One of the biggest advantages of making bread at home is having complete control over the ingredients that hit the mixing bowl. You get to enjoy a healthy breakfast, lunch or dinner that has no preservatives or allergy-triggering ingredients.
The only tool you need in your kitchen for this? A bread maker.
Bread makers are essentially small ovens that have a bread pan and a kneading paddle at the bottom. They also feature a touch panel that allows you to set the different functions to get the bread of your liking, and the times you don’t feel like baking bread, you can try pizza dough instead. Not only are these appliances easy to use and compact, but also have advanced controls to make bread-making easy.
If you love bread or simply prefer homemade goodies over readymade ones, check out our list of the best bread makers available on the Australian market below.
Best Bread Maker Australia 2020: Our Picks
After doing extensive research and checking out several bread makers, we present our top five picks:
- Panasonic SD-2501 Bread Maker
- Breville BBM800XL Custom Loaf Bread Maker
- Zojirushi BB-PDC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus Bread Maker
- Cuisinart CBK-200 Convection Bread Maker
- Sunbeam BM4500 Bakehouse Bread Maker
How we picked
Bread is a staple for every household: you can have it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or use it to make dessert. Bread makers can be useful to ensure that your daily loaf is nutritious with limited sugar and carbs. Although we have used our personal experiences when creating this list, we’ve also evaluated third-party data.
We’ve checked sites like ProductReview.com.au, Amazon reviews and other reputable blogs and official guidelines to understand the good, the bad, and the ugly of some of these bread makers.
We haven’t mentioned products that have a significant number of negative reviews, durability issues, or lack what we consider essential features.
What to look for
Bread Size and Shape
Do you prefer your loaf to be horizontal or vertical? Would a 500 g, 750 g, or 1 kg loaf size be more suitable depending on the number of members in your family? Considering the various shapes and sizes that bread makers are available in, you need to know the answers to these questions to bake a loaf of your liking.
Many new bakers don’t realise that home-made bread needs to be consumed within two days of baking, unlike the store-bought loaves that can easily last for a week. So when determining the right size, look for a model that can make enough bread to last for two days. For example, a 1 kg loaf would suffice for a family of four.
Try to look for bread makers that have removable bread pans as it makes cleaning easier. These pans can feature either single or dual kneading blades.
As for the material, opting for aluminium bread pans will give a lighter, thinner crust. But if you prefer a darker and thicker crust, it would be better to look for pans that are made with thick cast aluminium. Even a nonstick coating is important to prevent the dough from sticking to the pan.
Availability of Replacement Parts
You might have to replace your bread machine’s bread pan, kneading blades, or other components because of wear and tear. So if you choose models that have easily replaceable parts, it’ll be more convenient for you.
Reading customer reviews can help you get a better idea about the replacement parts as well.
Speaking of customer reviews…
Reading Feedback from Previous Customers
We cannot emphasise enough the importance of reading customer reviews if you want honest opinions about the product.
The reviews give you a realistic idea about the bread machine model including its pros and cons. But it’s also true that different people have different opinions, which is why you need to use your discretion when choosing a model.
Companies have launched bread makers with various features to increase their appeal in the eyes of customers. You’ll find models offering pre-programmed bread settings, crust settings, as well as a progress indicator.
Most bread machine models let you make jam and compote using fresh ingredients too.
We’ve also included bread maker models that have an automatic fruit and nut dispenser, power failure protection, delay start, and user manual stop/pause function. These features can be great for saving time and ensuring every loaf turns out perfect.
Usually, bread makers are available anywhere between AU$100 to AU$350, but you can look for secondhand options too if you have a tight budget.
In addition to this, you also need to consider the price of the replacements. While the kneading blades are cheap, bread pans can be expensive. They are usually 30% of the price you pay for your appliance. So if you buy a bread maker that costs AU$200 dollars, you can expect its replacement bread pan to be around AU$60.
Best Bread Makers in Australia in 2020
Top Pick: Panasonic SD-2501 Bread Maker
The Panasonic SD-2501 Bread Maker is the perfect appliance when it comes to home baking. It’s easy to use with a stylish design, a patented nonstick coating, and a digital timer to make baking bread and making spreads like jam and compote super easy.
Interestingly, Panasonic was one of the first manufacturers of bread machines. The company has perfected the baking, rising, and kneading processes over the years and has incorporated them in this bread maker to ensure you get a delicious loaf on every use.
It has 11 different bread and dough modes and offers three different types of crust covers. You can use these modes to enjoy soft, fluffy bread as well as one with a little extra crunch.
The three different loaf sizes help prevent food wastage by letting you bake according to your needs. If you want to avoid gluten, this machine can make gluten-free bread, but keep in mind that the gluten-free mode isn’t compatible with the 13-hour digital timer.
We found the automatic raisin and nut dispenser feature to be useful too. Not only does it have a large capacity, but it allows you to add the ingredients at the right time so they don’t end up at the bottom. It also helps to evenly distribute the nuts across the loaf.
The machine covers all the basic bread recipes. You can bake white, wheat, French, Italian, rye, sandwich, and pizza. Along with your freshly baked bread, you can make delicious homemade fruit spreads using the Jam and Compote Mode. The additional specialty mode can be used for cooking cereals and flours like Spelt wheat.
The machine uses superior technology along with its uniquely programmed setting to bake the perfect bread. It can automatically adjust the ingredients using the ingredient dispenser to knead the dough before baking.
It has a 10-minute power interruption protection feature with self-resetting motor protector for smooth bread-making even in case of power failures.
With a 4.5 out of 5 stars rating on ProductReview.com, the Panasonic SD-2501 is loved by Aussies. Customers have praised the excellent build quality and how it consistently makes high-quality and fresh bread.
We would like to point out that this bread maker is sensitive to the ingredients you add. Due to this, you need to add precisely-measured ingredients in the right order. Otherwise, the results won’t be perfect.
Offering several useful features at a price of AU$379, the SD2501 will give you the perfect loaf that has been personalized according to your preference.
Runner Up: Breville BBM800XL Custom Loaf Bread Maker
Giving tough competition to our top pick is the Breville BBM800XL Custom Loaf Bread Maker, which is an excellent option for home bakers who enjoy making different varieties of bread.
In addition to the stylish design and the three colour options, you get 13 automatic settings, horizontal alignment and several distinguishing features.
The 13 presets include wheat, white, gluten-free, sweet, yeast-free, sweet bread, pizza dough, and dough for making pasta. There is also a jam/jelly function, three crust settings, and a timer for your convenience.
This bread-making machine offers four loaf options: half kg, 0.7 kg, 1 kg and 1.15 kgs. While you get an extra loaf option compared to the Panasonic SD-2501, the 1 kg setting doesn’t really come out well due to the larger size of the bread pan.
One of the bread maker’s best features is the collapsible kneading paddle. You can use the paddle to mix ingredients thoroughly and when done, it will collapse right before the baking cycle to reduce the size of the hole at the loaf’s bottom.
The other features include an automatic fruit and nut dispenser, a viewing window with light to keep a check on the bread-making and a wide LCD display.
There are a lot of possibilities in terms of customisation. You can use the custom settings for creating and storing your personal recipes. The appliance will automatically add the fruit or nuts when appropriate to keep it at the surface of the bread.
On the negative side, a few users on Amazon found the Breville BBM800XL Custom Loaf Bread Maker to be an excessively large appliance with a noisy operation. You need to have abundant counter space if you opt for the Breville.
Another downside is the inconsistent baking and uneven browning, which might be due to the absence of a heating element in the lid. This inconsistency is one of the primary reasons why this bread maker isn’t as good as the Panasonic SD-2501 Bread Maker. You never have to worry about ending with a bad loaf with the Panasonic if you follow the recipe carefully.
Nevertheless, at AU$300, this bread machine does offer several unique features like a fruit and nut dispenser, four loaf sizes, and a collapsible paddle that aren’t commonly found in today‘s bread makers, making it a worthy addition to our list.
Zojirushi BB-PDC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus Bread Maker
Perfect for serious baking, the Zojirushi BB-PDC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus Bread Maker is packed with several features to make the best loaves whether gluten-free, sugar-free or vegan.
Little-known Japanese export Zojirushi has actually been one of the top-selling bread machine manufacturers for several decades. As one would expect from such a reputed brand, the bread maker has an excellent durability thanks to the premium quality materials.
The Virtuoso BB-PDC20 offers a 1 kg baking setting and has a horizontal alignment with a rectangular nonstick baking pan. While the loaf size options are restricted, it makes a low, long loaf that is easier to slice and toast. Also, the stainless steel handles of the machine are great for portability.
This feature-rich appliance can be a great addition to your kitchen. It has tough dual kneading blades that can knead and pummel the densest of the doughs. The rising cycle is also higher when compared to the other models.
The stand-out feature of the Zojirushi BB-PDC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso Bread Maker though is its innovative lid design.
The lid has an in-built heating element that acts as a top browning mechanism. This helps to create a uniform browning over the entire loaf and adds an extra crunch to the crust. The lid-cum-heater also restricts any heat loss, which is a common problem with bread makers that have a large viewing window.
It has 15 pre-programmed settings that include white, homemade, jam, cake, sourdough starter, rapid whole wheat, rapid white, European, salt-free, multigrain and gluten-free. If you want to customize the settings further, you can choose among three crust shades: dark, medium, and light. There’s also the feature of delaying the baking cycle by up to 13 hours.
The bread maker has an easy-to-read LCD digital control panel for menu navigation as well as a built-in 6-minute power failure backup. The latter helps you resume baking in case of any electrical problem – provided the electricity is back within six minutes.
This machine can deliver high-quality bread that is evenly baked, uniformly browned, and well-formed. As the control panel is user-friendly, anybody can use the bread maker irrespective of their skills in the kitchen.
But there are a few cons you need to be aware of as well.
At AU$940, the Zojirushi BB-PDC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso Bread Maker doesn’t come cheap, and the fact that the bread pan and blades aren’t dishwasher-safe makes cleaning time-consuming. We also didn’t like its bulky design that takes a fair amount of space on the counter.
Cuisinart CBK-200 Convection Bread Maker
The Cuisinart CBK-200 Convection Bread Maker is a unique entry to our list as it uses a convection fan to circulate hot air inside the baking chamber.
Cuisinart claims that this hot spray of air during the baking cycle will improve the crispiness and crust colour of the bread. While the appliance does offer 16 menu programs, it doesn’t permit you to customize the cycles. This can be a disadvantage for experienced bread makers who often want to reprogram or tweak the kneading or rising cycle settings. But then again, it can be a great option for inexperienced bakers.
The menu programmes include white, French/Italian, artisan dough, rapid white, whole wheat, jam, last minute dough, gluten-free, and low carb.
The handy stop/pause button lets you pause the baking cycle for 15 minutes, and automatically resumes after the stipulated time. Keep in mind that you’ll need to press and hold the stop/pause button for three seconds if you want to stop the bread program altogether. This can come handy in case you choose the wrong loaf setting.
The Cuisinart CBK-200 Convection Bread Maker has a series of mix-in audible signals – four sets of five beeps each – to remind you to add mix-ins towards the end of the second kneading cycle. The power failure backup lets you resume the bread-making cycle for up to 15 minutes.
Although you can choose among 0.5 kg, 0.7 kg, and 1 kg loaf size options, the gluten-free and low-carb menu programs aren’t compatible with the 0.5 kg size. Similar to the above-mentioned models, you have three crust colour options: light, medium and dark.
Despite having audible signal reminders, a gluten-free option, and a sturdy build, the AU$230 Cuisinart CBK-200 does have a few cons that make it fall short to our top two picks.
Reviewers at BreadMakersGuide.com found the bread maker to be quite noisy with a faulty dark crust setting. This can turn your bread a bit too dark, making it safer to use the medium and light settings. In addition to the LCD screen being difficult to read as it isn’t backlit, the Cuisinart CBK-200 doesn’t let you customize your own bread making cycle as well.
Sunbeam BM4500 Bakehouse Bread Maker
At AU$189.00, the Sunbeam BM4500 Bakehouse Bread Maker offers a host of nifty features to make bread-making super easy and effortless irrespective of your culinary skills.
You can make three horizontal sizes of loaves ranging from 500 g, 750 g, and 1 kg. Then there is also the option of customising your baking cycle, crust and turbo settings. You can choose from white, wheat, French, gluten-free, sweet, yeast-free, rye, turbo and bake.
It has an automatic fruit and nuts dispenser that can release ingredients into the dough during the kneading cycle to save them from getting crushed and keep them at the top of the loaf.
The turbo function especially can be very useful in case of emergencies or for people with tight schedules. Once you flick on the setting, you‘ll have a delicious loaf ready for consumption in as little as 70 minutes.
The bread maker features a collapsible blade and two different dough settings: the regular dough and the artisanal dough. You can also use the warming function of the appliance to keep the bread warm for about 60 minutes.
Having said this, there are a few major red flags of this machine that make it less efficient than the Panasonic SD-2501 and the Breville BBM800XL.
Not only is the Sunbeam BM4500 Bakehouse Bread Maker very large, but at times, it can give small and dense loaves of bread that can be a bit difficult to eat. But the bigger problem is with the loose kneading blade that needs to be adjusted frequently.
The Benefits of Making Your Own Bread
While nutrition and saving money are the more obvious benefits of baking your bread, there are several other advantages that you can avail of if you decide to bring home a bread maker.
More Nutrition at a Lower Cost
Home-made bread will cost you anywhere between AU$2-AU$3. Plus as you are the one choosing the ingredients, you can increase the amount of protein and fibre in your bread.
Expert bakers claim that homemade bread tastes better in comparison to the store-bought ones. Instead of a bland, weak taste, you can enjoy a nutty, yeasty flavour that has no preservatives to go with your favourite spread.
You can enjoy your favourite loaf of bread daily by looking for bread makers that have the right settings. Some models give you the option to bake different varieties of bread such as white, gluten-free, sugar-free, rye, and multi-grain.
You can also choose between a horizontal or vertical loaf, and whether you want to add nuts and fruits during the baking process.
Baking bread can be a very satisfying chore for your mental health. The mixing and kneading can be oddly relaxing and help destress your mind. The warm and yeasty smell of freshly baked bread is also equally pleasurable for the senses.
The Bottom Line
We’ve chosen our top five bread makers after considering several features and carrying out thorough research.
Either of our top two picks could be a great addition for home bakers who want bread-making to be convenient and time-saving. Not only are the models durable and efficient, but also have a modern design to add to the appeal of your kitchen, making them well worth your investment.
- Best Bread Maker for Versatility: Panasonic SD-2501 Bread Maker
- Best Convection Bread Maker: Cuisinart CBK-200 Convection Bread Maker
- Best Horizontal Bread Maker: Breville BBM800XL Custom Loaf Bread Maker
- Best Budget-Friendly Bread Maker: Sunbeam BM4500 Bakehouse Bread Maker
- Best Luxury Bread Maker: Zojirushi BB-PDC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus Bread Maker