Making your own bread is satisfying, tasty, and better for you (than most shop bought bread.) But, take a look on Amazon or another online retailer to buy a bread maker, and what do you see? A huge range of machines to choose from – which is good – but how do you know which one to buy?
With that in mind, I have created this list of questions and answers about bread machines. I will add to it as and when I get asked more questions, or think of them myself. I hope it helps.
1. How to choose a good bread maker
- 1. How to choose a good bread maker
- 2. How much does a bread maker cost?
- 3. How economical is a bread maker?
- 4. How hot does a bread maker get?
- 5. Is a bread machine noisy?
- 6. What yeast should I use and where can I buy it?
- 7. I’m allergic to grains – can I make bread without using wheat flour?
- 8. What happens if there is a power cut when my bread maker is running?
- 9. The paddle (mixer) keeps on getting stuck in my loaf of bread – how can I get it out without it ruining my bread?
- 10. Will using the rapid setting on my bread maker reduce the quality of the bread it produces?
- 11. Where can I get bread maker recipes from?
- 12. Should I use butter or oil in my bread?
- 13. What quality flour and yeast should I use?
- 14. How long does the bread stay fresh for?
- 15. Can I make bread rolls in a bread machine?
- 16. What size loaves can I make?
- 17. Can you make a pizza base in a bread maker?
- 18. How do I measure out the ingredients?
- 19. Can I make cakes in a bread machine?
- 20. I don’t like to use salt in my cooking – do I need to put it in my bread?
- 21. Will I get a warranty when I buy a bread maker?
- 22. Can I make jam in my bread machine?
- 23. Where can I get spare parts for my bread maker?
- 24. What is the best bread maker for making gluten free bread?
- 25. How can I make croissants in a bread maker?
- 26. How can I make hot cross buns in a bread maker?
- 27. What is the best budget bread maker?
- 28. What is the best bread maker for large families?
- 29. How do I get the bread out of the bread maker?
- 30. What is the best bread slicer to use to cut my bread?
This is definitely the most important question to ask. If you are investing in a bread machine, both financially and time wise, it is worth making sure you are getting a good one.
Trust me, there is nothing more frustrating then buying ingredients, putting them in the bread machine, waiting 3 odd hours for the bread to be made, only to discover it comes out inedible! I’ve been there and bought that bread machine! Once upon a time, I bought the cheapest bread machine for sale, without reading any reviews or even doing any research. Big mistake. Occassionally I would get a winning loaf, but more often than not, it would produce a flat and dissapointing lump of bread.
So, before you buy a bread machine, do your research (or just read through this website, I’ve done the research for you!) I recommend you follow this process;
a) Read my best bread maker guide to help start you off with your research.
b)Decide how often and what kinds of bread you want to be making. Do you want to make gluten free? Raisin bread? Quick bake?
c) Work out your budget – how much can you afford to spend?
d) Read all the bread machine reviews you can – start here with some of our reviews >>
e) Shop around for the cheapest prices of the model you have decided on. I always head to Amazon as my first point of call. You can read all the reviews there too. See Breadmakers on Amazon >>
2. How much does a bread maker cost?
The cost of a bread machine varies quite wildly. I think it is true to a certain extent that you get what you pay for, but, that doesn’t meant that you have to go for the most expensive model out there.
At the time of writing this, the cheapest bread maker for sale on Amazon is the Russell Hobbs 18036, and it is a good machine. Read my full review of this bread maker. You’ll be quite pleasantly surprised.
On the same day, one of the more expensive bread makers on Amazon, is the Panasonic SD2502 Stainless Steel model. Yes, it does cost quite a bit. But, visually it is very modern and sleek. On performance, it scores top marks. I have done my research on this dream model. Check it out if you’re tempted!
If you would rather opt for a mid range bread maker that still scores top marks, one of my favourites is the Panasonic SD-2501. It has lots of positive reviews. Read what I had to say about my best bread maker here >>
3. How economical is a bread maker?
You need to know how much making your own bread is going to cost you. Once you’ve made your mind up about which bread maker you want you can factor in the running costs. We will one day soon actually keep a tab of how much it costs us to make our own bread in a bread maker, as opposed to buying from the supermarket. At the moment we do a mixture of both shop bought and homemade. We are a family of 5 and we get through a lot of bread.
My own personal opinion/guess is that I think we do save money as we are a large family and we eat a lot of bread.
4. How hot does a bread maker get?
Most breadmakers have insulated outer walls, meaning that the outer surface doesn’t get too hot during baking. They will be warm to the touch though so do double check for yourself before you leave it out near small children.
5. Is a bread machine noisy?
Some bread makers are noisier than others. But, I don’t think they are ever noisy enough to cause a problem. It is only when they are in their mixing and kneading phase that you can hear it. Assuming that it will only bother you at night time, I really don’t think it would be enough to wake you up, unless you sleep very close to the kitchen or your are a very light sleeper!
6. What yeast should I use and where can I buy it?
Firstly, make sure that you get yeast that is meant for bread makers. We have used a variety of brands, including supermarket own. We prefer to buy the ones that come in sachets, as the yeast can remain fresh for longer.
Our favourite one to use so far is Allinsons Easy Bake Yeast. You can buy larger quantities direct from Amazon and save some money on supermarket prices.
7. I’m allergic to grains – can I make bread without using wheat flour?
Yes it is possible to make bread without Wheat flour there are many different types of bread that you can make with your bread maker like Gluten free bread.
8. What happens if there is a power cut when my bread maker is running?
Some bread makers have an automatic feature that will continue the baking process in the event of a short power interruption. For example the Russell Hobbs 18036 Bread maker has a automatic timer in case of a short power outage of up to 7 minutes. However, if the outage any longer then the baking process will not be able to be continued. Not all bread makers have a function like this built into them, so if your electricity supply is unreliable then this might be a handy feature to look for. Another bread maker with a similar function in built is the Panasonic SD2502 Stainless Steel bread maker.
9. The paddle (mixer) keeps on getting stuck in my loaf of bread – how can I get it out without it ruining my bread?
Unfortunately after continued use your paddle could start to become loose and get stuck in the loaf when it bakes. If this happens the only way to get it out is to cut it out of the bread. Just be careful if you are using a electric powered knife in case it catches the paddle. You might be able to try to buy a new paddle from the suppliers which should make it less lightly to come off and stick to the bread.
10. Will using the rapid setting on my bread maker reduce the quality of the bread it produces?
Yeast grows at 27 degrees and produces carbon dioxide as it grows. If the dough is softer it will rise more easily. Salt in fact kills yeast, so less salt means more growth. Fast baking methods can provide good quality bread though they might be slightly smaller due to the shorter rising times. The bread maker recipes can of course be adjusted slightly.
11. Where can I get bread maker recipes from?
Most bread makers come with some basic recipes that will satisfy most peoples appetites. However, if you want to branch out and try something different then there are plenty of recipes available on the internet and books like:
12. Should I use butter or oil in my bread?
For most recipes you can use either butter, margarine or oil. This not only helps to flavour the bread but also helps to stop it from sticking when it is baked. It is a good idea though if possible try to have it at room temperature when you add it to the machine as the yeast wont rise as well with a colder mixture.
13. What quality flour and yeast should I use?
Most bread makers recommend using Fast yeast or a form of Quick yeast because it doesn’t need to be soaked before using. The type of Flour that should be used is Strong Flour. The main difference with strong flour compared to normal plain flour is the high Gluten content which aids in the retention of the gases produced by the fermentation process of the yeast and that in turn produces a good structure to the bread. So the better the quality of yeast and flour, the better the result.
14. How long does the bread stay fresh for?
The main advantage of a breadmaker is that it gives you the opportunity to get fresh bread without any preservatives every day and the only ingredients in it are the ones that you add. However, as a result of this the shelf life of your home baked loaf will be considerably less than that of your average shop bought bread. A lot depends on how you store the bread, e.g. in a breadbin or just out on a breadboard. You could even try adding some natural preservatives like vinegar or garlic, but this will effect the taste of the loaf. It is probably best to aim to store it for no more than 48 hours after cooking.
15. Can I make bread rolls in a bread machine?
Yes, with most bread makers it is possible to just make the dough which you then take out rise and cook in an oven. Some of the bread makers will come with recipes books that might include bread roll dough mixture, but if not then there are plenty of places on the internet to find bread maker recipes.
16. What size loaves can I make?
This really depends on the bread maker. As a general rule most bread makers can make about 3 loaf sizes between 1lb & 2.2lbs.
17. Can you make a pizza base in a bread maker?
Once again, it is possible for most bread machines to make pizza dough. Most have setting that will allow it to make the pizza base dough and all you need to do is roll it out and add the toppings and stick it in the oven!
18. How do I measure out the ingredients?
Generally most bread makers will come with some basic measurement device. They can have bread maker recipes which need to be measured out on scales but another common method is teaspoon, table spoon & cup measurements which are normally supplied with the bread machine.
19. Can I make cakes in a bread machine?
Yes you can. In fact, you can make sweet breads and cakes. We love making raisin bread in our bread machine and adding a little cinnamon. This is a delicious bread to make at Christmas time.
20. I don’t like to use salt in my cooking – do I need to put it in my bread?
I don’t either. I always add half the amount of salt recommended in the recipe. I have never tried it without salt altogether but I don’t think it would make a difference. If you are worried about the salt content in home made bread I wouldn’t, the amount added is miniscule when you compare it to the loaves sold in the supermarkets.
21. Will I get a warranty when I buy a bread maker?
Always check in the product description but most electrical appliances should come with at least a 12 month warranty from the manufacturer. Some shops might try to tempt you to pay for an extra warranty – this article by MSE is interesting and explains the situation thoroughly.
22. Can I make jam in my bread machine?
Yes you can! Who would have thought a bread maker could be so versatile?! You just have to add the fruit of your choice (blackberries taste yummy!) and add some sugar (quite a bit!) I will be adding some jam recipes to the website very soon. There should be a jam setting on your machine – I know there is on the Panasonic.
23. Where can I get spare parts for my bread maker?
There are a few places you can source spare parts from. You can check on Amazon or if you are in the UK, espares are a good place to start, and e-bay. Finally, you can course directly with the manufacturer.
24. What is the best bread maker for making gluten free bread?
I would go for either of the Panasonic models. Read our article here on gluten free bread machines.
25. How can I make croissants in a bread maker?
We LOVE croissants in this house. Recipe coming very soon. For now – check out this one.
26. How can I make hot cross buns in a bread maker?
Ditto with the hot cross buns. It doesn’t have to be Easter to scoff them either 🙂 Again, once I have our recipe section up and running I will add our hot cross bun recipe. For now – go here.
27. What is the best budget bread maker?
Do remember that you get what you pay for – but, having said that, we have bought cheaper bread machines before and they have lasted a while. It depends if you are after daily use or not. If I was looking for a budget yet still great quality machine I would opt for the Morphy Richards Fastbake.
28. What is the best bread maker for large families?
I don’t think you can go wrong with a Panasonic bread maker. You can choose from 3 different loaves and have a gluten free option should someone in your family have an intolerance.
29. How do I get the bread out of the bread maker?
The container you cook the bread in will be very hot. Make sure you use oven gloves to prevent any burns. If you are home it is best to remove the bread from the pan as soon as you can. Put the bread on a cooling rack – this allows the bread to cool whilst letting the water molecules to evaporate. No more soggy bread! It also makes it much easier to slice your bread with a bread knife or electric slicer. Read my bread slicer guide for recommendations for the best one to use.
30. What is the best bread slicer to use to cut my bread?
It’s no good making a delicious loaf and then you make a mess of slicing it. Read my bread slicing guide here.