bread maker
Tired of store-bought bread? Curate your own loaf at home in bread makers that do everything for you. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Automatic bread making machines were a boon for the bored and restless during lockdown. Some units were thrifted and others newly ordered, as long as fresh homemade bread could be made from scratch, all at the press of a single button. Fast forward to three years later, and the bread makers have carved out a guaranteed spot on the kitchen countertop.

If you love your baked goods, then this small appliance prepares endless batches, without an oven or any manual kneading. Customise whatever kind you like - from gluten-free loaves to multigrain bread - by just using simple pantry ingredients. Dubai-based bakers help us decode the bread maker and share tips on baking the best loaf.

Is it worth getting a bread maker?

If you want bread right out of the oven, you only have to make a trip to the closest bakery, but imagine waking up to the mouthwatering aroma of hot bread, every morning. Where traditionally, baking a loaf involves kneading, proofing and rotating in the oven, the bread maker does it all for you.

"Automatic bread machines come with clear instructions on how to bake bread. They prepare the dough for you and have their own proofing system, so you're getting everything in one machine," said Nilofer Jamal Khan, head pastry chef at Proof Specialty Coffee, Dubai, and founder of online bakery Bake Bug. "There's just a distinct joy you get from making your own bread for breakfast or rolls for dinner."

With a bread maker on the counter, you're not limited to only bread - the unit mixes dough for pizza and pasta, prepares cake batters, and some even make jam. Kamela Khan, a certified pastry chef and cake artist, who formerly taught workshops with Tavola Studio in Dubai, has been using her own Panasonic model for years.

Speaking from 15 years of baking experience, Kamela said: "It's perfect for the home baker who wants to experiment and quickly make bread in two hours. I used the Panasonic bread maker in all my workshops and found it so versatile - you can knead pizza dough, mix cake batter and then bake it in your oven, too."

How do bread makers work?

bread maker
Always ensure a correct order - add in your wet ingredients first, followed by dry and then yeast. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Luckily, bread machines come with their own programmes that you can select, with the set time and ingredient quantities. Users can refer to the recipe book for everything they need to add, down to the correct order. Khan said: "You only need basic ingredients at home, such as butter, eggs, milk, water, salt, sugar, flour and yeast, to get started. It's crucial to have these ingredients at room temperature, from the water to the eggs."

With the ingredients sorted, it's time to consider the features of your unit. Kamela recommends a sizeable capacity of at least 500 grams of loaf. "Also, look for a maker that has a manual mode, where you can create your own recipe, adjust it to your liking, and set a different time," she added. This way you'll get to use more than just the programmes on the unit.

Another excellent function to have is the delayed timer. Because bread makers can take a couple of hours or more, the delayed timer option finishes baking before you wake up. "Say, you want to make bread in the morning but don't want to get up at 6am for it - you can set up a timer for up to nine hours, add all the ingredients in advance and wake up to your bread ready," said Kamela.

As our experts tells us, timing in baking is so important that it can affect flavours. To get an even better-tasting bread, Kamela advises letting the bread ferment or rise for longer than the 'quick' loaf option. Don't dig in right away, she says. Let the pan cool for five minutes and then remove the bread: "Make sure the mixing blade is not attached to the loaf, and cool completely before slicing."

Find our top bread maker picks below from Amazon, and enjoy up to 40 per cent off on toasters, juicers, and air fryers, during the Appliances Carnival sale. You can also get free, fast delivery with a Prime membership.

1. Best Overall: Panasonic Automatic Breadmaker


  • Make manual changes to kneading and fermentation
  • 31 programmes, from pizza dough to jam
  • 13-hour delay option
  • Nut dispenser
  • Lasts for years to come, say reviewers


  • More expensive than the market value

Kamela's Panasonic bread maker checks all the important boxes: it has a manual setting for kneading and fermentation, a two-hour rapid bread programme, crust control and a 13-hour delayed timer to bake in advance. Work quickly and efficiently with 31 automatic programmes that help you make sourdough bread, pizza dough, gluten-free pasta, jam and more. Loaf sizes go up to 1.1kg in extra large, meaning there are enough slices to go around. If you fancy yourself some flavoured bread, add a handful of nuts, raisins or seeds into the dedicated dispenser and watch them get evenly distributed throughout the loaf. Buyers, including chefs in the reviews, say it makes delicious, airy bread every time, without fail. Others who stick to the gluten-free options leave five-star reviews, noting that it's healthier than any store-bought bread they've had.

2. Best Compact: Cuisinart Bread Maker


  • Small footprint
  • Viewing window to track progress
  • 12 programmes with 13-hour delayed timer
  • Bake-only option
  • Prompts for adding nuts


  • Cookbook can be tricky to follow, say some reviews
  • Needs a voltage converter in the UAE

Bread makers are, by no means, compact machines. This stainless steel Cuisinart model uses a vertical pan to save as much countertop space as possible. Just like our Panasonic option, you can delay the starting time by 13 hours and choose from three crust shades. Though it only features 12 programmes, which include jam and artisan bread, in the Cuisinart bread maker you get to keep an eye on the process through the window on the top. If you already have a mix ready, there's a bake-only option, as well. The pan prepares a 900-gram loaf. Rest assured, you still get to add nuts and fruit when the unit alerts you to do so. Reviewers do say they can alter the time manually for the programmes, even though there's no dedicated mode for it. Several comment on how much lighter and smaller this unit is, compared to their previous appliances. Recipes in the included cookbook, however, can be a hit or miss, but watching video tutorials can help, they add.

Bonus: Buy with 0% installments and pay Dh71.80 for 12 months with select banks.

3. Best Versatile: Tefal Pain et Delices PF240E40 Breadmaker


  • Makes up to 1kg loaf
  • Comes with a yoghurt pot for cottage cheese and yoghurt recipes
  • 15-hour delayed timer
  • 20 baking and kneading programmes
  • Keep warm function


  • Recipe book isn't all too reliable

Tefal's Pain and Delices is our most versatile bread maker on the list. Seven different bread varieties aside, the unit comes with a one-litre yoghurt pot that makes cottage cheese, yoghurt drinks and plain yoghurt, too. This, of course, includes dough programmes among the 20 that prepare fresh pasta and pizza crusts. Pick from three loaf sizes, starting from 500 grams to 1kg, and have the largest (white bread) loaf ready for you in just over one and a half hours. If you're having a late breakfast, it even keeps your bread warm for up to an hour. Not only that, the delayed start timer is a whopping 15 hours, which easily allows for lunch prep in advance. Once again, the included recipe book could be better in terms of measurement and time, say reviews. Still, many have come away with banana bread, milk loaf, seeded bread, brioche and even yoghurt. 

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh29 and two years for Dh41.

4. Best Non-Stick Pan: Gastroback Design Automatic Bread Maker Advanced


  • Makes up to 1kg of loaf
  • Prepares bread, jam, yoghurt and ice cream
  • Ingredients dispenser
  • 15-hour delayed timer
  • Keep warm function


  • Largest loaf size could be difficult to handle

The Gastroback bread maker almost looks industrial in appearance, so expect to clear some space for this bulky unit. Its 18 programmes take you through sweet and savoury bread, jam, yoghurt, dough, cake and a manual mode to tweak recipes to taste. Besides gluten-free, you even get to experiment with rice bread and roll dough. A sizeable ingredients box at the top slides open for any nuts, seeds, fruit or chocolate sprinkles to be added. While it does have an ice cream option, the freezing container is sold separately. Like our Tefal pick, you can delay the start timer by 15 hours and come back to your bread still warm after an hour. Reviews say cleaning is effortless, thanks to the ceramic pan and dough hooks with non-stick coating. They do recommend the medium-sized loaf, 750 grams, over the 1kg setting to avoid the pan from overflowing.

Bonus: Buy with 0% installments and pay Dh47.67 for 12 months with select banks.

5. Best Budget: Tower T11003 Digital Bread Maker


  • Value for money
  • 12 programmes, including gluten-free bread, cake and manual mode
  • Ultra-fast option makes bread in 60 minutes
  • Keep warm function
  • 13-hour delayed timer


  • Recipe book isn't reliable
  • Reviews report internal lighting issues

Dip your toes into a budget-friendly model till you're ready to upgrade to our best overall. The Tower bread maker covers all the basic functions you'll need - from baking cakes to gluten-free bread, a 60-minute keep warm option and an adjustable crust control. To top it off, the 13-hour timer is sufficient for a morning toast. Out of all of the preceding units, this machine prepares a loaf the fastest, at 60 minutes, if you use the ultra-fast programme. Reviewers say that both a pre-mix and your own ingredients produce excellent results. They've successfully made feta and parmesan breakfast bread, naan, croissant, pita bread and more. Some do note that the internal lighting goes out after a few uses.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh18 and two years for Dh25.

Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.