The smell of freshly baked bread wafts through the apartment. When you wake up, you look forward to the extensive Sunday breakfast with warm bread and jam. But nobody in your family had to get up early to go to the baker: You put flour, water, herbs, spices, yeast, and other ingredients into your bread maker in the evening. He was set to prepare and bake the bread in the morning. In this buying guide, you will learn what to look out for when buying a breadmaker and how the models differ from each other.
Uncomplicated and quick preparation of fresh bread
With a bread maker, you can easily prepare bread in your kitchen. You fill in all the ingredients and select a program. Afterward, you don’t have to worry about anything. The machine kneads the dough, lets it rest and bakes it so that the crust is firm and the inside soft. That takes about three hours. In contrast to production in the oven, such a small kitchen appliance consumes less energy. The bread tastes fresher than from the baker and different every time – depending on the ingredients you use. You also know exactly what is contained – this is helpful if someone has a food intolerance. You can also bake cupcakes with the devices.
What you should look out for when buying a bread machine
Breadmakers produce loaves of different sizes and each one comes with different programs and special functions. The following overview will help you with orientation.
Size and weight
A bread machine needs space in your kitchen. You should measure where you can put it first. The height, width, and depth of the vending machines vary between 27 and 40 cm. Some units are wider rather than taller, for others, it is the other way around. Make sure that the appliance doesn’t just fit under a kitchen wall unit or on a shelf, for example – also take into account that you need space at the location to be able to open the lid. The models weigh between 4 and 9 kg.
Processing quantity and bread shape
Bread baking machines produce bread in different sizes: Bread between 500 and 1,400 g are possible. The possible amount of dough that can be processed also differs accordingly. For example, it is between 750 and 1,000 g. Special models allow you more variety: you can bake either two small or one large loaf. Or you can use a small and a large mold to make different sizes according to your needs. With some vending machines, you can bake several loaves of bread at the same time. Most appliances produce bread in box form, but there are also some for oval loaves.
Material and coating
Simple bread baking machines are made of plastic, models of the upper class are made of stainless steel and glass. There are also differences in the non-stick coating of the molds, which can be made of Teflon or ceramic. The advantage of ceramics: The material is scratch-resistant. Matching many kitchens, the bread baking machines are usually available in grey, white or black.
The machines operate at different power levels, ranging from 550 to 850 W for most units. The higher the wattage, the faster the appliance bakes the bread, but the more electricity it consumes.
Every baking machine has a dough hook. It sits approximately in the middle of the mold and mixes all ingredients evenly. Practical are hooks that you can fold away before baking: This way you prevent your bread from getting a hole where the hook was.
With all models, you can bake different types of bread using different programs. Sourdoughs, for example, have different baking behavior than wheat or spelled flour doughs. You can also choose from programs for white, wholemeal or gluten-free bread. The equipment adapts to the respective requirements and measures the kneading, resting and baking times. Some models offer eight such programs, others 30, and a practical option is a customizable option where you decide how you want your bread to be. On some devices, you can save this setting. You can also set the desired degree of tanning, with a choice of three to five levels.
Ingredients are often added to a dough later, for example, nuts, raisins or olives. With some models, you don’t need to wait for the right moment to stir them in. The devices have a distributor into which you pour the components. The machine automatically mixes them in at the right or programmed time – and distributes them so that they do not all stick to one place on the dough.
Viewing window and operating elements
Is your bread almost ready? You can check this by using a viewing window that some devices have. So that you can see as much as possible, interior lighting is useful. The machines are operated via buttons or touch keys. The program and progress are shown on an LCD display. In some models, this is also illuminated.
Timer and special functions
Many baking ovens have a timer that allows you to set when your bread should be baked up to 15 hours in advance. Do you want to keep it warm for a while afterward? Some models have a warming function for up to 60 minutes. It’s helpful when you can’t take the loaf out right away. Sometimes you may not have the time or inclination to wait three hours for the baked goods. Then you use the quick baking function built into some vending machines: with this, you will have fresh bread in your hand after 60 to 120 minutes.
The right breadmaker for your household
The choice of a baking appliance depends on how big you want your bread to be and what else you want to make in it. Depending on your requirements, other models are possible for you.
Baker in a small household
You like to eat fresh bread and would like to bake it yourself from time to time. But because you live alone or in pairs, it should not be too big, so that it does not dry out. Then you buy a simple bread maker for loaves of up to 750 g. You can get these devices for a price between 70 and 150 $.
Baker in a multi-person household
There are three or four people living in your apartment or house, but they are not always all there. Sometimes you eat your own bread, sometimes everyone wants something. Then an automatic baking machine for bread sizes between 750 and 1,400 g is the right choice. It is convenient when you have the choice of different sizes and dough quantities. These devices cost between 80 and 400 $.
Ambitious hobby baker
Do you not only want to bake fresh bread but also make pizza and pasta dough yourself, prepare cakes or boil down jam? Besides, do you like inventing your own recipes? Then you get an automatic baking machine with special programs for different types of flour and settings for different degrees of browning. The price of these models is between 200 and 400 $.
With a bread baking machine, you can bake fresh bread in your kitchen without much effort. The devices offer different programs for different types. Depending on what you want to do with it, you can buy one of these machines.