how to pick the best bread machine

How to Pick the Best Bread Machine

how to pick the best bread machine

In my main page, I explained simply how to choose the best bread machine before recommending some of the top rated bread machines in 2015. Here I will explain further, in more detail, about picking your best bread machine.

If you are looking for a bread machine to bake your own healthy, preservative-free bread loaves, read on to see what is important to consider in the bread maker you want to buy.

The bread machine is an appliance that evolved from a simple bread baking machine to some really advanced machines that can even make jam and other sweet desserts, but ultimately the bread maker that you want is something that will give you the utmost convenience in baking a delicious loaf of bread, right?

How to Pick the Best Bread Machine

The Shape of Your Loaf

Firstly, you need to decide whether you mind having a tall tower loaf. Many bread machines, in order to save counter top space, are designed to sit tall, so the shape of the bread pan will result in a tall standing loaf. If you must have a horizontal loaf like the store bought ones, get a horizontal bread machine, but you’ll have to compromise with the larger footprint.

A vertical bread machine may not be your perfect choice if you have low hanging cabinets over your counter top. The bread machine will need some space overhead for opening up the lid and more for lifting out the bread pan. Do take this into consideration when buying your bread machine.

Horizontal bread machine – Zojirushi BB-CEC20
Vertical bread machine – Zojirushi BB-HAC10

Sizes of Your Loaf

Other than the space your bread machine is going to take up, look at the size of the loaf it can make too. Some bread machines allow you to choose from several loaf sizes, which is good if you have a growing family.

For singles or couples, a bread maker that bakes a 1-lb loaf will do. On the other hand, a large family will need the largest loaf size at 2.5 pounds.

Homemade bread is simply yummy so you should be prepared to bake more often, but that doesn’t matter because it will be so easy with a bread machine!

1 lb small bread maker – Zojirushi BB-HAC10
2 lb bread maker – Cuisinart CBK-100
2.5 lb big bread maker – Panasonic SD-YD250
Multiple loaf sizes – Zojirushi BB-CEC20

Bread Machine Features

For buying your first bread machine, features may not seem very important, but once you’ve baked a few loaves in a bread machine, you’ll realize that you couldn’t do without some of the features. My first bread maker was the simplest ever, without any bells and whistles. After using the feature-packed models, now I feel that I couldn’t go back to my old bread machine anymore.

Here are some features that you may like:

Preset programs

Programs are really useful for new bakers or those who like different types of bread. You can bake plain white bread, multigrain, whole wheat, gluten-free, meatloaf and cake in one single machine if your bread machine has all these programs. Some bread machines even have programs for jam, mochi, udon, pasta and chocolate! See the Panasonic SD-BMT1000.

You’d certainly want a dough setting in your bread maker as well, so that you can make pizza dough (certain machines have a separate pizza setting) and dough for pretzels, dinner rolls, croissants and other stuff that you can bake in your own oven.

Custom settings

If you know pretty much everything about baking and would like to set the bread machine to run a program of your own, some bread machines allow for that, and even saves your program in its memory so that you don’t have to key it in again next time, such as the Zojirushi BB-CEC20 and the Breville BBM800XL.

Delay timer

A delay timer is important to those who like freshly baked bread for breakfast. Just time the bread maker to start baking before you wake up! You should know that different bread cycles take a different amount of time to complete though. Check your bread machine manual for the time needed for each cycle.

Auto dispenser

Fruits and nuts should always be added near the end of the cycle and before baking, so if you won’t be around to add them or if you are using the delay timer for baking, make sure your bread machine comes with an auto dispenser for the fruits and nuts. You can place them into the dispenser and they will be added to the dough at the right moment.

Easy-to-Clean Parts

Your bread maker has several parts to be cleaned after each use, and these are the bread pan, the kneading paddle and the lid. Most bread pans are non stick (so that the bread can come out easily) so I wouldn’t worry much about washing it. The important thing is to have a removable paddle so that I can make sure to clean every nook and cranny. The lid only needs a wipe down but some bread machines also let you remove it, which is nice too.

Warranty and After-Sales Service

Most bread makers come with a 1- to 2-year limited warranty. Read more reviews to find out whether a certain brand has good customer service, especially after sales service. The best brands will offer help if you call them to ask about their products, whether it is to find out how to use it, or to replace a faulty part.

Good luck picking your best bread machine! Find the best bread machines here.

Zojirushi BB-CEC20 – Best Bread Machine

If you’re looking for the perfect all-rounder bread machine that kneads dough well, makes bread with the best texture, is easy to use, has plenty of settings to play with and is customizable all over, the Zojirushi BB-CEC20 is your best bread maker!
zojirushi BB-CEC20
This wonderful bread machine turns out a beautiful 2-pound loaf that looks store-bought and perfect every time. The Zojirushi BB-CEC20 is a horizontal breadmaker with a non stick baking pan and two paddles instead of one.

two paddlesThe two kneading paddles works the dough twice as much as any other bread machine with only one paddle, so you can be sure that the texture of the bread will be smoother than most! In fact, this is the best bread maker for kneading dough well.

The non stick pan allows the loaf to slide out easily each time and it’s so easy to wash up afterwards. The only things you need to wash is the pan, the removable paddles and the measuring utensils that come with this bread machine.

settingsAny seasoned baker would love to know that the Zojirushi BB-CEC20 comes with very customizable settings. If you often bake gluten-free bread, you can even set the time for every kneading and rising step to fit your perfect recipe.

On the other hand, it is really convenient to just select a pre-programmed bread cycle from the 10 options available. Anyone can make meatloaf, French bread, whole wheat bread, dinner rolls, or even jam and cake with this bread machine!

The delay timer is my favorite feature, as I love waking up to a lovely smell of freshly baked bread of my choice. I often put the ingredients into the bread maker before I go to bed, then set it to finish baking just before I wake up. The bread is even kept warm for half an hour while I get ready for breakfast!

I’m so glad I never again have to spend hours to knead and punch the dough and wait for it to rise, and it would not have been possible for me to wake up hours earlier to bake fresh bread for the mornings.

My full size oven still gets to bake things like rolls, pizza and twisty bread, but I just use the Zojirushi BB-CEC20 to knead the dough. Did I mention that the dough is smooth and lovely every time?

One tip for those who prefer to have a perfect loaf: you can take out the kneading paddles after the last rise of the dough, so that the loaf will bake perfectly and you won’t have to make a hole in it when pulling out the paddles after baking.

For me the Zojirushi BB-CEC20 is the best bread machine all over, but some of you may shy away after seeing the price of this machine. I feel that it’s totally worth the money in the long run for so many wonderful features, and certainly I have been eating healthier and tastier bread with the help of this bread machine!

For a cheaper option, you may want to look at this large bread machine, or this best bread maker for gluten-free bread. More bread maker reviews in my main page.

Oster CKSTBR9050 Expressbake Bread Maker Review

I recently bought an Oster Expressbake bread maker and thought I would share why I love it so much. This bread maker bakes fantastic tasting bread. The first thing that caught my attention is the Express Bake mode that allows you to bake a loaf of bread in under an hour. I love this and used this setting many times when I need bread for my kids’ sandwiches.

Oster Expressbake

This bread machine is extremely compact and sits on my counter top without taking up too much space. As it is white, it also blends in with the rest of my kitchen decor. I love white, it looks so fresh and clean.

However more importantly is that it is easy to use. The user manual that comes with the bread maker explains about all of the different bread maker settings so even a newbie will be able to use it easily.

The bread maker can make different sized loaves including; a 1, 1.5 or 2 pound loaf. To make the bread is incredibly easy. You simply choose the bread you want to make from the recipe book provided, add all of the ingredients to the pan and close the lid. You then choose the size of loaf you want from the push button display and the type of bread you want to make.

I have made sweet bread and French bread with this bread machine and they were both good. It also makes fantastic pizza dough incredibly quickly. It is so much easier than kneading by hand. There’s a jam setting too. Those of you who love jam with bread, it’s time to start making your own jam which is healthier and not jam-packed with sugar and preservatives!
Expressbake
I just want to reiterate how incredibly easy it is to use. You just place all of your ingredients in (liquids first!) and press start. It is as simple as that. The bread is also easy to remove; it doesn’t stick to the pan. Just remove the pan from the bread machine, loosen the bread slightly with the knife provided and tip the pan upside down onto a breadboard and the bread will easily come out.

Another great feature is that it makes gluten free bread, as it has a special gluten free setting. So when my sister-in-law comes to visit I can make her bread as well.

So I really do love this Oster Expressbake Bread Maker. If you are looking for a bread maker that is user friendly, easy to clean and most importantly, makes bread very quickly, this is the bread maker for you.

For more advanced bread makers, you may want to look at Zojirushi bread makers or if gluten free is your thing, check out this good bread maker for gluten free bread. Back to my main page for more:

T-fal PF111 Bread Machine Review

Wouldn’t you love to wake up to fresh bread in the morning? With the T-fal PF111 bread maker, you can do just that. This bread machine is amazing. First of all, it’s actually sort of pretty to look at, as far as kitchen appliances go. Its stainless steel body makes it easy to wipe off after each use, and matches the rest of my appliances.
tfal pf111
The 15 hour delay is super easy to set. Just before bed, I throw the ingredients into the bread machine, set the timer, go to bed, and have fresh bread the next morning. My friend loves my T-fal PF111, too. She can’t eat gluten, and this bread maker comes with a gluten free setting. Sometimes I think she just comes to visit so she can eat some fresh gluten free bread without having to pay the ridiculous price for it at the grocery store.

I had to play around with the recipe a little; the first batch of gluten free bread didn’t turn out very well. This thing is so easy to use, my ten-year-old can make bread with it. And this thing is SO quiet. Sometimes I have to put my hand on the side of it to make sure it’s actually on.

Some cheap bread makers “walk” across the counter top during the kneading phase, this T-fal PF111 bread maker stays put, thanks to the powerful 600-watt motor housed in the elegant stainless steel body.

The one downside about this bread machine is the rather tall price, just like the tall, vertical loaf that it makes. For the same price or just a little more I could buy a more versatile Zojirushi bread maker with custom settings, but perhaps a novice baker wouldn’t need to do a lot of customizing. The programs in this T-Fal are for a variety of common breads, and you could make jam, cake and sandwich too.

Ok, so I think I’ve told you everything I love about this bread maker, and why you should go buy the T-Fal PF111 for yourself. It’s time to set the timer on my bread maker, and go to bed. I’m looking forward to the smell of fresh bread in the morning.

If you need something smaller, look at this small bread maker. More in my Best Bread Machine Reviews blog here.

Panasonic SD-BMT1000 Bread Maker Review

Panasonic Home Bakery SD-BMT1000-TMy new Japanese friends asked me to buy Panasonic SD-BMT1000. They did not have to persuade me much when I heard that this imported bread machine can make mochi. My favorite Japanese dessert!

This bread maker looks extremely elegant. I got mine in a color that is best described as a blend of purple and brown, a color that is not often seen with bread machines. It cost me quite a bit, but Panasonic bread machines have always convinced me with their quality and technology.

However, I find myself helpless before this bread machine to begin with. I barely managed to use three or four of the menu options! This is because I did not expect the instructions to be only in Japanese. Even the YouTube video for using this bread maker has narration in Japanese!

Recipes did not bother me, since I’ve got plenty of bread machine recipes already, but it did not feel good to be using only the four setting options out of 34. Yes, a whopping 34! I wish I had bothered to learn to read Japanese. Fortunately my friends helped me with the display and I labeled the buttons in English.

On the bright side, the bread from this bread maker is perfect. I’ve tried my hand at several types of loaves and they come out beautifully every time. The bread, however, takes longer to bake. One large loaf took me almost 3 hours for baking.

My kid says that the bread from this bread maker stands erect like the Statue of Liberty. The truth is that this bread maker does not make horizontal bread.

mochiAs soon as I was able to figure things out, I made mochi. I can eat a lot of that stuff! Finally I don’t have to go to Japanese restaurants for good mochi. I ended up translating the recipes after all, since I wanted to make udon, compote, melon pan and all the alluring food this bread machine claims to make!

I was able to make good pizza with this and I actually learned how to make chocolate on my own using this very bread maker. It takes just about 17 minutes for making chocolate. Marble bread is another recipe I’ve tried intuitively, and succeeded in making. This is just too good to be true.

I have, thanks to one of my friends, learned how to set the timer too. The timer in this bread machine can be set for a 13-hour delay.

I do wish that Panasonic would do something about the language in instruction booklet as well as the LCD display. Without English anywhere, I feel like fish out of water. But to be fair, this bread machine makes a ton of stuff and makes them good too, so if you care to figure out the settings on your own or if you can read some basic Japanese, the Panasonic SD-BMT1000 is a really good bread machine to get!

Make French Baguettes with a Bread Machine

baguette sandwich

I always tell my friends, that basically any bread product that requires shaping (not into a loaf) can be made with a bread machine, as long as you have the bread machine recipe for it!

My ol’ mom loves French baguettes, and she’s always hand making French baguettes until she bought a bread machine. I persuaded her to buy one so that she could have more time to join various activities with her girlfriends.

She bought the Zojirushi BB-CEC20 because a veteran baker like her would love to have more customizable settings and sophisticated features.

Anyway, here’s the baguette recipe that she used; it’s from Zojirushi.

French Baguette Bread Machine Recipe

baguette

Put in all the ingredients, liquids first, into the bread machine. Remember to make a well in the dough for the yeast so that it doesn’t come into contact with liquids beneath. Set the bread maker for dough cycle.

When the dough is done, you can now shape it into baguettes. Place them in a greased or lined baking pan, cover them up with a clean damp cloth and leave them for about 40 minutes. This will allow the dough to rise for the last time.

The oven should be preheated to 470 degrees Fahrenheit. When the dough has risen, carefully make a few diagonal slashes on the face and spray a mist of water over them. Bake them for about half an hour and there you go, fresh and fluffy baguettes!

If you need a more visual guide, check out this helpful video.

Remember to look at my other bread machine reviews, recipes and tips too.

Bread Machine Tips

Do you own a bread machine? I know how a little help will come extremely in handy when you’re using a bread machine for the first few times. In fact, some of us veterans often scout for tips too! Here are my bread machine tips to help make your bread making experience more enjoyable and simpler. These are for beginners!

Pay attention to the order you pour the ingredients into the bread machine. This is a crucial aspect that some new users fail to make note of. Most, if not all, bread machines require you to start with the liquids and then put the dry ingredients on top. More often than not, the last thing that needs to be added is the yeast.
yeast
In the flour mound, make a little hollow where you put the yeast. This goes a long way in ensuring that the yeast doesn’t mix with the liquid until the machine begins to do its thing.

Do you know what your bread machine’s capacity is? Many bread makers come with settings for one to two-pound loaves. Some machines come with a fixed-size loaf. Before you start baking a loaf, make sure you know what size you’re baking, this will help you scale your recipes correctly.

The manual that comes with the bread machine is a great way of determining the capacity of your machine. You may also check it out on the Internet. Usually, a one pound machine handles approximately two cups of flours. The one and half pound loaf requires about three cups of flour while the two pound loaf needs four cups.
dough
After five to ten minutes into the dough making cycle, open the lid of the machine. Don’t worry about disturbing the process, just open it up and check. See if the dough appears dry. If it is, add some more water – measuring one tablespoon at a time.

If your dough seems too watery, it’s advisable to add a pinch of flour. Do this sparingly until you see a nicely formed ball. The bread may taste okay with the wrong texture, but it will not be as beautiful as you would have expected.

An important tip is to get a good bread machine that kneads dough well, and read more bread maker reviews before you buy one.

Hamilton Beach Bread Machines

Just like some of the biggest brands in bread machines, Hamilton Beach is changing the rules of the game and has seen quite a number of its bread makers sell like hot cakes. Hamilton Beach bread machines are well designed and have managed to get the attention of many customers all over the world with their simple but intuitive design and competitive price.

Although there are quite a number of Hamilton Beach bread machines that are currently riding high in the market, here are two of the best. These two models are well designed and have managed to stand their grounds and battle for the top position with other major brands.

Hamilton Beach HomeBaker 29881

Hamilton-Beach-HomeBaker-29881I first saw a friend with this bread machine, and from the way it did its work, I was impressed. It is well thought out and if what people are saying about it is anything to go by, I believe this is a good bread machine for you.

This is the perfect machine for today’s creative bread machine recipes. It is amazing how designers managed to make it one of the easiest to use; you simply add your ingredients, choose the cycle and press start. It is that simple.

It does not even stop there; another feature that strikes me as innovative is that this bread maker has been designed in a way you can add ingredients later in the process or in the beginning.

Its nonstick pan is simply easy to clean and you can even put it in the dishwater. Ultimately, if I am told to recommend a nice bread machine at an affordable price, I won’t take even a second to recommend this model. I have used this model and I loved every single thing about it.

See the best price here.

Hamilton Beach HomeBaker 29882

Hamilton-Beach-HomeBaker-29882Almost similar to 29881 model, the 29882 bread machine is among the top Hamilton Beach bread machines. The way this bread machine is designed is simple but user friendly.

Just like the 29881 model, this Hamilton Beach bread maker is one of the easiest machines you can bring right into your kitchen today; bread making with this machine is just three easy steps; add the ingredients, choose the cycle and with press of a button you start the baking process.

Its versatility is simply unbelievable; it is not only used for kneading dough and baking bread, but it can make jams as well.

I love the viewing window; it is well positioned and you can easily monitor your bread’s progress. Plus, the delay time is another feature many people love about this bread maker. It allows you to bake when you want it.

Did I mention it comes with nonslip feet? That alone provides the much needed stability. This Hamilton Beach bread maker machine is the one to buy because it is easy to use and makes the best breads ever.

See the best price here.

Hamilton Beach Bread Machines:

Breadman Bread Machines

Breadman is a globally recognized company thanks to its innovative kitchen appliances, which include Breadman bread machines. However, the company is particularly praised for its durable, handy and cost-effective Breadman bread machines.

Breadman provides these excellent bread making machines with amazing features and at very affordable prices. All of these bread machines are user-friendly, are pre-programmed and have see-through windows for viewing while baking. Any of these four bread machines can be helpful based on your needs and expectations. Enjoy baking delicious breads and other recipes by buying your own Breadman bread machine today!

Breadman TR520

breadman tr520This is a fully programmable bread maker thanks to its automated features. This bread maker features 3 crust shades and 8 components for dough and bread.

The design allows for a huge, square loaf of bread of up to two pounds, although you can produce smaller loaves. Breadman also gives a 2-year warranty on the appliance, which is twice the usual coverage.

Some bread machines allow you to include nuts and fruits before the baking process. Instead of this, the TR520 has a built-in signal during the initial kneading process that alerts you when you can add more ingredients.

The Breadman TR520 also features a 13-hour delay timer, which enables you to come home or wake up to a fresh loaf of bread. Overall, this bread maker is a worthwhile machine for its price.

Read my review on the Breadman TR520 here.

Breadman TR2500BC

Breadman TR2500BCMake fresh loaves of bread and many other recipes using this quality Breadman bread maker.

This bread machine comes with a convection bake feature that gives you crisper crust on your loaves. It can make up two pounds breads, along with other recipes, includes bagel, jam, pasta dough and pizza dough.

The Breadman TR2500BC also features an automated dispenser for fruits and nuts, which is ideal for adding toppings on nutty breads and muffins. This bread maker has a lid with a transparent window for viewing the mixture during the cooking process.

Other important features of this bread maker include one-hour power outage back-up, a 24-hour delay timer and a special oven light. Also, this bread machine has a memory that allows you to save over 300 recipes.

See the best price for Breadman TR2500BC here.

Breadman TR2200C

Breadman TR2200C Ultimate Bread MachineBreadman TR2200C is another excellent bread making machine that allows families to make some of the most delicious loaves of bread you can ever imagine.

It can make up two pounds breads, along with other important recipes. This Breadman bread maker comes with a 1-year warranty.

Other important features include a non-stock pan and 110 pre-programmed settings. Most buyers admire the way this bread making machine operates.

Breadman has also provided manuals and videos showing how this bread machine operates, making the baking experience easier for you.

See the best price for Breadman TR2200C here.

Breadman TR875

Breadman TR875If you are looking for a stylish bread machine that offers great performance, then the Breadman TR875 is designed for you.

Its exterior is made of stainless steel and exudes elegance without compromising on its performance. This fully programmable bread maker can make up two pounds breads, pasta dough, pizza dough, and jams.

Its many control settings allow you to bake different kinds of bread while a beeping sound is available indicate the ideal time to add fruits or nuts.

See the best price for Breadman TR875 here.

Breadman Bread Machines:

Oster Bread Machines

It is very likely you have come across or heard about Oster bread machines. However, for an industry that has seen other players dominate the market for years, you may wonder if some of these Oster bread maker machines are worth your hard earned money.

Well, I personally having tried a number of them I can say, just like the rest, Oster bread machines are amazing. Other than tons and tons of features they come fully loaded with, they do their job perfectly well.

Two Of The Best Oster Bread Machines

So you know, Oster has quite a number of models in the market; however, there is no way we are going to talk about each one of them, but we are going to give just a brief review of two of the best bread machines from Oster.

Oster CKSTBRTW20

Oster CKSTBRTW20To begin with, this Oster bread maker is unlike anything I have come across. It does its job perfectly well and if what has been said by a number of users is anything to go by, I am quite sure this model is going to send Oster well known brands running for their money.

Interestingly, even for an industry that has seen key players take the largest share of the market, this model has stood its ground and managed to fight for the top spot with others. The following is a little bit about this machine.

First, other that coming fully equipped with an array of great features, one of the biggest features that will lure you into buying this Oster bread machine, certainly, has to be its capacity. Up to a 2.0 lb loaf capacity, this is exactly what you should be going for if you have a large family.

It does not even stop there; coming complete with Expressbake setting, this is one of the fastest machines you can lay your hands on today. You can bake bread in under an hour. Amazing isn’t it?

Although a number of people have reported to have had trouble using this machine, I would still recommend it for it is nearly perfect.

See the best price for the Oster CKSTBRTW20 here.

Oster 5838

oster 5838Oster 5838 is another model from Oster that has been going off the shelves like hot cakes. It is currently riding high and from the way this machine has been designed; it looks like the designers took some of the biggest mistake their competitors have made in the past and capitalized on them. Are you still wondering if this Oster bread machine is worth your money; well, here is a glimpse of this of this wonderful bared machine.

Coming fully equipped with 8 settings for making a variety of breads, jams and dough; this is possibly what you have always wanted. It does not even stop there; it comes with a user friendly control panel that can take you through the entire process without any problem. I have personally used this machine in the past and I loved everything about it; It makes great bread and I highly recommend it.

See the best price for the Oster 5838 here.

Oster Bread Machines