What Is the Best Bread Machine: 5 Things to Look For
Bread machines make the process of baking bread that little bit easier. These days, there’s a wide choice of products available that can cook up a divine loaf in next to no time – all you need to do is add the ingredients in the correct order, press a button and then wait. But who makes the best bread machine? We’ve listed all the factors you should consider when you’re looking to buy one.
1) Programs & Settings
The settings and programs on a bread machine allow you to decide what type of bread you want to make and even how you’d like the crust to turn out. TheRussell Hobbs Breadman Breadmaker has an impressive 19 programs, including different three crust options. It also has a delay setting, allowing you to have bread cooked overnight so it’s ready when you wake up, along with a keep warm function so you can enjoy warm bread at a time which suits you.
We’d suggest selecting a bread machine with a wide range of settings and programs, as this will give you flexibility when making a loaf, scones or even a pizza base.
2) Yeast Dispenser
Yeast makes bread rise. When or how yeast is added can make a big difference to the baked loaf, so it’s important to make sure you get it right. The Panasonic SD-RD250, heralded by the Independent as the “Rolls-Royce of bread makers”, has a special dispenser for addition of fruit or nuts for even mixing in the baking process. Most other machines require you to add it before you bake. If you don’t mind shelling out a little bit more, the Panasonic is a good, if expensive, option.
3) Gluten-Free or Wheat-Free Options
Baking bread without wheat can be a tough task, but a bread machine with a gluten-free or wheat-free option makes it far more feasible. Some more high-end bread machines even include options for making your own gluten-free pasta or pizza base. The Hamilton Beach is one such model, and we’d recommend it for anyone baking bread that needs to be gluten or wheat-free.
4) Quick Bake Options
Waiting for bread to bake can be like watching paint dry and when you’re balancing a full schedule, it can be hard to find time to make a loaf. Quick-bake options solve this problem. The Vivreal machine can turn out a loaf in less than an hour and it also has a keep warm function, so your bread is kept hot and crusty. On top of that, it features a delay setting. Just add all the ingredients and program the machine before work, and you can return home to the scent (and taste) of freshly baked bread.
5) Non-Stick Kneading Paddle & Pan
After watching through the viewing panel as your loaf gets baked to mouth-watering perfection, the last thing you want is for the loaf to get stuck in the pan when you try to remove it. Getting a bread machine with a non-stick kneading paddle and pan ensures that this doesn’t happen. Most high-end and mid-range machines include this feature, but it’s certainly worth double checking for it before you buy.