A few weeks ago when I was in New York and stayed at Derek's place, he did a very, very bad thing. He demonstrated is Oster breadmaker by making some bread. And I loved it. (I think that Kasia had some too, but I ate a lot of it.) I've always liked fresh bread, and I probably ate 1/2 the loaf myself.

So now I want a breadmaker. I've heard a lot of good things about Oster breadmakers (that's the brand Derek had too), so I did the obvious thing: check Amazon. There are two models they carry right now (5834 and 5838). The reviews are both are generally positive.

I don't want to necessarily limit my hunt to Oster and especially not to just two models. I'm sure some of the folks reading my blog have breadmakers they really like. I know that Josh does.

So, what do you recommend? What features are most important in a breadmaker?

While we're on the topic, what are your favorite brands and varieties of bread mixes? Do you have a favorite recipe or ingredient that you toss in the mix?

Posted by jzawodn at May 04, 2003 08:32 PM

Reader Comments
# chuqui said:

ours is a zoji. At one poit, top of the line, still a great brand. This one is a good model:


I was recently looking at buying one for a friend, and I was going to get this one:


Things to look for: ability to handle different bread types. A big plus is whole wheat capability, because it can kill lower-end models, takes more oomph. Also, the ability to have it do the mixing and kneading, then pull the dough to loaf and bake in the oven is great -- lets you have it do the hard work, lets you play with other things than bricks of bread.

King Arthur Flour recommends these, they still prefer the Zoji. Once you get tired of generic bread, you'll want this link, too:

Or amybe not. not good for your waistline:


on May 4, 2003 09:26 PM
# Charles said:

I used to have a breadmaker but I got rid of it, I could never make anything but the generic breads turn out right, and that gets pretty boring pretty quickly. I don't think the results were near as good as you could do yourself with a mixer and pans and an oven. I have a big Kitchen-Aid mixer, its the home version of the industrial mixers my mom and my sister used at their bakery. It works great.

on May 5, 2003 09:19 AM
# jim winstead said:

i use my oven, and a kitchenaid stand mixer for kneading. i didn't want to sink money and space into a one-trick pony.

(and baking bread is not as a once-in-a-while event for me. i haven't bought bread from a store for about two years now.)

on May 5, 2003 09:50 AM
# Mike said:

I have had 2 breadmakers. The first one was a Oster, it was ok... but then it broke. My next one that I got was a Breadman.. these things rock. It does all kinds of different breads, 1.5 or 2lb loafs... and can do them in less then an hour if you want. Another cool thing is it has a timer, so that when i goto bed I put everything in, and at 5am the timer goes off, so when I wake up my house smells like a bread store.. its awesome.

They are alittle more expensive then the Oster, but definately worth it. I was able to get a deal on them for $90 through some website brand new. Email me if you want the link to it.

on May 5, 2003 02:34 PM
# Mike said:

also forgot, its got a battery backup for 60 minutes in case the power goes out, you can still make bread :)

on May 5, 2003 02:35 PM
# Michael Kruckenberg said:

I used to make bread in the mixer/oven until time got too tight for that kind of leisure. About a year ago we went to Target and purchased the cheapest breadmaker, Toastmaster Bread Box, for $39. I didn't want to dump a lot of money into something that would likely fail in comparison to bread from the mixer/oven. We have been impressed. We make the standard white bread recipe quite a bit, but also have done the pizza dough (very good) and dinner roll dough. Everyone who's tried the bread raves about it (including us). The convenience is *so* worth it, takes 5 minutes to get a loaf going (after some practice). When this one goes we'll no doubt upgrade to a nicer machine.

Note: Have found that lasting freshness is an issue (and have heard the same about other breadmaker brands), the bread is incredible the day it's made. 5 or 6 days later it's gotten dry.

on May 5, 2003 03:45 PM
# Mark said:

I just got a Breadmaker Ultimate (as a gift). No idea how it compares to other brands, but it kicks the ass of my old Breadmaker Normal.


on May 5, 2003 08:56 PM
# Craig said:

Bread makers are not what you want. What you want is to bake real bread. The first couple loaves you try will probably not turn out right, but one of the best parts of bread-making is the kneading, and a machine takes that joy away from the process. Plus, it limits the shapes of bread you can make, and you can't easily do things like make hotdog buns, etc. I think you're stimulating me to write an article about how easy and fun cooking is, and how most "time saving" kitchen appliances either don't save much time, or really make cooking a lot *less* enjoyable.

on May 6, 2003 01:46 PM
# Betty said:

Do you have a web page for the recipes that you
publish in your catalogs. I order the supplies to make the dish of whatever and then I misplace the catalog or pass the catalog on to a friend. Thank you, Betty

on September 13, 2003 08:01 PM
# lemonhead said:

I was going to buy my breadmaker from the Bakers Catalog when I inquired about the warranty. It was better than most, but just before I ordered I stopped at Williams Sonoma and looked at what they had to offer. When I asked about their warranty I was told, "If you are unhappy bring it back and we'll give you a new one." I asked for how long and was told forever. I figured I was never going to beat forever so I bought it and have never been disappointed. I usually make it to the point where it has finished kneading and then I take it out and put it either in a bread pan or make it into a free form round or long loaf. It's great.

on November 3, 2003 09:37 PM
# IKe said:

All the yuppies got breadmakers a few years back. I got mine free and unused at a garage sale - but they always have a few for about ten bucks at Goodwill or similar stores.

on November 12, 2003 06:54 PM
# said:

All the yuppies got breadmakers a few years back. I got mine free and unused at a garage sale - but they always have a few for about ten bucks at Goodwill or similar stores.

on November 12, 2003 06:54 PM
# Nellie said:

We purchased a Panasonic breadmaker from a resale shop seven or eight years ago. This breadmaker is still going strong, and is a great item to have. If and when it breaks, we plan on obtaining a newer model Panasonic breadmaker.

on December 3, 2006 05:22 PM
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