The Best Bread Machines

By Marlene Eisner

February 16, 2021

There’s nothing like the aroma of freshly baked bread – well, except eating it! Sometimes, you can’t always get to a bakery to pick up a fresh loaf or two, and the bagged variety at the grocery store is okay. But is okay really the only next-best option to the local bakery?

Not anymore. Gone are the days of spending hours kneading dough, letting it rise, punching it down and kneading it again until it’s ready to bake. A bread machine takes all the physical labour out of making bread by hand, doing all the work for you. The result is delicious ready-to-eat loaves made with only the ingredients you choose to put into it.

This is especially important if you have a sensitivity to wheat or you suffer from Celiac disease and cannot tolerate gluten. Many bread machines have a gluten-free setting, so you can still enjoy a delicious slice of bread, without any negative health effects.

No matter what kind of bread you enjoy, these amazing machines will mix and knead the ingredients it into a dough that you can remove from the machine and use to make pizza, flatbread, multiple loaves of bread or rolls in your kitchen oven. Or if you prefer, keep the dough in the machine once its mixed and it will finish the process and bake the bread just the way you like it.

Below, you will find information on our recommended list of bread machines, from how they work to the size of the loaf they can bake. Read on to discover what you need to know to choose a bread machine that works best for your specific needs and tastes.

1. Editor's Pick: Oster Expressbake Bread Maker

Key Specs

Product Dimensions: 34.29 x 30.73 x 33.53 cm
Power/Wattage: 650 watts
Material: Plastic
Item Weight: 3.63 kg
Special Features: 13 pre-programmed settings, delay timer, two kneading blades, express bake

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This is a good choice for large, busy families, since it can turn out two-pound loaves and it has an express feature to get the process done in under an hour. Being able to make a loaf in an hour really is a bonus feature if you have a busy schedule or if you receive a last-minute brunch invitation. Packed with impressive — and useful — features, this model gives you lots of options.

Like other bread makers, the Oster ExpressBake are pre-programmed settings — 13 of them — for different types of bread, including gluten-free. And although it doesn’t have an automatic nut and fruit dispenser, it will signal the right time for you to add those ingredients, if that’s your desire. Plus, you can customize the doneness of the crust.

The ExpressBake also has a non-stick removable baking pan for a quick cleanup (hand washing recommended), and there is a large LCD display panel and a viewing panel so you can monitor the progress. It also includes a measuring cup and scoop, two kneading blades and a tool to remove the kneading blade.

Finally, here’s a feature you might really like: a 13-hour programmable baking timer. Set it for when you want the machine to start, leave and have fresh bread when you get home.

2. Best Bread Machine for Variety: Hamilton Beach Premium Dough & Bread Maker

Key Specs

Product Dimensions: 24.13 x 34.93 x 33.02 cm
Power/Wattage: 450 watts
Material: Stainless Steel
Item Weight: 6.83 kg
Special Features: 14 pre-programmed settings, delay timer, countdown timer, LCD display

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One of the great things about making bread at home is being able to use the ingredients like nuts, seeds and fruit. We chose this bread machine because it has an automatic dispenser that will add any and all of those ingredients at exactly the right time in the baking process. With this bread machine, the options are aplenty.

This Hamilton Beach models offers 14 pre-programmed bread settings. Choose from basic, French, sweet, 1.5 lbs. express, 2 lbs. express, quick bread (no yeast), gluten-free, artisan dough, whole grain, dough, rise, bake, jam and cake. It also features settings to choose the size of the bread you’d like – 1 lbs., 1.5 lbs. or two-pound loaves – and how light or dark you want the crust to be. A viewing window lets you monitor the process. When the bread is done and you’re ready to clean up, you can pop the pan and paddle into the dishwasher or wash by hand.

3. Best Compact Bread Machine: Cuisinart Automatic Bread Maker

Key Specs

Product Dimensions: 26 x 33.7 x 28.6 cm
Power/Wattage: 550 watts
Material: Stainless Steel
Item Weight: 4.9 kg
Special Features: 12 pre-programmed settings, power failure backup, audible tone to add mix-in ingredients, beep signal when baking is done

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From a brand well known for its quality small kitchen appliances and tools, this compact bread machine doesn’t disappoint in performance or features. Fully automatic and easy to use, its slim design sits neatly out of the way on your countertop or in the cupboard when not in use.

Cuisinart's Automatic Bread Machine has pre-programmed settings, ranging from gluten-free, French and artisan bread to packaged mix, jam and cake. You can choose from light, medium or dark to get the crust you desire and you can choose the size of the bread as well.

This unit has a really cool feature, a backup memory system in case of a power failure of up to 15 minutes. If the electricity goes off, the bread machine will store in its memory the stage of the bread-making cycle and resume once the power is restored. So if you accidentally blow a fuse, you don’t have to worry that your bread will be ruined once you flip the switch and get the electricity flowing again.

Other features of this model are a lid with a viewing window illuminated by an interior light so you can check on the bread as it bakes; bake only and automatic 60-minute keep warm options; and a removable kneading paddle and bread pan that are BPA-free and easy to clean.

4. Best Affordable Bread Machine: Elite Gourmet Automatic Bread Maker

Key Specs

Product Dimensions: 40.39 x 34.29 x 28.45 cm
Power/Wattage: 550 watts
Material: Aluminum
Item Weight: 4.51 kg
Special Features: 19-pre-programmed settings, 60-minute keep warm function, 15-hour delay timer

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This is an affordable bread machine that is ideal for the beginner bread maker. If the idea of making your own bread at home has always appealed to you but you’ve been hesitant to try it, this affordable model from Elite Gourmet is a great way to discover what it's like to use it. With many of the same features as more expensive units, it will perform well and not break the bank.

This bread machine lets you make up to a two-pound loaf with the option of choosing one or 1.5 pounds and includes a 19 item pre-programmed menu for a variety of different types of dough. From whole wheat, quick (no yeast) and artisan to white, gluten-free and rice and sandwich breads, you can experiment with a different type of bread every week. Or have it prepare a pizza dough and then roll it out, top it with your favourite ingredients, and pop it into the oven until it’s crispy and done.

A 15-hour delay times lets you set it, leave the house, and return to freshly baked bread. And if the bread is ready but you’re not, the 60-minute keep-warm function makes sure butter will still melt on the slices when you take the bread out of the machine. It includes everything you’ll need to bake fresh bread and comes with a non-stick bread pan, a measuring cup and spoon, a kneading blade, and a metal hook for lifting out the kneading blade. It also has a recipe book and helpful tips.

5. Best All-Purpose Bread Machine: Moosoo 25-in-1 Bread Machine

Key Specs

Product Dimensions: 40.39 x 34.29 x 28.45 cm
Power/Wattage: 550 watts
Material: Aluminum
Item Weight: 4.51 kg
Special Features: 19-pre-programmed settings, 60-minute keep warm function, 15-hour delay timer

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This is a great bread machine for anyone who enjoys an appliance that has an abundance of choices, features and accessories. We included this model from Moosoo because it does a lot more than make bread. With 25 programs, you can bake a variety of breads, from gluten free, French and whole wheat to French and corn bread, and you can also make purple rice, sticky rice, porridge and even yogurt and rice wine. But let’s get back to the bread!

The intuitive digital touchpad on this machine is easy to use, and you can bake three different sized loaves — 1 lbs., 1.5 lbs. or 2 lbs. — and choose from a light, medium or dark crust. Follow the included the recipes to add ingredients, choose a few programs, and then let the bread machine do its work. Engineered with precision baking technology and 600 watts of output power, this machine produces soft bread with even textures. The non-stick ceramic bucket is designed to make the dough evenly dense inside and out. The 15-hour delay time gives you ample flexibility to set it, leave, and come home to freshly baked bread.

Other features include: a one-hour automatic keep warm function; 10- to 15-minute power interruption recovery; a large viewing window and a removable automatic nut and fruit dispenser. And as far as extras and accessories are concerned, this bread machine comes with three extra kneading paddles, a measuring cup, a measuring spoon, a hook, a pair of gloves and bread recipes. This model is more expensive than other bread machines.

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