The Best Bread Machine

Updated on 31 January 2023

After 17 hours of research, analysing 33 bread machine and testing 6 of them, we have concluded that the Panasonic SD-B2510WXE stands out for its excellent value for money.

This comparison is certified 100% impartial and follows our selection process.

Our choice, Best mid-range

Panasonic SD-B2510WXE

This model is the quietest and has the most programmes in this selection. Furthermore, although it does not have a window, it is very practical to use.

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Panasonic SD-B2510WXE

Able to bake 640g, 800g and 1kg loaves, this model was effective at baking grey and white loaves of bread when we tested it. Although it is far from being fast, it has several quick programmes to compensate for this weakness. Moreover, the delayed end-to-finish baking when you need it worked well. It has overall 21 different programmes (4 gluten-free, raisin bread, pizza dough, cakes, compote or simple baking). But the strength that really makes it stand out from the competition is its quietness. However, we were disappointed with the colour of its crust, which only browns slightly, despite the use of the third and last browning level. And if you are looking for a model with a dispenser, its sibling is the machine for you.

 

 

Best budget

Tristar BM-4586

This machine is a good budget choice with 19 programmes (including one for gluten-free bread) for a reasonable price. It stands out for its ease of use and cleaning.

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Tristar BM-4586

This model, suitable for 500g, 750g and 1kg loaves, has 19 programmes, including a quick one and a gluten-free one. Among its strengths, we note the option of cooking rice (less often available on this kind of machine), its timer and its keep-warm functionality. When we tested this machine, these two functionalities turned out to be effective. Furthermore, it is not too bulky and can be placed on a work surface under a cabinet, provided you push the lid down a little. We also like the fact that we can check the baking through the window. However, note that the vessel is higher than it is wide (making less traditional bread), and that, as with many models, the browning of the crust could be darker.

 

Best high-end

Moulinex OW610110

Able to bake loaves up to 1,5kg, it is the largest bread machine in this review. It is also the most powerful, offering the best browning of the crust.

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Moulinex OW610110

The Moulinex OW610110, which can bake 750g, 1kg or 1,5kg loaves, stands out from the competition with its 16 programmes (baguettes, brioches, gluten-free bread, pasta, jam, etc.) and its accessory for baking baguettes. When we tested it, it respected the preparation time indicated, as all the other machines tested. In addition, with its 1650 W (1000 W more than some other models), it is the only one that lived up to our expectations regarding the level of browning of the crust (on 3 different levels). It also has a delayed start of up to 15 hours which worked well. Despite this, we should point out that this was the most complex to unmould and that its design is not well suited to be placed on a work surface under cabinets because of its large lid that cannot be fully lifted.

 

Mid-range alternative

Moulinex OW220830

With 3 gluten-free programmes and other recipes, from rye bread to porridge, this model is a good compromise between efficiency, diversity and a reasonable price.

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Moulinex OW220830

When we tested it, we thought this machine was easy to use and the keep-warm functionality was very useful. We were able to bake properly a loaf of grey bread (2h45) and a loaf of white bread (3h02) of 750g each. It is also possible to bake 500g and 1kg loaves. However, as with many other machines, the 650 W power did not manage to brown the crust as we would have liked (even at the third browning level). Moreover, as there is no window, it is not possible to check the progress of the baking. Nevertheless, there were no problems at the end of the time limit (which can be delayed up to 15 hours). There are overall 17 different programmes: 9 different types of bread (2 of which are quick), leavened dough, 2 cakes, fresh pasta, porridge, cereals, jam and simple baking.

 

Our selection

Our choice, Best mid-rangeBest budgetBest high-endMid-range alternative
Panasonic SD-B2510WXE Tristar BM-4586 Moulinex OW610110 Moulinex OW220830
This model is the quietest and has the most programmes in this selection. Furthermore, although it does not have a window, it is very practical to use. This machine is a good budget choice with 19 programmes (including one for gluten-free bread) for a reasonable price. It stands out for its ease of use and cleaning. Able to bake loaves up to 1,5kg, it is the largest bread machine in this review. It is also the most powerful, offering the best browning of the crust. With 3 gluten-free programmes and other recipes, from rye bread to porridge, this model is a good compromise between efficiency, diversity and a reasonable price.
£ 308.99 on Amazon £ 76.91 on Amazon £ 203.00 on Amazon £ 162.92 on Amazon

 

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How did we do the testing?

In order to test the bread machines, we first looked at their design (look, robustness, practicality, dimensions, height when the lid is open, etc.). We then checked the number and diversity of programmes that each machine included (number of different types of bread, preparation time, presence of additional programmes such as cakes, simple baking or jam).

After that, we made sure to bake a 750g loaf of grey bread in every machine with a medium browning of the crust and a 750g loaf of white bread with the darkest browning. It quickly turned out that the machine with lower power did not manage to brown the crust as desired. Moreover, we considered the noise level and checked the delayed end and keep-warm functionalities when available. Finally, we concluded that cleaning was not a deciding characteristic between the machines, as it is better to do it by hand to ensure their durability.

 

How to choose your bread machine?

Bread machines are a real bonus in any household, especially nowadays, when people are increasingly switching to home-made products. Apart from the economic aspect, they have the benefit of allowing you adapt your loaf of bread to your tastes or health needs (salt-free, sugar-free, gluten-free, etc.). However, there are several aspects to take into consideration before buying one of these precious machines:

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  • The size of the loaf: this may sound obvious, but you still need to think about the size of the loaf you want. The proportion will depend on the type of flour, to start with, and then on the number of people. To give you an idea, in terms of slices: a 600g loaf corresponds to 12 slices. Bread machines are generally made to bake a minimum of 400g loaf and in some cases up to 1,5kg.

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  • The shape of the loaf: this can vary from one bread machine to another, as it depends on the vessel, which can be horizontal, vertical or even square in rare cases. If this is really important to you, you should choose a machine shaped as you want it. You should also pay attention to the dimensions of the machine, so that you have enough space to place or store it in the kitchen.

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  • Kneading blades: there are different types of blades, from the special blade for brioche dough to the one for pizza dough. Your choice will depend on the shape of the loaf you want. You should also check whether the blade (single or double) is removable. This type of blade is also easier to clean, especially if it has a non-stick surface, which will prevent the dough from sticking to the blade. A double blade mixes more easily in longer vessels, whereas a single blade must be in a higher than wide mould to be able to reach all the edges.

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  • Functionalities: your bread machine should have at least a dozen programmes, including white and brown bread, with a few bonuses such as gluten-free bread and brioche, or crust baking and keep-warm. Many of them include a “quick bake” functionality, but be careful, because some machines only do this for white bread. Also, be sure to check the duration of these programmes.

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  • The timer: we strongly recommend the timer and delayed start functionalities. They are very useful to have hot bread ready just in time for breakfast or when you come back home after work.

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  • The automatic dispenser: this accessory puts the ingredients (yeast, nuts, seeds, etc.) just in the right place so that they do not sink to the bottom of the loaf. It is very practical for a large number of recipes.
  • The noise: it is worth noting that a bread machine will make noise during the kneading phase, whether it is the noise of the blade inside or the vibration of the machine on the work surface. The difference in decibels between the different models is generally due to the materials used in the design of the machine itself.

 

Other bread machine we recommend

At the moment, there are no products available on the European market that we feel have the necessary qualities to be included in our main selection. We will make sure to offer you interesting alternatives as soon as we find them.

 

Other bread machines we tested

Amazon Basics BM1349DB-GS (£57.59 when published) : Despite its seemingly good characteristics, the vessel of this machine is simply not big enough. Therefore, the loaf touches the window and does not bake properly, even with a 750g loaf instead of the maximum 900g .

Russell Hobbs 18036-56 (£89.99 when published) : This machine makes a rather disturbing high-pitched noise, even if it is not very loud. On top of that, as many other models, its 660 W does not manage to brown properly the crust. Moreover, it only has 12 programmes. In short, for its price, we expected something a little better.

 

 

Translated by Laura Wautier

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