It’s actually pretty easy to answer the question are bread machines worth it.
From my point of view, they’re definitely amazing and totally worth it.
But let’s see which conclusion you’ll reach on your own. Hopefully, my article will help you find your own answer to the question are bread machine worth it.
Are Bread Machines Worth It? Let’s Find Out
I live somewhere where there are no impressive professional bakeries around. I’ve tried a lot of store-purchased bread and I don’t like it at all.
But I also don’t have the energy to make bread by hand for my whole family.
Plus, we all find the loaves made by a bread maker really delicious. That’s why a bread machine is worth it for me and my family.
The other camp, which is totally against using a bread maker, considers that bread should only be made by hand and baked in an oven.
Well, as long as I know that I’m eating delicious breads, I totally don’t care that a bread maker does all the work, I welcome it actually.
Are Bread Machines Worth It? Price Ranges
Before going into what these kitchen appliances can actually do, let’s get the price question out of the way.
A basic bread maker can cost around 60$-70$.
There are two amazing models in this price range: Oster CKSTBRTW20 and Hamilton Beach 29882.
The difference between them is that Hamilton Beach 29882 has a gluten-free cycle in addition. They’re both really good small bread machines that have an intuitive control panel.
Very close in price to these two is the slightly more complex Hamilton Beach 29885. It even has an artisan dough cycle. It’s an interesting addition and just making the dough will take 5 hours. You will have to bake it in an oven. Using a Dutch oven is just the best for artisan loaves.
Just above the $100 price range you’ll find the Cuisinart CBK 100, which is an awesome model, just really good and reliable. Another good option is the Breadman BK1050S.
Another model with a really good price is the Cuisinart CBK-200. Besides the impressive number of settings, the loaf is horizontal. The shape of the loaf made comes a bit closer to what we’re used to from homemade loaves.
Zojirushi is the manufacturer that takes the crown. There are a few reasons for that.
While most of the above models bake vertical loaves, there are actually two Zojirushi bread makers that bake rectangular loaves. Those two are the Zojirushi Supreme and the Zojirushi Virtuoso. The Virtuoso is overall the best bread machine. If you have the budget, it’s totally worth it.
Some people have a problem with the vertical loaves and they definitely are excited when they discover that those two from Zojirushi bake rectangular loaves, the shape being the one with which we’re used to.
If you don’t have place on your counter, get one of these small bread machines from Oster or Hamilton Beach. They can be easily carried and placed in the pantry or in other storage places.
For a more complex more expensive version of a small bread machine, check out the Zojirushi 1-pound. It’s not ideal for families because it only makes 1-pound loaves.
It’s the exception because all other models no matter the manufacturer bake up to 2-pound loaves.
What You Can Make in a Bread Machine
There are actually two recipes categories: those that the bread maker can also bake and those that need to be baked in the oven by you.
There are actually all kind of breads that can be made in a bread maker from the classic white breads to whole wheat loaves to country breads to even sourdough loaves.
More complex recipes will also include herbs, nuts, seeds, vegetables, cheese, and fruits.
Another surprise is that you can make coffee cakes, sweet rolls, chocolate breads.
Sweet breads are definitely a must.
You can also use it for making pizza dough and pasta dough and even bagel dough in some cases. Other models also have an artisan dough cycle, which will take 5 hours for only making the dough.
Last but not least, most models can make jams and chutneys.
Gluten-free breads can also be made. The process will be much easier if the machine already has a dedicated gluten-free cycle.
A good cookbook can guide in making all kinds of recipes, specifying the exact setting that should be used.
Make Bread Without Putting In Much Work
The biggest argument for getting a bread machine is that you want homemade fresh bread but you don’t want to put in the effort.
Or you don’t always have the time to make loaves by hand. It can be a lengthy process that will keep you around the house for at least 5 hours.
Or you have a disability that restricts the things you can do. Kneading dough requires quite the strength and effort, especially if we consider that a nicely kneaded dough takes 15-20 minutes.
The alternative is searching for no-knead recipes.
Making delicious loaves is not the easiest thing. In my opinion, cooking is easy. But making bread by hand is on another whole level of skills. And making pastry is even more so.
A bread machine is totally worth it because it makes and bakes the breads for you.
With a bread machine, the level of effort you need to put in is minimal:
- select a recipe
- add the ingredients in the order specified by the user manual that comes with your bread maker – that’s one of the essential things to remember when using a bread machine
- select the cycle specified by the recipe
- and press Start
That’s pretty much the whole reason for buying such a machine. And it’s the main reason for loving them and truly appreciating what they can do for us.
Select Your Own Ingredients
More and more people have become conscious of the fact that knowing what type of ingredients have been used to make something is truly important.
We like to be in control of the ingredients being used, at least in the areas where we can.
This is definitely a crucial aspect for definitely thinking that bread machines are worth it.
You can select the flour and the yeast that goes into the bread pan. The same goes for the oil, the eggs, the butter or other ingredients that more complex recipes call for.
Moreover, you also know that your loaves don’t have any preservatives. Store-purchased breads are made with the purpose of making a profit, that’s the world we live in.
All in all,
You get a higher quality bread than the store-purchased one. I’m not comparing it with what awesome professional bakeries offer because they are impressive in their skill and their products are just mouth-watering.
Gluten-Free Diets Made a Bit Easier
There are plenty of bread machines that have a gluten-free cycle. One of the cheapest models with a gluten-free cycle is the Hamilton Beach 29882.
You can make your own flour blends or you can go the even easier route and get gluten-free mixes. They work for making GF loaves by hand but they can also be used in a bread maker.
To explore even more of what a gluten-free cycle can offer, you can get a gluten-free bread machine cookbook and truly discover how awesome this cycle can be.
It can bring variety into your life and offer delicious solutions to a strict diet.
And you don’t even have to get the most expensive bread maker in order to enjoy that.
Get a Bread Machine Cookbook to Make the Most of Them
Each model comes with its own recipes but they’re just a few for each cycle. There’s not a lot of variety.
If you really want to know just how many things a bread machine can really do, get a cookbook for these kitchen appliances.
That’s how you’ll be able to completely answer the question are bread machine worth it. Check out my post on the best bread machine cookbooks if I have spiked your interest.
The Delay Timer
You can put the ingredients in the pan and have your bread made in up to 13 hours’ time.
If you want fresh bread in 6, 7,..,13 hours you can do that.
It doesn’t really work leaving ingredients that can spoil like butter, milk, or eggs overnight in the bread pan. Other than that, it can be a useful function.
I’ve used it more than once, especially when I knew that I needed to have more than one loaf ready for the day.
I would just program the machine to have a loaf ready when I woke up. Then I would let the machine cool down and add the ingredients for another one to the pan. In 3-4 hours, the loaf would be done. Meanwhile I can take care of doing anything else that needs to be done.
It’s just convenient.
Once the Bread is Done
The machine will knead the ingredients, get the dough through its two rising phases, and then bake it.
Once it’s done, a few beeps will let you know that you can remove the loaf from the pan.
Remember, these are non-stick pans.
Just gently shake them and the loaf will tumble down. The kneading blade will most likely be embedded at the bottom of the loaf. You get a hook for pulling the kneading blade out.
Once all that is done, put it on a cooling rack and in about half an hour you can use a bread knife to get the desired slices.
Getting a Bread Maker Just for Dough Making
There are those who only get a bread maker for its capabilities of making dough.
All models have the bread dough and pizza dough cycles. Some even have a pasta dough cycle.
I always use my machine to make pizza dough. It’s an excellent dough. You can even make it 12-24 hours ahead and leave it in the fridge if you think that it will develop a deeper flavor.
Alternative: Buy a Stand Mixer
If you just want a kitchen appliance that will knead the dough for you then you can consider getting a stand mixer.
Stand mixers are awesome at kneading the dough in a few minutes. After that, you will have to learn about baking in an oven, about bulk fermentation and proofing, about whether you should bake in a Dutch oven or on a baking stone.
Stand mixers also come with a versatility that extends beyond what a bread maker can do. They are awesome for making all kinds of desserts.
If you’re into making breads just as much as you’re into making deserts, getting a stand mixer makes more sense. Those who are truly lucky can get both.
There are stand mixers who are on the more affordable side just as there are cheap bread makers.
Just as the answer to the question are bread machines worth it is a yes so is the answer to the question are stand mixers worth it also a yes. It just depends what are your most important goals when buying a kitchen appliance like these two.
Are bread machines worth it? For people like me they totally are, discover if you are one of them.