Nothing quite beats the scent of freshly baked bread – but unless someone comes up with a scented candle for that, or we relocate next door to a bakery, it’s a difficult scent to conjure up at will, especially for the novice baker. The process of breadmaking can seem intimidating to some, given the practice it’d require before you have the knead-rise-knock-proof routine down, not to mention the time you’d need to set aside just for prep before the dough goes in the oven.
As we become increasingly aware of the health concerns of eating too much processed bread from stores, and have our social media feeds filled with delicious-sounding bread recipes involving all manner of fruits and nuts, homemade bread baking becomes increasingly more appealing. And thanks to breadmaking machines, even beginners can turn their kitchens into one-stop bakeries – all you have to do is add in the ingredients, pick your desired preset, loaf size and crust color, and let the machine do the rest. And if the machine comes with dispensers that let you add in other ingredients like dried berries and chopped almonds? Even better. Here are our picks for the best breadmaking machines with in-built fruit and nut dispensers.
Kuissential 2-Pound Programmable Bread Machine
The first thing we’re looking for in any good breadmaking machine is a unit that anyone who has never attempted to bake bread in their life will be able to operate with no stress, and this machine fits the bill perfectly. The versatile machine comes with 13 presets, letting you whip up a loaf of anything from basic to whole wheat bread, effortlessly baking up a gluten-free or French loaf, sandwich or multi-grain bread, or even a cake. Other adjustable options let you choose among three available crust colors (light, medium, dark) and two loaf sizes (1.5 and 2 pounds).
You can also set the machine up to have it start work after a delay, for instance if you’d like to wake up to freshly baked bread you’d prepped the ingredients for before going to bed – the 13 hour delay timer gives you a plentiful time bracket to work within, with a ‘Keep Warm’ mode so your bread is still piping hot and ready to munch into for some time after it’s done baking. An automatic fruit and nut dispenser lets you mix in healthy helpings of pecans, raisins or whatever other nuts or fruits you wish to incorporate into your bread, the machine doing the work for you by releasing them into the dough at the appropriate point in the cycle and folding them in. All you need to do is measure in the ingredients – a measuring cup and spoon are included – and let the machine handle the rest.
KEN’S BUDGET PICK
Rosewill RHBM-15001 2-Pound Programmable Bread Maker
Bake up a storm with this budget-friendly, heavy-duty bread maker, with 12 presets ranging from basic white and mixed breads to gluten-free and whole wheat as well as cake, jam and rapid bake modes, making the process so simple you’ll find yourself hooked to homemade bread making. The unit is programmable for two loaf sizes, 1.5 and 2 pounds, and three crust color settings – light, medium and dark. A detachable nut and fruit dispenser also lets you incorporate extra munchies into your bread for a more personalized, nutrient-heavy and yummy loaf, folding the ingredients in at the right stage of the cycle – all you need to do is chop up the ingredients and place them into the dispenser. The unit comes with a measuring cup and spoon to ensure you add the appropriate ratios of all your ingredients, including flour, yeast and water, as well as a hook to let you remove the kneading blade from the baked loaf before you begin slicing it.
Aside from a 13 hour delay timer that lets you program the unit to have a fresh loaf ready for you in a couple of hours, the unit also comes with 10 minute power cut-off memory function – if for some reason you happen to lose power, for instance the plug coming off of the socket accidentally, the unit will be able to resume where it’d stopped as long as power is restored within 10 minutes.
Breville BBM800XL Custom Loaf Bread Maker
This isn’t just a great looking machine, with its sleek stainless steel housing and clean design, but is pretty versatile in functionality as well. With 13 cooking presets and 3 crust colors, the unit is the only one on this list to offer four loaf sizes, letting you bake loafs of 1, 1 and ½, 2, and 2 and ½ pounds. Armed with a step-by-step recipe guide for any type of bread you can imagine, including basics like white and whole wheat to slightly more customized types like gluten- or yeast-free, the unit also comes with a fruit and nut dispenser to add in your choice of berries or a blend of walnuts and almonds at the appropriate point of the breadmaking cycle. The unit is designed with a collapsible kneading paddle to effectively fold all the ingredients together and evenly mix ingredients later added into the dough, before collapsing out of the way so the dough can bake without a huge paddle-shaped hole running through it. It also features a 60-minute power interruption memory function – if you have a power outage, the machine will still be able to pick up where it left off as long as the electricity is restored within an hour.
Panasonic SD-YR2500 Bread Maker
This unit features not just a fruit and nut dispenser, but also a yeast dispenser, which is a handy feature when you’re setting the unit to bake after a delay, since yeast needs to be added in dry to keep your dough from overproofing. 8 presets let you bake a range of breads, including basic, gluten-free and whole wheat, as well as process different types of dough for baked goodies like pizza crust and croissants. The unit is programmed with a 13 hour delay timer to let you preset your machine to have a fresh loaf ready hours later, ready to consume, with modes to let you select between a medium or large sized loaf, with light or dark crusts.
- Explain That Stuff!: http://www.explainthatstuff.com/breadmaker.html
- How Stuff Works: http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/tools-and-techniques/kitchen-appliance-tips6.htm
- Rosewill: http://www.rosewill.com/