Nothing quite beats the aroma or taste of freshly baked bread. It’s one of life’s pleasures, so we’ve tracked down the best bread makers to help you bake delicious loaves at home.
The great thing about bread makers is they save you the effort of having to knead the dough yourself. Simply pour in a bunch of ingredients and the machine does all the hard work for you—saving you time and energy. That also means you can set things up so that bread is made overnight, ready for you to cut and slice first thing in the morning.
We’ve checked out a variety of different bread makers, ensuring there’s something for every taste. A good breadmaker doesn’t just make bread, it can also make cake or pastries, so we’ve checked out the best for that too. We haven’t forgotten about those suffering from gluten intolerances or allergies either.
Here are the best bread makers currently out there.
Best Budget Choice: Hamilton Beach Bread Maker ($59)
You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a great bread maker, and the Hamilton Beach Bread Maker is the perfect example of that. It offers plenty of different options. There’s the choice of a 1.5lb loaf or a 2lb loaf, with three different crust settings. As well as that, there are 12 settings, including French bread, sweet, gluten free, whole grain, or quick (no yeast) bread. Things get fancier with the option of making jam or cake through the bread maker, and you can also add fruits or nuts at key intervals.
There’s a large digital display, backed up with a delay timer, so you’re always in control of what’s happening. It’s a bit of a bargain for the price.
Best For Gluten-Free Baking: T-fal ActiBread programmable bread machine ($100)
Nowadays, it’s not too hard to find gluten-free bread in stores. Good gluten-free bread however? Now that’s a much harder thing to track down, especially if you don’t want to spend too much.
All the bread makers here have one gluten-free setting, but the T-Fal ActiBread programmable bread machine goes much further. It has 3 dedicated gluten-free programs including regular bread, sweet, and a gluten-free cake recipe. That opens you up to plenty more experimentation than you get with regular bread makers, and the T-Fal works hard to surpass your expectations.
Elsewhere are useful features like being able to delay the start for up to 15 hours, a bread warming setting so your bread is kept warm for an hour after it finishes baking, and plenty of other settings too. You can even make pasta dough with this gadget.
Best Premium Choice: Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Breadmaker ($299)
If you’re keen to never buy another loaf of bread again, you need to buy the Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Breadmaker. It’s a dual-blade bread maker that makes rectangular 2 pound loaves of bread that actually look like the kind of bread you’d buy in a store.
There are 10 pre-programmed settings along with 3 types of crust to choose from. Options vary from basic, quick, wheat, to even things like sourdough, jam, and cake. Due to the quality of the maker, you’re guaranteed an even bake at all times so there’s no risk of an occasional soggy loaf like with cheaper bread makers. It’s truly high end stuff, but expect to pay for it.
Best for Pastry Dough: Panasonic SD-YD250 ($100)
Quite a few bread makers offer a pastry dough setting but it’s the Panasonic SD-YD250 that stands out from the crowd, consistently producing great dough for croissants, danishes, and other pastries.
Now, due to the nature of pastry making, the bread maker can only make the dough. It’s down to you to mould the shapes before placing in an oven, but it saves you plenty of effort. Elsewhere, the Panasonic SD-YD250 is an all-round great bread maker. It has a capacity of up to 2.5lb so it’s bigger than most, and there are plenty of varied settings. It automatically adds yeast at the optimal time too.
Best For Different Functions: Breadman 2-pound Professional Bread Maker ($75)
All the bread makers here offer lots of different useful features, but the Breadman 2-Pound Professional Bread Maker really shines in that regard. Its 14 functions include such varied things as rapid settings for french, white, and wheat, gluten-free, artisan dough, sweet bread, and even low-carb bread. The latter being something you don’t see with many other bread makers.
Additionally, there’s a fruit and nut dispenser so that you don’t have to manually add seeds, nuts, or fruit to your loaves, and there’s a choice of three different loaf sizes.
If you’re keen to experiment, this is a good bread maker to invest in.