Say yes to a bread machine! Bread Machines help you make perfect loaves of fluffy bread without any trouble. Save time and money by investing in a bread maker – it’s worth it!
Is there anything better than fresh warm bread that’s just been baked? Bread making doesn’t have to be time consuming or complicated. Instead, we love using our bread maker and turning our kitchen into a home bakery. A bread machine is pretty much fail proof, always producing a fluffy loaf. That’s why I absolutely think you need a bread machine in your life!
Is a Bread Machine Worth it?
My short answer is “Yes! You need a bread machine!”. A breadmaker may only make one loaf at a time, but once it is set, it perfectly mixes, kneads, and proofs the bread at the proper temperature for the exact length of time it needs.
Even though baking bread in the oven is fun and results are often delicious, you do need plenty of time and energy to experiment with what works to get the best loaf of oven baked bread. However, most people run into problems trying to get their bread to come out perfectly. Proofing can be especially tricky and when it’s not done properly, the bread will come out dense and hard.
That’s why I recommend a bread machine to anyone who wants to bake bread on a regular basis to save both time and money.
We find that bread machines are typically very energy efficient, so we save on energy costs over baking in the oven all day. As for the cost of the bread itself, if you typically buy the generic loaves of white bread for around $2 per loaf, making your own will not exactly be quite as cost-efficient.
But if you typically buy loaves of higher quality bread in the mid to high price range, you’ll find you can really save your grocery budget by making them at home. Bread machines call for simple inexpensive ingredients (flour, yeast, salt, sugar, water) that you often have in your kitchen, so supplies is usually not a major cost when it comes to using a bread machine.
Time and Effort
Bread machines take around 2-4 hours to fully make 1 loaf of bread depending on the type of bread you are making. But it does it all automatically. When our time is valuable and/or limited, this can actually save us a ton of time and energy. Plus, we still get fresh warm bread right out of the machine once it is done.
I can make 3 loaves of bread per day in a bread machine and I don’t have to worry about mixing and kneading it properly, proofing it the ideal length of time at the perfect temperature, and then actually baking it. I simply pop the ingredients right into the machine and it’s good to go!
My favorite convenience of a bread machine is the cleanup. Or how little cleanup there is. I simply have to wash off the pan and that’s it.
When making bread by hand I end up with flour everywhere from kneading it, plus I need not only the pan, but a bowl to mix and proof in plus all of your mixers/spoons/ and other instruments.
It’s easy to simply toss the bread maker pieces in the dishwasher or wipe them down by hand and put them back. No more dusting myself from head to toe in excess flour.
Another good reason to make your own bread at home is you get to control what goes into it, so it’s much healthier than what you grab off the supermarket shelves. Many of the store-bought breads contain high-fructose corn syrup and other fillers and additives that you just don’t need in homemade bread.
What is the Best Bread Machine for my home?
So, you’ve decided to get a bread machine. Which one is right for your home? It’s important to consider how much you’ll be using it, what you’ll be using it for, how much you want to spend on one, and honestly, how much space your kitchen has.
Below, we listed our favorites and the pros and cons of each machine. This will help narrow down only the best machines for the most common uses and situations people encounter.
Small and Compact
Bread machines have a reputation for being big and bulky, but there are smaller capacity machines available with a much smaller footprint if you have limited kitchen space (like me!).
If you need to save on space take a look at the highly-rated Mini model Zojirushi breadmaker. It even offers programmable features and custom settings for different bread types, different doughs, and even jams. You can only make 1-pound loaves in it, but this is usually enough for small families. You can decide on regular, firm, or soft bread, make cakes and even use the quick setting to have a loaf ready in under 2 hours.
We have a Zojirushi and we absolutely love it. It looks sleek in my kitchen and makes delicious loaves of bread. All my bread machine recipes on the blog have been made with this machine so I would 100% recommend it!
Oster also makes a bread machine with a smaller 12″ by 11″ footprint that goes by model number: CKSTBRTW20-NP. This slightly bigger machine allows you to make 2-pound loaves and features an ExpressBake feature that can make bread in under an hour. 2.5″ inches can make a big difference when looking at counter space or storage space, but it might be worth it if you want a smaller machine that makes bigger loaves of bread. Cuisinart’s CBK-110 has a nice 10.25″ by 13.25″ size and is super easy to use.
Set It and Forget It
Most bread machines are at least partially automated, that is their whole point. Many still require your intervention from time to time to add in seeds, nuts, or fruits if you’re baking with those.
Then there is a machine like The Custom Loaf bread maker from Breville. This is truly a set-it and forget-it machine. The kneading paddles automatically retract so they’re out of the way of the rising and baking bread. It also has an automatic fruit and seed dispenser that adds these tasty additions right when they’re supposed to be added.
The smaller Zojirushi Maestro machine also features this auto dispenser and has 15 different course options while the Breville has 13 automatic settings.
Gluten-Free and Vegan
Making your own gluten-free and vegan bread is often way cheaper than buying them. You do need a machine that can handle these unique bread types, however.
Take a look at the Zojirushi Virtuoso and Maestro for both gluten-free and vegan bread settings. The CKSTBR9050-NP Oster has a gluten-free setting. The Cuisinart CBK-200 convection bread maker features an exclusive low-carb setting along with a gluten-free option. The Breville Custom Loaf machine also has a stand-alone gluten-free setting.
Best Options and Versatility
The Zojirushi Virtuoso® Plus can’t be beaten for the best bread-making programs. It has 15 programs, with 3 custom memory slots to store your own custom programs and you can custom set the crust to be light, medium, or dark. It is larger and more pricey than a lot of other options, but it has stellar reviews, is long-lasting, and can make just about anything you could possibly want out of a bread maker.
The Breville Custom Loaf machine allows you to make 4 different sized loaves of bread, up to a 2.5-pound loaf. It also features a lot of those handy automatic dispensers and many program options. The biggest criticism is that it doesn’t seem to be as long-lasting as the Virtuoso Plus, though it is a bit cheaper.
If you need an affordable bread maker, take a look at the compact Cuisinart CBK-110 which can make up to a 2-pound loaf and has 12 program options. You can also consider the Oster bread machines as they are usually widely available and well-liked. They have plenty of program options and can come in at under $100.
What does a bread machine do?
Simply put, it makes bread. To make bread the old-fashioned way by hand requires proper mixing, kneading, proofing, punching down, re-rising, and baking. Essentially, a bread machine does all of that for you so you don’t have to!
As I mentioned above, many machines have programs that will help you make the perfect loaf of bread depending on what type you are making and how dark you want the crust. If I was making bread by hand I would have to manually check every little thing. Every step of the way I need to adjust and tweak to make things just right. And while a bread machine isn’t perfect, there are far fewer manual steps and work you have to do.
A lot of people use a bread machine to properly mix, knead, and proof their bread. Then they transfer the dough to a pan and cook it in their oven. This way they avoid the indents in the loaf left by the paddles. You can always remove the paddle manually after the mixing and kneading is complete and have only a minor dent from the peg that holds the paddle.
Or you can leave the paddle in and still get delicious fresh bread. It just has a dent. It’s up to you! The point is that the machine automates a large majority of the breadmaking process so you don’t have to do as much work yourself.
Is it cheaper to make your own bread with a bread maker?
Prices are going to vary from place to place but when we look at the average costs, it works out in favor of making your own bread. When we run the numbers of simple ingredients (flour, sugar, water, butter and salt) compared to the price of store bought bread, homemade bread is always cheaper.
And it’s ALWAYS more delicious! 🙂
Is Bread Machine Bread Healthier than Store Bread?
Have you ever looked at the ingredients on a bag of store-bought bread? There are so many preservatives in them that are utterly unpronounceable to make sure it stays fresh on the shelves.
Homemade bread usually sticks to simple flour, fat, sweetener, salt and liquid. You know exactly what is in it. This is especially handy if you have allergies or sensitivities to certain things.
What else can I make In a Bread Machine?
The great thing about most bread makers these days is you can cook all kinds of things in them. Of course, anything bread-like like rolls and pizza dough can be baked in a bread machine. Even cakes, brownies, and cookies can be made and cooked in a bread machine.
Many machines have a built-in Jam setting. This is not for rocking out sadly, but instead making delicious jams and jellies. 🙂 This setting can also be used to make syrups and puddings as well. If your bread machine has paddles that sit close to the bottom of the pan, scrambled eggs are an easy meal that whips up in no time too!
Cheesecake is another tasty dessert that can be made, but if you’re looking for dinner, try a different loaf. My husband makes homemade meatloaf in the bread machine on a regular basis – and it’s delicious! Cook up soups and stews or even make your very own homemade yogurt. The possibilities include so much more than just bread, making it a wonderful appliance to keep in your kitchen.
Best Bread Machine Recipes
Here are my favorite bread machine recipes, straight from my kitchen!
I hope this post helps you on deciding if you should get a bread machine. If you have any questions you can leave them in the comments!