Bread Machine decision fatigue
January 9, 2018 9:29 PM   Subscribe

My bread machine finally died. What bread machine should I buy to replace it? Is the $400 Zojirushi worth it? Please enlighten me!

We impulse bought a $30 Paderno machine many years ago, and it lasted over 5 years, but alas, it will no longer work. It seems there's a lot out there, and to be honest, I have made so many big decisions lately that I just can't make a choice here. The more reviews I read, the more I can't decide. My criteria:

* The old machine made kind of tallish loaves, rectangular would be better.

* the paddle always got stuck in the bread, do foldable paddles work?

* We're a 2 adult, 2 bread-loving kid family, so not a tiny one.

* We usually make challah with white flour, so no fancy gluten-free settings required. I also like to make pizza dough in it, but I'm pretty sure they all have a dough setting.

* We're a busy two working parent family, with me back in school this year, so our normal use case is when I assemble everybody's lunch before I go to bed,I notice that there is no bread for sandwiches. One of us can quickly dump ingredients in a machine, set a timer, and there's fresh bread in the morning.

* So I guess I still need a timer

Please don't recommend a stand mixer (I've read the previous 2005 AskMe on this, but hey, stuff changes). I have a gorgeous Kitchen Aid, that could make dough on a day where I'm home all day to tend to it, but assume that though I'd love to make bread from scratch I just won't.

posted by Valancy Rachel to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I see a truly staggering number of bread machines in fantastic condition at my local Goodwill and other thrift stores, many from nice expensive brands. I think people just find bread so intimidating they never learn how to use them. At $4 - $12 a pop you could buy quite a few and only keep the one you like for much less than a Zojirushi (which I think I've also seen at a thrift store more than once.)
posted by WidgetAlley at 9:38 PM on January 9, 2018 [6 favorites]

I had the $250ish Zo. Makes a normal rectangular loaf. I’ve never used it for anything but bread/dough (no kooky cake and jam in the bread maker for me). Don’t know about foldable paddles - I used to remove mine before baking so I just had two post holes instead of the whole paddle imprint in the loaf. I’d recommend the machine; I never had any issues with it and it saw heavy use. Here is a loaf from it. Check your memail.
posted by OneSmartMonkey at 9:42 PM on January 9, 2018

I assume you're already aware of this, but just in case, the Wirecutter has a piece on the best bread machine. Their pick is ~$110.
posted by perplexion at 9:56 PM on January 9, 2018

The 2-lb Oster bread machine does all of the above.
posted by starman at 5:13 AM on January 10, 2018

Try a no-knead recipe while you decide. You might be happy with that until you get a new machine. Can't provide link from mobile, sorry.
posted by kate4914 at 9:44 AM on January 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

Our Breville just died and we got a Zojirushi Home Bakery Supreme. I can confirm that it makes very good bread, but in some ways I prefer the Breville -- the Zojirushi does not allow for loaf size selection, and beeps loudly for a full 30 seconds when it's time to add nuts/etc. (to avoid, put it on a delay)
posted by karbonokapi at 10:50 AM on January 10, 2018

Oh, and about foldable paddles: the Zojirushi does not have them, but the paddles are small. The Breville paddle does fold, in theory, but stops working very quickly in practice. I don't find it to be a particularly big deal either way.
posted by karbonokapi at 10:51 AM on January 10, 2018

Thanks everyone! I finally made a decision, and realized that the Wirecutter favourite Westbend model is available for a reasonable price in Canada. So, one is ordered, and will be in Canada Post / Purolator limbo for a while.
posted by Valancy Rachel at 10:16 PM on January 11, 2018

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