Are Bread Makers Worth It? Are they Any Good?
Question: Are bread makers worth it? Read on to find out.[toc style=”default” title=”In this Guide” heading_levels=”2,3″ show_heirarchy=”no” bullet_spacing=”yes” ordered_list=”no”]
The aroma, texture, and taste of freshly baked bread waffles slowly around the room and teases your appetite. Yes, it’s just another day at grandma’s house!
Who doesn’t like the smell of freshly baked bread? However, if you are planning to bake bread at home, you may be wondering whether you need a bread maker.
There are many types of breadmakers on the market. To determine whether it’s worth it buying a bread maker, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is homemade bread healthier?
- Is it cheaper to bake bread at home than buy at a store?
- Will a bread maker increase your energy bills significantly?
- Are bread makers just over-hyped?
Read on for the answers to these questions.
How Do Bread Makers Work?
Bread makers (or “breadmakers”) take about three hours to bake white bread and about four hours to bake wholemeal bread.
Baking using breadmakers is easy; you simply need to add the ingredients of your goods in the machine. You can add pre-mixed bread mix or measure out the ingredients yourself.
After adding the ingredients, the machine will knead and prove the loaf before baking it. From bread machine reviews, you’ll learn that bread makers take about 3 hours to make a loaf.
Most homemade bread are squarer in shape because of the shape of the bread pan used. On weight, majority of the breads weigh 800g, which is what the average loaf sold in supermarkets weigh.
The best bread makers have a delayed timer. Therefore, you can put the ingredients in the machines and set them to be baked hours later. The delay timer feature is handy when you want to make bread overnight. Imagine waking up in the morning to the smell of freshly baked bread!
You can not only make bread with a bread maker but also dough. The kneading function can make dough for pastries, rolls, pasta, and other baked goods. Some breadmakers can also bake cake.
Most bread makers come with dozens of recipes for you to try.
How to Store Bread
When you make homemade bread, it won’t have any preservatives. However, this means it won’t last as long as the bread sold in supermarkets. Generally, the bread will dry out in about 3 days.
To ensure the bread lasts long, you should let it cool completely before storing. After that, store the bread in a bread bin or wrap it in foil.
Check out the best bins for storing bread.
If you don’t want to use a bread bin, a bread bag would be a good alternative. We recommend this reusable bread bag by Ameeze. Bread bags don’t take a lot of your kitchen counter space. Moreover, you can hang them in a food cupboard.
If you need something more permanent to place on your counter, get the Morphy Richards Bread Bin.
You can also freeze loves so that you can make them in batches and store them in a freezer.
Tips for Maintaining Your Bread Maker[alert type=”note”]Take good care of the bread pan. Never put it in a dishwasher as the non-stick surface may get damaged. To wash the bread pan, soak it in soapy water and hand-wash it.[/alert]
Some bread makers are quite large and take a big chunk of space on your kitchen counter. Therefore, before buying a bread maker, you should have an idea of where you will store it.
Breadmakers are insulated outside. However, they can get quite hot when in use, especially if they have a chrome exterior. Therefore, handle the machine carefully and keep them out of reach of small children.
Bread Maker Recipes
Bread makers come with dozens of recipes. However, you can control the recipe or ingredients, depending on what you’d like to bake.
If you want to make gluten-free bread, make sure you use the correct gluten-free flour. This is because gluten is what gives the standard bread its texture. Apart from this, you should use a bread maker with a “gluten” setting.
Here are the best bread makers for gluten bread.
Another benefit of baking your own bread is that you’ll be able to reduce the use of palm oil.
Is Baking Bread at Home Cheaper than Buying in a Store?
The answer to this question is: it depends on the type of bread you usually buy.[alert type=”note”]If you are always buying the cheapest bread on the supermarket, then it may not make sense to buy a bread maker.[/alert]
On the other hand, if you love specialty bread, a bread maker can save you some serious cash in the long run.
With that said, let’s look at some of the best bread makers on the market.
Best Top of the Range Bread Maker
The Sage Bread Maker has 13 different modes, 9 custom modes to save your favourite bake settings, a special fruit and nut dispenser, and 3 “crust colour” options.
Another bread maker we recommend is the Unold Automatic Bread Making Machine. This unit has 12 different modes as well as special modes for cakes and jams.
Best Cheap Bread Maker
If you are looking for a cheap bread maker, this Morphy Richards Bread Maker is a good option. The unit has “fast bake” setting, which can bake bread in less than 50 minutes. The bread maker also has 12 bake settings like most top rated bread makers.
Another cheap bread maker that you can go for is the Russel Hobbs 23620. This unit has a 13-hour delay timer and 12 bake settings, including gluten-free, French, whole wheat, and jam.
What is the Cost of Bread Maker Ingredients?
You can buy pre-mixed bread sachets to use for baking bread. With these sachets, you’ll only need to pop them in the bread maker and let it do the rest.
The other option is to buy raw ingredients, such as:
Other ingredients which you’ll need (you probably have them already) include sugar, salt, and butter or oil.
Factoring the cost of a bread maker (let’s say it costs £100), how long will you have to make your own bread for the bread maker to start paying off?
Well, if you buy 2 loaves for bread every week for £3 each, you will have to bake for about 17 weeks to get value out of your bread maker.
Are Bread Makers Energy Efficient?
Generally, modern bread makers are energy efficient. Some studies show that bread makers use about 0.41kWh of electricity when making a standard loaf of bread. Therefore, this means each loaf costs about 6p.
Bread Maker vs. Oven
If you already have an oven, do you need a bread maker? After all, can’t you bake bread in an oven?
While it’s true that you can bake bread in an oven, what about the work of kneading the dough?
If you want to avoid the manual work of kneading the dough, a bread maker will be a handy appliance to get. Moreover, if you struggle with getting the correct temperature for your bread in an oven, you can avoid this problem by using a bread maker.
[image of someone kneading dough]
Are Bread Makers Worth It in Terms of Cost?
Let’s look at the cost of supermarket bread as well as that of making your own bread at home. The table assumes that you purchase two loaves of bread every week (or 96 loaves a year).[table style=”stripped-dark”]
|Homemade Bread||Supermarket Bread||Bakery Bread|
|Bread Making Machine||£79.99|
|Ingredients & Yeast||£4.80 per month
£57.60 per year
|Electricity||£0.48 per month
£5.76 per year
|TOTAL||£142.36 for the first year
£63.36 per year thereafter
|£48 per year||£288 per year|
From the table above, if your bread costs anything more than £1.50 per loaf, you will enjoy significant savings in your first year if you choose to make your own bread.[alert type=”note”]If your bread costs less than £1.50 per loaf, it will take you more than a year to recoup your investment in buying a bread maker.[/alert]
Are Bread Makers Easy to Use?
Yes, bread makers are very easy to use.
Most of the machines do all the kneading and proving for you. The only thing you will have to do is to weight the ingredients and put them inside.
A bread maker makes it easy to bake your own bread. However, keep in mind that it takes about 3 hours for a loaf to be prepared. Therefore, this is not the appliance to buy if you are looking to eat a sandwich in a few minutes.
Are Bread Makers Worth It? Are Bread Makers Any Good?
If you regularly eat bread or have a large family, making bread at home using a bread maker can reduce your costs sharply. However, depending on how much bread you take, it may take up to a year to recoup the initial cost of a bread maker.
TIP: To recoup your costs faster, you can go for a used bread maker. This is also a good way of testing your bread making skills before you eventually buy a high-end machine.
If you love cooking and don’t mind kneading the dough, then baking in an oven would help you save even more than a bread machine.
Finally, if you only buy the cheapest bread in the supermarket, it wouldn’t make sense to get a bread maker.
How to Make Bread Without a Bread Maker
Using a bread maker is the easiest way to make bread at home. However, you can also make bread without a bread maker.
Here are the items you will need:
- A Dutch oven (like a cast iron pot or a Le Creuset)
- A good book as a guide
- A lame (a special razor knife)
- Two baskets for raising the loafs (bannetons)
Read our complete guide on how to make bread without a bread maker.