Bread is delicious. Bread you've made yourself is even better. Our best breadmaker round-up picks out the very best breadmakers available for making all kinds of loaves. Each has been fully-tested, so you can buy with confidence.
Bread was the order of the day in a recent episode of the Great British Bake Off. Paul Hollywood set a fiendish technical challenge of making baguettes.
Sadly, breadmakers aren't normally the answer for making french sticks, but they're great for creating a simple white loaf or something more adventurous.
We've picked out four of the best breadmakers, including a cheap machine that costs less then £50 and advanced machines that let you indulge in all sorts of creative bakes.
But first, what should you look for in a breadmaker? Here are a few tips to get you started.
The most important question to ask of a breadmaker is, of course, how well it bakes a loaf of bread. As you can't test this for yourself in the shop, that's where our reviews come in.
Meanwhile it's worth looking out for some key features that dictate what you can cook and how conveniently your breadmaker cooks it.
Good breadmakers start at £60-80 but you can pay double that. The best (often priciest) ones have more programs and more recipes, but mostly they just do a better job of cooking your daily bread.
Most breadmakers offer three loaf sizes, but some compact models offer only one or two. Loaf sizes are often described by how much the final loaf weighs, usually in lbs. So for example a 2lb (900g) loaf is made from just less than 600g of flour.
More options give you more flexibility. Bake a 2lb loaf for weekends and when you're expecting guests, a 1lb (450g) or 1.5lb (680g) loaf in the week or if you're cutting carbs.
Number of programs
Your breadmaker should have a minimum of around a dozen programs including white, brown and wholemeal loaves, with fast-bake options.
If you, a friend or family member is gluten intolerant, look out for one with a special program designed to work with specialty gluten-free bread mixes.
It's well worth getting one that also has dough programs. These include everything from pizza to ciabatta, some even make croissant dough. The breadmaker does all the mixing, kneading and resting. You then hand finish and bake in the oven.
Some breadmakers also have cake and jam programs. If you've ever fancied making jam, this is a nice bonus feature.
Many breadmakers offer 'fast bake' programs but it's worth checking whether they suit your needs. For example, some just have fast recipes for white loaves – if you only eat wholemeal, this isn't much help.
Also, check how fast the programs are – some machines can make a large white in less than an hour, while others take longer.
Avoid any breadmaker that doesn't have a timer delay. These are handy for baking bread that's ready just in time for breakfast or your return from work.
You put in the ingredients, then set it to delay the start time so your loaf is ready in up to 13 hours' time.
Some higher-end breadmakers have a dispenser in the lid that drops seeds, nuts and dried fruit in at just the right time. Worth it if you love seeded loaves as other machines just beep to tell you to add ingredients manually – no use on an overnight program or if you're at work.
A few breadmakers also have a yeast dispenser in the lid. This guarantees yeast is kept completely away from water, salt and sugar until the right time, for perfect results.
And if you're interested in making bread using rye flour, look for high-end machines that have a second kneading blade designed just for rye. This lets you make loaves with up to 100% rye flour, rather than recipes with just a token amount of rye for flavour.
TrustedReviews Editor's Pick – Panasonic SD-ZB2502BXC – A great breadmaker with seed dispenser, yeast dispenser and rye kneading blade
Best-looking Breadmaker – Cuisinart CBK250U Automatic Breadmaker – A stylish brushed metal machine that makes huge 700g loaves – it also features a useful seed dispenser
Best Breadmaker Under £100 – Kenwood Bread Maker BM260 – Effective and smart breadmaker that comes with a great and varied recipe book
Best Breadmaker Under £50 – Russell Hobbs 18036 – Affordable machine with a handy 55-minute loaf mode and timer delay