When it comes to bread machines, it is important to choose a model that matches the specific needs of a family. There are many factors to take into account, from budget considerations to loaf sizes or specific settings for special bread recipes. Keep on reading to discover what type of bread maker would best suit your needs, and which are your top choices.
What to consider when choosing a bread machine
Aside from the fancy features that may or may not make your life easier, a bread maker should satisfy some basic bread baking needs. To make the right choice for you or your family, consider the following factors:
- Budget – If your budget allows it, it will be worth investing in an expensive bread machine that can deliver a fluffy and delicious loaf of bread, with just the right crust. However, if you are not willing to spend a few hundreds of dollars on such an appliance, you can find a decent unit for less than $100. To compare the prices and the features of the best bread makers, go to breadmachinemom.com/ and read some reviews on the best bread machines of the moment.
- Capacity – Since homemade bread doesn’t contain preservatives, it will only last for a couple of days, so try not to be wasteful and choose a capacity suitable for your needs. If you are single, you can make do with a 0.5 or a 1 pound loaf of bread. For a family of 3 or more people, opt for a 1.5 or 2 pounds capacity.
- Special settings – All machines can handle basic flour, but if you plan on using whole-wheat, gluten free or rye flour, you will need a machine that has some special settings for these types of flour. Moreover, if you like to experiment with different bread recipes, it helps if you have a machine that has several pre-set settings for different bread specialties.
Most versatile – Panasonic SD-BMT1000
If you are looking for a machine that can bake almost anything, look no further because the Panasonic SD-BMT1000 is just what you need. From fluffy brioche bread to chocolate and even Japanese treats like mocha or udon, there isn’t anything that this machine can’t make. It is quite expensive, costing almost $400, but it is worth every cent. It is also incredibly quiet, not only during the baking, but also during the kneading part. It has Japanese controls, but it is very intuitive and you will learn how to use it with ease. The only downside is that it only comes with Japanese recipe and instructions manuals, so you will have to translate them. You will also need a voltage converter, but other than that, this machine is pretty efficient and versatile.
Best under $100 – Oster CKSTBRTW20
Despite the fact that it costs only $50, this unit performs better than many other more expensive appliances. It bakes a vertical 2 lb. loaf, which makes this unit ideal for large families. It also has some pretty amazing features, considering its price. It has 12 bread settings, 3 crust settings, a 13-hour delay cycle and a quick bake cycle. It also features an intuitive and easy to read LCD display. What’s more astounding about this is the fact that its baking performance is very consistent, even after dozens of uses, and it delivers quite a delicious loaf of bread. The only downside is its design, which looks a bit cheap, but you can’t really expect more from such an affordable appliance.
Best for gluten-free bread – Zojirushi BB-PAC20
Many machines have a dedicated setting for gluten-free bread, but the Zojirushi BB-PAC20 actually delivers the most delicious gluten-free delicacies. It also comes with a recipe book, featuring several gluten-free recipes, including café au lait bread, brown rice bread, soy bread, raisin bread, cornmeal bread and many other delicious treats. Moreover, the book also includes some great instructions for baking without gluten. The Zojirushi BB-PAC20 is also a very silent appliance, and like most Zojirushi appliances, it is highly durable and it is very easy to use.