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.
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-RD250 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.