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
This budget machine doesn’t have all the fancy features as its more expensive counterparts, but it’s got everything you need for basic bread and It’s got a whole lot more, too. It has 12 different baking functions, a 1-hour keep-warm feature, and a 13-hour delay timer. Along with making basic bread or using it to knead bread you will bake in your oven, also has a setting for gluten free bread, and you can choose your crust color.
Because this makes a tall loaf rather than a wide one, you’ll need... to lay the loaf on its side to get square slices for sandwiches. This bakes two loaf sizes: 1 pound and 1 1/2 pounds.
04 of 07
This machine has more than 100 combinations to customize your loaves— three loaf sizes, three crust darkness options, and 16 different pre-programmed settings including low-carb, gluten-free, sweet cake, and jam. An artisan bread setting sends the dough through several long, slow, cool rises which creates a chewier crumb and a rustic crust and a bake-only option lets you bake cakes or other products you’ve mixed outside the machine.
A convection fan automatically adjusts speed and timing for the... best possible loaf, and there’s a 12-hour delayed start timer and a 15-minute pause in case you need to delay the process while you find those raisins you want to add to the dough. It beeps to let you know when to add fruit, nuts, or other mix-ins, but there’s no automatic dispenser. A second beep alerts you so you can remove the paddle for baking or remove the dough for shaping and baking in your oven.
There’s a power-failure backup, so the bread won’t be ruined if power goes out.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
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.
07 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.
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