Bread makers have been around for a while now, but when they first came onto the market they were big, clumsy and expensive machines. They were also quite tricky to use. Nowadays bread makers are more compact, simpler to use and a lot of people have them. There really is nothing like the smell of fresh bread baking in your own home to encourage more people to buy one. But, which one?
Bread makers range from the ridiculously cheap to the outrageously expensive so it’s important you know what you want yours to do when you purchase one.
Do you want a simple gadget that just bakes bread? Do you mind if the paddle is left in the bread while it is cooking? (I hate that!) Do you want a viewing window and is a delay function important to you?
We look at the most popular models and give our verdict:Cuisinart Automatic Breadmaker – £150
If you want to just stick the ingredients in and click a switch, this one is pretty much the one to buy. A large machine with 12 automatic settings and it is a cinch to operate. The bread pan itself can go in the dishwasher and it even includes measuring aids.
From: Cuisinart.co.ukMorphy Richards 48326 – £60
One of the easiest machines to use as the controls speak for themselves. Bakes great-tasting bread too, so if you want a decent machine with no complications, this will be right up your street. And no paddle-sticking either.
From: amazon.co.ukCookworks Breadmaker – £38.99
For those who just want to try out bread-making, or want to gift a machine this is a good starting point. You can make two sizes of bread in two different types, but apart from that there are not many other features. The paddle does stick in the bread, which could annoy some bakers.
From: argos.co.ukSage by Heston Blumenthal the Custom Loaf Bread Maker – £199.95
You would expect a superior machine from the master of cooking, and this one from the Sage range with Heston Blumenthal does not disappoint. There are more than 60 settings that allow you to bake many different types of bread, including four types of crust settings, a functions that allow you to add fruit or jam at the exact time, four different bread sizes, we could go on. This is a machine for the bread connoisseur.
From: amazon.co.ukLakeland Breadmaker Plus – £129.99
If you cannot afford the Sage machine, this one from Lakeland is a great alternative. You get a choice between medium or large sized loaves, but what we like the most is the fruit and nut dispenser which allows you to create delicious breads with added ingredients. Comes with a baguette pan and you can also use it to make cakes, pizza dough and jam.
From: Lakeland.co.ukRussell Hobbs 18036 – £44.99
Most people get bored of their bread makers and stash them away in a kitchen cupboard, never to be seen again. We think this is due to the space they take up on a work surface. You don’t need to worry about this one from Russell Hobbs, as it is compact enough to sit out in the kitchen, ready for use every day. Easy to use and has some good features including three crust settings and three bread sizes.
Panasonic SD-ZB2505 – £139
We like any bread maker that has a fruit and nut dispenser as it instantly elevates an ordinary machine to the next level. This one is super quiet when it is baking and you can even use it to make jam and compote. One negative is that there is no viewing window.
From: Lakeland.co.ukMy Kitchen Compact Bread Maker – £59.99
A smaller, compact machine here that will suit couples or a single person with a bread craving. Simple enough to use and makes small loaves weighing 500grams. Again, the paddles tends to get stuck in the loaf which I would find irritating but it does have a good delay function.
Lidl Silvercrest – £40
Including this machine is a little controversial as customer feedback has not been generous to this machine, but we can only go on how it operates for us. It performed well on every occasion we tried it which is why it is on our list. You get 11 programmes, three bread sizes and crust options and it also makes pasta, pizza dough and gluten-free bread. We say give it a go.
From: lidl.co.ukJML Make and Bake – £79.99
If the paddle getting stuck in the loaf is your main gripe then listen up, this machine never has that problem. Features include three crust settings, 10 programmes, three crust settings, and a delay function. You can also use it to make jam and cakes.