Bread - it’s a little bit good, isn’t it? Baguettes, ciabatta, tiger loaves, sourdough… no matter what type, it’s all tasty. Sure, you can buy perfectly decent bread, but if you really want to take it to the next level, you’ve got to make it yourself. Baking bread from scratch may seem daunting, but with the help of a breadmaker, it’s actually rather easy! They take a lot of the hard work out of baking, meaning you just have to load the machine up with ingredients and hit go! The hardest part is waiting patiently - after a few hours you’ll have a delicious loaf of fresh bread!
Today we’re taking a look at several of the different breadmakers on the market, to give you all the info you knead to know!
Panasonic are actually the first people to release a home bread making machine - back in 1986. So let’s start with one of their newer offerings - the SD-ZX2522 is a very impressive breadmaker, with the ability to bake loaves up to 1kg in weight - which is a lot of bread!
It also has 37 different programs - significantly more than all the others in this article. These programs cover not only bread, but also other dough-based products such as pizza or pasta. A 13-hour delay means that you can prep the dough the night before, and you will have freshly cooked bread in the morning in time for breakfast!
It doesn’t just delay - it also speeds up. The SD-ZX2522 has a special ‘fast bake’ setting that can create a loaf from scratch in just 3 hours, which is perfect for a sudden change of dinner plans!
However all these extras come at a cost - the SD-ZX2522 is by far the most expensive breadmaker in our list. Coming in at over £200, it is a sizable investment - this is for those who are serious about making bread everyday. Also, while it’s a small thing, the breadmaker doesn’t come with a viewing window. This means there is no way to check on the bread as it bakes - meaning if you make an error, you won’t know until it’s too late to rectify. Still, for sheer power the SD-ZX2522 has a lot to recommend it!
If you’re in the market for something a little less expensive - but still extremely good - the Morphy Richards Homebake breadmaker is an excellent option. The size of the loaves it can produce is comparable to the Panasonic - 900g vs 1kg - and it has similar fast bake and delay features.
However it lacks some of the advanced bells and whistles that the more expensive models do - it only has 14 programs for different kinds of bread and lacks a ‘keep warm’ function found on the Panasonic & Kenwood models.
These limitations don’t stop it from being an excellent breadmaker though: and it even comes with a viewing window, so you can check up on your bread while it bakes. This is something even more expensive model is missing.
The price is the main draw however - at over half the cost of the SD-ZX2522 it is a very tempting bargain. It will still make excellent bread, you just might have to experiment manually to make up some of the more esoteric creations that the expensive models can bake.
Let’s look at another mid-range breadmaker - Kenwood have produced the BM450, which has much the same as the other breadmakers. It only has 15 programs, but it has a 1kg capacity for loaves, a keep warm function and a delayed start timer.
Sadly it doesn’t have a viewing window, but it has a special hopper for holding ingredients - which gradually adds nuts and seeds to the dough as it is kneaded, allowing for an even distribution throughout the dough.
The Kenwood is slightly more expensive than the Morphy Richards Homebake, but has several more features to make up for the larger price. It also has a pleasing design to it - whereas the other breadmakers on this list are… utilitarian at best, the Kenwood will look nice on your kitchen worksurface while it quietly works away to make you bread!
Finally, let’s take a look at an excellent budget option - after all not everyone wants to spend hundreds of pounds for a breadmaker, especially if you’re not going to use it very often.
The Morphy Richards Fastbake may be the cheapest breadmaker on our list, but it doesn’t lack for quality: it has a 900g capacity, 12 cooking programs, a quick bake option and a keep warm function. Unfortunately it doesn’t have an ingredients hopper for adding seeds and nuts, but it does have a viewing window so you can watch the bread while it bakes.
More importantly, it’s a fraction of the cost of the more expensive models - over 1/4 the cost of the Panasonic SD-ZX2522. That means it’s well within the price range of starting bakers or people curious to try their hand at baking baguettes - and you’ll be able to make some really delicious bread with it! You do lose a few extras, but in the end good bread depends on the care and ingredients you put into it, and the Fastbake will easily allow you to create delicious bread every morning!