The Best Bread Machine for Your Baking Style

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Think bread makers are an appliance of the past? Think again! These gadgets do it all from mixing to proofing to baking. Find out what the best bread machine is for you.

Love the taste and smell of homemade bread? Of course! Everyone loves a slice of freshly baked bread, but baking yeasted breads at home can be intimidating. Between the finicky yeast, kneading the dough and waiting for it to rise, from-scratch loaves can be a challenge—unless you’ve got a bread machine.

Yes, a bread machine! This appliance might seem like a flashback from the ’90s, but bread makers are super handy. They mix the dough, knead and bake, all at the push of the button. It doesn’t get better than that. But before you click “buy now,” make sure you’re getting the best bread machine for your baking needs.

What to Look for When You’re Shopping for a Bread Machine

Do a quick online search and you’ll find so many bread maker options. Look for recognizable brands and sift through them by keeping these preferences in mind:

  • Settings: Gone are the days of basic 1990s bread machines. Today you can find bread makers with all kinds of settings, including gluten-free bread presets. Check the specs and see if they suit your baking—and eating!—style.
  • Cleanup: What level of cleanup are you willing to take on? Some bread maker models offer nonstick surfaces and dishwasher-safe inserts. Others require washing by hand.
  • Price: Keep in mind how much you want to spend. You can find a great bread machine for around $100.

The Best Bread Machine for Your Baking Style

Looking for the right bread machine? We’ve found four options to satisfy any type of home baker.

Best for Beginners: Cuisinart Compact Automatic Bread Maker

CUISINART COMPACT AUTOMATIC BREAD MAKERVia surlatable.com

New to bread baking and bread machines? You’ll want an appliance that’s a cinch to use right out of the box. That model is the Cuisinart Compact Automatic Bread Maker.

According to reviewers, this bread maker is incredibly easy to use: Intuitive buttons and an LCD display take all the guesswork out of baking bread. You can choose from pre-programmed bread options including packaged mixes, gluten-free bread, French bread and more, and the machine does all the work of mixing, kneading, proofing and baking. All you have to do is measure your ingredients!

One more thing we love is the finish of this appliance. It’s compact and looks great in stainless steel. This is one kitchen gadget you’ll definitely want to keep on the counter.

  • Capacity: Up to a 2-pound loaf
  • Special features: 12 pre-programmed settings, three crust options (light, medium and dark), delay start function
  • Price: $110

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Best for Impatient Bakers: Oster Expressbake Bread Maker

Oster Expressbake Bread Maker with Gluten-Free Setting, 2 Pound, White (CKSTBR9050-NP)Via amazon.com

In our Test Kitchen, you’ll find the Taste of Home team testing reader-submitted recipes in the Oster Expressbake Bread Maker.

This bread machine is beloved by our staffers and reviewers for many reasons, but its Expressbake option is definitely the most raved-about feature. With this accelerated process, large loaves of bread (up to 2 pounds) can be ready in under an hour! Bakers, you know that’s a big time-saver. Use this setting along with one of Oster’s 12 other pre-programmed options and you’ll have a full breadbox in no time.

  • Capacity: Up to a 2-pound loaf
  • Special features: 12 pre-programmed settings, three crust options (light, medium and dark), delay start function, express bake setting
  • Price: $90

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Easiest Cleanup: Hamilton Beach Premium Dough & Bread Maker

Hamilton Beach® Premium Dough & Bread Maker in Stainless SteelVia bedbathandbeyond.com

With fancy gadgets, you’re often left with lots of pieces that require washing by hand. While some of us don’t mind doing the dishes, many bakers prefer easy-to-clean machines with dishwasher-ready parts. When it comes to bread machines, that’s the Hamilton Beach Premium Dough & Bread Maker.

Reviewers love how easy this bread machine is to keep clean. After the bread maker does the mixing and baking, all you have to do is remove your bread and pop the parts into the dishwasher. No fuss! As for the bread itself, you can customize it just the way you like with 14 different settings, plus options for different types of crust. When your bread is done baking, this machine switches over to “keep warm” mode so you can be sure your loaf is nice and toasty for your bread basket at dinnertime.

  • Capacity: Up to a 2-pound loaf
  • Special features: 14 pre-programmed settings, three crust options (light, medium and dark), automatic keep-warm function, non-stick, dishwasher-safe components
  • Price: $120

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Best Appliance for Proofing: Brod & Taylor Folding Proofer

Brod & Taylor Folding Proofer & Slow CookerVia williams-sonoma.com

Many home bakers derive a lot of satisfaction from mixing and kneading bread dough, so they may not be tempted by traditional bread machines. But there’s one part of bread making that many find challenging: proofing the dough. If you long for the assist of a bread maker just for proofing, you can opt for a specialized appliance: the Brod & Taylor Folding Proofer.

This compact appliance (it folds flat when you’re done!) maintains consistent temperature and humidity for proofing bread dough—perfect if you struggle with a dry climate or chilly house. Inside, this proofer is spacious enough to accommodate a large mixing bowl or two regular-sized loaf pans.

  • Special features: Folds up for easy storage; can also be used as a slow cooker
  • Price: $180

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How to Use Your Bread Maker at Home

Don’t think for a second that you have to limit yourself to basic bread recipes when it comes to your bread machine. You can use this appliance to stir up specialty options like pretzels, cinnamon rolls, and bagels. Want to try your hand at naan? Let the machine do all the work of mixing, kneading and proofing. All you have to do is shape the bread and bake it off in the oven. Easy!

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Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is an associate editor at Taste of Home where she gets to embrace her passion for baking. She pours this love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.