Bread Maker Buying Guide

There is nothing more delicious than the smell of freshly baked bread. Unfortunately, we can’t always have access to healthy, freshly baked bread. In fact, store-bough bread is quite unhealthy as it is full of preservatives. However, you don’t have to settle for stale and unhealthy bread, as you can make your own delicious and healthy bread at home with minimum effort. All you need is a good bread machine, and we are here to help you choose the best one for your needs.

Top manufacturers

To have the certainty that you are buying an efficient and durable bread maker, choose a reputable manufacturer that has been on the market for a while. There are dozens of brands that produce these types of appliances, but we advise you to opt for one of the following:

  • West Bend – A kitchen appliance manufacturer that has been on the market for over 100 years, West Bend is the best choice for an efficient and reasonably priced bread machine. For more information on their best products check out how BMM BMM reviews West Bend’s West. Breadmachinemom has the most comprehensive and useful reviews for these appliances.
  • Zojirushi – This brand produces high end bread makers featuring minimalist designs and a lot of sophisticated features. You will pay quite a lot for a Zojirushi appliance, but you can rest assured knowing that it will work perfectly and it will last for many years.
  • Panasonic – despite the fact that it doesn’t specialize in kitchen appliances, Panasonic produces some amazing bread machines, with very modern features. As far as we know, it is the only manufacturer that has units with fully programmable baking cycles.

Basic specifications

While these machines can have dozens of features, in the end it is the basic specifications that make the difference. To find a bread maker suitable for your needs, you will have to consider a few key factors.

    • Size and capacity – Look for a bread maker with a sleek and compact design, so that it doesn’t take a lot of counter space. You must also be mindful of the capacity, and make sure it can produce a loaf big enough to last your family a couple of days. You can choose between 0.5 lb., 1lb., 1.5 lb. and 2 lb. loaf sizes. However, be careful not to choose a capacity that is too big for your needs as homemade bread doesn’t last a long time.

 

  • Kneading paddle – If your budget allows it, opt for a machine with a collapsible kneading paddle, to avoid that unpleasant hole in the middle of the bread. If you can’t find a model with a collapsible paddle, look for models with paddles made of non-stick materials.
  • Pan size and materials – Most units have either a horizontal or a vertical pan, and some can feature optional pans for croissants or baguettes. What type of pan you choose is a matter of personal preferences, as it doesn’t really affect the taste or the texture of the bread. However, make sure to choose a unit with a pan made of environmentally-safe materials.
  • Baking time – All units have a basic cycle and a quick cycle. The quick cycle is a great option for when you are in a rush, but it doesn’t really deliver a fluffy bread. So, look for a model with a reasonable basic cycle, that doesn’t take more than 3 hours.
  • Settings – If you have allergies or intolerances, look for a machine that is capable of baking bread for your specific needs. Not all machines can handle whole-wheat or gluten-free flour.

 

Special features

If you want a machine that will really make the baking process effortless, look for a few key convenience features:

  • Delay timer – It allows you to program the appliance to delay the baking process.
  • Special ingredients dispenser – A great feature for adding nuts, seeds and dry fruit.
  • Crust settings – It allows you to choose between up to 3 crust settings.

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