Hamilton Beach Home Baker Bread Maker

Last updated date: January 25, 2019

DWYM Score
8.1

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We looked at the top 1 Bread Machines and dug through the reviews from 6 of the most popular review sites including New York Times Wirecutter, Bread Machine Pros, BreadMachines.com, Village Bakery, KitchenMaker HQ and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Bread Machine you should buy.

Overall Take

In our analysis of 56 expert reviews, the Hamilton Beach Hamilton Beach Home Baker Bread Maker placed 6th when we looked at the top 9 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note March 16, 2019:
Checkout The Best Bread Machine for a detailed review of all the top bread machines.

Expert Summarized Score
8.2
6 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.9
2,201 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
The inexpensive Hamilton Beach HomeBaker ran hot and overproofed our white bread, leaving the interior spongy and the top sunken in.
- New York Times Wirecutter
If you are a first-time bread machine buyer or inexperienced when it comes to bread baking, the Hamilton Beach HomeBaker 29881/29882 would make a great purchase. With an extremely affordable price, this bread maker will allow you to try out baking bread with a machine and seeing whether you like it without breaking the bank or spending hundreds of dollars on a machine that you won’t end up using because you figured you’d rather go back to buying bread.
- Bread Machine Pros
October 30, 2014 | Full review
Cleaning the bread maker is easy and the paddle and pan are dishwasher-safe.
- Bread Maker Guides
The instruction book is exceptional and probably one of the best given the failure of so many instruction books with other brands and models.
- BreadMachines.com
January 13, 2015 | Full review
Tending to the needs of those with and without gluten intolerance, you’ll find that this machine has an incredible number of features.
- Village Bakery
December 25, 2018 | Full review
Instead of spreading out horizontally, Hamilton Beach manufactures this bread maker with a more vertical design to save space on your kitchen counter.
- KitchenMaker HQ
What experts didn't like
luten-free bread doesn’t have the strength and elasticity to rise again after being punched down, so the Hamilton Beach gluten-free loaves always came out collapsed and dense.
- New York Times Wirecutter
The paddle would sometimes come loose and end up being baked right in with the bread! So we wondered if we actually lost the paddle somewhere, but it was sticking right underneath the bread. This is a small problem and you could just yank it out
- Bread Machine Pros
October 30, 2014 | Full review
The viewing window might fog up during the rising and baking cycles until you cannot see through it.
- Bread Maker Guides
A little bigger than I would like. Was hard to find a place I could store it.
- BreadMachines.com
January 13, 2015 | Full review
One disadvantage of this bread maker is that it can’t create over 2lbs. of bread at one time, nor can it provide more than 2lbs. in an express manner.
- Village Bakery
December 25, 2018 | Full review
Just one kneading paddle instead of two
- KitchenMaker HQ

From The Manufacturer

With the HomeBaker Bread Machine, preparing a variety of breads is simple: just add ingredients, select the cycle and press start. After you make the first delicious batch, it won't be long before family and friends are asking for more.

Overall Product Rankings

1. Zojirushi Virtuoso Breadmaker
Overall Score: 9.5
Expert Reviews: 7
2. T-fal ActiBread Bread Maker
Overall Score: 9.1
Expert Reviews: 5
3. Breville Custom Loaf Bread Maker
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 6
4. Oster Expressbake Bread Maker
Overall Score: 8.3
Expert Reviews: 4
5. Panasonic Automatic Bread Maker
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 6
6. Hamilton Beach Home Baker Bread Maker
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 6
7. Zojirushi Programmable Mini Breadmaker
Overall Score: 7.9
Expert Reviews: 5
8. Oster Expressbake Bread Maker
Overall Score: 7.9
Expert Reviews: 6
9. SKG Automatic Bread Machine
Overall Score: 7.6
Expert Reviews: 4

An Overview On Bread Machines

In the 1990s, bread machines took over the country, with some saying they’d be the next big essential kitchen appliance. Although the fad soon faded, bread-making appliances stuck around, remaining popular with those who love the taste of regular bread. If you’ve ever tried to make a loaf of bread the old-fashioned way, you likely know the appeal of inserting ingredients and pushing a button for fresh, home-baked bread.

Today’s bread machines have come a long way from the early days, especially when it comes to appealing to modern dietary restrictions. Now that they have gluten-free baking options, they’re appealing to an audience of people who have trouble finding delicious bread at the grocery store or neighborhood bakery. But not all bread machines have gluten-free features, and of those that do, only some can bake tasty gluten-free loaves. So it’s important to shop for that specifically if you’re on a special diet.

Whether you’re baking a gluten-free or regular loaf, though, you’ll want delicious-tasting bread baked consistently all over. This includes soft slices with the perfect outer crust. Some bread makers do better than others at this, based primarily on the way the machine distributes heat. It’s important to note, though, that some machines produce bread that doesn’t have that traditional “loaf” look and search for one that does if it’s important to you.

Some newer bread machines have fruit and nut dispensers that release those ingredients at the exact moment they’re needed. If you plan to make banana bread or date nut bread on a fairly regular basis, this might be a feature to consider while you’re shopping.

DYWM Fun Fact

Bread has a long history, which means it’s the subject of numerous legends and superstitions. In Scotland, for instance, you aren’t supposed to sing while waiting for your bread to rise since doing so will take the wind out of it. While slicing bread, if you accidentally drop a slice, it means friends are on their way. Your parents and grandparents may also have included bread as a good luck charm to new homeowners. It was customary to take a loaf of bread as a housewarming gift as a wish that the owners would never go hungry, as well as a bottle of wine so that they’d never go thirsty.

The Bread Machine Buying Guide

  • Bread machines can have a bit of a learning curve. You’ll need to first gather all the ingredients you need, then know which buttons to push. The Zojirushi Virtuoso bread maker has a light-up digital display and easy-to-use settings. The Breville Customer Loaf bread maker also has a large LCD screen that’s easy to read.
  • One notable feature in the Zojirushi bread machine is that it tells you what time your loaf will be done, rather than merely giving you a countdown timer.
  • If you plan to make fruity bread, consider the Breville Custom Loaf bread maker, which has a fruit and nut dispenser. Your ingredients will release at the designated time. The Zojirushi Virtuoso bread maker doesn’t have the dispenser, but it does beep when it’s time for you to manually add them.
  • More than 3 million Americans are following a gluten-free diet. Normally this would mean forgoing bread — and bread machines — altogether. However, some bread machines let you make delicious gluten-free bread at the press of a button. The Zojirushi Virtuoso creates gluten-free bread that tastes better than you’ll get in any store. You may even find it tastes better than regular bread. The T-fal ActiBread bread maker also has a gluten-free bread setting.
  • If you want the luxury of creating foods beyond bread, the Breville Custom Loaf bread maker might be the machine for you. You can make pasta and jam by just choosing those options on the menu and inserting the necessary ingredients.
  • If you’re on a budget, you may want to stick with the T-fal ActiBread or the Oster Expressbake since both retail for under $100. Both the Zojirushi Virtuoso and Breville Custom Loaf bread machines retail for more than $250.
  • When it comes down to it, your bread maker needs to put out high-quality, good-tasting bread. All of the other factors are important, but this one is a top priority. The Zojirushi bread machine has a heater on the lid that ensures each loaf is evenly cooked on all sides. No matter what size loaf you’re making, you’ll get this same result. The T-fal ActiBread makes delicious bread, but the shape of each loaf is different from what you’re accustomed to getting when you buy bread. You’ll find it’s taller and longer.