Today’s bread machines have come a long way from the break makers of the past that turned out strangely shaped loaves after a bit of kneading and heating. Many current models have settings for gluten-free baking, some can make loaves of different sizes, and others are specifically designed to incorporate mixed in ingredients—hello, cinnamon raisin bread.
They are also no longer complete unitaskers. If you’re not in the mood for bread and it’s too hot to fire up the oven, many bread makers also... have a bake-only setting, which means you can use it to bake a cake, cornbread, or even some brownies.
Even with a machine, baking a loaf of bread can be a lengthy process, since the yeast needs time to ferment and cause the dough to rise, and a longer rise produced a tastier loaf. Most bread makers will have a loaf finished in about 4 hours, while those with a rapid bread option will produce a loaf in 2 hours or less. If you’re ready to enjoy freshly baked bread on a daily basis, here are the seven best machines on the market to get you started.
01 of 07
A well-known brand with a good reputation, this bread maker does everything you need, plus a little more. It bakes a rectangular 2-pound loaf and also has settings for baking gluten free bread as well as a setting for breads using organic ingredients and custom settings so you can bake bread exactly the way you want it. There’s a large window so you can check the progress of the bread as well.
This machine has two kneading paddles that make sure the dough is completely kneaded with no bits of... flour left unmixed, a rapid option for times when you need to have the bread done faster, and a 13-hour delay timer.
You can choose a light, medium or dark crust, and the preprogrammed settings are for basic bread, basic wheat bread, basic dough, quick bread, quick wheat bread, quick dough, jam, cake, sourdough starter, and homemade recipes.
This is a high-end machine, with a price to match, so it might not be the best option for novices who aren’t sure how often they’ll use their bread maker.
02 of 07
If you want a little variety, this bread machine has settings for three different loaf sizes, up to a whopping 2 1/2 pounds. There are settings for white bread, whole wheat bread, multigrain bread, French bread, and quick breads and cakes. A beep lets you know when it is the proper time to add raisins, seeds, nuts, or other add-ins, but there’s no dispenser for these ingredients.
A rapid bake setting produces a loaf quickly, and a no-bake feature lets you use the machine for kneading only, so you... can form and bake bread or buns and then bake them in your oven instead.
This machine has a yeast dispenser, so the yeast is added at exactly the right time, and there’s a 13-hour delay timer so you can delay the baking time to fit your schedule. There’s no window in this machine so you can’t see the loaf in progress, but this reflects heat inside the unit for more even baking. If there’s a power outage of less than 10 minutes, the baking will resume when power returns.
03 of 07
If you like the idea of fresh, easy homemade bread but don’t want to break the budget on a machine, this bread machine has a value price tag, but still has plenty of features.
This can make loaves up to two pounds and has 12 bread setting and three crust settings so you can make a variety of breads, knead your dough, or make jam. If you’re in a hurry, the Expressbake feature can produce a finished loaf in under an hour.
This has a large LCD display that shows how the bread making is progressing. A... 13-hour delay timer allows you to add ingredients and bake later. A keep-warm setting will keep the loaf warm for you.
This includes a measuring cup and spoon.
04 of 07
This bread maker has 14 baking functions: white, white rapid, whole wheat, whole wheat rapid, French, French rapid, sweet bread, quick bread, low carb, gluten free, dough, artisan dough, jam, and bake only.
You can set the crust for light, medium, or dark, and it makes loaves in 1-, 1 1/2- and 2-pound sizes. There is a 15-hour delayed start option so you can add ingredients and bake later, and there is a 1-hour keep warm option. A top window lets you check the process without lifting the lid. If... those options aren’t enough, you can also adjust the settings to your liking.
The machine has collapsible kneading paddles, so you won’t have big holes in the finished loaf, and it makes it easier to remove the loaf from the pan. A fruit and nut dispenser lets you add ingredients towards the end of the kneading process.
This includes a collapsible measuring cup, an adjustable measuring spoon, and a recipe book.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
While most new bread makers have one gluten-free setting, this one offers three options for gluten-free breads: gluten-free salty, gluten-free sweet, and gluten-free cake.
But that doesn’t mean it’s only for gluten-free baking, it also has settings for rapid whole wheat, whole wheat, salt-free, super rapid, rapid sweet bread, French bread, sweet bread, cooking, dough only, cake, jam, and pasta dough.
It makes bread in three sizes, up to 2 pounds, and has three crust darkness settings. A delayed... start for up to 15 hours means you can have bread ready when you want it. It automatically keeps the bread warm after baking for up to one hour and there’s a window so you can check the progress of the bread.
Be forewarned, reviewers report that the manual for this model has some errors, so recipes may need to be tweaked to get the best results.
06 of 07
Have you ever peered inside a bread machine and wondered what else could be mixed in there? This machine answers that question. Not only can it knead dough, but it includes an ice cream insert.
The machine can make three sizes of bread, up to 2 pounds, and has three settings for crust color. There are 15 programmed settings including different kinds of bread, a dough-only option, a bake-only option for cake, as well as a setting for making jam. It has a 5-hour delayed start timer, a 1-hour... keep-warm setting, a 12-minute pause button, and a power failure backup.
The ice cream bowl is small—just 3/4 of a liter, but it can make ice cream in about 10 minutes.
07 of 07
This machine can make breads in four different sizes, from 1 pound up to 2 1/2 pounds, and it has three different setting for crust darkness.
There’s an automatic dispenser for adding fruits or nuts so they get properly mixed into the dough, and the kneading paddle collapses after it’s done with its job to minimize the hole left in the bread after baking. A non-collapsible paddle is also included for making jam.
There are 13 automatic settings and 46 step-by-step recipes for basic white bread,... whole wheat bread, gluten-free bread, crusty loaves, sweet breads, yeast-free baking, dough only, and jam, along with custom recipe charts. You can save your own custom programs to bake again, and you can delay the baking time for up to 13 hours.
While all bread machines make some noise while kneading, this one can be a little noisier than most, and it can walk a little bit on the counter during kneading.
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