You’ve decided that making bread at home would be a really cool thing to try, but you’re not sure about going completely from scratch — that’s why bread machines have taken center stage in today’s kitchen.
But which ones are worthwhile and which may just be pouring your hard earned cash down the drain? Here’s our take on bread machines and which may work well for you.
Before shopping for a bread machine, sit down and think about some things that may be important to you like…
- Number of blades
Most bread machines will create anywhere from one to three pound loaves. If it’s a one or two person household, a one to one and a half pound loaf will be fine. If you have a larger family, you can make a larger loaf.
This may seem like a no-brainer but here’s the question: Do you like your bread square, round or rectangular? If you want to be able to choose, get a machine that has that versatility.
Pan and Blades
The pan and blades are the business ends of a bread machine and you’ll want to pay attention to a couple of things.
Pan: Make sure that the machine you choose has a removable pan. Why? It makes cleaning a whole lot easier. Aluminum pans make a thinner, lighter crust than cast aluminum ones. Nonstick coating is also a must because the dough will stick during the kneading process and your bread will not come out as you intended it.
Blades: Machines come with single and dual blades. These blades knead the bread. A heavier bread will benefit from dual blades. Here’s something else to look for: If you don’t want to have to pry out the blade from the end of the bread after it has baked, find one that gives you a warning that kneading is done and you can remove the blade.
Brands and Prices
What you pay for a bread machine will depend on features and your comfort level. Some machines are programmable with multiple baking cycles and custom settings.
The Zojirushi BB-CEC20 has just such features and is available on Amazon for about $200.
Sunbeam makes a programmable machine as well that has good reviews and can last up to 5 years or more. It’s under $75.
If you’re a Cuisinart fan, they also make a bread machine for just about $100 for the CBK 100 2 Pound model. It even has a dedicated gluten-free setting for those watching out for that.
Breadman has a line of bread machines that run from about $50 all the way up above $100. One of our staff members has had hers for 15 years. They are also programmable and are available at Target and Walmart.
Give a bread machine a try and see the delight on the faces of friends and family when you serve homemade bread.