There’s nothing that says “home” like the smell of freshly baked bread wafting up from your kitchen. Homemade breads are always far superior to preservative-filled store bought or even bakery loaves that can go stale before you can enjoy them. That’s because homemade loaves offer the fullness of the bread making experience – the smells, the sights and especially the wholesome, delicious flavors.
But with today’s busy lives, many people don’t can’t spare the time it takes to make breads by hand. All that mixing, kneading, proofing, rising, baking and cooling can take hours –which is time most people don’t have.
Bread machines offer the perfect compromise. They allow you to bake your own homemade breads right in your own kitchen without the inconvenience and time of the entire bread making process. You simply add the ingredients, push a few buttons and in a little while you have the perfectly delicious loaf of bread your family will love.
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How to choose the Best Bread Machine?
If it’s been a while since you considered buying a bread machine, you may be surprised by how much the technology has improved in recent years. The days of low-tech bread machines that produced boxy, flavorless loaves are in the distant past.
Today, there are many high tech, sophisticated bread machines that can make attractive, flavorful loaves in a wide variety of flavors, textures and sizes. Consumers have dozens of different models to choose from and there are bread machines to fit every price level – from the very elite to the most affordable.
Our goal is to provide you with the information you need so that you can select the perfect contemporary bread machine that fits your specific wants and needs.
It used to be that if you wanted bread made by a bread machine you only had one option. That’s because old school bread machines didn’t offer the versatility of today’s models.
Now you can find bread machines that will create loaves in a variety of different sizes – including 1 lb., 2 lb. and even enormous 3 lb. loaves –so that you can make only the amount of fresh, homemade bread your family needs.
A 2-pound loaf is the standard size. This should feed a family of 2 to 4 for several days.
Best Bread Making Machines by Size
- Best small bread machine, 1 lb. loaf – Zojirushi BB-HAC10 Home Baker Mini
- Best medium bread machine, 2 lb. loaf – Zojirushi BB-PDC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus
Today’s bread machines come with a wide array of special features. Obviously, the more bells and whistles a bread machine has, the more you can expect to pay for it.
Unless money is no object, you should only pay for features that you are going to use regularly. Why pay extra for something that just sits there?
Here are some of the most popular features that you can choose from when considering buying a bread machine:
- Specialty Breads – Some bread machines are specially calibrated to make unusual types of bread that not everybody will want. These include gluten-free breads, sweet breads, artisan breads, and whole-wheat breads. Machines with these capabilities include features that automatically make the proper adjustments for making these specialty breads usually with the push of a single button. While recipes are still required, these settings take care of the rest.
- Optional Uses – Some bread machines can be used to make other products besides breads. For example, some models can also product pizza or pasta doughs, cakes and other baked products, and even jams and jellies.
- Pre-Programmable Recipes – You can buy bread machine models that allow you to program your favorite bread recipes into them so you don’t have to remember them later. When you want to make your favorite breads, the bread maker itself will tell you how much of each ingredient to add to it.
- Delay Timer – Another available option is a delay timer. This lets you fill your bread machine with ingredients, then set the timer for when you would like it to make your bread. For example, if you would like a loaf of warm breakfast bread waiting for you when you wake up in the morning, you can simply set up your machine, turn on the timer and the bread machine will automatically turn itself on overnight so that your bread is ready when want it.
Our Top Picks
Best Bread Machine
Zojirushi BB-PDC20 – Top-of-the line bread maker. Rated as the best bread maker on the market.
Best Cheap Bread Machine
Oster Expressbake – This machine provides the best value for someone who wants to save every dollar they can when it comes to buying a bread maker.
Best Gluten-Free Bread Maker
Zojirushi BB-PDC20 – For anyone who is extremely health conscious or must avoid gluten, this model is the best choice.
Best Express Bread Machine
Oster Expressbake – Built for speed, gives you great bread in minutes
Best Small Bread Machine
Zojirushi BB-HAC10 – Perfect compact bread maker for a small family(single or couple) .