Bread maker vs stand mixer – which is best?

So, you’ve decided that you want to up your game and make more bread yourself this year.  You’ve decided that you need to get something to help with the kneading (the hardest part of bread making I’d say) but you can’t decide whether you should go for a bread maker or to get a stand mixer.  In this article I’m going to look at both products and work out which is best in the bread maker vs stand mixer debate!

What kind of baking do you want to do

This is the most important factor I think when deciding whether or not to go for a stand mixer or a bread maker.  If you simply want something that you throw the ingredients in and let it make you a loaf of bread then your choice will be easier to make.  If you like baking cakes, meringues and pastry as well as bread then you might find the versatility of the stand mixer makes it a better choice.

There is no hard and fast rule about which is better – take a look at the pros and cons of each kind of machine and see if they look like they’d be a deal breaker for you.

Bread maker Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Bakes bread all in one place – no need to turn the oven on
  • can be used to just mix dough as well
  • has a timer so you can set and forget it even if you are just mixing dough
  • can prove the dough as well by keeping it warm

Cons:

  • can only bake one loaf at a time and each programme takes quite a few hours before it can be repeated
  • can only do loaf shapes in the bread maker
  • although some can make cakes and jam, they really are designed to just bake bread.

You can check out our guide to the best bread makers here

Stand mixer Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • more versatile – can be used for lots of baking and cooking
  • look nicer on the work surface (IMHO!)
  • can be used to knead dough for multiple loaves
  • can be used for lots of different kinds of bread – much more room for experimentation

Cons:

  • Only kneads the dough – you need to bake it elsewhere
  • can be expensive especially if you want lots of attachments
  • some of the stand mixers aren’t powerful enough to knead dough well
  • Needs to be monitored as no timers

You can see our guide to the best stand mixers for kneading dough here

Bread maker vs stand mixer – which is the winner?

It looks like the stand mixer has way more cons than the bread maker when you start to break it down but of course it isn’t as simple as all that.

Some bread makers aren’t that great at making bread and many people, especially if they buy a cheap one, can be disappointed very quickly.  When I had a cheap bread maker I ended up using my stand mixer more just because it made so much nicer bread than the bricks that came out of the bread maker!  When I upgraded to my Panasonic that changed though and my stand mixer now stays in the cupboard.

Stand mixers require a bit more dedication to the actual making of the bread but if you like to make lots of different loaves that wouldn’t work in a bread maker they can be a great addition to your kitchen.  And of course the options to use it for more things with all the attachments around can make it a good value investment.

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