Breadmakers — I need your help!

Ladies, I am in desperate need of advice! I received a birthday gift from my MIL, and I would like to buy a bread maker with the gift. However, I have no clue which model to buy, how the bread will turn out, can you make whole grain bread in a bread machine?

I know some of you lovely women are bread machine enthusiasts. I would love your opinion as to what kind of bread maker you personally use, what you like or don’t like about it, and what brand you’d recommend for a bread making newbie such as myself.

Your advice is so appreciated!


10 thoughts on “Breadmakers — I need your help!

  1. You can certainly make wholegrain bread in a machine. You may have to fiddle around with the amount of gluten you add to keep it from being too dense, but it should not be a problem.

    Unfortunately I don’t have advice on which machine to buy since I make bread by hand and my sister (who makes amazing bread) just uses a bosch mixer which is useful for other things as well, but still more of a pain than a bread machine.

  2. If I were in the market for a bread machine and drawing on my past experience with one I would decided AGAINST one. I would instead purchase a good stand mixer. Here’s why:

    Eventually, you will probably only use the bread machine for mixing dough and THEN shape it by hand to bake in a traditional loaf pan. This way you have way more control over the look of the bread. This is especially true if you are making a rolled bread (cinnamon raisin loaf, for example) or dinner rolls. The resulting bread from a machine is fine. It’s just not very inspiring.

    The bread machine has a hard time thoroughly mixing whole grain bread. You’ll probably have to add a goodly amount of vital wheat gluten. This is no real problem, it’s just something that’s added to make up for an existing deficiency. One more step, KWIM?

    Whole grain bread needs to be kneaded (ha!) very very well. It’s hard to do so by hand for 100% whole grain but not hard for a 50-50 mix. Even bread machines don’t get it done quite right.

    Stand mixers aren’t cheap, though. Neither are really high end bread machines which may avoid all the ‘problems’ I’ve talked about (and sometimes have horizontal loaf pans which MAY put out a much nicer looking bread)…

    Having said all that… if you only have $150 or so, then go with a bread machine.

    (I used to actually grind our own wheat and make 100% whole wheat loafs. I quit when my oldest had to go on a low carb diet…)

    I have a recipe you might be interested in… It’s a low-knead 100% whole wheat dough. But I’m being yelled at by several children on the other side of the house. I’ll try to remember to post it on my blog b/c it’s a good one. Not hard.

  3. Oh, never mind. I strike my comment from the record. I had a sudden attack of guilt for trying to steer you away from buying a breadmaker. Just do it! You might love it.

  4. I’ve used a Sunbeam Breadmaker before…pretty happy with it. I would go with Cuisineart – it seems like the best out there…and the “double mixer” is supposed to do a better job.

    But, I LOVE every appliance I have that is made by Hamilton Beach. I don’t have their breadmaker, but I have their juicer — which juices better than my parent’s Juiceman Pro 350 — and it was half the price, like most Hamilton Beach products are….however, I think they rock.

    Best of luck in your shopping excursions!

  5. I just make my bread by hand, so I’m sorry that I can’t offer any bread machine advice. My opinion is that the machines are nice if you work or spend a lot of time outside your home, but it takes me about 3 hours from start to finish to make homemade bread without a machine or mixer and that works fine for me.

    My mom has used bread machines on and off over the years. She had a Dak which we liked, but it broke rather often.

  6. I laughed at Dawn’s comment because I almost told you the same thing, but I don’t want to tell you what to do. I’d buy a good Kitchen Aid mixer or similar stand mixer before I’d buy a bread machine. (Though admittedly I never knead with my mixer…)

    Do whatever you really want to do. If you end up regretting later, it’s only an appliance (or lack thereof).

  7. I don’t have one but have used three in my life. This one was my favorite: Panasonic SD-YD250 Automatic Bread Maker because it was simple and easy to understand. But that’s only out of three, but i also checked it out on and it has really good reviews.

    Hope it helps! love you!

  8. Reading through the comments on whether a bread maker is worth buying compared to a good mixer made me want to point one thing out.

    A mixer is better overall, but a bread machine is unbeatable for putting the ingredients in at night and waking up to fresh bread in the morning.

  9. I have had a bread machine for years. It was a highly recommended model. I never use it. I would not buy one again. I hate the way the bread comes out in a cube. I don’t like the texture. You have to be careful with the parts and not scratching the teflon, etc.

    I would say use the Kitchen-aid mixer. Yes, you won’t wake up to the smell of bread in the morning, but that would only be a short time novelty to me. And you can only really do that with bread that does not have dairy in it, as the ingredients have to sit for hours before making.

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