The 10 Best Breadmakers
This wiki has been updated 25 times since it was first published in May of 2015. If you love freshly baked goods, but don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen, give one of these convenient bread makers a try. Many are equipped with programmable settings and powerful motors that allow you to cook up the perfect loaf in about an hour, whether your favorite sort is the standard white variety, sourdough, multigrain, vegan, or a gluten-free option. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
March 30, 2021:
This list still looked to be in pretty good shape, which made for a fairly forgiving round of updates, but we still found a couple of places to brush up on things.
To begin with, the SKG Automatic wasn’t available at the time of this writing, so went ahead and removed it, replacing it with the Crownful Automatic BM4406-UL, which, in addition to being an attractive appliance, also runs quite quietly, at about 65 decibels — which is around how loud a normal conversation is. One small drawback that comes with this one – as far as imperial purists will be concerned, anyhow – is that its included recipes use metric measurements, which can be a pain if your kitchen’s set up for the opposite system. If you like this one, though, don’t let that be a dealbreaker; a .PDF version of the unit's recipes, with imperial conversions, is available online.
The Sunbeam Programmable also seemed to be suffering from some availability issues, as we were only able to source it as a used option, and so we thought it best to eliminate it, as well. We replaced it with the Rozmoz BM8206, which can conjure up three crust colors and loaf sizes, and is equipped with 15 preset programs.
Once you’ve got your new bread maker all picked out, don’t stop there. We’ve also got lists of baskets, boxes, slicers and knives to help you manage your incoming, steady supply of freshly baked good.
January 21, 2020:
A breadmaker can come in handy when you want a fresh homemade loaf but don’t have the time to spend half a day in your kitchen making it. If you had one of these machines years ago and are in the market for a new one, they’ve come a long way -- you’ll be impressed by their high-tech features such as LCD touchscreens and express settings that can have you slicing into a hot loaf in under an hour. Many options, like the T-fal ActiBread, are compact enough so they won't compete too much for countertop space with your Instant Pot or your stand mixer.
Coming on board in this update is the KBS Pro Stainless Steel, which is made of attractive stainless steel with a bright backlit screen that shows your current settings, along with just a few easy-touch control buttons. The patented nonstick ceramic pan is designed to bake your bread evenly, and the detachable dispenser can release fruit or nuts into your dough automatically before the baking step begins. The tempered glass top window allows you to monitor your creation throughout the process. Like many, this one is equipped with a 15-hour delayed timer, so you can fill your ingredients before bed and wake up to a wonderful smelling, fresh baked breakfast. It also has a handy one-hour keep-warm function.
Our number one pick, the Zojirushi Home Bakery Supreme, has been updated with its newer, updated counterpart: the Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus, and one quality many love about this machine is that is produces standard, nine-by-five-inch loaves, rather than the taller, wider ones that are formed by many. This size is much more convenient when you want to pack sandwiches for work or school lunches. This machine produces consistent results every time, with bread that’s fluffy on the inside, with the perfect size and texture of crust. It’s even great for gluten-free bread, which can be tricky to make with a soft, spongy texture.
Leaving the list today is the Panasonic Automatic, which is unavailable at this time.
For safety’s sake, always unplug your breadmaker when you’re done using it, and keep children away from hot surfaces at all times. Allow metal parts to cool before you wash them.
ProBake When your bread-making hobby spirals into an entrepreneurial aspiration, this is one website worth visiting. They have a wide variety of commercial baking appliances, offering everything from the light-commercial baking equipment that you'll need to get your mom-and-pop bakeshop off the ground, to the large industrial units and conveyor-belt systems that you'll need once it's time to grow the business. probake.com
Curtis Stone 2lb Bread Maker Created by Australian celebrity chef Curtis Stone, this machine makes it simple to have fresh homemade bread in no time. It’s equipped with a measuring spoon and cup, a kneading blade, and a handy removal hook. It comes with 19 preprogrammed settings for basic bread, express bread, French bread, Italian bread, rice pudding, jam, yogurt, and more. Just enter your ingredients, choose your desired cycle, and it takes it from there. It’s backed by a one-year warranty and comes with a 55-page booklet filled with simple, tasty recipes. hsn.com
The Big, Bad, Bread
I don't mean that they don't pay attention to what they're doing; I mean that there's no love to it, no heart behind it.
Frankly speaking, most of the bread you'd buy in any grocery store in America is terrible. It's full of ingredients that you can't pronounce, it's produced en masse by gigantic machines with as little human interaction as possible, and it's made to last for weeks on end when bread should really only be good for a few days. All that effort goes into the bread, and all of it does significant harm to the flavor, the texture, and the spiritual experience of it.
I was lucky to grow up in what might be the only part of the country that makes good bread consistently. This, of course, is the small corridor that makes up the metropolitan area in and around New York City. There are a lot of theories as to what makes the breads produced in this region so special. Some say it's a technical knowledge brought over by the Italian immigrants in the 1800s. Others think it has something to do with the water.
To be fair to the rest of the country, though, I have–on rare occasions–tasted bread far away from New York that would have been very much at home in that great city, bread made thousands of miles away from that supposedly precious water source. So I know it's more than just the H2O.
What it is, then, is care. Mass-produced bread is made carelessly. Grocery store bread is, more often than not, produced carelessly. I don't mean that they don't pay attention to what they're doing; I mean that there's no love to it, no heart behind it.
The bread makers on this list all but guarantee that your bread will have heart. How do they do it? Well, they start by removing the biggest block against love: fear. It's so easy to make bread in these machines that there's nothing to stand in the way of the excitement you'll feel making your first loaf.
All you have to do is put the ingredients in and select a setting that corresponds to your mix. Your bread maker will mix the ingredients in a timely manner, knead the dough, and bake the bread all in a single chamber. You get to sit back and relax, soaking up the wonderful aroma of freshly-baked bread, of bread baked with love, that will fill your home.
The Test Of A Machine
I know what you're thinking: If the problem with mass-produced bread is the fact that it's made by a machine, how will using a machine to bake bread in my home be any different? Well, setting aside all the differences in ingredients and freshness, the machines in industrial bakeries and their operators don't know for whom they bake their bread. You know specifically for whom your bread is intended, and a machine is, at its essence, an outgrowth of humanity. It can be imbued with our intentions, with our emotions, if we know how to regard it.
Well, setting aside all the differences in ingredients and freshness, the machines in industrial bakeries and their operators don't know for whom they bake their bread.
Robert Pirsig writes in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, "The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it's right. If it disturbs you it's wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed." If you intend to make good bread for yourself and the people you love, your machine will pass this test with flying colors.
The first step, however, isn't making the bread. It's selecting the machine. While a lot of the bread makers on our list maintain a baseline of performance and a good deal of similar functions, a few of them have standout features that might be perfect for certain personalities and lifestyles.
For example, if you're always on the go, and you need a bread maker that can get even complicated jobs done from start to finish without any supervision or intervention, you should look for models that feature automatic yeast addition and other supplemental ingredient trays. You might also do well with a maker that has a rapid bake function. These tend to be a little more taxing on your electricity, but they pump out loaves usually in under an hour.
Another thing to look out for is overall capacity. If it's just you and, perhaps, a significant other, a smaller bread maker could fit the bill. A larger family, though, should try for the bigger models, as this bread takes a lot more time to make than it does to eat, especially given how tasty it is.
The Accidental Bread Maker
It's tough to track the exact history of bread because, like a majority of food stuffs that require multiple steps and an unexpected combination of ingredients, very early bread was likely the result of an accident. Archeological evidence suggests that early man combined foraged grain with water to make it easier to eat. This resulted in a kind of gruel.
If left to sit, this gruel would accumulate natural yeasts from the air and begin to leaven.
If left to sit, this gruel would accumulate natural yeasts from the air and begin to leaven. In a hot enough environment, perhaps in the sun-baked sands of ancient Egypt, the mixture would have hardened enough to spark the curiosity of whoever happened upon it.
From those early days, we have to travel quite a ways along the bread's storied timeline to get to the first electric, in-home bread maker. The Raku Raku Pan Da came out in 1986 in Japan, released by the Matsushita Electric Industrial Company, which later became Panasonic.
Like a lot of the kitchen innovations to come out of Japan in the 1980s, the electric bread maker gained near instant popularity around the world, and its features and capabilities have been refined ever since.