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.

Written By George