When I think about recommending models for the best horizontal bread machine, there are three main models that come to mind. These three are actually three of the best bread machines on the market so it’s fitting that they would also qualify as some of the best horizontal bread machines.
Before reviewing my favorite 3 machines and then searching for other interesting machines that might bake a horizontal bread, let’s actually talk about what they’re actually baking for us.
5 Best Horizontal Bread Machines (All Budgets)
A horizontal bread baked in a bread machine means a baked loaf that resembles those that we buy from bakeries or supermarkets. It’s a rectangular loaf that resembles the traditional bread.
Of course, at home we also bake boules either in a Dutch oven or on a baking sheet or in a bread cloche.
Most cheaper bread machines are famous for baking vertical loaves. That’s because the bread pan is narrow and really tall, just like the entire machine actually. These types of models don’t have a rectangular shape like the models that bake rectangular loaves. Vertical models are taller than they’re wider.
Thus, vertical loaves are not pleasing to some people because they look unlike the loaves we’re accustomed to being baked in a loaf pan in the oven.
And that’s where we come in with reviewing the choices for the best horizontal bread maker.
Horizontal loaves are not as long as the ones baked in a loaf pan and they’re also a bit taller than the traditional sandwich breads but they look a lot more like the bread we grew up with.
I’m of the opinion that even a vertical bread can be sliced beautifully but I totally understand why people might totally prefer the horizontal shapes.
Thus, let’s discover which are these wonderful machines and what they can offer buyers.
The first two choices are also two of the most expensive bread makers, while my third recommendation, while it’s not a cheap bread maker, it can be viewed as an affordable one or a moderately-price model.
1. Zojirushi Virtuoso Plus BB-PDC20: The Best Horizontal Bread Machine
This is not only the best horizontal bread machine but it’s the best maker in general, for whatever you want to make and bake.
It’s also pretty much the most expensive model we could buy. If it’s above your budget, I recommend checking out the Cuisinart CBK-100 or CBK-200. It’s more than half or a third of the price of the Virtuoso from Zojirushi.
For now, let’s see what makes the Zojirushi Virtuoso so special. And if you want to check out other models that this manufacturer makes, check out my reviews for the best Zojirushi bread makers.
Dual kneading paddles
Since we’re talking about baking horizontal loaves, I first want to mention this special feature that the Virtuoso has.
There’s a second Zojirushi model that offers this dual kneading paddles feature and I’m going to review that one a bit later.
Why am I excited about two kneading paddles?
Because it means that the baking pan is quite long. If the baking pan has a good length, we are guaranteed that we will indeed get a horizontal bread and not a vertical one or a mix between the two.
All the other bread makers from other famous brands (Cuisinart, Breville, Oster, Hamilton Beach, Sunbeam, Panasonic, etc.) have baking pans with only one paddle.
The dual kneading paddles knead the dough in the best way. And, during the rising phases, the dough is shaped by the baking pan.
Another benefit from two kneading paddles is that the dough might rise higher than we see in single-kneading pans.
That can be an advantage if you prefer making loaves with wheat flour, rye, rice or pumpernickel flours.
This feature can help raise the dough that is made from flours with a lower concentration in gluten or with no gluten at all. Although, you should still use vital wheat gluten if you’re not on a gluten-free diet because vital wheat gluten is 100% gluten.
Another feature that sets Zojirushi apart is a heating element in the lid. Thus, just like in a conventional oven, the dough is baked both from below and from above.
I would say that if you want the best crust, Zojirushi can definitely deliver it.
The lid also comes with a viewing window if you want to watch how your ingredients are mixed, kneaded, raised and baked.
Control panel & accessories
We get a pretty intuitive control panel. It’s easy to get used to it.
We get buttons for crust, timer, course, cycle, time setting, home made, cancel and start.
The cycle button is for selecting the recipes in the homemade course.
The homemade course lets us program our own recipes, which can be nice for those who use bread machine cookbooks. But Zojirushi gives us the example that we can also use the homemade course to program a meatloaf recipe, which is certainly not a bread recipe.
The 13-hour delay timer means that we can place the ingredients now and have the bread ready in 13 hours from then. It’s a feature that all bread makers include but it can be helpful if you want to eat freshly baked bread in the morning or when you get back from work.
Obviously, you have to read the user manual to understand exactly how the Virtuoso should be used properly. It will offer you all the info you need to know. That’s what everyone should do, no matter which model they end up buying.
The baking pan is really solid and I already mentioned the two kneading paddles that are so great.
We can also buy a Zojirushi Baking Pan to replace the one that comes with our machine. These pans can get damaged in time so it’s nice to know that we have the possibility to buy a replacement. However, that replacement pan is more expensive than cheaper models, like the Hamilton Beach Bread Maker 29882.
Other accessories include: measuring cup for liquid ingredients, 4 nested measuring cups for dry ingredients, and measuring spoon for yeast, salt, dry milk, sugar.
The power cord has a length of 3’3’’ (1m).
There’s no automatic fruit & nut dispenser.
Let’s see which are the main things that Zojirushi Virtuoso can do as the best horizontal bread maker:
- Whole wheat
- Gluten free
- Salt free
- Sugar free
- Rapid white
- Rapid whole wheat
- Sourdough starter
- Homemade (where you can record 3 of your favorite recipes)
Sourdough starter course
As you can see, Zojirushi Virtuoso surprises us yet again by having a sourdough starter course.
It will also bake the sourdough bread, obviously.
The recipe included in the recipe book is called light sourdough bread.
The sourdough starter is done in 2:10 hours.
Once the starter is done, we can bake a light sourdough bread under the course for white bread, the first on the list.
You just have to add the ingredients listed under the light sourdough bread on top of the sourdough starter that is in the baking pan.
We can bake only 2 pound loaves. Some machines offer different sizes for their loaves from 1 pound to 2.5 pounds.
The 2 pound loaf size only might be because this is the perfect size for getting the perfect horizontal bread in a bread machine. I’m just speculating so there’s a high possibility that I might be totally wrong.
We can choose from 3 crusts: light, medium, dark. There’s no crust control for the whole wheat, European, sugar free, and homemade cycles.
We get a recipe manual that has recipes for all these courses.
For example, for the gluten free course we get the following recipes: gluten free brown rice bread, gluten free Italian herb, gluten free raisin bread.
The dough course recipes are wonderful: butter rolls, doughnuts. breadsticks, bagels, traditional pizza dough (thin crust pizza, thick-crust pizza, margherita pizza, tomato sauce).
The white course also receives some interesting recipes: basic white, Italian herb, honey bread, raisin bread, chocolate bread, cranberry & walnut bread.
This is indeed a massive bread maker. It weighs 24 pounds. It’s no small bread maker but I love its overall design.
However, if you don’t have any space on your countertop and you plan on taking it out only when you’re using it, you’ll have to move around quite a bit of weight.
Overall, I really can’t find any problems with the Zojirushi Virtuoso as the best horizontal bread machine, if we forget about the expensive price.
2. Breville Bread Maker BBM800XL the Custom Loaf
The Breville Custom Loaf Bread Maker is my second favorite choice for the best horizontal bread machine. It’s a bit cheaper than the Zojirushi Virtuoso but not by much. There are plenty of differences between these two.
First, there’s only one kneading paddle for Breville, while Zojirushi has two kneading paddles.
Secondly, there’s no heating element in the lid. Although, the bread is baked perfectly and the crust is delicious so I’m not that interested in the fact that it doesn’t have a heating element in the lid.
Breville is more focused on technology. Let’s see what I mean by that.
It looks a bit futuristic with its big LCD screen. The control panel has a lot in common with the control panels that their countertop ovens have.
I like the control panel but this is not for people who want very simple and intuitive kitchen appliances.
We even get a button for units for weights|temp in case we want to change the way they’re measured (C & F, kg & lbs).
There’s also a silent button if you don’t want any alarms.
The light button illuminates the baking chamber.
The modify button lets us customize the time and temperature for all phases (preheat, knead, rise, punch-down, bake and keep warm).
Other buttons are: cancel, start|pause, and a select push-dial (for selecting the 14 settings, 3 crust colors and 4 loaf sizes).
The lid is removable.
There’s also a viewing window, which is quite tiny.
One of the most interesting accessories is the automatic fruit and nut dispenser.
If you enjoy making breads with nuts, fruits, chocolate chips, etc. you can add these ingredients in the automatic dispenser and the machine will release them when it’s time for them to be added to the dough so that they’re baked in the bread.
All the other bread makers that don’t have this automatic dispenser make a series of beeps to let us know that now we can add those additional ingredients to the dough. It just means that we have to be around our machine to hear those beeps. Other than that, the result is the same.
It also has a recipe holder and cord storage.
I also appreciate that if we need to buy a new baking pan for this machine, the price is quite decent.
Collapsible kneading paddle
Let me just warn you that some users mention that the collapsible kneading paddle is not always reliable. Cuisinart’s alternative to the collapsible kneading paddle feature is to make a series of beeps to let us know that we can remove the paddle at that moment.
What does a collapsible kneading paddle achieve?
It lays in a flat position when it’s time for the baking phase to begin. Thus, the resulting loaf will have a smaller hole on the bottom. Loaves that are baked with the kneading paddle in an upright position will have a bigger hole on the bottom, left behind when we remove the bread from the pan.
A second fixed paddle is included for the jam setting.
With the Breville Bread Maker as the best horizontal bread machine we can make:
- Custom (we can program 9 customized recipes)
- Basic rapid
- Whole wheat
- Whole wheat rapid
- Gluten free
- Crusty loaf
- Yeast free
- Dough bread
- Dough pizza
- Pasta dough
- Bake only
This Breville also includes a recipe book with 46 recipes. That’s a lot of recipes to experiment with.
What I love is that we get a wide diversity in loaf sizes: 1 pound, 1.5 pounds, 2 pounds and 2.5 pounds. They cover them all.
Still, the 2 and 2.5 pounds sizes are the most delicious.
There are 3 crust options: light, medium and dark.
3. Cuisinart CBK-100: Cheapest Horizontal Bread Maker
One of the cheapest options we have for the best horizontal bread machine is the Cuisinart CBK-100. To give you an idea, it’s about 3 times cheaper than the Zojirushi Virtuoso or Breville Custom Loaf.
Do I really consider it a valid option for the best horizontal bread machine?
Yes, for the most part. I want to make something completely clear so that you know what to expect.
The CBK 100 doesn’t bake a horizontal loaf in the same manner that the models I mentioned above do.
I would say that the shape of the bread is somewhere between horizontal and vertical. It’s not 100% horizontal but it’s not entirely vertical either. I would say that it’s somewhere in between.
Still, since it’s not a completely vertical bread maker, I decided to review it as one of the best horizontal bread makers for those who are on a lower budget. And for those that don’t mind that the loaf will be taller than other horizontal loaves.
Plus, many users who are using this CBK 100 to make bread consider that the loaf baked is horizontal. So, don’t mind me with my technicalities.
You can still make sandwiches with it. If you slice the loaf thinly, you can use it as a sandwich bread without problems. If the slices are too big for your kids, cut them in half and that’s it.
Control panel & accessories
This is a pretty basic machine.
We get an easy-to-use control panel, it’s very intuitive. But read the user manual so that you understand entirely how you should use this appliance.
There’s also a measuring spoon and measuring cup.
The machine beeps when you can remove the kneading paddle, in case you want to bake the loaf without the kneading paddle inside, which can mean a smaller hole at the base.
For such an affordable bread maker, Cuisinart CBK-100 offers plenty of options:
- Whole wheat
- Gluten free
- Packet mix
- Pasta dough
- Rapid bake
Because it includes the gluten free setting, I also included it in my reviews for the best gluten free bread maker as one of the cheapest we could buy with a dedicated GF cycle. Only the Hamilton Beach Bread Maker 29882 is cheaper.
I must also mention that I love the recipes that are provided by Cuisinart for this CBK 100. There are so many to experiment with for every course.
For example, the cake course includes recipes for: banana walnut loaf, carrot cake bread, date nut bread, lemon poppy seed bread, cranberry walnut pumpkin bread, sour cream chocolate tea loaf, zucchini bread.
The gluten free course has the following recipes: gluten free rye bread, gluten free apple, cheddar, walnut bread, gluten free molasses walnut bread, and gluten free nut and seed bread.
The dough and pasta dough cycles also have some very nice recipes. And even the jam course has plenty of recipes.
There’s a good selection: 1 pound, 1.5 pounds and 2 pounds.
3 crusts: light, medium and dark.
13-hour delay time.
And a 3-year warranty.
4. Cuisinart CBK-200
Another model that is just slightly more expensive than the above CBK 100 is this Cuisinart CBK-200.
If you’re looking for a model that is half the price of the above two horizontal bread makers, I recommend checking out the Cuisinart CBK-200.
I also decided to review it in case you can’t find the CBK 100. The CBK 200 is more recently released so I expect it to be more easy to find than the much older CBK-100.
What makes the CBK 100 cheaper than the CBK 200?
Let’s see what justifies the slightly more expensive price for the Cuisinart CBK-200.
Pretty much the only noticeable differences are in the courses that the Cuisinart CBK 200 offers.
We get 16 courses with the CBK 200:
- Rapid white
- Whole wheat
- Rapid whole wheat
- Rapid French/Italian
- Quick bread/cake
- Low carb
- Gluten free
- Dough/pizza dough
- Artisan dough
- Sweet breads
- Rapid sweet breads
- Last minute loaf
- Bake only (10 min)
Thus, you might notice that there’s an artisan dough cycle. That means that the dough is risen at lower temperatures, thus this cycle will take 5 hours. On the other hand, a regular dough takes 1-1.5 hours.
However, the artisan dough course only makes the dough. We have to bake it in the oven.
Besides the different courses, the CBK-100 and CBK-200 are pretty much identical.
5. Zojirushi Supreme BB-CEC20
There’s one last model that I want to review for my recommendations for the best horizontal bread machine.
I told you that there was another Zojirushi that had two kneading paddles. That is the Supreme.
It’s slightly cheaper than the Virtuoso but they share a lot of things in common.
Frankly, I’m not going to repeat everything that I said when I reviewed the Virtuoso because that will be taking up time for nothing.
The thing you should know is that if you want a slightly cheaper Zojirushi with the same baking pan and accessories and everything, then you should check out the Supreme.
One big difference is that the Supreme doesn’t have a dedicated gluten-free course. The solution to that is that you can still make gluten-free loaves under the basic course.
In total, we only get 10 courses.
In short, it lacks the European, multigrain, gluten free, salt free, sugar free and vegan courses.
The sourdough starter one is included for the Supreme, too. As well as the homemade course.
Another major difference is that we actually get two loaf sizes: 1.5 and 2 pounds.
Which best horizontal bread maker should you buy?
My favorite is the Zojirushi Virtuoso. As I explained right as soon as I started reviewing it, this machine is the true demonstration of what a horizontal bread maker is supposed to do.
This is the model that achieves the expected rectangular shape that many people look for because it also has a baking pan that has 2 kneading paddles.
The Virtuoso shares a lot in common with the Supreme but I get the feeling that a few tiny corners were cut when making the Supreme. I don’t get that feeling with the Virtuoso although there are plenty of negative reviews for the Virtuoso, too.
Nothing is perfect and you should always read both negative and positive reviews no matter what you buy.
Next on the list is the Breville Custom Loaf Bread Maker. It’s an impressive model but I don’t think it’s as good as the Virtuoso. Still, when it comes to bread or dough making, their performances are pretty top-notch.
If you’re a fan of Breville, you should check it out.
And then we have the two cheap or affordable models from Cuisinart. I like them both, although both machines come with plenty of negative reviews from buyers.
Still, if you are on a budget when looking for horizontal bread makers, the CBK-100 and CBK-200 are the two options to choose from.
However, if you manage to get it on sale, the Zojirushi Supreme can almost be considered an affordable choice for the best horizontal bread machine, which can be totally awesome.