Breadmakers

There's a breadmaker revolution going on at the moment, driven by the rising world price of wheat and of course wheat-related products - most importantly bread. With consumers suddenly realising that the cost of a simple loaf of bread is taking up an ever-increasing portion of their weekly food budget, many are switching to making their own and breadmaker manufacturers are struggling to cope with demand.

Our Favourite Breadmakers

Breadmaker product reviews.

Panasonic SD255 Breadmaker

panasonic sd255The Panasonic SD255 breadmaker is undoubtedly the market-leading breadmaker at the moment. It can be bought from most mainstream retailers but don't expect to see it discounted below it's £99.99 list price and don't be surprised to find it out of stock. We noted that even John Lewis has been short of these beauties for several weeks now. It does everything you need in a breadmaker with a wide choice of programmes for all kinds of bread and has the sought after seperate ingredient dispenser that automates the adding of things like raisins mid-cycle. It's also one of the quietest breadmakers on the market - quite an important feature if you intend having fresh bread waiting for you when you come down for breakfast as the machine will start it's work in the early hours and you don't want to be woken up unduely.

Panasonic SD254 Breadmaker

panasonic SD254The baby brother of the SD255 but almost quite as capable. It sports 2 fewer programmes, not a big deal and lacks the auto ingredient dispenser, which you may not need or are happy to work around by adding those extra ingredients manually when required. The SD254 makes 3 different loaf sizes and features all the timers and gadgets you need to make all kinds of bread. There's no viewing window, which is an advantage as it helps to make that perfect crust.

Save that £20 and put it towards some bread making ingredients.

Morphy Richards 48280

morphy richards 48280 The Morphy Richards 48280 breadmaker sits at the cheaper end of the breadmaker market, costing around £40 from most stores. It features fewer programmes than the market-leading Panasonic models featured above and only has a choice of 2 loaf sizes. However it can make a 2lb loaf though which should be ample for most families. Most reviewers of this model rate it for consistency although some have had problems with the "fast bake" process, which only allows the dough to rise once to save time.

Bread Flour

The quality of the loaf of bread produced by your bread making machine will depend on four key things. The quality of the machine, the quality of the recipe you follow, your own skill in assembling things and of course the quality of the ingredients. Don't expect to make great bread from poor quality flour and yeast. With home bread making popularity increasing, the choice of bread-specific flours is also growing and they're becoming more accessible with shops stocking wider ranges now. If your own supermarket still only has a small selection then check the internet for specialist suppliers.

The real cost

Many people think they are saving money when it comes to baking their own bread. But money is not the only motivator, it's also quite satisfying baking your own great loaf of bread, knowing exactly what you've put into it, but the thought of saving money helps too. We worked out that your average breadmaker-sized loaf will work out at around 60p including electricity costs, compared to around double that when purchased from your local store - and of the course the taste is much better.