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There's nothing like waking up to the smell of freshly baked bread and slathering it with butter or jelly (or both). With more people than ever going the homemade route right now, these super-convenient bread makers come in handy. All of these machines (favorites of our Kitchen Appliance experts at the Just Cooking Institute make it super simple for busy people to bake their own loaves at home. These are the best bread makers out there, according to our Kitchen Appliance experts:
Best Overall Bread Maker: Zojirushi Virtuoso Plus Bread Maker
Best Value Bread Maker: Hamilton Beach Bread Maker
Best Bread Maker for Beginners: Cuisinart CBK110 Automatic Bread Maker
Best Bread Maker for Families: Breville Custom Loaf Bread Maker
Best Bread Maker for Gluten-Free Bread: Cuisinart CBK-200FR Convection Bread Maker
Bread makers are great because they give you full control over the ingredients you'll be using, and they are a much easier way to accommodate food allergies or preferences compared to baking bread by hand. Most newer models actually include designated gluten-free settings to make it easy for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity to make bread without any of that dense, chewy texture for which GF loaves are unfortunately known.
Plus, a bread machine will save carb-lovers money in the long run: a basic homemade bread recipe will run you about $1.50 per loaf. Meanwhile, a loaf of bread at the grocery store can cost you anywhere between $2.50 and $5. And since these machines do most of the work for you, you barely need to check on the bread. Just load the machine with ingredients, set it, and forget it. A few hours later, you'll have a warm, freshly-baked loaf (and if you've made too much, we've got tips on how to properly freeze your loaf.
The Zojirushi Virtuoso Plus is the favorite of our Kitchen Appliances and Technology Lab. With 15 different settings (including gluten-free and vegan), your family has so many options to get their ideal loaf of bread. There are even two rapid bake settings that can make white and whole wheat loaves in just two and a half hours. It has a built-in delayed start timer for up to 13 hours, and the machine displays the actual time (rather than time left) when your loaf will be done
Loaf Size: 2 pounds
Settings: 15 pre-programmed functions and three crust settings
Hamilton Beach's machine comes at a much nicer price than most other bread makers, so it's a smart option if you'd like to try your hand at making bread but aren't sure you'll be doing it on the regular. This model features an LCD display, timer, and multiple options so you get the perfect loaf. Just pop the ingredients in, pick one of the 14 pre-set cycles, then patiently wait for your freshly-baked bread.
Loaf Size: 1, 1 1/2, and 2 pounds.
Settings: 14 pre-programmed functions and three crust settings
The best-selling bread maker on Amazon, this Cuisinart can make three different bread sizes and comes with a recipe booklet developed specifically for the appliance. Its vertical shape means it has a compact footprint, and a window pane allows you to see what’s going on inside. The easy-to-use control panel features pre-set bread options. The final load comes out a little unusual looking (vertical with an often misshapen top) but it still tastes great and cooks evenly.
Loaf size: Three sizes up to 2 pounds
Settings: 12 preprogrammed options and three crust settings
This bread maker can crank out four different sized loaves and 2 1/2 pounds is the max, which is a large loaf of bread, perfect for large families or hearty eaters. It also features a dispenser that automatically adds mix-ins, like nuts and fruits. Its nonstick pan makes for easy removal once the bread is baked, and like all of Breville's appliance, it has a top notch, intuitive control panel with a lot of cooking options.
Loaf sizes: Makes 1-, 1 1/2-, 2- and 2 1/2-pound loaves
Settings: 13 pre-programmed and manual settings and three crust settings
This stainless steel convection bread maker circulates air for a perfectly crispy crust. Use it to create customized, fresh-baked bread, thanks to its three crust color options and various loaf sizes. The bread machine features 16 pre-programmed menu options, including gluten-free and low-carb settings, plus recipes to help you achieve the perfect loaf.
Loaf sizes: Three sizes up to 2 pounds
Settings: 16 pre-programmed settings and three crust settings