There’s arguably no better way to make a home feel wholesome, happy and welcoming than with the smell of freshly baked (or baking) bread. Whether you’re looking to make the house a little more homely, wanting to entice buyers or just looking to make some delicious homemade bread, we have a great analysis of the best bread makers below.
Get your Instagram ready, because you’ll be well on your way to showing off your homemade banana bread, sourdough and sandwich loaves in no time.
Of course, being in lockdown or self-quarantine gives us plenty of free time, but getting down and dirty making bread entirely by hand can be a little challenging. There’s nothing wrong with being just a little bit of a cheater (at least when it comes to baking, that is) and getting a bread maker to do the rest for you.
Take a look below at our in-depth analysis and comparison of all the Aussie bread makers to consider this season.
Right off the top, the two leading bread makers on the market today are the Breville the Custom Loaf Pro along with the SD-2501 by Panasonic. Both of these bread makers are featured packed, relatively easy to use and according to reviews — never produce anything subpar.
Offering more than just a couple of settings was also an integral feature for our top choice bread makers, so you can rest assured that Panasonic and Breville have you covered with a tonne of different dough settings.
Breville the Custom Loaf Pro
The best all-rounder with an automatic timer and great looks is the Custom Loaf Pro. You’ll find a modern, stainless design here as well an appealing smart LCD display that makes it easy to track exactly what’s going on during your bake.
Boasting a tonne of pre-set dough settings, a timer up to 13-hours as well as compote settings, the SD-2501 is the machine for you if you’re looking to really ‘take it there’ with your bread making. Aussies adore the SD-2501, and we do too, so Panasonic’s bread maker comes with a considerable stamp approval from us.
The Selection Process
To ensure we’re getting the most significant insights into Australia’s leading bread makers, we took a deep dive into as many consumer reviews as we could, along with checking with advocacy groups to ensure we’re getting some trustworthy and reliable data.
From both those advocacy groups and consumer reviews, we were able to compile a list of bread makers that don’t only perform amazingly in ideal testing, but also at home in Aussie kitchens in less-than-ideal situations. All of these bread makers that stood out to customers as well as the lab testers have found a place on our list.
Finally, we took a look at some integral features like ease of use, difficulty to clean, the outcome of the loaves of bread cooked and the price.
With all of these aspects in mind, we’re confident that our readers will be able to get their hands on the best bread maker available today.
Our Shortlist 5 Best Bread Makers
Overall Winner — Panasonic SD-2501
Runner-up — Breville the Custom Loaf Pro
Breville The Baker’s Oven
Sunbeam BM2500 Compact Bakehouse 750g Bread Maker
The Best Bread Makers
Breville the Custom Loaf Pro
Overall the Custom Loaf Pro is the ideal bread maker for most Aussies looking to get into bread making at home without the stress, confusion and hassle. The stainless steel design is sleek and easy to clean, the smart LCD display keeps things easy to read, and with a fruit and nut dispenser, you’re able to whip up some pretty extravagant bread right from the kitchen.
A Deeper Look
The Custom Loaf Pro’s great LCD display gives you a good insight into what’s going on inside the machine, keeping you up to date with the time remaining as well as where your loaf is at with regards to cooking/rising progress.
You’ll be able to find nine manual programmes here, and a few automatic ones too that will make it near-effortless to bake everything from whole wheat, yeast-free, crusty, basic, sweet and gluten-free bread. There’s also a fantastic pizza dough setting, making a genuinely made-at-home pizza base possible.
For those who want a tonne of control over the taste, feel and texture of your loaf, there are crust colour and size options built into the bread maker, so getting a perfectly browned and crusted loaf for your friends, family or Instagram won’t be too difficult at all.
One standout feature is the 60-minute backup power built into the bread maker. If the power goes out, you can rest assured that your loaf will continue baking, browning and rising — at least until the power reserves run out.
Coming in at just under $370 the Custom Loaf Pro is a tad on the expensive side, though, with as many features as it has and a great brand behind it, you’re getting plenty of bang for your buck.
A Jam Mode
60-Minute Backup Power
9 Pre-set Programmes
A Smart LED Display
One of the easiest to use bread makers currently on the market is the SD-2501 by Panasonic. Just about everything is automated on this bread maker, and there is a tonne of pre-set programmes to choose from that ensure you’re able to get baking your loaves without any hassle. If there’s a somewhat unusual loaf you’re looking to rise in the kitchen, the SD-2501 has you covered.
A Deeper Look
With a design that’s been curated to ensure cleanliness and ease of operation, newbies will have a blast here. It’s easy to make a mess, but even easier to clean it up on the SD-2501 bread maker.
There is a massive 15 different baking programs to choose from, which means that there’s likely more than you’ll ever need. There are 11 bread or dough modes, which include everything from pizza bases, rolls, brioche buns, sandwich loaves, croissants and more. Whatever your heart desires, there really is a mode for it on the SD-2501.
A dedicated compote and gluten-free mode are also integrated into the bread maker too, so dietary requirements are covered.
Like the Breville, there are three crust colour options here as well as three size options too, so you’ll be able to get a little more hands-on with how you want your loaves to look and taste. A nut and fruit dispenser is also included, so an even ‘sprinkle’ of raisins or our favourite nuts will be easy as pie.
The preset timer here reaches to 13 hours, so going out for the day and arriving home to an incredible loaf-smelling house is certainly possible.
Back to the ease of use, all the buttons are simply labelled, there’s a tonne of info displayed on the digital screen and everything being quickly detachable means that it’s easy to set up, use, clean and put away.
Coming in at $269, it’s arguably a steal of a bread maker when compared to a lot of the similarly-designed and feature-offering makers on the market today.
A Gluten-free Mode
15 Preset Programmes
A Spelt Mode
A Compote and Jam Mode
Plenty of Customisation
A Fruit and Nut Dispenser
Although these bread makers didn’t land at the top of our list, they’re still standouts in their own respective markets. Take a look below.
Affordable — Sunbeam BM2500 Compact Bakehouse 750g Bread Maker
An incredibly affordable option, the BM2500 by Sunbeam comes in at just $119 making it immediately a winner for those who want to be ‘balling on a budget’ rather than looking for the absolute best-in-class bread maker.
Being a smaller 750g bread maker, you’ll find that this machine will fit perfectly in almost all kitchens, even those low on storage space.
Don’t let the price deceive you either; there are still 12 great bread baking modes here including everything from sweet, dough, pasta dough, French and cake, to name a few. There’s also your necessary crust settings with light, medium and dark being included, so getting either a hard or delicate and crisp browning bread won’t be too difficult.
There is, however, only one bread size option to choose from here, so you are giving up a little control.
There aren’t too many confusing settings, buttons and options here either (which is in part because of the fewer features, but we welcome the simplicity) so you’re able to rest assured that it’s easy to use. You’ll find a small and insightful display, preset bread options listed on the lid and a 13-hour timer to let your bread rise throughout the day.
Cream of the Crop — Panasonic SD-ZB2512
When only the best of the best is an option, regardless of price, the Panasonic SD-ZB2512 is your winner. A hefty $439 price tag is a little much to stomach for most shoppers; however, the committed bread baker will find the SD-ZB2512’s astonishing 33 dough modes an essential.
When it comes to baking quite literally all the bread and dough types you can think of, the SD-ZB2512 and its stainless steel design has your back.
Of course, it comes with your typical pizza dough, gluten-free and French bread settings; however, there are also some rare bread types not often baked in the kitchen. Whether it’s rustic sourdough, scones or artisan loaves of bread, you’re all set to go with the SD-ZB2512.
An automatic fruit and nut dispenser is included here; however, there are also entirely automated yeast dispensers too, giving you the freedom to let the bread maker decide and accurately dispense yeast at the correct time.
Automatic temperature sensors are also included in the SD-ZB2512 so you can sit back and relax while the bread maker slowly adjusts the temperature to ensure the best rising process for your dough.
Lastly, a standard three bread sizes are available here, as are the three crust colour choices and a 13-hour timer to keep your bread rising while you’re out shopping, at work or just doing chores around the house.
Easy and Compact — Breville The Baker’s Oven
Coming back down in price at $149, the Baker’s Oven is the bread maker for those who’d like the ‘just right’ bread maker that won’t break the bank. There are still plenty of essential features here, a bunch of bread programmes to choose from and design that’s easy to clean and store.
One of the more superior perks of the Baker’s Oven is its small, plastic design. It’s easy to wipe down and store in a small space than the larger makers on our list, so anyone with a smaller kitchen will be thankful for this.
Of the nine pre-set programmes, you’ll find a whole wheat mode, a yeast-free option along with French, basic and sweet modes. Like the more expensive models, there’s the three crust colour controls and simple interface with just a few buttons. You’ll only find one bread size though.
A 13-hour timer is also available here, and to make up for the lack of an automated fruit and nut dispenser, the maker will give you an alert of when to sprinkle in your fruits and nuts instead.
What to Consider When You Go it Alone
Not convinced from our list? That’s okay!
If you’re going it alone in your quest for the best bread maker in Australia, we have a few features that are a must-have in a bread maker. Take a look below.
A Choice of Speeds
With most bread makers taking around 3 to 5 hours to produce a well-risen and crusted loaf of bread, you’ll want to be on the lookout for a bread maker that does have a rapid or quick setting.
In some cases, bread can be baked entirely in less time than 5 hours, so look for a few speeds.
Plenty of Bread Types
Regardless of your budget, it’s essential to choose a bread maker that allows you to bake a few different bread types. If a bread maker only touts one bread type, immediately look elsewhere.
A few common types to be on the lookout for include white, wheat, wholegrain, sweet and French. These are the bare minimum, so be sure you’re getting these at the very least.
Again, this is a bare minimum feature, and regardless of price, your chosen bread maker should have this feature ready and waiting for you. You’ll want to be able to get your dough baking through the day and be prepared at home time, and a preset timer will do this for you.
A Viewing Window
Another great perk to have is a viewing window that will give you a good look at how your bread’s doing, so add this to the list of essentials that you’ll want to see in your bread maker.
If you’ve ever wanted to fill your home with that homely, cozy smell of freshly baked bread, then there’s nothing that comes close to baking your bread at home. With a reliable, affordable and easy-to-use bread maker, you’ll be encouraged to bake your bread at home and might even find bread baking becoming a relaxing habit.
From our list above, it’s easy to see that a lot goes into choosing a bread maker, though with a little knowledge on the subject the task of picking one won’t be too hard. Always keep in mind the types of bread you want to bake, your size constraints and of course, your budget.
With these things out of the way, you’ll have no trouble getting your hands on the best bread maker for you.