While making bread can be a time-consuming process, it's also pretty simple if you have a bread maker, otherwise known as a bread machine. The Cuisinart Compact Automatic Bread Machine is a fabulous option that can efficiently produce loaves of all kinds, from white to gluten-free, in three sizes while also being super easy to use. It's made by a trusted brand in kitchenware and comes with a lot of useful features.
Best Overall: Cuisinart Compact Automatic Bread Machine
Cuisinart Compact Automatic Bread Machine
Quick and easy bread
Made by a trusted brand in the world of kitchen supplies, cookware, and small appliances, this Cuisinart bread machine has 12 preprogrammed menu options for making many different types of bread as well as pizza dough and cakes. You'll be able to select from three crust shades: light, medium, and dark. The device can accommodate a single loaf weighing 1, 1.5, or 2 pounds.
Measuring 10.25-by-13. 25-by-11.25 inches and weighing 10.8 pounds, this space-saving vertical baking pan is ideal for small kitchens. The machine comes with a removable kneading paddle and bread pan, along with a viewing window on the lid and interior light so you can keep an eye on the bread's progress. The LED display shows a countdown timer, the current cycle, and selected options. It will also beep when it's time to remove the paddle and provide additional audible tones to advise when it's time to add mix-ins like fruits or nuts. When the device beeps 10 times in succession, the bake cycle is done.
The machine adds some useful features like a 13-hour delay start so you can add ingredients at night and have fresh toast with jam for breakfast. It also has a 60-minute keep-warm function, ensuring that the bread will still have that fresh-out-of-the-oven smell and temperature for an hour after it's done baking.
This Cuisinart machine, as you can see, is packed full of features and is a great size. However, we thought it was a shame that it only allows you to make a couple of bread sizes.
Best Value: AmazonBasics Bread Making Machine
AmazonBasics Bread Making Machine
Don't break the bank
The AmazonBasics bread making machine has 14 settings for bread and doughs of all kinds including sourdough, rye, and soda bread, as well as gluten-free options. It also offers your choice of light, medium, or dark crust. Intuitive buttons and an LCD give you control of your baking as the machine automatically mixes and kneads the bread and gives it room to rise.
An ExpressBake setting is great for when you're in a rush, making up a 2-pound loaf in under 90 minutes. Measuring 11.7-by-5.6-by-11.5 inches, it's also pretty compact. The price is right for someone just looking to experiment with bread making.
Best Professional Grade: KBS Pro Bread Machine
KBS Pro Bread Machine
Plenty of options
If you're serious about baking, the KBS Pro has the most customized programs of all of the machines on this list. The 17 options include everything from whole wheat bread to cake, while also providing light, medium, and dark crust settings. A detachable fruit and nut dispenser will release those ingredients automatically when they're needed, saving you even more time.
Make 1, 1.5, or 2-pound loaves in the non-stick ceramic pan that provides a food-grade environment for bread to bake evenly. The 710-watt high torque copper motor provides strong dough kneading. The stainless-steel exterior is complemented by a tempered glass cover, giving it a professional look as well.
Use the touch panel to operate it, taking advantage of features like a 15-hour timer or one-hour automatic keep-warm function. It even has a clever 15-minute power interruption recovery so it won't ruin your bread if you lose power momentarily. An interior light lets you see inside. At 13.7-by-8.6-by-11.8 inches and 14.7 pounds, it's one of the bigger models on this list but it's worth the investment for devoted bakers with large kitchens.
Best Design: Pohl Schmitt Bread Machine
Pohl Schmitt Bread Machine
Sleek and chic
Make an impression in your kitchen with this sleek machine that employs a rounded-edge design and comes in stainless steel and black. It has a digital display with a delay timer to add ingredients, choose the cycle, crust and loaf type, and size. The non-stick removable interior also makes it easy to clean.
A kneading paddle and fruit and nut dispenser are included and the device beeps to remind you when it's time to add any final ingredient. A viewing window lets you see what's going on inside.
The machine measures approximately 13-by-10.5-by-8 inches and makes bread in 1, 1.4, or 2.2-pound sizes. It has 14 settings for options including whole grain and French bread plus light, medium, or dark crusts.
Best for Quick Meals: Oster Bread Maker
Oster Bread Maker
Bread in under an hour
Sometimes what you need is bread right away. Like, now. And this machine can provide that with its Expressbake setting that can output a completely baked, tasty, warm, and comforting loaf of bread in under an hour.
With 650 watts of power, it can make loaves up to 2 pounds in size and of 12 different types with the usual three crust settings (light, medium, dark). It comes with a measuring cup, spoon, and kneading paddle and signals when it's time to add mix-ins, like nuts or fruits. There's also a 13-hour programmable baking time so you can set it to bake overnight and wake up to the smell of fresh bread in the morning. There's also a warm setting in case you decide to sleep in, or you're running late getting home from the office.
Control the bake using the large LCD and intuitive buttons and set the machine up anywhere thanks to the extra-long 40-inch cord length. The pretty compact 12-by-11-11 inches in size, 8-pound weight, and white/ivory finish, making it stand out among the others.
Best for Large Families: Hamilton Beach HomeBaker Digital Bread Maker
Hamilton Beach HomeBaker Digital Bread Maker
Feed the troops
From a trusted brand in kitchen appliances and kitchenware, this bread maker only bakes 1.5 or 2-pound loaves of bread. It has 12 settings, including gluten-free options, and the typical light, medium, and dark crust options. Once you add the ingredients and select the cycle using the large digital display, you can just listen for the audible reminder when it's time to add mix-ins. There's also a delay timer if you want to have the bread ready for breakfast.
The HomeBaker includes a non-stick pan that's removable and dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning, plus two kneading paddles so you can use one while the other is being washed. Other small but appreciated details include the cool-touch body and non-slip feet. It also includes a recipe booklet to provide you with some inspiration. It measures 10.43-by-14.13-by-12.2 inches and weighs 11.8 pounds, making it on the bigger side.
All of the bread machines listed here work in similar ways, offering customized settings for numerous types of breads. They all offer the option to perfectly brown the crust to meet your preference. Beyond that, the appeal may be based on your space limitations, price point, and household size.
You can't go wrong with the Cuisinart Compact Automatic Bread Machine. It has a decent number of pre-programmed menu options, making bread loaves in three sizes. It also has a delay start mode if you want to have bread ready for the morning or for when you get home from work, and a keep warm option if you don't get to it in time.
The vertical baking pan and compact design is something anyone can appreciate, regardless of how big their kitchen is. This is a good, middle-of-the-road bread machine that will appeal to singles, couples, and large families, alike.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Christine Persaud resides in Toronto with her husband and 8-year-old son. While she admittedly still buys store-bought bread, she also makes her own from time to time. An avid baker of everything sweet and savory, she's equally passionate about tech, TV, and wine, usually indulging in all of them at the same time.
Christine Persaud is a freelance writer for Android Central who has been writing about tech since long before the smartphone was even a "thing." When she isn't writing, she's probably working on her latest fitness program, binging a new (or old) TV series, tinkering with tech gadgets, or spending time with her school-aged son. A self-professed TV nerd, lover of red wine, and passionate cook, she's immersed in tech in every facet of her life. Follow her at @christineTechCA.
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