The smell and taste of freshly baked bread appeals to most people; this, coupled with the increasing ease of using modern bread makers, has turned this type of machine into a popular household item.
Browse online reviews
If you are new to baking and don’t know which model to pick, start by looking at small discounted bread maker reviews online. Check the reviews of different small-sized machines, and, once you have selected several, narrow your list down to those that are discounted (not necessarily cheap). This is a great way to buy a product that is normally more expensive and maybe out of your budget range, but the choice is ultimately yours.
Questions to ask yourself
Consider how much baking you are likely to do, as well as the types of food you are going to use the machine for; will you be making bread only, or also pretzels, pizzas, cakes, pasta? How much kitchen space can you spare?
Why go small
Be aware that small does not necessarily mean cheap or with less features; for instance, a mini machine can feature 10 different settings, and be fitted with all sorts of useful gadgets. Small means portable, though, so look for a model that is equipped with sturdy handles for safe carrying around, and that has a compact design, so that it will not take up a lot of space on your kitchen benchtop. In fact, some mini models are barely larger than a blender, at around 12 inches tall and weighing under 10 pounds.
A mini bread maker typically produces a 1-pound loaf, but some models can also make 2-pound breads. A quality machine can bake a high dough with a softer or firmer texture, as well as a perfect crust irrespective of how much of a master baker you are. Smaller breads are great for families with fewer members, as well as for households that do not routinely eat a lot of bread.
Like most quality machines nowadays, small bread makers also feature a viewing window and an LCD display, both of which are useful when you want to safely supervise the kneading and baking process. You can select the quick baking cycle to have your bread ready in about one hour (this feature depends on the machine, but all models usually need less than 2 hours to complete the baking). They can also keep the bread warm for one hour after the baking is over, so that you can enjoy that unique taste whenever you have the time. Moreover, all bread makers come with a user manual and a set of recipes where you can find tips and ideas when you want to try something new.