More and more people are choosing independence and self-determination. This trend is also spreading in kitchens – for example when baking bread. With the finished bread from the supermarket or from a bakery next door, many are no longer satisfied and want a made of carefully selected ingredients specially baked, crispy fresh bread. No wonder, therefore, that the modern bread makers are moving into more and more households. A bread maker or a bread maker bakes on time and exactly according to recipe – whether after a given or after a self-written.
All processes are automated, the operation is limited to the choice of a program and pressing the on/off button. The result can be seen and, above all, tasted. The bread makers are now among the customer favourites and with good reason. In this guide, we present you the current bread makers Bestsellers and test winners, inform about the structure and function of these kitchen appliances, answer the most important questions and guide you with our little guide directly to a bread maker that best suits their needs.
Top 10 Bread Making Machines
- 12 SETTINGS INCLUDING GLUTEN FREE Developed with nutrition in mind, settings include: French, Quick Bread (no yeast), Sweet, 1.5 pound Express, 2...
- CHOOSE 1. 5 pound or 2 pound load and crust settings. Select your loaf size and choose from light, medium or dark crust setting
- LARGE DIGITAL DISPLAY WITH DELAY TIMER View and select the cycle, crust, and loaf size use delay timer to add ingredients and begin the baking process...
- Various healthy course settings include Multigrain, Whole Wheat, Rapid Whole Wheat, Gluten Free, Salt Free, Sugar Free and Vegan
- Double Kneading Blades thoroughly knead dough for superior results; Dual heaters on the bottom and lid of the bread maker promote even baking and...
- Rapid courses allow you to bake a loaf of white or whole wheat bread in just 2 hours and 25 minutes
- 650 Watts Oster bread maker with up to a 2.0 pound loaf capacity is ideal for larger families
- 12 bread settings and 3 crust settings for making a variety of breads, dough, and jams
- ExpressBake setting bakes bread in under an hour
- Bakes up to a 2 lb loaf of bread
- 13 hour delay bake and 12 baking functions
- Express Bake cycle
- Automatic 1-pound bread maker
- Auto add dispenser automatically dispenses nuts and other ingredients; removable and washable
- Various healthy course settings include: Multigrain, whole wheat, quick whole wheat, gluten free, salt free, sugar free, and vegan
- 🍞 FOR BEGINNER FRIENDLY - Follow our easy-to-use recipes to add ingredient, click a few buttons, then let the bread maker takes care of the...
- 🥖 MUTI-FUNCTIONAL MAKING - Basic, french, gluten free, rice bread, jam, yogurt, etc. - 3 loaf sizes (1/1.5/2LB) - 3 crust colors...
- 🥐 AUTOMATIC INTELLIGENT SETTING - 15 hours delay timer, 1 hour keep warm, 15min power interrupt-recovery, 19 programs make healthier bread.
What is a bread maker?
A bread maker, also bread machine, bread maker, bread oven or sometimes called simply bread baker, is an electrical appliance for household use. It is a compact oven, which is primarily designed for baking different types of bread. You can also make bakes, jams, rice or even yoghurt with a bread maker, depending on the model.
How is a bread maker built and how does this kitchen appliance work?
All models of bread makers are similarly constructed and use the same functional principle. The following elements can, therefore, be found in every bread maker:
- Electric motor that converts electromagnetic energy into thermal and mechanical energy;
- Baking mould with a non-stick coating, a handle and a rotatable dough hook embedded in the floor. Some models on STERN.de find two dough hooks;
- Heating element, usually a ring heater, which serves to heat the baking pan;
- Cover with a control panel and often with a viewing window. The lid is not locked, but simply rests on;
- Minicomputer that controls all processes, including the changeover between bake and rest periods, as well as the temperature and the duration of the program.
The operating principle of a bread maker is thus actually quite simple: The motor sets the dough hook in motion to knead the dough, the heating element ensures the optimum temperature so that the dough first rises and then the bread is baked. If other dishes are to be prepared, the temperature and movement pattern of the kneading hook will be adjusted accordingly.
Which automatic baking programs are there?
As good as any today’s bread maker is equipped with a standard package of pre-installed programs, depending on the model more programs to do so. Below we list the most important baking programs and briefly point out their peculiarities (in brackets you can sometimes find the English name since not a few bread machines are labelled only in this language:
- Basic or normal program (Basic). A standardized program for baking bread made from wheat flour or a wheat-rye flour mixture;
- White bread. A long program with a duration of about 3 hours, which is specially designed for baking crispy loaves of wheat flour.
- Whole Wheat bread. A program with a prolonged third fermentation process to optimally soften the grains.
- Fast program (Quick). This baking program omits some kneading and fermentation phases to save time. The duration of the program is on average 1 hour. Some models also offer fast baking programs, especially for wholemeal bread.
- Ultra-fast. The omission of a few more phases reduces the program duration to less than one hour. It is recommended to fill the mould with lukewarm water.
- French bread (French). In this program, the walking time is extended, making a bread with a crunchy crust and a light and airy crumb succeed.
- Cake. A program for a light and fast cake dough including kneading, fermenting and baking phases.
- Gluten-free (gluten-free). With this program, the dough only has to rise once, instead of two or three times in other baking programs. The baking time is slightly extended so that the bread gets a loose crumb.
- Sweetbreads (Sweet). It’s a special, comparatively fast program for sweet yeast dough with many other ingredients.
- Individual program (Custom). A storage space for a specially composed program is useful, among other things, for experimenters and celiac sufferers, if a gluten-free program is missing.
We have listed only the most important baking programs. Some particularly versatile bread machines offer the user further programs, which often represent a combination of the mentioned basic programs.
What other programs does a bread maker have?
Every bread maker is a versatile kitchen appliance that can do much more than just bake delicious bread. Depending on the version, such additional programs are installed:
- Dough. A program only for the production of dough, which is composed of several kneading and walking phases.
- Pasta dough (pasta). A practical extra program for pasta doughs, also from wholegrain flour. Some bread makers even offer extra programs for gluten-free pasta dough.
- Pizza dough (pizza). This program is preinstalled on many models and represents the easy way to touch homemade pizza dough.
- Just bake. In addition to being able to make a dough, quite a few bread makers offer an opportunity to bake bread or cake from a pre-made dough.
- Baking. If a bread in the first attempt failed and the crumb still too moist, can be improved with this gentle program, the baking result.
- Jam or jam. Today, any bread maker can also be used to cook a jam, including one with a reduced sugar content. Some high-end devices even have two separate jam programs, including a quick program. In any case, we recommend buying a second baking dish for jams!
- Yoghurt. As a yoghurt maker, not a few bread makers can also be used today. For this purpose, a special container is usually included.
- Rice and risotto. These automatic programs are reserved for high-end devices only. Experience has shown that succeed in a bread maker these dishes quite well.
Thus, it is obvious that a bread maker can replace several other kitchen appliances, including in part an electric oven.
With which features is a baking machine equipped?
In order to increase the ease of use, the manufacturers equip the bread makers with more and more innovative functions and features. At STERN.de we inform you about the most important ones:
- Viewing window: More and more models have a viewing window made of a heat-resistant glass. Through a viewing window, the processes in the oven can be watched closely without lifting the lid. By lifting the lid, cool air enters the interior of the small oven and the dough may sink in.
- Interior lighting: Not all baking machines are equipped with this feature, although a light source in the oven is very helpful. Tip: If your model does not have lighting, it pays to place the bread maker directly under a light source.
- Illuminated display: This feature, too, is as simple as possible to control, because a display illuminated with LED lighting elements makes it particularly easy to read all the information.
- Ingredient dispenser: This extremely practical feature is reserved for the upper and upper-middle class bread makers. An ingredient dispenser is intended for such ingredients as raisins or nuts, which must be filled not just at the beginning of the process, but just before baking. The bread maker will be fully stocked, the ingredients box will open at the appointed time – the user may devote himself to other activities. Note: If an ingredient box is missing, the bread machine informs you by an acoustic signal about the right time to fill ingredients.
- Yeast Dispensing Box: This feature is only found on some selected models. The dry yeast is poured into a separate box and precisely metered thanks to a dispenser.
- Timer: With a timer all bread makers are equipped, which we present to you on STERN.de. This feature is already part of the standard package. On the one hand, a timer shows the remaining time until the end of the program and also has the start time delay function. For most bread machines, the start time can be set between 13 and 15 hours in advance. This way, for example, a freshly baked bread can be “ordered” just in time for breakfast.
- Warming function: Every bread maker today has this useful feature. The finished bread is kept warm for up to 60 minutes and retains its delicious aroma. Note: It is recommended, however, immediately after the end of the baking process to lift the lid of the bread machine and to get the bread out of the mould as soon as possible.
- Adjustment of browning level and bread size: The vast majority of bread makers allow the user to choose between two or three loaf sizes and between three browning levels. The possible bread weights are often between 500 g and 1400 g, so the bread can also be baked for a relatively small need. The choice of the degree of browning depends on the one hand on the individual taste and on the other hand on the type of bread.
- Two dough hooks: Some selected models are equipped with two dough hooks instead of one for a more even kneading result. This feature is indeed reasonable, but basically dispensable. Not a few high-end bread makers use only a dough hook and nevertheless achieve excellent baking results.
- Measuring cup, measuring spoon and tool for removing the kneading hook: This accessory is included with every bread maker today. We point out at this point that the dough hook is not necessary to remove before baking, the decision is up to anyone.
For which group of users is a bread maker designed?
In recent years, the bread makers are gaining more and more popularity. This is by no means surprising because these kitchen utensils offer all hobby bakers a conceivably uncomplicated solution: A fresh, aromatic and tasty loaf of bread almost comes about by itself. Just fill in the ingredients, press a few keys and exercise a bit of patience. After one to three hours the bread is ready. The result is convincing, the effort required is minimal and the financial investment is usually limited. Thus, a bread maker is aimed at a very wide consumer group, in short, to all those who want to bake themselves every now and then or every day.
Since many models are also suitable for jam or to prepare rice dishes and yoghurt, this kitchen appliance proves to be a real all-rounder and is generally to recommend to all who love to cook. For experimenters, who are enthusiastic about trying new recipes and also want to test their own bread creations, a bread maker is also the right idea. Even with the bread machines, which are equipped with only a standard package of baking programs, there is still enough room for your own creativity.
Last but not least, those household appliances also benefit those who attach great importance to the impeccable quality of the ingredients and only want the best in their bread or cake. Thanks to a bread maker, 100% safety is guaranteed in this regard. A consumer group that shows a very special interest in bread makers are allergy and celiac sufferers. People with food allergies feel safe when they are allowed to select all ingredients for the bread or cake themselves. Consumers with a gluten intolerance often have difficulty getting the right bread. Thanks to a bread maker, the problem is solved, it is sufficient to order a gluten-free flour.
Bread maker: plus and minus points
What are the strengths of a bread machine? What are the disadvantages of these devices? STERN.de informs:
- Freshly baked bread on time at the desired time
- Now the best, specially selected ingredients
- Large selection of recipes
- Ideal for allergy sufferers and celiac sufferers
- Easy to handle
- Only one loaf form possible, namely a box bread
- Takes up a lot of space in the kitchen
- It takes at least 1 hour to bake the bread
FAQ about Bread Maker
As a rule, a bread maker can be intuitively controlled and does not require any special knowledge or skills. There are, however, a few questions that are asked again and again in relation to these kitchen appliances. Here are our tips for making the most of a bread maker:
- What’s better, a baking mix or baking by recipe? A baking mixture makes the bread preparation even easier since the packaging already contains all the ingredients in the right amount. In most cases, it is enough to add the water and start the appropriate program. However, quite a few users fear that a bakery mix, contrary to the product specification, could contain preservatives or other unwanted admixtures. In addition, baking by recipe or even to your own taste leaves you more freedom for the realization of new ideas.
- Should fresh or dry yeast be used in baking? Most recipes are designed for dry yeast.
- What should be considered in the fast program? In general, it helps to fill a 30 ° C warm water to accelerate the fermentation process.
- Is there a specific order when filling the baking pan? We recommend adding the water first, then the flour and, last but not least, the yeast. As a result, the dough is not too early and not too strong.
- Why does the bread collapse, creating a deep dent on the surface? This may be related to the fact that a wrong program was selected and a shorter program would have been more correct. Another possible reason is the opening of the lid during the baking process or during the rising phase. Also, filling the baking pan with warm water can have a negative effect on the baking result.
- Why does the dough rise too much or do not open at all? The cause of these two errors is firstly a wrong dosage with too much or too little yeast and secondly the wrong choice of program.
- How to properly maintain the bread maker? When it comes to care, only a few aspects have to be considered. So that the dough hook is not baked at some point and does not turn any more, it is recommended to grease this accessory after each baking process with some vegetable oil. The baking tin should be washed without detergent and as gently as possible so as not to damage the non-stick coating. We would advise against cleaning the baking pan in the dishwasher.
Buying guide – how to find your desired model
At STERN.de we inform you about the most popular bread machines. But which bread maker is the best? Our guide leads you to the right product:
- First, think about how much you need for freshly baked bread is. For smaller households, a device is recommended, with which even a 500 g loaf to bake. For a high demand or if you like to bake in stock, bread ovens with the maximum bread size of 1,250 g and more are the right solution.
- Do you always try out new recipe ideas or do you prefer classics? If the first statement applies to you, then you need a device with the widest possible range of functions. Otherwise, you can save your wallet and opt for a bread maker with a standard selection of classic baking programs.
- Would you like to use this kitchen appliance only for baking bread or do you need an all-rounder? If you are primarily or even exclusively baking bread, then a versatile high-end bread baker is not necessarily worth it.
- Do you suffer from gluten intolerance? In this case, pay particular attention to whether an appropriate program is on board.
- Do you love comfort, even in kitchen work? Then such features as interior lighting, dispensers, viewing windows and timers are particularly important for your purchase decision.
It does not necessarily have to be the most expensive device on the market that suits you the most. Sometimes it is even recommended to start your hobby bakery with a simple entry-level model. Even the cheap bread machines deliver – with very few exceptions – convincing results!