Our Awesome Breadmaker Buyers Guide

Published on 25th January 2013

By Leila El-Dean


It's a known fact that substituting off-the-shelf bread with fresh homemade bread will no doubt save you money in the long run. But just remember, the initial cost of a breadmaker shouldn't be overlooked.

Breadmakers can be confusing! (image source: dasqfamily)

With some breadmakers costing over £100 it's extremely important you invest wisely and choose the correct breadmaker for your individual needs.

Imagine spending your hard earned cash on a shiny new breadmaker, only to find it doesn't bake a big enough loaf to feed all the hungry mouths in your family.

Or maybe going for the cheapest model is your clever idea to save money, but then realising it doesn't have a delay timer, meaning no fresh bread in the morning, isn't so clever after all.

With a large selection of breadmakers to choose from, including a wide range of different designs, brands and models, choosing yours can sometimes be a daunting task. But don't worry, go make a cup of tea, sit back, and read on, everything you need to know will be explained here.

Comparison Features

The Manufacturer: The company who either manufacture or distribute the breadmaker.

Release Date: Information on when the breadmaker was first available to buy on Amazon.

Capacity: The maximum loaf size which can be produced by the breadmaker

Power: The maximum power output of the breadmaker during the kneading and baking process.

Programs: The number of preset baking programs the breadmaker offers.

Price: The best price found when comparing the top UK stores.

In addition, there are further comparison features such as automatic fruit and nut dispenser, delay timer, viewing window, convection baking, crust setting, size setting, power interruption system, stainless steel case, cool-touch case, quick bake program, and homemade program.

Manufacturer

Buying your breadmaker from a well known, established manufacturer may increase its price tag, but should be worth it in the long run. If something goes wrong with your breadmaker, expect a better after sales service by large manufacturers such as Panasonic, Kenwood and Morphy Richards.

Release Date

If the breadmaker is a new model, expect it to be build with more technologically advanced components. It should be more compact, efficient, and evolved. An old model does however, have the advantage of giving you a better idea on how long it lasts. The fact that it's still on the market should suggest it's a well built product.

Capacity

If you have a large family then you should opt for 900g minimum, the AFK BM3 breadmaker can even bake up to 1.3kg sized loaves. Alternatively, if you are baking for one, you don't need the extra capacity. Save some money and opt for a smaller model.

Power

Generally the more power a bread machine has, the better it will cope with the kneading process. Especially for rye bread for example, the extra power will be needed. Modern breadmakers generally offer lower power outputs, just because they're more efficient.

Programs

If you want flexibility in your breadmaker, go for one which has more preset programs. If you just want to bake one type of bread, and don't need the extra flexibility, save some money and opt for a simpler model.

Automatic Fruit and Nut Dispenser

An automatic fruit and nut dispenser is helpful, but not essential. It simply means the breadmaker can run unattended when making fruit bread. The Panasonic SD255 provides this option. Where this feature is not present, for example on the Panasonic SD254, the breadmaker gives an audio alarm when the extra ingredients have to be added. Think hard before you choose a breadmaker with this extra functionality as it's usually significantly more expensive.

Delay Timer

Do you want the option of delaying the kneading and baking process, once you've added all the ingredients? This is useful for preparing the ingredients the night before, and setting the breadmaker to start in the early hours of the morning, so you wake up to fresh bread. Most breadmakers offer this functionality, but if you don't need it, you can save some money by opting for something like the BM150 breadmaker from Kenwood.

Viewing Window

This neat little feature lets you view the bread during the baking process. It doesn't really affect the price so much, and most breadmakers offer a window as standard. If you're that nosey, you can always open the lid and have a peak anyway.

Convection Baking

Convection bakers like the BM350 breadmaker augment a traditional breadmaker by circulating heated air using a fan. By moving fast hot air past the food, convection breadmakers can operate at a lower temperature than a standard breadmaker and yet cook food more quickly. The air circulation, or convection, also tends to eliminate "hot spots" and thus bread may bake more evenly.

Crust Setting

For those that want the bread baked just how they like it, a crust setting option as featured on the Morphy Richards Accents bread maker lets you choose light, medium or dark crusts. It adds flexibility into the baking process and gives you that extra option to experiment with.

Size Setting

More or less all breadmakers offer more than one loaf size. The size setting allows the baker to toggle between the different sizes, which adjusts the cooking times accordingly.

Power Interruption System

Baking bread can be an exact science at times, one false move and everything can go wrong. A power interruption system as featured on the Antony Worrall Thompson breadmaker will protect your bread for power failure. If the power is cut during the baking process, the breadmaker will resume where it left off when power returns.

Stainless Steel Case

Stainless steel does not stain, corrode or rust as easily as ordinary steel, it also looks a lot better as you can see on the Kenwood BM256.

Cool-Touch Case

A cool touch case will ensure the shell of the breadmaker remains at room temperature while the baking process is taking place.

Quick Bake Program

If you're ever in the situation where you need bread fast, a quick bake, or rapid bake function is just the ticket. It can cut the baking time in half, as featured on the Fastbake bread maker.

Homemade Program

For complete control over the kneading, rising, and baking process, a homemade option lets you customise the times exactly, each step of the way. For example, the Breadman breadmaker by Russell Hobbs has five memory cells for you to store your customised timings. This is great for experimenting.

As you can see, there is plenty to think about when buying a breadmaker. We hope this guide, and indeed this site helps you make a decision, so you can start enjoying the fresh taste of home baked bread today!

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