Why You Need a Bread Machine

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. We participate in other affiliate programs as well. For more details, please see our disclosure policy.

Back when I was a young bride (circa 1994) bread machines were all the rage. Just dump in the ingredients, push start, and come back in two hours to a freshly baked loaf of bread. Seem too good to be true?

It was.

Friends and relatives rushed out to buy these machines and once the initial excitement wore off, most admitted that their bread machine sat on a shelf, gathering dust. And I smugly relished in the thought that I hadn’t wasted hundreds of dollars on a useless machine.

Years later my friend Jessika made homemade pizza for us that was really good. Previously, I had only tasted the Chef Boyardee kind of homemade pizza, so obviously, hers was a step up. But, truly it was good pizza. The dough came from a bread machine. And with the high price tag at pizzerias, I was intrigued.

But I still didn’t want a machine that would sit on a shelf, gathering dust. So, I learned to make pizza dough by hand. Finally, after years of sticky hands and a wreck of a kitchen from making pizza dough every week, I succumbed. I needed some kind of machine to lighten my load. I tried out a friend’s Bosch mixer, but there was too much room for error. I needed something more user-friendly.

Let’s go with the bread machine, says I.

I proclaimed hinted very carefully to my husband that I’d really like a bread machine for Christmas. We didn’t research the purchase; we just bought the cheapest model Target sold. My sweet Santa even picked up a few boxes of bread mix in case we didn’t have the necessary ingredients come Christmas morn.

The first loaf flopped.

And the second.

Not wanting to fail a third time, I just shrugged and cried. Sweet hubs helped me snap out of it. Surely there’s a cookbook out there with recipes that work, he said. A few days later, I parked myself on the floor of Barnes and Noble right next to the bread cookbooks. I found it! And then I went home and ordered it cheaper on Amazon.

The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook is the answer to all bread machine issues. My copy is falling apart. I love it! It is the necessary partner to a bread machine purchase. Author Beth Hensperger explains the ins and outs of bread machines, what works, what doesn’t, and how to troubleshoot a problem loaf. With this book, no bread machine should sit on the shelf, gathering dust.

But, why should you buy a bread machine?
When compared to store bought baked goods, homemade breads and doughs

  • taste better
  • cost less
  • can be customized to your family’s tastes, allergies, and preferences
  • can reduce the amount of mess in your kitchen when it’s time to get baking

What can you make with a bread machine?
We used our first machine so much that after five years of almost daily use, the bread pan fell apart. I tried to live without it for almost a year, but found that it served me too well not to get another. We bought a second machine, a twin to the first but marketed under a different label, which was the cheapest Walmart had in stock. A bread machine is definitely one handy tool for making good and cheap eats. It certainly works for me.
What’s been your experience? Do you bake bread at home? What tools do you use?
For more frugal ideas, visit LifeasMOM.

Want the dish on delicious ways to act your wage? Subscribe to GCE in a reader or via email.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe great meals don't have to be complicated or expensive. There's a better way, and it won't take all afternoon.

Subscribe to Good Cheap Eats
Read Newer Post
Read Older Post


  1. Ellen says:

    Next time your bread machine wears out, you might try a Zojirushi. I have had mine for about 6 years now, and I LOVE it. It has gotten a lot of use, and it’s still going strong. It has a double paddle system which kneads really evenly. You can also buy replacement bread pans and paddles from their website. I’ve had to replace the paddles, but not the pan just yet. It’s a little more expensive than the cheaper models, but mine has been a workhorse for me. AND… it has a 45 minute dough cycle. I’m in love with that. That’s how I do all my pizza dough around here…

    • Jessica says:

      @Ellen, sounds wonderful. Thanks for the suggestion!

  2. Alexys says:

    I have had my bread machine for a little over a year and have been struggling to get my loaves of bread to turn out right…NO LUCK! I just ordered the book you recommended above and I really hope it will help. Thank you for all of you great ideas, recipes, and inspiration!

  3. Carrie says:

    Have you tried the pizza sauce recipe in that book!? It’s so perfect to use in the Deep Dish Chicago Pizza recipe, also from the same book! My husband and I lived in Chicago for 7 years and can testify that it’s the real deal and so yummy! =)

    • Jessica says:

      I haven’t. I’ve mostly stuck with her bread recipes. But, she’s one of my favorite cookbook authors. It was particularly fun to get to write a cookbook in her Not Your Mother’s series.

  4. Charlene says:

    I loved my bread machine so much, that I bought a second one when I found it at a thrift store! My first one I bought at a school rummage sale for $5. I have bought a third one similar to the first two for the bread pan and other parts. Weekly, I make a whole wheat bread and a rye bread at the same time since my husband goes through bread quickly.

    My bread machine also can cook rice and make jam.

  5. TSandy says:

    I agree with the recommendation to buy a Zojirushi bread machine. Paying that much money gave me heart palpations but after using it non-stop for the last three years I’d purchase a new one immediately if it died today. I love that thing. I use my Zo to do all the preparation and kneading and I bake everything we eat. So it’s in use at least three times a week and often daily. This thing is a workhorse and I expect to get many more years worth of bread before I have to replace it. There are few small kitchen appliances that live up to their expectations but this is one. I do have a Kitchenaid mixer with dough hooks and sometimes when I’m working with bigger recipes I’ll use it. I’d rather just break a recipe down into a couple of batches and let the Zo do the work.

    Great site. Let me say it was your bread photos and articles that convinced me to sign up for your site. Thanks!

Share Your Thoughts