Best bread machines 2021 | CNN Underscored


(CNN) —  

If quarantine taught us one factor, it’s that stress baking is actual. And a bread maker is a good software for novice bakers seeking to prove nice loaves with out quite a lot of fuss.

We examined eight bread makers, ranging in value from $75 to $340, baking dozens and dozens of loaves of white, wheat and gluten-free bread. We assessed these loaves for style, texture and form, in addition to the evenness of the rise and crumb and the crispiness and coloration of crust. Ultimately, moreover packing on a number of additional kilos as our carb consumption soared, we got here up with two clear winners:


The Zojirushi House Bakery Virtuoso Plus Bread Maker delivered by far the airiest, tastiest and prettiest white, wheat and gluten-free loaves. And in contrast to each different mannequin, it makes a well-known, horizontally formed loaf. Additionally distinctive among the many fashions we examined, the Zojirushi is customizable, providing skilled bakers the power to program their very own settings. At $340, is it an funding? Sure. However coming house to recent, bakery-worthy bread after a protracted day of labor? Priceless.

Baking novices on a finances or those that have restricted counter house can’t go flawed with the Cuisinart CBK-110 Compact Computerized Bread Maker. It turned out ethereal and excessive loaves with easy domed tops and even crumbs and crusts. The general style and texture of the loaves wasn’t on par with the dearer Zojirushi Virtuoso, but it surely’s a relative discount, its compact footprint makes it small-kitchen-friendly and it was the smallest and lightest bread maker we examined, making it simple to stow away when not in use.

 Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus Bread Maker


Zojirushi House Bakery Virtuoso Plus Bread Maker


  • 10.5 inches by 18 inches by 13 inches; 24 kilos
  • 1 loaf dimension (2-pound)
  • 3 crust colours (gentle, medium and darkish)
  • 14 preprogrammed bread settings (white, entire wheat, European, multigrain, gluten-free, salt-free, sugar-free, vegan, speedy white, speedy entire wheat, dough, sourdough starter, cake and jam) and three user-programmable customized settings

“This bread is wonderful,” one among our tasters gushed as he popped — OK, shoveled — a slice of recent, heat white bread made on this Rolls-Royce of bread makers into his mouth. Then he and our different tasters went on to swiftly inhale the remainder of the loaf in aggressive food-eater time.

The Zojirushi Virtuoso Plus is pricey for certain, however on this case, you get what you pay for. Every loaf we baked turned out superbly, as if it got here straight from our favourite bakery, with a crisp, golden-brown crust; gentle, even crumb; excellent rise; ethereal, fluffy texture; and scrumptious style. Different machines could have produced a pleasant white, a good wheat or a tasty gluten-free model, however solely the Virtuoso was tops on all three.

Whereas all the opposite fashions examined function vertical pans, which make a tall, skinny loaf, the Virtuoso’s horizontal 9-inch-by-5-inch pan seems loaves like these bought in shops and bakeries. And with room for twin paddles in addition to twin heaters (one on the underside of the machine and one other within the lid), the Virtuoso combined substances and kneaded dough extra successfully and baked and browned extra evenly than the opposite machines we examined. It’s additionally quieter in operation than the competitors.

Whereas the Zojirushi solely makes 2-pound loaves (different machines we examined allow you to bake 1-, 1.5- or 2-pound loaves), it lends artistic bakers extra flexibility with three customizable “selfmade” settings. Additionally in contrast to most fashions we checked out, it stops kneading if you open the lid, which makes it simple so as to add mix-ins or scrape down the edges.

The primary downside to this stainless-steel machine? Its dimension and weight. At 10.5 inches by 18 inches by 13 inches and 24 kilos, you’ll want loads of counter house or ample space for storing to stash it. It additionally solely has a one-year guarantee (three years was the longest guarantee provided among the many machines we examined), however replacement paddles and pans are available.

Cuisinart CBK-110 Compact Automatic Bread Maker


Cuisinart CBK-110 Compact Computerized Bread Maker


  • 10.25 inches by 13.25 inches by 11.25 inches; 11 kilos
  • 3 loaf sizes (1-, 1.5- and 2-pound)
  • 3 crust colours (gentle, medium and darkish)
  • 12 preprogrammed bread settings (white, French, entire wheat, ultra-fast, candy, gluten-free, artisan dough, dough, jam, packaged combine, cake and bake)

A wonderful alternative for these with small kitchens, the CBK-110 has a smaller footprint and is lighter than most different machines we examined, making it simple to stow away if you aren’t utilizing it. Extra importantly, the bread we made with it was yummy. Our white loaf had a good, golden-brown crust, a easy domed form, a pleasant even crumb and a fluffy texture.

The wheat bread confirmed related outcomes, although we discovered it to be denser than these made utilizing the Zojirushi. The gluten-free loaf, whereas tasty with a pleasant style and crust, did collapse on us. When utilizing bread machines, it’s essential to notice that some recipe tweaks will likely be needed. In accordance with the weblog Bread Machine Diva, an excessive amount of liquid may cause bread to break down, as can an excessive amount of or too little yeast or not sufficient salt or flour. Making even the slightest changes will be the distinction between a superbly domed high and one which’s sunken in.

Throughout its combine and kneading cycles, the Cuisinart was louder than most fashions, presumably an element if you need recent bread for breakfast, as relying on how shut your bedrooms are to your kitchen, the noise may wake the home hours earlier than the alarms are set to go off. Its 4-foot wire (the longest we examined; most had been 3.3 ft) simplifies placement for a machine that’s seemingly for use after which put away, and together with the opposite Cuisinart mannequin we examined, it had the most effective guarantee at three years.

Should you’re a baking beginner in search of a machine that’s reasonably priced and compact and are prepared to experiment a bit to dial in your outcomes? What are you ready for? Order the Cuisinart CBK-110 now.

To seek out the most effective bread makers available on the market, we researched fashions that had been extremely rated by customers, high sellers at main retailers and nicely reviewed by skilled critics, finally homing in on eight fashions to place to the take a look at. For every bread maker, we made three loaves — white, wheat and gluten-free — utilizing the recipes for every supplied with the machine. If a loaf turned out severely undercooked, deflated or misshapen, we baked it once more to make sure a mismeasurement of substances wasn’t in charge.

It’s additionally a good suggestion to test the bread throughout the kneading cycle (lifting the lid is ok). Dough wanting overly moist? Add a bit extra flour to assist hold it from collapsing afterward. Does it appear too dry? Pour in a teaspoon or two of water to maintain it from ending up too dense.

We famous all the things from ease of use to variety of settings to noise ranges to counter attraction and, most significantly, the bread’s final texture and style. We used the next standards to evaluate every bread maker:


  • Baking outcomes: For every machine, we used the offered recipes to bake white, wheat and gluten-free loaves. We then evaluated every loaf’s crust, rise of the bread’s dome, crumb, general texture and taste.
  • Settings/controls: We took observe of the variety of out there bread settings, additionally known as programs (i.e., white, wheat, gluten-free, multigrain, and many others.) in addition to crust choices (equivalent to gentle, medium or darkish), loaf sizes, timers and another controls, giving extra factors for extra choices.
  • Delayed begin/auto off: All of the machines examined included delayed timers and one-hour warming options, however size of delay and performance diversified considerably between bread makers. We took observe of how every labored.
  • Included equipment: Kneading paddles got here with all of the bread makers, however some included multiple. We additionally famous different included equipment, equivalent to hook instruments to take away the paddles from the loaves, measuring cups, measuring spoons and fruit and nut dispensers.
  • Ease to wash: When testing, we assessed how simple it was to wash the bread pan, paddle and inside and out of doors of the machine.
  • Distinctive options: We took notes on any added options or settings and assessed whether or not they had been truly helpful or simply for present.


  • Total construct: We famous the standard of supplies used to make every bread maker.
  • Dimension: We measured every machine by size, width and peak, noting how a lot house every took up on the kitchen counter.
  • Weight: We weighed every bread maker, assessing whether or not it was heavy to maneuver or, conversely, appeared too light-weight to be sturdy.
  • Loaf capability: For every machine we took notes on the out there loaf capability, giving extra factors to machines with bigger loaf capabilities and a number of loaf dimension choices.
  • Design: We assessed the general design of every machine, together with whether or not the buttons/settings had been intuitive and nicely positioned, options equivalent to LED screens and viewing home windows, the way it appeared on the counter and the way nicely it will complement varied decor kinds.
  • Twine size: We measured every machine’s wire, noting whether or not it was too quick or too lengthy and if the wire might be saved away.
  • Noise degree: We famous how loud every machine was throughout the kneading stage, together with any beeps and clicking sounds made.
  • Guarantee: We appeared on the size of the guarantee for every system, including extra factors for longer warranties.

Zojirushi House Bakery Maestro Bread Maker ($325.99;

Zojirushi’s compact Maestro presents a lot of the options of the Virtuoso Plus, although it solely produces a 1-pound loaf, good for singles or {couples} however too small for households. A deal with makes it simple to maneuver from cabinet to counter, and although it lacks the twin paddles or heaters of its bigger cousin, it provides an computerized fruit and nut dispenser. Outcomes had been virtually nearly as good as with the Virtuoso, although crusts weren’t as crisp. Additionally we love that it performs a whimsical few seconds of “Oh! Susanna” when it begins and “On the Bridge of Avignon” when it’s accomplished baking.

Breadman BK1050D Bread Maker ($129.99;

Distinctive to the Breadman is a collapsible kneading paddle that’s supposed to stop a gap or indent from forming within the backside of the bread. That didn’t make a distinction throughout our testing — the paddle nonetheless bought caught within the bread with every loaf we baked. As for bread high quality, the gluten-free was our favourite behind the 2 Zojirushi fashions, with an ethereal texture, a good crumb and a crisp golden crust. The white bread was additionally fairly good; nonetheless, the wheat was dense and simply so-so. A fruit and nut dispenser additionally permits for simple mix-ins.

Oster Bread Maker With ExpressBake ($99.99;

Oster’s compact aluminum mannequin presents an specific setting that seems a recent loaf in a single hour or much less. At a mere 8 kilos, it was the lightest mannequin we examined. For consistency of testing, we used the standard settings and located the white bread turned out the most effective — it was gentle with a golden, medium-crisp crust but in addition had a reasonably large air pocket that ran the size of the loaf that left large holes in most slices. The wheat resulted in a pleasant form however was dense and dry, and the gluten-free loaf got here out fairly undercooked.

Cuisinart CBK-200 Convection Bread Maker ($159.95, initially $235;

One of many largest (and loudest) bread makers we examined, out of the field, the Cuisinart CBK-200 has a convection function that circulates air for extra even and sooner baking. This machine produced evenly risen white and wheat loaves, with good shapes and crispy, golden crusts, however the gluten-free loaf collapsed and was underbaked within the middle. At about $70 much less, we choose the compact Cuisinart.

Hamilton Seashore Bread Maker ($63.47, initially $74.99;

We weren’t capable of get good outcomes from the cheap Hamilton Seashore machine. The white loaf was OK — respectable form, but it surely lacked a golden-brown crust, was on the dense aspect and tasted fairly bland. The wheat loaf, in the meantime, got here out oddly formed and was so dense it may have doubled as a brick. The gluten-free model in some way was each dense and underbaked within the middle — we took a nibble and tossed the remaining. It’s cheap and has a small footprint, but it surely may solely be worthwhile in the event you’re on a really strict finances.

KBS Professional Bread Machine ($129.99;

The KBS has a detachable nuts and fruit dispenser that it claims makes use of good expertise to dispense your substances on the proper time, and presents a variety of programs together with rice wine and stir-fry modes. However though the bread it produced was gentle and fluffy with a fairly even crumb, the crust may have been crisper and all of the loaves we baked collapsed. One of many noisier fashions we examined, it additionally left some flour on the surface of the wheat loaf, which is simple sufficient to scrape off however ought to have been fully combined in.

Learn extra from CNN Underscored’s hands-on testing:

Free Australia Journey Information E book


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here