Breadmakers

Our test of 6 breadmakers found one stood out from the rest.

Loaf of bread on wooden board.

A breadmaker takes the hassle out of baking bread while giving you control over what goes into your loaf – just pop your ingredients into the pan, then set and forget.

Use our test results and buying advice to find a machine that’s the best thing since sliced bread.

We've tested 6 breadmakers.

Find a breadmaker

Why buy a breadmaker?

  • Control over ingredients: handy if you want to make breads for a certain diet, e.g. gluten free.
  • Convenience: a breadmaker handles all the mixing and kneading. Just pour in the ingredients and set the timer.
  • Secondary uses: can also knead pizza dough and bake cakes. Some machines have settings for making jam or even fermenting yoghurt.

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About our test

In our bake-off we made 2 multigrain loaves: one “from scratch” using the manufacturer’s recipe; and one from a premix. Because of the increased interest in gluten-free products, we also baked one loaf made from a wholemeal gluten-free premix.

The loaves were assessed for:

  • evenness of crust colour
  • uniformity of mixing
  • grain distribution
  • crust and crumb texture
  • air bubbles (which should be small and evenly distributed).

We also assessed how easy it was to remove the loaf from the pan, how easy the pans were to remove and replace, how intuitive the controls and labels were, and how easy the machines were to clean.

Features to look for

  • Loaf size: smaller loaves are easier to cut. Most breadmakers offer a choice of two or three sizes. Some make fairly small loaves ranging from about 450g to 900g; others make larger loaves of about 750g to 1.25kg. Supermarket loaves are about 700g.
  • Loaf shape: tall “vertical” loaves can be trickier to slice because the crust on the sides is often softer.
  • Loaf colour options: most models have light, medium and dark options for crust colour.
  • Recipe booklet: check the recipes are written for New Zealand’s market and not Australia’s. Some measures – such as tablespoons – are different, and Australian ingredients might not be available here.
  • Programmable settings: some models let you programme cycle times and baking temperatures.
  • Timer display: this indicates how many minutes are left before the bread is done. Most machines also beep five minutes before the bread is cooked.
  • Progress indicator: this display shows which stage your loaf is at. It can help you time when to add ingredients or glaze the top of the loaf.
  • Power-failure protection: this is useful if the breadmaker loses power for a short period. The machine remembers where it was and restarts from there. If the power is off for more than a few minutes during baking, it’s best to throw out your half-baked loaf and start again.

Other considerations

  • Cost: if you prefer artisan or speciality breads, you’ll save money by baking your own. However, if you buy basic white bread from the supermarket, a homemade loaf might cost more. Either way, buying ingredients in bulk helps to cut costs.
  • Size: a breadmaker can take up a lot of cupboard and/or bench space. Do you have somewhere to put it?

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