bread maker has and ensure it meets your requirements before buying it.
All standard bread makers will make white and whole wheat breads however if you are a bit more adventurous then you can have lots of fun making a wide variety of artisan breads, doughs, cakes and jams. Also look out for gluten-free programs if this is something you require.
The digital programs that are pre-set are easy to follow and are controlled via a digital display interface. All bread makers come with a comprehensive manual and easy to follow instructions so it will be fairly easy to understand how to programs the baking process. To get you started bread makers will also provide you with a range of basic bread recipes.
The Delay Timer
A delay timer is a standard addition to most modern bread makers. This is a great function for the modern household as it allows you to set the baking start time whenever you want and also time the end result to whenever you want. If you plan ahead you can set up the baking so that the bread is ready when you get in from work or even for first thing in the morning when you wake up. Check the product guide for the length of timer delay. The majority of products will provide a 13 hour delay however some can go up to as much as 24 hours delay if this is what you require.
Delay timers will also allow you to keep the oven on past the completed baking time. This is a good little feature if you want to keep your bread warm for a period of time.
The Crust Color
Crust colors are another factor which can be pre-programmed with light, medium or dark crusts are all achievable.
We all lead busy lives and sometimes you will want to make bread at very short notice. Look out for bread makers that will provide a rapid bake programme which can turn around a loaf in 1 to 2 hours as opposed to a standard white bread baking time of around 3 to 4 hours.
A lot of appliances will have the ability to create specific types of dough which can then shaped by hand and finished and baked in a conventional oven. This is particularly useful for products like rolls, croissants, pizzas or buns for example.
It is a little known fact but bread makers are a great utensil for making jams, marmalades and chutneys. The paddle takes all the hard work out of the stirring process and the hot small oven is ideal for making your favourite recipe with the minimum of fuss and mess.
Adding other ingredients to your bread?
If you want to be a bit more adventurous and make bread with fruit, nuts, seeds or even chocolate chips then it is important to know if this can be done as a manual or automatic process. Some bread machines will allow you to store the additional ingredients in a small compartment for automatic dispensing at a pre-determined time. Others will require that you monitor the baking process and add them manually by opening the lid and dropping the ingredients directly into the baking pan. If you have to add ingredients manually ensure the machine will give out an audible beep to notify when this is required.
Bread Maker Dimensions
The bread machine products come in all shapes, sizes and weights. Think about where you bread maker will go in your kitchen and measure the space before you buy. Some bread makers can also be very heavy and bulky so if you are going for a larger model find a spot where it can sit in your kitchen and where you don’t need to move it around. If you are limited for space then go for one of the more portable mini bread makers that are available on the market today.
The majority of loaf pans are rectangular in shape which is probably the shape of loaf that you are expecting however you may also find square and also cylindrical ones. Some also come with special pans such as baguette baking pans.
For ease of cleaning afterwards ensure the pan is non-stick.
Some machines require a period of time to preheat before you start. Some can be longer than others. This phase warms the ingredients and ensures the yeast activates properly. Softening the flour and allowing early absorption allows for improved gluten development and better tasting bread.
Breadmakers are like any other kitchen product. The vast majority of units will provide years of satisfactory service however from time to time faults do occur and products fail. Although unlikely you should think about factors like :
- Is it an established brand / product or is it new on the market?
- Read customer reviews to see what the customer service like.
- Are the parts easily available if it breaks or is out of warranty?
- What is the warranty period and is it worth it to extend the warranty period?
As you can see there are a lot of features and factors to consider when deciding what machine to purchase. Whether you just plan to bake a small 1 pound loaf each week or the start a regular production line of artisan bread products there is definitely a product out there for you.
Best Breadmaker Machines – Top Picks
Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso Breadmaker
The Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso Breadmaker (120 Volts) is one of the best breadmaker appliances that you will find on the market today.
The first thing that stands out about this bread machine is the revolutionary heater built into the top of the lid that helps make perfectly browned crust and even baking. This is a nice unique feature and this function adds that little professional touch to each crust and loaf that it produces.
There is also good news for those with a gluten allergy – the Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso has an option to make gluten free breads! Now, you don’t have to spend extra money in the grocery store on gluten free products, you can make your own at home.
Unfortunately, like its Zojirushi Home Bakery Supreme cousin, the Zojirushi Virtuoso does not make French bread, cookie or pasta dough either.
It does however, allow you to make sourdough bread, unlike Zojirushi’s Mini. You can also use this machine to make pizza, bagel and pretzel dough.
Zojirushi BB-HAC10 Home Bakery 1 Pound Loaf Programmable Mini Breadmaker.
The Zojirushi BB-HAC10 Home Bakery mini breadmaker is, as the name suggests, the smallest of the three “Zoj” appliances. Making only a one pound loaf, the BB-HAC10 is a great fit for small apartments or for one person homes that don’t eat much bread or don’t want to bake too much and see it go to waste.
Weighing in at only 9 lbs with dimension of 11 x 8 x 12 inches, the all-white BB-HAC10 machine is about the size and shape of a large upright toaster. It is a strange shape for a breadmaker however if you can get over the slightly cumbersome look, the machine itself performs as well as you will find amongst the smaller bread makers available.
The Zojirushi mini bread machine easily can easily sit on a kitchen worktop counter every day of the year or if you are pressed for space, it can just as neatly be stored away in a small cupboard space. Zojirushi have recognized that this is a fairly portable bread machine and for convenience have included a handle for easy lifting and portability.
Now just because the Zojirushi BB-HAC10 Home Bakery 1 Pound Loaf Programmable Mini Breadmaker is small, that doesn’t mean it isn’t mighty. It really is packed with features and can do just as much as the larger CEC20 and PAC20 models.
It makes great cookie and pasta dough, bakes cakes, makes jam and has ten other bread options. There are also options to set the crust to regular or light crust and it also comes with a feature which lets you select the firmness of the loaf. This mini bread machine also has a warming cycle which is great for ensuring your freshly baked bread doesn’t go soggy if it has been left to sit in the machine.
Unfortunately for the health conscious, this machine doesn’t have a gluten free or wheat bread setting, nor does it make sourdough or allow for homemade recipes that you can program yourself. The HAC10 also only comes with one mi paddle however given that it is only having to deal with a one pound loaf then there is little lost in terms of performance.
Zojirushi BB-CEC20 Home Bakery Supreme 2 Pound Loaf Breadmaker
The first thing that sets the Zojirushi BB-CEC20 Home Bakery Supreme 2 Pound Loaf Breadmaker apart from other “Zoj” machines is that it comes in either a black and silver or all-white presentation. Both product versions have a well-designed finish and would look great in any medium to large sized kitchen.
The Zojirushi Home Bakery Supreme isn’t just about looks though. This bread machines also has a lot to offer when it comes to baking.
Baking a two pound loaf takes some effort and so the BB CEC20 is fitted with two kneading blades. This has the added advantage on introducing more air into the flour mix and also ensuring consistent dough which aids the rising and baking process.
Although a 2lb loaf is the largest option, the Home Bakery Supreme provides great flexibility, providing an ability to also make a one and one and a half pound loaf also if you need to downsize.
Not only can you make fancy breads from dinner rolls to cinnamon raisin bread for breakfast and garlic bread for dinner, you can also cook a meatloaf in this machine! Again, similar to the BB- HAC10 this machine doesn’t have a gluten free option. Nor does it have a French bread, cookie or pasta dough option which can be a bit of a loss in terms of family favorites.
You also can’t adjust firmness settings either like the mini breadmaker, but you can save three of your own recipes under the homemade menu function. All in all, the Zojirushi BB-CEC20 Home Bakery Supreme 2 Pound Loaf Breadmaker lives up to its name, offering a lot of unique features and baking options that you won’t find in many other machines.
All three of these Zojirush breadmaker machines produce great bread products time after time and this is validated by the many positive customer reviews that each Zojirushi breadmaker product gets. As with most other bread machines they are incredibly easy to use. All you have to do is put the ingredients in the bread pan, (making sure they’re in the correct order), make your menu selection and walk away – it really is that simple.