There is nothing like homemade bread. Fresh, warm and made exactly to your own liking to compliment your meal. But, it can get messy and things can go wrong when making it by hand. Therefore, it is much easier with a bread machine. You get less mess, it is quicker and you can even have it so it is ready at the right time. Here is our recommendations for the best bread machines to buy.
What to Look For in a Bread Machine
Before, we get on to the best bread machines to buy, we are going to highlight a few things to look for when buying a bread machine.
Whichever bread machine you buy, the actual baking process will be fairly similar. Add the ingredients select the required programme and press go. Depending on the bread machine and the recipe, you can expect to wait three to five hours for a fresh loaf to be made. Remember to let your bread cool on a rack when you take it out of the bread machine. This prevents it from collapsing.
Pretty much all bread machines you can buy, have a delayed start function. This means you can add your ingredients the night before and select the time you want your bread to be ready. This is ideal for waking up to fresh bread for breakfast.
Types of Bread
Different bread machines you can buy need different ingredients for their loaves. However, the majority of bread is made with”
- Oil or butter
You can easily buy these ingredients at a supermarket. However, you will need “strong” flour to make bread for wholemeal loaves
Before you buy your bread machine, you need to decide what you actually want to make in it. Do you want to make speciality bread with nuts, dried fruit etc. This is because certain bread machines are better at this kind of bread than others. This is because these extra ingredients need to be added at the right time after the bread making process has started. Some of the bread machines you can buy stop and alert you to when you need to add the nuts or fruit. Other bread machines have integrated hoppers that add them automatically, making the process even easier.
If you want to get experimental with your bread making. Some higher end bread machines allow you to create custom programmes. For example, these machines will let you customise each step of the baking process, such as:
- Kneading time
- Baking time
- Rising time
Then you will be able to set them as pre-programmed settings once you get it how you want it. You can even tweak the built in recipes on some bread machines.
Advantages of using a Bread Machine
Over time a bread machine will actually save you money. You can spend around 60p per loaf if you buy the ingredients and make the bread yourself. This is cheaper than a loaf of shop bought bread, which is around £1 per loaf.
The other main advantage of using a bread machine, is that you know what all the ingredients are. There are no preservatives or nasty additives that mass produced bread has in it.
The Best Bread Machines to Buy
There are a lot of bread machines on the market, which can make it very difficult to choose the right one for you. This is because it is difficult to know where to begin. A good place to start, is price. Bread machines start at around £50, but get more expensive when you start choosing ones with more features. The bread machine that you buy, should also suit your needs. You can buy simple ones that require you to dump all the ingredients in and voila, you have bread. However, you may want to tread your bread making as an art form and experiment. This is when you need to buy a bread machine with a variety of programs.
Below, we have put together a list of the best bread machines to buy right now. We have highlighted the pros and cons of each, to help you decide which bread machine to buy for your kitchen.
1. Morphy Richards Fastbake 48281 Breadmaker
- Easy to use controls
- Great recipes
- Superb white loaf
- Screen doesn’t illuminate
If you like a white loaf of bread, the Morphy Richards Fastbake makes a pretty much perfect one. This isn’t a bread machine you buy to be experimental with, but the recipes that are provided with it are extensive and very good. They are obviously specifically written to work with this bread machine. It has 12 programmes and 30 recipes, which is enough for most people.
The fastbake programme, gives you a loaf of bread in under an hour. You may find this bread slightly dense, but that is the compromise for convenience.
This bread machine can be delayed for 13 hours before it starts baking. This makes it perfect for waking up to fresh bread in the morning for breakfast.
Al in all, this is a great bread machine for the price that is easy to use.
2. Panasonic SD-ZB2502BXC Stainless Steel Bread Maker
- Excellent bread
- Sourdough feature
- Automatic yeast and raisin/nut dispenser
- Not particularly fast
- No custom programme
The Panasonic SD-ZB2502BXC Stainless Steel Bread Maker has 28 bake and dough modes, a raisin/nut dispenser to evenly distribute them through your nice soft loaf. It also has an automatic yeast dispenser. This releases the yeast at the perfect time, to give you a fluffy or dense loaf. You can even choose how brown you want your bread to come out of the machine!
This bread machine is more high end than the Morphy Richards one above. This is reflected in the price. You can’t create custom programmes with this one either, but it is pretty feature rich.
We would recommend this bread machine for those that want quality bread of different varieties, but don’t have the time or inclination to start experimenting with recipes.
3. SKG Automatic Breadmaker 2LB
- Great number of settings
- Beginner friendly
- Good quality bread
- Gluten free option
- Manual could be more detailed
- No fruit and nut hopper
The SKG Automatic Breadmaker 2LB is very good value for money, but the stand out advantage of this bread machine is its easy of use. It is ideal for beginners to the home bread making world. But, more experienced users will enjoy it too. This is priced to be a mid-market level bread machine. We like it very much due to its 19 settings. However, we feel it should have a fruit and nut dispenser at this price. Therefore, it is a toss up between what you find more important. That being said, the quality of bread it produces is excellent.
4. Homever Bread Maker
- Easy to use
- Easy to clean
- No gluten free option
- Exterior gets hot
- Instructions could be better
The 15 different settings on the Homever Bread maker makes this a versatile bread machine. It even has settings that allow you to make jam, yogurts and cakes. We like its compact size and ease of use. It has the obligatory delayed start function that gives you 15 hours to play with. But, if that isn’t enough, it also has a “keep warm” function. This means you will never have to eat cold bread again.
Overall, the Homeover Bread maker is a great option for home baking. It also looks pretty good in most kitchens.
Morphy Richards Homebake Breadmaker 502001
- Great quality bread
- Good instructions
- Good value for money
- Lots of settings including ones for gluten free and wholemeal
- Display isn’t that easy to see
- Top gets hot to the touch
The Morphy Richards Homebake Breadmaker 502001 makes good quality bread consistently. It offers more programs than its similarly priced rivals, making it good value for money. It doesn’t have a separate fruit and seed dispenser though. So if this is important to you, you should probably look at the Panasonic Breadmaker.
This is a close rival to the Homeover bread maker above. We would say that is isn’t quite as versatile, but this one has a gluten free function, which the Homeover machine does not.
Which of these bread machines are you going to buy? Please leave your thoughts and questions in the comments section below.