Once you get used to the delicious aroma of fresh-baked bread from your compact bread maker there’ll be no going back!
A fresh crusty loaf sliced and slathered with salty butter is a hard-to-resist treat. But mixing, kneading, proofing, and baking your own bread at home is not only arduous but messy too.
Buying a compact bread maker ticks all the boxes for a foodie that is looking for a hassle-free method of making fresh bread. Its compact size means that your kitchen counter won’t be overly cluttered and your loaves will be just the right size if you’re cooking for one.
If this sounds like a win-win solution for your culinary needs, read on for your buying guide for the best compact bread makers on the market.
Read our complete Guide to bread making here!
Top 5 Recommended Bread Makers
Stainless Steel Model
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It’s a good quality pizza dough maker at an affordable price with gluten free options available as well – plus it’s easy clean-up with non-stick inner pan & removable paddles. The large display makes choosing the setting and cycles, crusts and loaf size easy while the delay timer allows you to add ingredients in advance without starting baking. 1 hr Delay Timer
How much is my compact bread maker going to make for me?
Bread makers are an ingenious invention, and the ultimate hack for creating artisan loaves with little to no effort. This handy kitchen appliance handles all the stages of making a loaf of bread including:
- Mixing and kneading your wet and dry ingredients
- Allowing the yeasted dough to rise
- Proofing a loaf
- Baking to a crusty finish
Let us take the hassle out of buying a compact bread maker!
If you are anything like us, you will know that purchasing kitchen appliances like bread machines can be hit and miss. A bit of research and comparison will always pay off in choosing the best compact bread baker for your lifestyle, and we’ve put in the effort to ensure that you select only the best compact bread maker.
Not all compact bread machines are the same.
Read on for the 10 key features you need to assess to make the right choice and ensure you are getting quality and value for money, as well as some great tasting bread!
10 Things to look for when buying a compact bread maker
10. With compact bread makers, size counts
Good things do come in small packages and you want to ensure that the dimensions of your bread maker not only fit your counter space but also can make a loaf of adequate size for your household.
Compact bread makers can deliver up loaves of 1-2 pounds, or up to 1 kilogram in weight, more than enough for a family of four to enjoy.
Contemporary compact machines are typically square, keeping their footprint small at around 30 cm by 30cm.
9. How long does the compact bread maker take to make a loaf?
You should expect a compact bread maker to take anywhere between two and four hours from adding wet and dry ingredients to removing fresh bread from the pan. This will vary with the type of bread you are baking – wholemeal usually takes the longest to rise and prove and often has a specific setting on the bread maker.
If you want speedier results, look for compact bread makers which have a rapid bake setting. However, the results you get can vary massively.
Besides, you may want your bread maker to have a delayed-start timer meaning you can pop your ingredients in the night before and wake up to a fresh loaf for breakfast every day.
8.The shape of the pan will determine the shape of your loaves
Compact bread makers are capable of turning out small traditional rectangular loaves or taller loaves with a smaller base.
One of the limitations of a compact machine is that you cannot vary the shape of the loaf or make free-form, double loaves or rolls like you can with the larger models.
7. Does the kneading paddle collapse?
Yes, the kneading paddle does all the hard work that goes into making a fluffy and flavorsome loaf, but in certain bread makers, it projects into the loaf as it is baked.
This means that the paddle has to be ripped out of the cooked bread leaving an unsightly hole. It may be a tolerable defect for a compact design, but a collapsing or removable paddle will keep your loaves intact.
6. Are you looking for multiple settings on your compact bread maker?
If you are a settings and features fanatic a compact bread maker might not be the right choice for you. These bread makers tend to be one-trick ponies and turn out the right kind of recipe, with tweaks, very well. Typical settings and pre-set programs you will find on compact bread makers include:
· Knead only (great for pizza or rolls)
· Gluten-free baking
· Crustiness control
· French bread
Decent models will have an easy-to-use control panel complete with digital displays or timers that are easy to follow.
6. If you are an impatient baker, a viewing window is a great feature for your compact bread maker.
More contemporary designs feature a useful viewing window, allowing you to check on the progress of your bread without lifting the lid. For those of you who want to see how your bread maker does its thing, choose a model with a large viewing window and wait for your ideal shade of golden brown.
7. Energy consumption also counts!
When you use your compact bread maker once or even twice per day, the costs of running it can add up. Thankfully modern bread makers are usually very energy efficient. Using a bread maker should save you energy when compared to baking an equivalent loaf in a gas or electric oven.
If you get organized about using your bread maker you not only save energy but time and money too. Once you have got a staple recipe down pat, bulk buys ingredients and you will probably clock up savings on regular trips to the grocery store.
Look out for compact bread makers that deliver extra value for your dollars by including useful accessories like spare bread pans, paddles, measuring cups, and dough scrapers.
Measuring cups are of particular value as so much of making bread successfully in a bread maker depends on precision.
It is also well worth buying a model that has readily available replacement parts, which makes any repairs that become necessary quick and simple.
9. Look for a bread maker that can perform tricks too!
Householders who are adept at getting every bit of utility out of their kitchen appliances will appreciate a compact bread maker that can do a little more than just make bread.
How about using your bread maker to make some jam to spread on it too! Many compact bread makers have settings for making cakes, jam, pasta, and more.
10.Last, know what you should be paying for a decent compact bread maker.
A decent compact bread maker will cost at least 100 dollars. There are some competitively priced budget models on the market but these usually have limited functionality when compared to the market-leading models. Above the $100-mark, the features and performance generally increase with cost.
Along with your purchase, you should expect your compact bread maker to come with at least a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty inclusive of the price.