The 9 Best Bread Machines to Bring The Bakery Home

Tasty-sliced-loaf-and-bread-machine-on-table

Buying the best bread machine will take all the effort out of making homemade bread.

Not only will you get a set-and-forget baking solution, but you can also expect to generate delicious and super-fresh bread, potentially saving you a lot of money if you buy artisan bread from a bakery on the regular.

Not only can you enjoy this convenience and economy, but you’ll also remain in full control of what, exactly, goes into your bread.

As an inbuilt benefit, what smells better than a house filled with the aroma of freshly baking bread?

If you’ve never considered buying a bread maker before, though, maybe you have no idea what you’re looking for. Fortunately, we do! If you keep your eyes peeled for the following pointers, you should find it easy to pick the right bread machine for your needs and budget.

  • Dimensions: Before anything else, measure up your kitchen countertop and make sure you have space to accommodate the bread machines on your shortlist. As you would expect from an appliance capable of generating a large loaf of bread, these things are not small. When measuring up, allow for some space around the bread maker, particularly at the front
  • Loaf sizes: The core purpose of bread makers is to give you fresh bread. Don’t buy a model that makes more bread than you would eat in a day or two, or you’ll end up either wasting the bread or eating it when it’s past its best. As a rule of thumb, a 1-pound loaf will give you 8 slices, while a 2-pound loaf contains 16 slices
  • Kneading paddle: With many bread makers, the kneading paddles stays in the bread as it cooks. This leaves a hole at the bottom of the loaf when you remove it from the machine. Some machines are not especially effective in this regard, and they can end up leaving large and unsightly holes. The very best bread makers make use of a collapsible paddle. While this does not completely eliminate the issue, the hole left is small
  • Control panel and viewing window: A transparent viewing window lets you keep your eye on your loaf as it bakes. Some machines will give you an audible beep when your bread is done, but it’s always nice to see how it’s shaping up. Ensure that the control panel onboard is clear and easy to navigate
  • Accessories: You should get a few extras like a spoon and measuring cup, but most bread makers are reasonably limited when it comes to add-ons
  • Menu settings: Bread machines will allow you to make white, brown, and whole grain loaves, although not all perform well in every area. Think closely about the type of bread you most enjoy, and buy a bread machine in line with this

Ok, with those basics outlined, you should now be ideally positioned to explore our collection of the best bread machines in this crowded market segment.

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The 9 Best Bread Machines

1. Our #1 Pick: Zojirushi Virtuoso Plus Bread Maker

Zojirushi-Home-Bakery-Virtuoso-Plus-Breadmaker

Features

  • Capacity: 2 pounds
  • Power: 700 watts
  • Dimensions: 10.5 x 18 x 12.88 inches

While Zojirushi is perhaps most famous for a deep bench of rice cookers, the company also makes some first-class bread machines. The Virtuoso Plus is our favorite overall in this class, so what do you get for your money?

Firstly, you can choose from a broad cross-section of menu settings here from whole-wheat and multigrain through to gluten-free, sugar-free, and salt-free recipes.

Twin heaters in the bottom and in the lid of the bread machine ensure your loaves are consistently baked and perfectly browned. This appliance is rated at 700 watts, making it one of the more powerful bread makers in this class.

The same efficiency extends to the double kneading blades. The blades, like the pan, are coated with a non-stick treatment to ensure you enjoy a seamless baking experience.

With dough, jam, and cake courses baked in, you can whip up much more than bread in this machine.

If you’re a more experienced baker, take advantage of the homemade course. Use a trio of programmable memory settings to dial in your preference and create loaves to die for.

You can see all key metrics at a glance thanks to the oversized display. Using this bread machine is super-simple, too, even if you’re a complete beginner to bread making.

Keep your eye on proceedings without breaching the baking environment using the transparent viewing window.

The vast bulk of user reviews for this bread maker are positive, but we found some scattered complaints about the amount of noise it kicks out.

Bake all types of loaves in less than 2 ½ hours using this Zojirushi, hands down one of the best bread machines out there.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Bakes a whole loaf quickly
  • Oversized LCD
  • Choice of crust finish
  • Makes quite a lot of noise

2. Cuisinart Bread Maker

Cuisinart-Bread-Maker,-Up-To-2lb-Loaf

Features

  • Capacity: 2 pounds
  • Power: 550 watts
  • Dimensions: 10.25 x 13.25 x 11.25 inches

Cuisinart is a kitchenware specialist, and this bread machine allows you to make loaves up to 2 pounds, ideal for the whole family.

If you have been put off buying a bread machine because of the perceived difficulty, you’ll love the ease of use here. Punch in your preferred setting from the 12 options at your disposal and enjoy push-button ease with bread as good as you’ll find in a bakery after less than 3 hours.

Despite the spacious interior capacity of this bread machine, it doesn’t eat up too much space on the kitchen counter.

The machine takes care of mixing, kneading, rising, and baking your bread, so you won’t need to lift a finger to generate genuinely impressive results.

If you want to set your machine to start baking at a predetermined time, the 13-hour delay timer makes this possible.

See all you need on the crisp LCD, and wait for the series of 10 beeps that signal the completion of a baking cycle.

As well as making all your favorite traditional loaves, you can also rustle up gluten-free bread, and a variety of artisan breads using the Cuisinart. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can even branch out into making sauces and jams in this multipurpose appliance.

Choose from 3 loaf sizes (1 pound, 1.5 pounds, or 2 pounds) and then decide whether you want the crust light, medium, or dark. This Cuisinart bread machine will take care of all the rest for you. What’s not to love?

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • 12 preprogrammed settings
  • Delay start timer
  • Compact vertical pan layout
  • Not the most powerful unit

3. Oster Expressbake Bread Maker

Oster-Expressbake-Breadmaker,-2-lb.-Loaf-Capacity

Features

  • Capacity: 2 pounds
  • Power: 650 watts
  • Dimensions: 12 x 11 x 11 inches

Oster make some thoughtfully-designed and precision-engineered appliances like the Expressbake bread maker, so how does the unit shape up?

Rated at 650 watts, you can bake a 2-pound loaf of bread in less than an hour. If you’re comparing bread machines based primarily on speed of results, the Oster stands head and shoulders above the opposition.

12 different bread settings allow you to get creative with a wide variety of classic and artisan loaves.

There is nothing quite like coming home from work to the smell of freshly baked bread, and the delay timer lets you schedule baking around your needs with set-and-forget convenience.

As with all the best bread makers, you need to do nothing beyond loading in your ingredients. The machine will mix and knead your bread before ensuring it rises and bakes without any further intervention on your part.

Make loaves up to 2 pounds with a choice of 3 different crust shades to suit. If you treat yourself to this Oster bread machine, you’ll wonder why you didn’t invest in one of these gems years ago. Not only is this one of the quickest machines in terms of delivery when using the Expressbake setting, but you’ll also enjoy results you would expect from your favorite bakery.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • 3 different crust options
  • Multiple menu settings
  • Perfect for bigger families
  • No replacement parts available

4. Breville Custom Loaf Bread Maker

Breville-BBM800XL-Custom-Loaf-Bread-Maker

Features

  • Capacity: 2.5 pounds
  • Power: 830 watts
  • Dimensions: 9.8 x 15.7 x 13.9 inches

While most bread machines don’t exactly enhance the aesthetics of your kitchen counter, the Breville makes a commanding statement.

Fortunately, it’s not a case of form over function either. This is a large-capacity bread maker allowing you to make loaves up to 2.5 pounds. As such, the Breville makes a neat fit for bigger families or anyone who gets through a lot of bread.

Manipulate the ergonomic dials and buttons to use this machine, and see all you need on the digital display.

An automatic dispenser will mix in ingredients as required, ensuring you get a hands-free experience when you’re baking.

The kneading paddle gets to work mixing your ingredients, and it then collapses back during the bake phase, so you don’t get such a large hole in the bottom of your loaf. This small attention to detail is very welcome, and one of the things that raises Breville above much of the competition.

Another neat touch is the way power is protected for 60 minutes, so if you experience a power outage, your bread will be safe for an hour.

Choose from the following loaf sizes:

  • 1 pound
  • 5 pounds
  • 2 pounds
  • 5 pounds

There are 13 preprogrammed settings for you to explore, and you can choose from 3 crust colors in addition to the 4 loaf sizes above.

If you’ve never baked bread before, you’ll appreciate the bumper recipe book thrown in. Detailed step-by-step guides make your life easier and help you to create first-rate artisan bread without leaving home.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Generous capacity
  • Extremely powerful
  • Automatic dispenser
  • Exterior gets hot

5. Hamilton Beach Bread Maker

Hamilton-Beach-Bread-Maker-Machine,-Digital,-Programmable

Features

  • Capacity: 2 pounds
  • Power: 600 watts
  • Dimensions: 10.43 x 14.13 x 12.2 inches

From coffee makers to bread machines and everything in between, Hamilton Beach has carved out a niche producing outstanding appliances that are priced more keenly than much of the opposition. This bread maker continues that winning tradition.

Using this machine yields great loaves of bread with a simple 3-step process that’s very beginner-friendly.

Choose from a dozen different cycles depending on the style of loaf you’re looking to make. From classic white and brown loaves through to thicker artisanal loaves, you can also rack up gluten-free bread with push-button ease.

This bread maker also comes into own for preparing a wide range of yeast doughs. Whether you’re making pizza crusts or cinnamon buns, you can make your life easier if you use the Hamilton Beach bread maker to do so.

Choice of loaf size is limited to 1.5 pounds or 2 pounds. There are also the standard 3 crust settings, so you can choose whether you want your bread with a light, medium, or dark crust.

Most user reviews of this bread maker sing its praises, but we found a handful of complaints about a smell of plastic issuing from the machine. Do your due diligence here.

For dough prep and bread making, the Hamilton Beach is one of the best bread machines overall, and it also happens to be one of the cheapest. Let us know what you think in the comments below if you opt for this powerful yet compact bread maker.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Great bread in 3 easy steps
  • 12 different cycles
  • Perfect for dough prep
  • Some issues with plastic smell

6. Zojirushi Home Bakery Bread Maker

Zojirushi-Home-Bakery-Maestro-Breadmaker

Features

  • Capacity: 1 pound
  • Power: 700 watts
  • Dimensions: 13.63 x 8.88 x 12.5 inches

Next in line we have another offering from rice cooker specialist Zojirushi. Once again, the powerhouse brand brings all their expertise to bear here, resulting in a powerful and multipurpose appliance.

You can choose from the following settings:

  • Whole wheat
  • Multigrain
  • Quick whole wheat
  • Sugar-free
  • Salt-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Vegan

Beyond these core basics, you can also take advantage of the following course settings:

  1. Bread and pizza dough
  2. Pasta dough
  3. Cake and jam

Using the machine really couldn’t be easier. As with all the best bread machines, you need to do nothing beyond loading in your ingredients and choosing your preferred setting, then relaxing as the Zojirushi does all the hard work for you.

Perhaps you’re a more experienced baker and you like to take more control over the breadmaking process. That’s no problem here. Tweak the rise, bake, and knead times using a trio of memory settings and personalize things to your exact taste.

For anyone less experienced, the recipe book included gives you 50 great ideas for homemade bread and baked goods.

An auto-add dispenser helps ensure that extra ingredients are broadcast on demand, and this is removable and washable to streamline cleanup.

Overall, this is one of the best bread machines you’ll find from a brand famous for providing kitchen solutions at a keen price.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Wide range of bread settings
  • Personalized memory options
  • 50-recipe book bundled
  • No viewing window

7. Cuisinart Convection Bread Maker

Cuisinart-CBK-200-Convection-Bread-Maker

Features

  • Capacity: 2 pounds
  • Power: 680 watts
  • Dimensions: 12 x 16.5 x 10.25 inches

Next up comes another entry from the ever-reliable Cuisinart. Not only does this brand produce top-tier appliances, but they also cost far less than you might imagine. How does this bread maker stand and fall, then?

The key selling point of this model is the convection cooking system onboard, ensuring you get crisp and evenly-cooked bread every time and regardless of what type of bread you’re baking. The air is efficiently pushed around inside this appliance, delivering a crust that’s the texture and color you crave.

Pick from a class-leading 16 menu options baked in. You can also choose between 3 loaf sizes and 3 crust colors to guarantee you a loaf of bread just the way you like it.

If you want to impart a rustic crust to your bread, or if you fancy loaves that are chewier in texture, a dedicated menu option makes this possible.

The timer comes with delay and pause functions, and delivers a fully flexible baking experience, while assuring you of fresh bread on demand.

We found predominantly positive user reviews for this bread machine, but a handful of users complain about the fairly small mixer blade.

Build quality is rugged and you should get plenty of faithful service from the Cuisinart, even if you bake bread on the regular. Backed by a 3-year guarantee, you have nothing to lose by adding this powerful and efficient bread machine to your baking arsenal.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Huge choice of 16 settings
  • Convection function
  • 3-year limited warranty
  • Mixer blade is quite small

8. Hamilton Beach Bread Maker

Hamilton-Beach-Bread-Maker-Machine-Artisan-and-Gluten-Free

Features

  • Capacity: 2 pounds
  • Power: 650 watts
  • Dimensions: 16 x 10 x 10 inches

As we near the end of our quest for the best bread machines, we have yet another entry from the Hamilton Beach stable. You get the expected quality at the usual reasonable price point, so how does this unit perform?

The powerplant is rated at 650 watts, giving you the ability to make great bread quickly in a single compact countertop appliance.

You get a huge choice of 14 different settings, including:

  • Whole grain
  • Artisan basic
  • Gluten-free
  • Express
  • Quick bread
  • Dough
  • Cake
  • Sweet
  • Rise
  • Bake
  • Jam
  • Artisan

As you can see, just because you’re buying a budget bread machine, that doesn’t mean you need to dip out in terms of cooking applications.

You can pick between 3 different loaf sizes (1 pound, 1.5 pounds, and 2 pounds), so you have something for all requirements.

The inside and outside of this machine are made from stainless steel. The non-stick basket makes certain you’re not faced with any messy cleanup either.

There is a paddle, a paddle removal tool, a spoon, and a measuring cup thrown in. All of these are dishwasher-friendly for your convenience.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Great price/performance ratio
  • 14 bread settings
  • Choice of crust shades
  • No dough delay timer

9. Breadman Professional Bread Maker

Breadman-2-lb-Professional-Bread-Maker

Features

  • Capacity: 2 pounds
  • Power: 850 watts
  • Dimensions: 16.57 x 11.97 x 15.59 inches

Last up in our showcase of the best bread machines comes the Breadman Professional. Does it live up to the name, though?

In terms of power, this is one of the most capable units in its class. The 850-watt powerplant delivers great results without making you wait around all day like some cheap bread makers.

Perfect Bake Technology delivers as promised, with all your loaves coming out crisply and evenly cooked throughout. The texture and crust should resemble those you would get from your favorite bakery, even if you are a complete novice when it comes to bread making.

One of the key selling points of this model is the way the paddle is designed to collapse out of the way before the onset of the baking phase. This leads to a superior loaf formation with a smaller hole underneath.

With 14 different menu options at your fingertips, you can create much more than a simple white loaf in this thing, so experiment and have fun with one of the best bread makers on the market.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • 14 cooking functions
  • Collapsible kneading paddle
  • Even results every time
  • Window could be larger

FAQs

1) When should I consider replacing my bread machine?

If you notice your bread failing to come out properly, this may be down to variables like the ingredients, the recipe, the temperature, or the humidity levels. In most cases, the problem is not linked to the machine. Consult your owner’s manual for troubleshooting tips for your model. To keep the paddle running efficiently, make sure it’s always clean, as well as the area surrounding it. If you notice an unpleasant smell, this could be due to burned bits down at the bottom of the machine, so make sure you keep it thoroughly cleaned. If you are still not noticing any improvement, it could be time to consider a new bread machine.

2) Is it worth buying a bread maker?

If you bake bread regularly, it’s well worth buying one of these machines. You will make a considerable saving on buying artisan bread at a bakery over time, and you can also customize baking to your tastes rather than relying on a commercial bakery.

3) How long will my homemade bread last?

This will depend on the type of bread and how it’s stored. There will be no artificial preservatives added, though, so you should aim to eat your fresh bread within 3 or 4 days. If you need to eke out a few days more from it, pop it in the refrigerator. The purpose of buying a bread machine, though, is to enjoy bread at its freshest, so don’t compromise yourself.

4) Is it essential to use a bread machine for making bread?

No, but it will make your life much easier. Baking bread is an exact science, and the best bread makers do everything on your behalf, from mixing and kneading to rising and baking.

5) What makes homemade bread so good?

Not only do you control what goes on – that means no artificial preservatives – but you’ll also fill your home with the unbeatable aroma of fresh bread for an all-round experience.

6) Do I need to melt the butter when I’m baking bread in a bread maker?

No, not unless the recipe specifies this. You should normally load in 4 equal chunks of butter, and you should place this in the corners of the bread pan on top of the flour. No melting is required.

7) If I use shortening, will this make my bread softer?

Not noticeably, no. Shortening can improve the texture, but butter works in much the same way. The drawback of shortening is that it contains high levels of bad cholesterol, so stick with butter and do yourself a favor.

8) How can I make my bread even fluffier?

The quickest route to fluffier bread is to use milk instead of water. Alternatively, mix in an extra half-teaspoon of yeast. Don’t be tempted to use more than this, though. Too much yeast will cause your bread to balloon.

9) Why is my bread not coming out fluffy at all?

Some flours don’t generate a soft and fluffy bread no matter how you bake it. This often applies to gluten-free flours. Substitute bread flour for all-purpose flour if you’re finding your bread lacks fluffiness, or use milk in place of water as above.

10) I saw my dough was rising perfectly and then it collapsed. Why?

This can happen if you lift the lid of the machine during the baking process.


Conclusion

We hope anyone who arrived here today at Madiba confused about buying a bread maker now has a clear idea about what to look for in the best bread machine.

You should also now have a thorough overview of all the leading machines in this class, so if you’re looking to enjoy artisan bread daily without heading to the bakery, which of these bread makers makes the right fit for you?

Before you head off, take a moment to bookmark our blog. We have lots of fresh content coming your way over the coming weeks, and we update our blog daily, so pop back soon and don’t miss out!

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