There isn’t much that is more comforting that entering a home that smells like freshly baked bread, except, perhaps, eating said bread while still warm. Most of us wish we could do more home cooking for our families, but for many of us, it isn’t really feasible. Between work, kids, and other life responsibilities, who has the time to make bread at home from scratch?
Home-baked bread is usually a pretty laborious and time-consuming process. You have to make dough, knead it, wait for it to rise, sometimes knead it again, maybe another rise, and then you have to bake it. This can literally take hours with some types of bread. But this does not mean that home-baked bread is out of your reach, even if you are super busy.
Bread machines give even the busiest of us the ability to have fresh, home-baked bread, with minimal effort. Depending on the type of machine you get, you have the ability to make a wide variety of different types of bread, including specialty breads, with just a few button presses. Many high-quality bread machines will even let you prep bread ahead of time and set a timer for when you want the bread making process to begin.
These convenience and time-saving options give us the ability to put freshly baked bread on our tables with any meal, without a ton of hassle or cost. With a quality bread machine, there is almost no limit to the amount of creativity you can put into your creations, and how much joy wholesome, homemade food can bring to your family.
Things to consider when buying a bread machine
Though cost is, of course, one of the most important factors when choosing the right bread machine for you, it is not the only one, and we will discuss price in detail in the section below. What follows are the main things you will want to consider when choosing the best machine for your needs.
First and foremost, you want to consider what you want to use the bread machine for. If you want a machine that can make anything from bagels to gluten-free bread, you are going to want something a bit more than a basic bread machine. If all you want is to be able to make basic breads like French, wheat, Italian, etc., a basic bread machine will give you the functionality you need.
You will also want to consider the noise of the machine. Some machines are actually quite loud while they are in operation, and this could be an issue if, say, you preprogram the machine to have bread ready for breakfast. Nobody wants to be woken from their slumber by the bread machine making a racket in the middle of the night. Look for a machine that specifies quiet operations if you want to use the machine during off hours, or if noise level is an issue.
How much does a bread machine cost?
This seems like it would be an easy question to answer, but it isn’t once you consider what we described above. Bread machines come in a range of sizes and have different levels of customization and functionality. Some machines have more settings than others; some can make a wider variety of breads and doughs; some will have more convenience features than others. All of these things will affect the end price of the machine.
You should have realistic expectations though. If you want a basic, quality bread machine that can make a range of basic, common types of bread, you can find a great machine for less than $100. If you want something that can make a variety of specialty breads, or a machine that allows for enhanced personalization of your culinary creations, you are going to have to spend more than you would for a basic model.
If you go by actual price ranges, you typically see bread machines ranging in price from $50-$250. This is a pretty wide range, but some of the more high-end or heavy-duty specialty machines will cost quite a bit more than a standard, basic model. You pay for any extras and bells and whistles you want on the machine. Be prepared to spend more if you want to be able to make pasta dough, gluten free bread, or other specialty products.
Homemade bread and sit-down family dinners do not have to be out of reach of even the busiest of families. With a quality bread machine, you can have hot, fresh bread waiting on the table for dinner, even if you were at work all day. A lot of bread machines allow you to “set it and forget it,” meaning that you add the ingredients to the machine, select the type of bread you want to bake, select the time you want the baking process to start, and that’s all you need to do. At the desired time, you will be greeted with the wonderful smells of a freshly baked loaf.
Bread machines come with a variety of different features and options. There are basic models that allow beginners to bake the most common types of breads, but these may not have all the convenience features of some of the more high-end models. Higher-end machines can be used for a variety of different recipes, including specialty breads and breads for people on restrictive diets, such as a high-protein or gluten-free diet.
Depending on the type of machine you choose, the price will range from around $50-250, depending on what functionality is most important to you, what options you need, and how much you have to spend. Even a basic bread machine will give busy families the ability to have fresh bread, whenever they want, with the added perk that homemade bread actually costs a fraction of what store-made breads cost. This means your family gets more wholesome food while also saving on food costs.