Hamilton Beach 29885 Review

Hamilton Beach 29885 bread machineThe Hamilton Beach 29885 bread machine is the newest release by Hamilton Beach. This seems to be an upgraded version to the Hamilton Beach 29881/29882 that was released a few years ago, which we ranked as our number two pick among the best cheap bread machines you can purchase.   

Right off the bat, the Hamilton Beach 29885 looks a lot more modern with its stainless steel body as opposed to the plastic material for the older model. This bread machine can make a 1-pound, 1.5-pound, or 2-pound loaf (perfect for both small and large families) and you can choose from 3 crust settings: light, medium, and dark. In the older model there are 12 pre-programmed courses, so you get a little bit of an upgrade with this bread machine as it has 14 courses, including a gluten-free course. The previous model was actually one of our picks to make gluten-free bread too.  

We remember the Hamilton Beach 29881/29882 as a no-frills, affordable bread machine that will work well enough for most people and has some much-appreciated features (like the gluten-free setting). So what do we think about the Hamilton Beach 29885? Well, let’s get right into it!

Our Hamilton Beach 29885 Review

First impressions: this is a beautiful bread machine with a stainless steel shell. Based on our experiences, however, we suspect that the body of this bread machine is susceptible to dents over time, which is less of a problem with the plastic material. On the lid of the bread machine there is a large viewing window – just like the older model. We like the buttons and the display much better than the older model. It’s easier to read and more modern.

Flipping through the manual it’s easy to see that it’s written for a no-frills product. You get a description of all the programs and a handy timetable with the amount of time it takes to go through each cycle. Plus there are simple recipes for each of the cycles. But compared to the higher end models that have a ton of recipes and encourage you to experiment with various baked goods, the guide book can seem lacking. We’ve definitely seen better recipe books with pictures and simple step-by-step instructions to follow. If you find the recipes lacking and want to learn how you can make the most of your machine we highly recommend picking up a bread machine cookbook for new ideas and inspiration.   

With the last model we had a little “incident” where the kneading paddle was baked right into to the bread, but now this isn’t something to worry about because you get a “paddle hook” with the bread machine to remove it! This is quite amusing actually. With bread machines, you will notice that they have a “keep warm” function but usually we tell people to let the machine cool a bit and then take the bread out to cool on a rack. If you leave the bread inside the machine, it might overbake and affect the texture of the crust and the consistency of the bread. So take it out as soon as you can, and leave it on a rack to cool at least 10 minutes before slicing with a bread knife.

A trend that we’re seeing with bread machines is that many of them now have an “artisan” course. With the Hamilton Beach 29885 you can now experiment with more complex artisan dough using its “artisan” course. What it does is it will provide your dough time to rise and develop its flavors and textures (which is what makes artisan bread so tasty), and then you can shape and bake it in a traditional oven to get a result just like the bakeries. This is a very cool feature and it will allow you to make delicious artisan-style bread at home easily by taking away half the time and work it would normally involve. In our opinion, this setting is a steal with such an affordable bread maker.

The older model for the Hamilton Beach we recommend mostly to people who are just starting out with bread machines. It’s priced right, makes delicious bread, and gives people a chance to try out baking with a bread machine without breaking the bank. Even if you are just using it to put together pizza dough for dinner at home, it’s totally worth it. But with the Hamilton Beach 29885, we recommend it to both beginner and hardcore bakers. You’re going to be able to make delicious white bread, whole-grain bread, gluten-free bread, a quick loaf (requires less than 2 hours), jam, cake, and even artisan bread dough. You can get really creative with this bread machine and it’s got such an appealing price that we feel you really get your money’s worth.

Hamilton Beach 29885 Features At A Glance

  • Makes a 1-, 1.5-, or 2-pound rectangular loaf
  • Quick setting bakes bread in 1 hour and 20 minutes and there is a 15-hour delay timer
  • Has a stainless steel design
  • Has 14 pre-programmed courses: basic, French, gluten-free, whole-grain, express 1.5lb, express 2lb, quick (for recipes that do not use yeast), sweet, dough, cake, jam, rise, bake, artisan (a long, cool rise to develop flavors and textures for doughs to be baked in a conventional oven).
  • Has 3 different crust selections: light, medium, dark
  • Has audible reminder to add fruit or nuts
  • Has an extra large viewing window at the top
  • Comes with user guide, measuring cup, measuring spoon, removable bake pan, kneading paddle, and paddle removing tool

Concluding Thoughts

There are little quirks with this bread machine – a lacking recipe book, it may “walk” because of its light weight, and you may have to use a spatula to scrape the sides of the pan to make sure the dough is properly combined – but considering the price and features… not deal breakers! There are way more good things going for it: many bake options, large viewing window, makes delicious bread, unique courses (gluten-free and artisan), attractive stainless steel design. We can hardly believe what you get at this price point. Even the replacement parts are cheap (you will most likely have to replace the bake pan and kneading paddles down the road from wear and tear). We think most people will be pleased with the Hamilton Beach 29885. Overall, it’s a nice bread machine.

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