If you’re tired of the taste of store-bought bread but you don’t want to make bread from scratch, get one of the best bread makers.
If you’ve ever tried to make bake bread at home, you probably know how tedious it can be. Making the perfect loaf of bread requires a lot of expertise and patience. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a freshly baked loaf from the comfort of your home.
If you’re enthusiastic about homemade bread and don’t want to do all the work, invest in a bread machine.
A bread maker is a useful kitchen appliance. The options on the market have tons of features that make them a versatile household appliance. Some of them make things other than just bread!
Here are our top picks of the best bread makers and what to know before you buy one.
Editors’ Choice: Zojirushi BB-PDC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus
There are plenty of great bread machines out there, but one of the best options is the Zorijushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus.
The Zorijushi will give you brown, fluffy loaves of fresh bread every time.
If you’re a dedicated homemade bread maker, you’ll be happy with the Zojirushi’s programmable settings, knead paddles, and other top-of-the-line technology.
Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus Pros
- Bread technology: Two knead paddles and a heated lid help you make delicious bread without much effort.
- Ingredient monitor: The machine indicates when to put in the ingredients so that your recipe comes out delicious.
- Recipe options: This bread machine makes gluten-free bread, sugar-free, and vegan bread.
Zorijushi Home Bakery Virtusos Plus Cons
- No dispenser: This appliance doesn’t have an automatic fruit and nut dispenser.
Best Value: Breadman 2lb Professional Bread Maker
The Breadman Professional Bread Maker is an excellent all-around option for making the perfect fresh loaves at home.
This stand-out bread machine comes with a collapsible paddle so that your loaf doesn’t have any holes in it. You’ll get 80 recipes, a collapsible measuring cup and measuring spoon, and even 14 programmable settings.
This Breadman is also one of the best values out there and is our budget pick. For almost half of the cost of the other automatic bread makers, you’ll get the same perks.
Breadman 2lb Professional Bread Maker Pros
- Loaf choices: Your loaf can be one pound, one and a half pounds, or two pounds. You can also choose light, medium, or dark crusts.
- Fruit and nut dispenser: The dispenser makes the bread’s fruits and nuts mix perfectly into the dough.
- Programmable functions: The function variety makes it simple to make the kind of bread you want.
Breadman 2lb Professional Bread Maker Cons
- Bread shape: Some reviews say that the loaves come out in a strange form.
- Loud machine: You’ll hear this bread maker as it cooks your loaf.
Best for Gluten-Free Loaves: Breville BBM800XL
We shouldn’t have to compromise the quality and taste of our favorite foods when it comes to dietary restrictions. People with gluten intolerance will be delighted to try a loaf of the Breville BBM800XL bread.
You can adjust the crust settings and the loaf sizes to customize your bread to your liking. The machine calculates the timing for you so that your recipe will come out correctly. Try it out and, if needed, tweak a few things to get the loaf you want.
Breville BBM800XL Pros
- Fruit and nut dispenser: Get the toppings and mix-ins you want in your bread right every time.
- Loaf sizes: Choose from four sizes to get the right-sized loaf for you.
- View options: The body has a window and an LCD screen that marks the progress so that you can check on your bread.
Breville BBM800XL Cons
- Yeast dispenser: This machine doesn’t have an automatic way to put the yeast in the dough.
Best Programmable: Panasonic SD-BMT1000
Most loaf bread makers come with around 10+ programmable settings so that you can make several delightful treats. The Panasonic SD-BMT1000 goes the extra mile with 34!
Do you love to experiment and make things like marble bread with special ingredients? With this powerful machine, you can do that and more.
The Panasonic power bread maker comes from Japan. It comes with an insane amount of settings to choose from, including Japanese treats like udon and mochi.
For the experienced bread makers who are looking to go the extra mile, the Panasonic SD-BMT1000 pushes the boundaries.
Panasonic SD- BMT1000 Pros
- 34 programmable settings: This machine doesn’t only make bread. It can make a variety of treats and has lots of settings to help you make your dream loaf.
- Extra features: This machine has a delay timer, yeast dispenser, and a fruit and nut dispenser.
Panasonic SD-BMT1000 Cons
- Converter required: You might need to buy a power converter to use it in the USA.
- High cost: This machine is the priciest loaf bread maker on the market.
- Instruction manual: The instruction manual is in Japanese. English instructions are hard to find.
Best Multi-Purpose: Oster ExpressBake BreadMaker
The Oster ExpressBake BreadMaker is an excellent all-around option.
This bread machine has several features. You can make it to your liking or change it up whenever you please. The Expressbake setting gets you a loaf in under an hour.
Oster ExpressBake Pros
- 13 settings: You can make bread, doughs, and even jams with this machine. You can also play around with the crust colors and the size of the loaf.
- Affordable price: This automatic bread maker offers excellent quality at a reasonable price.
- Expressbake setting: Want a quick bake? You can get a fresh loaf of bread in an hour.
Oster ExpressBake Cons
- Loud machine: Some users report it is too loud.
Bread Maker Buyer’s Guide
Bread machines vary when it comes to the product design, the type of bread it makes, and the programmed settings available. Depending on the kind of bread you’re trying to make and your skill level, the features you need may change.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to shopping for bread makers.
Familiarize yourself with a few parts of the design of a bread maker so that you can make sure that the appliance you’re investing in is reliable.
A typical bread machine is a rectangular capsule. The shape of the machine and baking pan varies from brand to brand.
On the outside of the machine, you will usually have a screen with programmable settings, the timer, and buttons for the types of bread you can make.
The best bread makers have a sleek, straightforward design that makes it easy to use. Here are some of the main parts of the design to keep in mind.
Finally, if you have limited counter space, look for a smaller appliance or a mini breadmaker.
Check for dispensers, which are built-in areas where you can add in extra stuff to your dough.
Maybe you love your bread with walnuts and berries. If you choose a bread maker with a built-in fruit and nut dispenser, you can add them in at the beginning and not worry about coming back to it later. This feature cuts down on the time you spend monitoring your bread.
If you want to make your job as a home baker easier, get a bread maker with yeast dispenser. The machine times out the moment to add in the yeast so that the bread rises right.
Most bread machines without these dispensers will notify you when to add these ingredients.
One of the essential features to look for is the heat distribution.
A lot of bread machines come with a heated lid. This heat keeps your bread cooking evenly on all sides, ensuring a fluffier, consistent texture throughout.
The heaters also help brown the bread. For the master bakers out there who care about aesthetics as much as taste and texture, a heated lid is a valuable feature.
The inside of the bread maker is where the magic happens. Your bread maker is going to do all of the work for you, including kneading the dough.
You’ll typically find the kneading paddles on the inside. Every bread machine has a different type of kneading paddle.
The kneading paddle should be the kind that can knead the dough by reaching all parts of the batter. It should be similar to kneading by hand.
We recommend looking for bread makers with two paddles.
Another feature to look for is a removable kneading blade. You may not want the paddles to leave a hole in your bread.
The kneading paddles should be nonstick so that you can remove your bread without a problem after it cooks.
Most machines will have a viewing window at the top of the device so that you can monitor your bread while it bakes.
You can keep an eye on the progress of your loaf of bread and stop it if you want to adjust anything. The best bread makers will have a wide enough viewing window to see most of the dough.
Ease of Use
The main point of a bread machine is simplifying the bread making process. So, your bread maker should be simple to use and understand.
Most bread makers come with an instruction manual. If your machine is imported like the Panasonic one, you may have a more difficult time because the manual is in Japanese.
Most bread machines come with a manual and several bread recipes with clear instructions on how to program the appliance.
Another indicator of a machine that is easy to use is whether or not it is clear where the bread is at in its cycle. You should be able to glance at your bread maker and know when to add in extra ingredients.
A bread machine should also let you use higher quality ingredients like King Arthur flour without needing to adjust the recipe.
Loaf Shape and Size
The goal is to bake a loaf of bread that looks similar to something you’d find at a store but is much tastier.
The loaf shape and size are fundamental when it comes to your bread maker. The best bread maker will create the perfect loaf of bread in the size that you want (1 lb, 1.5 lb, or 2lb).
While the size can vary, most people want an even height and width all across. Check out the reviews for different bread makers to see if they bake even loaves.
Sometimes, if a machine has only one kneading paddle, the bread will have a strange shape where the slices are unusually tall. Keep this in mind when choosing a bread maker if the form is important to you.
Additionally, the loaf sizes depend on the machine. It’s easy to find a bread maker that makes several types of loaf sizes, ranging from 1 lb to 2lbs.
If you have a larger family and plan to make bread often for the household, opt for a machine with a larger loaf size. If you have a smaller household, choose a pan like the Oster ExpressBake Breadmaker that has three size options.
Number of Settings
Bread makers can do much more than making bread.
Bread machines are powerful, versatile machines that can make all sorts of recipes.
Choose a bread maker with plenty of settings on the control panel. Don’t spend too much on a bread machine that only makes a limited type of bread or only has one timer setting, for example.
Bread machines are all about convenience, and the number of settings should give you that.
Here are a few settings to consider.
The color of the crust has a lot to do with a loaf of bread’s texture, but it’s all up to preference.
Invest in a bread maker that gives you the option to adjust the settings, including the crust color. The color options are usually from light to medium to dark.
A high number of home bakers are people with special dietary needs. A bread maker allows you to customize your bread to fit your dietary needs, like gluten-free.
Almost all bread makers have a gluten-free setting, which makes delicious bread that will taste like normal bread. The instructions will tell you how and when to add ingredients so that you can enjoy delicious slices of bread at home.
By making the bread at home, you can save money on the often-overpriced gluten-free bread you’ll find at the store.
You’ll see this word thrown around a lot when it comes to bread machines.
Preprogrammed settings refer to the different things you can make with the bread machine such as wheat, sugar-free, or even gluten-free loaves.
Bread machines typically have at least ten settings. Appliances with more settings have higher prices, and some can make treats besides bread.
Preprogrammed settings include types of bread and baked goods like:
- No-knead bread
- Pizza dough
- Sweet bread
Some of these settings work as well as the best food processors. These options are especially important for seasoned bakers. If you know you want to skip a step or prolong a certain option, choose a machine that will let you do so.
Some pre-programmed features also let you have a delayed start. Some advanced machines can have up to a 13-hour delay or an hour keep warm function.
These features let you experiment with different options. For example, one day you might try making a dough and then frying it in your air fryer.
Bread machines are expensive devices that do wear out over time with use. Like with any appliance, something could go wrong that could cause your device to malfunction.
To avoid problems, make sure you get a brand that comes with a warranty. Most companies come with a warranty of six months to a year. Check each brand to see the specific time for each.
Although bread machines might not be as popular as pressure cookers or blenders, they have a lot of uses you may not have thought of.
One of the best bread machines can help you enjoy delicious baked goods without the expense or hassle of other options.
Use this buying guide and our top picks to help you make your decision.