Here’s our handy guide to things to consider when looking for your perfect breadmaker.
One size doesn’t fit all and what might be right for one person isn’t going to suit everyone. So here it is, our expert bread maker buying guide.
Why Buy a Bread Maker or Bread Machine Anyway?
There are a number of reasons why you might want to get a bread maker.
Possibly the most important consideration for me was the fact that the product on offer in supermarkets is tasteless, relatively high in salt and full of preservatives. The texture is also very soft, with no real bite.
If you had the time and inclination, the perfect solution would be to bake your own bread by hand. In fac I’ve done this (using Jamie Oliver’s basic bread recipe) and the results are normally great. But, making your own bread is a little bit involved, requiring time, patience and a bit of kneeding here and there.
A bread maker gives you a superbly tasting loaf (almost as good as can be achieved by baking your own bread), it’s (almost) idiot proof, quick and for me is an acceptable compromise.
My children absolutely love the smell of bread in the house and really hate it when we have to have supermarket bread for any reason.
Rapid bake programmes and timers allow you to make a loaf in under 2 hours or to set up your breadmaker to make a wondefully fresh tasty loaf to be ready first thing in the morning or when you get in from work. Once you’ve made a couple of loaves it takes less than 10mins to set everything going.
Choice and Variety
Most breadmakers, particularly the more expensive models, have the ability to create a variety of products.
Different breads (rye bread, French bread, Apricot and Almond, Fruit Loaves, Brioche to name just a few).
Jams and Compotes
Pizza and Pasta dough
Dough for croissants or buns
You control exacly what goes into every loaf you make. You can reduce the salt and sugar content if you need to and experiment until you get the loaf that suits you.
Less preservatives and a denser texture mean that your home baked loaves are fresher, more filling and higher in fibre than most shop bought breads.
Special Dietary Requirements
If you have celiac disease, gluten intolerance, a nut or soya allergy you can now take control and have absolute confidence in what you’ve put into your bread. No more taking a risk with what you’re buying or struggling to find a loaf that meets your needs.
Possibly not the most important factor ini this bread maker buying guide, when all things are considered, it is nonetheless true that supermarket bread continues to get more and more expensive. At the time of writing a standard branded loaf of bread – Warburtons or Hovis say – was more than £1 for an 800g loaf.
Whilst you’ll have to buy the breadmaker in the first place and then have to buy the flour, yeast, butter, salt and sugar, if your bread machine lasts you’ll likely make a saving in the long run. How long before you start to save money? Well, depending on the brand of bread maker you buy and your energy costs, it’s going to take between one and two years before you actually start to make a saving.
How to Find the Perfect Model for You
What’s your budget? Breadmakers can range from £40 to almost £200.
Whilst it’s true that you get what you pay for (to a point) if you don’t need all the whistles and bells you can save a considerable amount.
Consider the Panasonic SD-2501 and 2500. The only difference is that the 2500 doesn’t have the automatic ingredients dispenser, so if you know that you definitely don’t want to make fruit loaves or bread with nuts in, you can save about £30.
You can compare the prices for both in the Amazon links below.
Is it going to fit in your kitchen?
Seems like silly point, but some of these machines can be quite large (or tall) and the lids can be designed in such a way that if you have wall cupboards, you might not be able to situate the breadmaker under the cupboard and still open it.
If you’re going to make use of it every day, then you’ll need to find somewhere for it to live that’s easily accessible.
What are you Going to Use it For?
If you have a particular requirement – ie you need it to be able to make gluten free bread, or you simply must be able to make a whole range of jams, then read the product spec carefully to ensure that it does exactly what you need it to do.
Most of these machines are white or brused metal/silver in colour which again might be a consideration if for example you have a nice red retro styled kitchen.
Is it any good?
Check the reviews on this site and those from other purchasers to try and determine what good points are and also what the niggles are. Parts are likely to be expensive, so you want a breadmaker that’s up to the job and is also reliable.
Well that concludes our bread maker buying guide. I hope you found it useful and are well on your way to getting the bread maker you want!