A bread and dough machine is a specialty home appliance that sits conveniently on a countertop and does most of the work of mixing, kneading, rising and, with bread, baking. Fairly compact, easy to keep clean and easier to use, bread and dough machines are made by a wide variety of manufacturers, including Sunbeam, Oster, Panasonic, Zojirushi, Toastmaster and Breadman, among others. Costing anywhere from $50 to $250, both standard and convection units are available. Whatever the model, bread and dough machines make the process of baking homemade breads, pizza crusts and cakes easy and rewarding.
Bread and dough machines feature a removable nonstick pan, usually aluminum that sits neatly inside the portable oven. A detachable paddle hooks to a cam and mixes the ingredients. Machines may feature an LED or LCD display screen with all electronic controls. Other standard features include a programmable delay start feature and multiple baking functions. Bread and dough machines make loaves anywhere from 1 to 2.5 pounds.
Along with the menu settings, the crust color selector and size options, most bread and dough machines offer over 100 possible combinations. Make whole-grain, French, sourdough or other kinds of bread. Skip the bake setting and make dough for homemade pizza. Select machines include audible tones that indicate when to add other ingredients or remove unbaked dough.