Ok, now this is possibly a bit of a loaded question, coming from me the person who loves her bread maker, but it’s a question that’s often asked – are bread makers worth it? In this article I’m going to be looking at what you might want to be thinking about when looking in to getting a bread maker.
Ok, first things first. If you’re considering whether a bread maker is going to be worth the investment – cost wise and also work space wise – you need to think about what you want to do with it. It’s not a trick question though – of course the majority of you might want to make bread! But think a bit more. Do you wan to bake bread for daily consumption, do you want to have a special loaf at the weekend or are you just curious. Are you wanting to make bread to cut out shop bought loaves completely? All the answers to these questions might help you come to a conclusion about whether you really want a bread maker or not.
A bread maker will:
- make daily loaves of bread much easier to produce
- you’ll be able to cultivate good habits easily
- they’ll produce uniform loaves that can be easily sliced (tip – use a bread slicer!)
- It’s perfect for a small family who might go through one a day or one every two days.
A bread maker won’t:
- be good for if you want to try out lots of different loaves – it’s ok but it’s not perfect.
- be good if you need more than one loaf a day
One thing that many people want to do is to be able to cook loaves that are healthy and free from the preservatives of shop bought loaves and I think they are great for this. You can set it going the night before and wake up to fresh bread every single day. You know what’s in it, you can go all organic if you want and you’ll be making a way cheaper loaf than you can buy in a shop or a bakers.
Talking about price – if you’re making a super simple loaf (say for example using my basic dough recipe) you could make a loaf for around about 30p! A bag of bread flour in Asda is today 75p and will do 3 loaves. You’ll also need dried yeast (a tub is 99p and will last for probably 20 loaves) and you’ll need a teaspoon on salt. That’s it. Simple. Easy. Cheap. You certainly would make the cost of the bread maker back quite quickly even if you went for the top of the range of my favourite Panasonic.
Of course you might also want to consider the running costs of the bread maker – I haven’t costed that one up yet but I’ll do it and get back to you! I tend to think that it’s more efficient than an oven but if you’re a large baker and make full use of your oven then that’s also something to think about.
Bread makers are more than just machines to cook a good loaf of bread though – when weighing up whether it is worth it for you look to see whether it can do anything else that is worthwhile for you. For example, we eat a lot of pizza in this house, at least once a week so as well as doing our daily loaf our machine also provides the hard work in making a dough for pizza. Similarly I also like to cook flatbreads and it mixes that too. If I liked jam I might also look at getting a bread maker that could do that too.
So to sum up, yes I do think that bread makers are worth it IF it makes sense for you and your lifestyle. Be sure to get one that is recommended rather than just going for something on offer. My preferred brand is Panasonic and it’s preferred because I have tried the others and it’s just so much better – you can see my run down of the best bread makers here.