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If you’re looking to buy a new bread machine, you can browse our reviews to help you find the right model. For those who already own a machine, you might find our tutorials, how-to’s, comparisons, and other articles informative. We can guarantee that after you read everything on our website, you will become a Bread Machine Pro yourself!
The Three Best Bread Machines Today
Unlike bread machines ten years ago, today’s machines have many settings. They don’t just make plain white bread. And they’re much more reliable. No need to break the bank when something needs fixing.
Making bread at home was once a time-consuming chore without bread machines. Often times, the bread doesn’t turn out the way we want it to. With bread machines, you can have the aroma of bread fill your house and eat delicious, fresh bread every day. No need to mix the ingredients, knead the dough, wait for it to rise, and keep an eye on your bread while it bakes. The bread machine will do everything for you.
Key Points: Choosing The Best Bread Machine
What should you look for when purchasing a bread machine? While some of us may look for design, colour, or other individual preferences, we think there are some key features unique to this kitchen appliance that are important to consider. To get you to start thinking about these, we list some common features below that you’ll definitely be considering before making your purchase. Please also take some time to read our comprehensive Bread Machine Buying Guide to get familiarized with all the important features.
- Bread size. Bread machines commonly make 1-pound, 1.5-pound, 2-pound, 2.5-pound, and 3-pound loaves. Keep in mind that you should eat machine-baked bread within 2 days of baking, unlike store-bought bread which can be kept for a week. So you’ll only need to buy a bread maker that makes just enough bread to last you for 2 days. A 2-pound loaf should be enough for a family of 4.
- Bread shape. Do you want a traditional rectangular loaf of bread, or something round or square? Or perhaps you want your bread to stand vertically long instead of horizontally long? Bread machines make all sorts of bread shapes, so you can pick and choose the right shape for you.
- Bread pan. Most bread machines have a removable bread pan with either single or dual kneading blades. Removable bread pans are common in today’s machines, but you might find ones that aren’t removable. Make sure you choose one that’s removable because if it doesn’t come out, it will be hard to clean. When choosing a type of bread pan with your bread machine, remember that aluminum bread pans make a lighter and thinner crust than machines with thick cast aluminum pans, which make darker and thicker crusts. You should also look for a pan that has a nonstick coating because without it, your dough will stick to the pan and not knead properly.
- Best reviews. Needless to say, people have different opinions on each bread machine model. But it’s important to also consider consumer reviews because these people have used the machine before and they may point out important information about the machines. Read reviews and see what people say about the machines you’re considering. We also encourage you to use our comparison chart and read reviews on Bread Machine Pros – we’ve put a lot of time and effort into testing many models!
Best Bread Machines By Category
- Best Affordable Bread Machine – Best for those with a tight budget.
- Best Bread Machine for Gluten Free Bread – Best for baking delicious gluten-free bread.
- Best Horizontal Bread Machine – Top picks that make a horizontal loaf.
- Best Large Bread Machine – Great for large families.
- Best Small Bread Machine – Great for singles, couples, and small households.
Using a Bread Machine
In this section we’d like to share some useful tips on using your bread machine and baking bread. Also, check out our How To Use A Bread Machine 10-step guide to learn how to operate a bread machine from start to finish.
- Follow the instructions. You’ll generally be adding liquids first before adding dry ingredients to your bread machine, but each bread machine operates a little differently. So it’s really important to follow the exact instructions in the manual that comes with your bread maker. Baking bread is like a science project. If you mix things in the wrong order, your bread won’t turn out great. Our tip: No matter what machine you use, make sure the yeast is separate from the liquid until your machine starts to mix everything together so that fermentation time isn’t thrown off.
- Before first use, clean it. Like any new product, there may be an odor or dust left behind from manufacturing or storage. When it comes to something you’ll ingest, you’ll want to clean it first before using. Before baking your first bread, run your bread machine for an hour with a cup of water and the lid open. This will help remove any smell and dirt left from manufacturing so that it doesn’t end up on your first loaf of bread.
- Make sure ingredients are at room temperature. Actually, some bread machines have a resting period at the beginning to allow the ingredients to come to room temperature before kneading. After you press “start”, the machine will just wait. However, some don’t. So you’ll want to prepare your ingredients ahead of time before starting your machine. Water, flour, eggs, and butter – make sure they’re all at room temperature.
- Remove kneading blade. For most bread machines, the kneading blade ends up getting stuck to the bottom of the baked bread since the bread bakes in the same area as it is kneaded. Some people may not like this because once you take it out, the bread has an unappealing hole at the bottom. Since most machines have a removable kneading blade, you can take it out once the kneading is done. Some machines even beep to let you know that the kneading cycle is finished for the exact purpose of taking the blade out, so you might want to look for this feature when buying a bread machine.
- Cool bread immediately. Although most bread machines have a “keep warm” function, we generally don’t recommend leaving it inside the machine if you don’t have to. This will change the texture of the bread. The optimal texture and colour is achieved once the bread is done baking. When your cycle is finished, try to be around to remove your bread from the machine and place it on a cooling rack to cool off. Don’t slice it immediately after baking because cooling it allows water molecules to escape, leaving the bread moist inside and not “spongy”.
- Clean pan by hand. It would be tempting to throw the removable baking pan into the dishwasher, but we recommend cleaning it by hand with a sponge and mild soap. You won’t want to damage with nonstick surface with anything abrasive because the next time you use it, your bread will end up sticking!
Why Should I Buy a Bread Machine?
Of course, most people buy bread machines to make bread. They may be tired of the taste of store-bought bread, they may want to control what ingredients they use in their breads, or they may want to save money (gluten-free products are expensive!). However, bread machines aren’t only for baking breads.
For instance, all bread machines have a “dough” setting that allows you to mix, knead, and ferment dough. This is good for people who want to make dough without getting messy. You might make dough for pizza, pie, cookies, croissants, and cake and then bake it in your oven. (The “bake” setting is the one where the machine will do everything from mixing, kneading, rising, and baking bread.)
Bread machines can also replace many appliances. Let’s say you want to make cake. Since most bread makers have a “cake” setting, you can use it to make cake from scratch. It replaces the stand mixer, hand mixer, and oven. And it does a really good job too. If you live in a small home and have always wanted to bake stuff but don’t have the space to buy all the different appliances, a bread machine is a really versatile tool to have.
With bread machines, you can make many other awesome foods. We’ve mentioned dough and cake already, but most bread machines can make jam too. The bread machine we like most is the Panasonic SD-BMS105-SW, which can make really neat Japanese foods including mochi, udon, brioche, steamed bread, red bean bread, and “melon pan”.