The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Help in selecting a bread making machine

jjwilliams's picture

Help in selecting a bread making machine

BGM's picture

Are you putting us on?  You don't need a bread machine!  Get a good Kitchen Aid mixer with the spiral dough hook and follow some of these Fresh Loaf recipes and directions.

mini_maggie's picture

Why would the OP be putting you on?  It's in the bread machine section of the forum. 

Not everyone has the free time to make bread with a mixer, no matter how much they might like to.  But they might have 10 mins to throw stuff in a machine before bed and wake up to bread.  It may not be perfect or as good as artisan sourdough, but it's better than mass-produced garbage :-)  

I'd answer their question if I could but I'm not familiar with any of those machines.

Antilope's picture

will make a good loaf of bread. They all will use about 3 or 4 cups of flour and make a 1 1/2 or 2 lb loaf of bread.

They all have extra features to just make kneaded dough you can bake in the oven. I found that as I used my bread machine more and more, I branched out to making different bread, just using the machine for kneading and then forming different shaped loaves, rolls, bagels or pretzels to bake in the regular oven.

If you haven't used a bread machine before, you can't just drop in the ingredients and walk away. If you do, chances are the dough may be too dry or too wet and it won't make a good loaf of bread.

After you add the ingredients to the bread machine, monitor the mixing for a minute or two. When the dough comes together, you want the mixing dough to resemble uncooked canned biscuit dough. Not too dry and crumbly and not too wet and gooey. Add a little more flour or water, a tablespoon at a time, as required, to make a smooth ball of dough that holds its shape, and make sure the mixing dough is not crumbly or gooey. Once you do that, it should make a good loaf of bread.

Here's a link to a YouTube video showing kneading bread dough with a proper consistency: (the dough in the video also has some seeds or golden raisins in it.)

MonkeyDaddy's picture

my first breadmaker was the DAK Turbo IV that I got from the DAK catalog about 20 years ago.  Love using it because the lid is a clear glass dome that you can see everything through.  One of the love/hate things about it is the cylindrical pan:  It makes weird shaped loaves, but because of the vertical nature of the loaf you can make loaves of various sizes.  That went really well with the bread machine cookbooks by Donna Rathmell German where she gives three ingredient lists for every recipe.  She wrote them that way to accommodate the capacities of the various machines on the market back then, but I loved using smaller or larger recipes depending on my needs.

I've been wanting to get one of the new Zojirushi Virtuoso machines, but since it's a horizontal rectangular loaf I'm wondering if I can use the same trick...    Does anybody have one of those machines, and if so do you know if you can alter the amount of ingredients you put in, or are you locked in to a certain loaf weight all the time?

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Before I buy anything that I might be disappointed in, or annoyed by, I type the name of the product add a space and then "pdf" in google to pull up the instructions that come with the product. 

Then I can a see if the use and care are consistent with my expectations before I buy it.  I do not know the answer to your question, but know the manual has a home made option lets you select lots of variables. One of which may be baking time which should then allow you to make smaller loaves if there is not a direct option for this. 

By the way, I had the same bread maker. Round cylindrical loaves made poor sandwiches but tearing into a giant bread and slathering it with butter was never a disappointment!

mini_maggie's picture

I have the Zo mini (BB-HAC10) which is a 1 lb machine but handles most 1.5 lb recipes with some whole grain, perfect for just my husband and I.  The Virtuoso is a 2 lb machine, but when I was researching found that you can bake 1 lb loaves, but reviews for smaller loaves weren't great - often ended up lopsided if baked in the machine depending on which paddle the dough ended up around. 

I have to say the Zo mini makes the best crust of any bread machine I've ever encountered - honestly just like from the oven except for the paddle hole. Highly recommended if it's big enough for your needs.

Falcon's picture

My daughter bought me the Russell Hobbs machine and I love it. I had a cookworks machine and hated it. I had it for years and it really put me off bread machines. I never made an edible loaf of bread in the cookworks machine. I then decided to try again with a bread machine and so when Tori asked me what I wanted for Mothers Day I took the opportunity to replace the cookworks with the Russell Hobbs. It is decently priced. Not cheap but not too expensive. I think it was around 50 pounds. But well worth it. I like the face it also has to 2 to 2 1/2 kg loaves sizes. I am struggling at the moment with the tops of my bread collapsing but I think that has more to do with the yeast and flour and not the machine. I can not comment on the other machines. Stay away from the cookworks machine unless you just want to make dough in it.

Hope this helps a little


Breadmakerr's picture

Hi jjwilliams,

There's a lot bread machine out there, but we need to choose what's best for us. Some features you need to consider are : the amount of bread you want to make; is it user-friendly machine (detailed guide, easy to use, cool touch)? the warranty service is good enough or not? the variety of loaf sizes; is it your budget machine? .... (you can see more tips on

With my experience, I think Russell Hobbs is good for your first time baking experiences. It's small, easy to use and relatively cheap with almost full of functions.

Hope this help :) Good luck

willyates57's picture

I would recommend one of the ones on this site, like the Panasonic SD-YD250. I have used this author's recommendations on many other things that I have bought and loved having.