Although there are a few models for artisan bread makers, meaning bread makers that include the artisan dough program, let’s set things straight right from the start: the artisan dough setting shouldn’t be the reason for getting a bread machine.
To be honest, I am not overly impressed by either of these two models. When it comes to Cuisinart, I definitely prefer the CBK 100 but only the CBK 200 has the artisan dough setting.
The Cuisinart CBK 200 is kind of an expensive artisan bread maker. My second recommendation, the Hamilton Beach 29885 is about half the price. So, if you don’t have a big budget, go with the Hamilton Beach.
Overall, I wouldn’t say that either of the two are the best on the market, there are better bread machines out there.
Artisan bread makers only make the dough
Just pay attention to one thing:
Both these bread makers only have an artisan dough cycle. So, the dough is mixed and kneaded and all that takes 5 hours. After those 5 hours, you’ll have to bake it in an oven. The machine doesn’t do the baking.
For the baking, I recommend using a Dutch oven or a bread cloche. If you don’t want to spend any more money, then a baking stone for bread should be your third option for baking.
2 Best Artisan Bread Makers
1. Overall best: Cuisinart CBK-200
This is a highly popular bread machine but not a lot of users actually talk about the artisan dough cycle. Generally, people don’t go looking for this precise cycle. In total it has 16 cycles, which is very impressive. Among them, you’ll also find a gluten-free setting, besides the classics.
2. Cheapest: Hamilton Beach 29885
This is one very popular bread machine but I’m pretty sure that there are not a lot of people who are interested in the artisan dough setting. After all, the dough is made in 5 hours, which is not a problem because you don’t do anything and you can program it to have the dough ready at whatever hour you want. The baking of artisan breads is a complex matter, usually done on a bread baking stone or in a Dutch oven. Even so, overall, the Hamilton Beach 29885 is a very good, nicely priced bread machine that even has a gluten-free cycle.
Best Artisan Bread Makers Reviews
There really aren’t many bread machines that have the artisan dough setting included among their programs.
I managed to find the two best artisan bread makers but they only have the artisan dough setting, they don’t bake the dough, you will have to do that in the oven.
Basically, these two artisan bread makers take 5 hours to make this type of dough. That’s the only thing about it.
The setting uses a long cool rise to better develop the flavor and texture. That’s why it takes so long.
But if you leave normal dough in the fridge overnight I think the same thing can be achieved or I might be wrong about that.
In comparison, the regular bread/pizza dough programs that any bread maker includes take about 1.5-2 hours until they’re complete.
1. Cuisinart CBK-200 – Top Recommendation
- has 16 cycles: white, rapid white, whole wheat, rapid whole wheat, French/Italian, rapid French/Italian, quick bread/cake, gluten-free, low carb, dough/pizza dough, artisan dough, sweet breads, rapid sweet breads, jam, last-minute loaf, bake only
- the control panel looks nice, quite easy to use
- 3 loaf sizes: 1lb, 1.5lb, and 2lb – that’s a good selection
- 3 crust options: light, medium, dark
- there is a signal that lets you know when you can remove the paddle – the paddle is only used for mixing and kneading, it’s has no use when the loaf is bakes so you can remove the paddle if you want the hole at the base of the loaf to be smaller
- power failure backup for 15 minutes
- definitely read the user manual to understand perfectly how you should use this machine
Recipes for the artisan dough cycle
I love the recipe booklet that comes with the best artisan bread maker. There are quite a lot of recipes to explore.
Since, we’re here to talk about artisan breads, let’s see which recipes are featured for this dough setting. You’ll find recipes for: rustic baguette, artisan focaccia/pizza, buttermilk whole wheat, walnut boule, cranberry pistachio boule, hazelnut and apricot artisan loaf 70, semolina loaf.
Also, the people from Cuisinart should know that, under Contents, they wrote seminola loaf. It took me a moment to figure out what they were talking about. I thought I should mention this little fun fact.
Overall, I’m quite intrigued by these recipes. I appreciate that they included them. If you have a free weekend, these are some nice recipes to try out.
2. Hamilton Beach 29885
- has 14 preprogrammed cycles: basic, French, gluten free, whole grain, 1.5 LB Express, 2 LB Express, quick bread, sweet, dough, cake, jam, rise, bake, artisan dough
- the artisan dough setting is complete in 5:05 hours
- the Express settings are for making white loaves under 2 hours by using quick-rising yeast but the taste is not as good
- there are 3 loaf sizes: 1, 1.5, and 2 pounds
- and 3 crusts: light, medium, dark
- a 7-minute power failure backup
Its really tall shape and small weight don’t transmit the feeling of stability and durability.
That’s indeed the case, you must be careful how and where you place the Hamilton Beach 29885.
For that reason only, the Hamilton Beach 2 lb Digital Bread Maker is a much better option in my opinion. It’s also almost half the price of the Hamilton Beach 29885, of higher quality and durability, while still featuring the gluten-free setting.
What Is Artisan Bread?
It’s hard to define artisan bread exactly. There’s no clear definition.
It’s a term used to refer to:
- breads made from dough that went through a longer fermentation time
- loaves made by hand using traditional techniques
- the longer time is of the essence
- only the basic ingredients are used: salt, water, yeast, and flour
- it can refer to hearth and sourdough breads that’s why we can include in this category anything from baguettes to focaccia to multigrain breads
- this type of bread has a short shelf-life and it’s best consumed immediately after baking
As you can see, it’s a broad term and I can’t understand it very well because it includes a lot of types of breads.
I mostly understand that it serves a commercial purpose because it helps small bakeries identify their loaves as being high quality, made with the best flour, and through traditional methods, often baked in hearth ovens.
It sets them apart from commercial bread, which also makes them more expensive.
All that considered, I don’t think that artisan bread makers represent a category that you should especially pay attention to, getting a bread machine that fits your budget is good enough.