Healthy Cooking

Meet the Absolute Best Bread Machine, According to Over 12,000 Amazon Reviewers

Allie Flinn

Photo: Getty Images/mapodile
Last year, many of us began our first foray into baking bread. For some, it was a fleeting interest, like that time on Twitter when everything was cake. Because while making your own bread lets you leave out ingredients you don't want, it is a lot of work and patience. Enter: the bread machine. The right one makes baking the perfect loaf pretty much effortless. And Amazon reviewers have crowned the Hamilton Beach Bread Maker ($75) as the best bread machine.

You may be wondering, "are these things really worth having?" as one skeptical customer did. Well, the general consensus from users is, yessss. As on enthusiastic reviewer wrote: "I was asking for this for three to four years before I bit the bullet and bought this one. This machine really is excellent—and it really does do everything, save assemble the ingredients, which takes five minutes once you have a recipe you like."

Still not convinced this bread machine is worth the… ahem… dough? There are thousands of Amazon reviews singing its praises like this one: "I feel like I am dramatic by saying it changed my life, but it truly has. Adds another: "Everyone told me if I bought a bread machine I’d use it a couple times, and then it would take up counter space for a few years, before I’d finally sell it at a garage sale. So many people told me this! But guess what? They were wrong! I use this machine weekly for all of my own sandwich bread and use the dough feature frequently for other types of bread. I’m making French baguettes as I type this." French. Baguettes....

One feature that many reviewers love is that they're no longer spending precious resources (as in their time and money) on procuring specialty loaves. "It saves me hours shopping for low-salt bread—I can make a loaf in an evening (takes around three hours)," says one owner. Another, who has two children diagnosed with celiac and don't eat gluten, calls this appliance a "life-saver" because "it has performed beautifully to make affordable bread for my family."

If you're one to scoff at those who use bread machines, please turn your attention to the words of this reviewer who has been making homemade bread for more than a decade and used to feel the same: "After reading the reviews on this bread maker and the unbelievable price, I bought it. All I can say is WOW! Boy, was I ever wrong in my previous misconceptions...You add the ingredients, set the cycle, crust, weight and press the start button. Then you WALK AWAY! It does the rest. It's amazing and has changed my life."

That same reviewer adds that if you're using this bread machine and your bread doesn't turn out, be sure to follow the directions to the letter and add the wet ingredients first, followed by the dry ingredients, followed by the yeast. Many others shared their tips as well. Two bigs ones are: 1. don't mess with the machine after you've hit the start button, and 2. be sure to measure precisely.

And a couple pro tip: "The basic wholewheat recipe with this machine is really good, especially if you add some mixed sunflower/poppy/etc. seeds for texture," one reviewer recommends. Or, "if you just want a quick loaf, try Bob's Red Mill 10-Grain Bread Mix...it's tasty." And once you've got the hang of it, experiment, advises another: "I already tried cumin in one loaf with great success, and look forward to trying all kinds of nuts, seeds, and flavorings."

The sentiments of the majority of reviewers can be summed up as: "I don't think I'll ever buy store-bought again. So much healthier without preservatives. And much less expensive to make your own. I can't wait to try every bread." To which we say, retweet.

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