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Breadmakers

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Bake your own bread without the hard work.

Find out which models were our best performers; plus features to look for, bread-making tips and a recipe for a soya, linseed and wholemeal loaf.

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About our test

In our bake-off we made 2 multigrain loaves: one “from scratch” using the manufacturers’ 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.

Compare our tested breadmakers.

What we found

One breadmaker rose above the rest in our test.

Find out which is our only recommended model by becoming a Gold or Silver member.

Features to consider

Look out for these features if you're on the hunt for a breadmaker.

  • Loaf size: Smaller sizes are easier to cut. Most breadmakers offer a choice of 2 or 3 sizes. Some of the models in our test make fairly small loaves ranging from about 450g to about 900g; others make larger loaves of about 750g to 1.25kg. Supermarket loaves are around 700g.
  • Loaf shape: Vertical loaves can be trickier to slice because the crust on the sides is often softer.
  • Loaf colour options: This lets you choose your crust colour. All models in our test have light, medium and dark options.
  • Recipe booklet: Check that the recipes are written for New Zealand and not Australia. Some of our measures – such as tablespoons – are different. Ingredients can differ too. Make sure there’s a supplementary booklet with Kiwi ingredients and measurements.
  • Programmable settings: Some models let you programme cycle times and baking temperatures.
  • Timer display: This shows how many minutes are left before the bread is done. As well, most machines will beep 5 minutes before the bread is cooked.
  • Progress indicator: Some models have a display showing what stage the machine is at. This gives you an idea of when ingredients need to be added or when to glaze the top of the loaf.
  • Power-failure protection: This can be useful if you accidentally switch off the power for a short period. The breadmaker then “remembers” where it was and re-starts from there. But if the power goes off for more than a few minutes during the baking stage, it’s best to throw out the half-baked loaf and start again.
  • Extra settings: Most breadmakers don’t just bake bread. Jam, pasta dough, pizza dough and sweet bread are just some of the settings you may find.

Breadmaking tips

Baking good bread can involve trial and error because of the many variables in breadmaking. The freshness of your ingredients – along with the ambient humidity and air temperature – can make a difference.

  • Measure ingredients accurately (use scales if you have them).
  • Always use high-grade flour with a protein content of at least 11.5g of protein per 100g of flour. (You can find this information on the nutrition information panel.)
  • If you’re not using yeast with improvers (like Edmonds Surebake), add 50mg of unflavoured vitamin C or a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice.
  • You may have to adjust the quantities of flour and water on a seasonal basis. Check the dough after the first 5 minutes of kneading: it should have a smooth “satin” look and be slightly sticky. Too sticky? Add extra flour (1 tablespoon at a time). Too stiff or “tight”? Add extra water (1 tablespoon at a time).

Soya, linseed and wholemeal bread recipe

Recipe taken from More Daley Bread by George Dale (GP Publications, 1998).

Ingredients:

  • 3 teaspoons Edmonds Surebake Yeast
  • 1 cup high-grade flour
  • 1 ½ cups wholemeal flour
  • ½ cup soya flour
  • 2 tablespoons gluten flour
  • 1 ½ tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ tablespoons milk powder
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lecithin
  • 4 tablespoons linseeds
  • 1 ½ cups water

Instructions:

  • Place the ingredients in the bread pan in the order recommended in your bread maker manual.
  • Fit bread pan in machine, select the wholemeal baking option and 750g loaf size and press start.
  • Check the dough during the first kneading phase, if it looks too dry add more water one tablespoon at a time.
  • Remove bread at the end of baking and place on a rack to cool.
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