Many people ask me for gluten-free bread machine reviews, such as which bread machine I prefer for baking gluten-free bread. Which are the best bread machines for making gluten-free bread? Is it also necessary to have a bread machine with a gluten-free setting?
I've been making gluten-free bread for many years. I've tried almost every bread machine on the market, both those with and without gluten-free bread settings. I compare the features of various Zojirushi, Hamilton Beach, and T-fal gluten-free bread machines here.
There are some bread machine models to avoid even within brands, so pay attention to model numbers and links.
But first, let's discuss whether a bread machine is required to make great gluten-free bread.
While it is convenient to toss everything into a pan, press a button, and walk away... Baking homemade gluten-free bread in the oven with a pan is certainly not difficult. It would be beneficial if you had the proper ingredients and recipe.
Is a Gluten-Free Bread Machine required?
First and foremost, you do NOT need a bread machine to make delicious gluten-free bread. However, if you want to use a bread maker, please read my article for information on what to look for and how to use one.
Check out my Top 18 GF Breadbaking Tips for more gluten-free bread baking tips that apply to both oven and bread maker baking.
There are numerous reasons to try making your own gluten-free bread at home, whether you bake it in an oven or a bread machine:
When you use the right ingredients, it's not difficult to make delicious gluten-free bread; the results are far superior to any frozen gluten-free loaf you'd buy at the grocery store.
The slices are large enough to make real sandwiches (no holes! ), and baking delicious gluten-free bread at home is far more cost-effective in the long run (how much money have you already wasted buying gluten-free bread your family won't eat? I'll leave it there.)
Reviews of Gluten-Free Bread Machines
All of my bread machine testing has been done with my award-winning gfJules Bread Mix, so the results of each bake-off are solely dependent on the machine as the variable.
Review of the Zojirushi Gluten-Free Bread Machine
I'll start with the Zojirushi® Home Baker Virtuoso, which has long been considered the best gluten-free bread machine by most bakers (including myself). There is one disadvantage: the price.
I've traveled the world teaching gluten-free bread baking classes, and I've always relied on my trusty Zojirushi. While it has a pre-programmed gluten-free setting, I program my own to avoid some of the issues that the pre-programmed one can cause (including a punch-down setting which I never recommend for gluten-free bread).
Review my comprehensive article on baking gluten-free bread in a bread maker for more information on how to easily program a bread machine like the Zojirushi for baking gluten-free bread (one of the features I like best about it).
The Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso is the bread maker that does it all, and it's the one I've reviewed here for our sandwich bread baking needs. It's widely regarded as the gold standard for bread machines, particularly in the gluten-free category.
As previously stated, it has a pre-set gluten-free cycle, but I prefer to program my own homemade cycle with this machine because the pre-set GF setting requires a punch-down and second rise, which is never a good idea with gluten-free bread. Fortunately, the homemade settings are simple to program, and we can get the perfect gluten-free bread that way!
The only drawback to this machine is its price, which is typically in the mid-$300 range. However, if you plan on baking a lot of bread or enjoy the idea of having a machine do it for you, this is a worthwhile investment.
The idea behind any bread machine is to put all of the liquids in the pan first, then the dry ingredients, and finally the yeast. Push a button, and the machine does the rest, producing a delicious gluten-free loaf in just over 2 hours.
The Zojirushi's long pan with double mixing paddles is one of its best features. Because of the double paddle design, the machine mixes the dough better than most other machines. Because of the long loaf, the bread is shaped and sized similarly to sandwich bread.
With the right gluten-free bread recipe or mix, the Zojirushi consistently produces a well-mixed, well-cooked loaf every time.
One thing to keep in mind: unlike some other bread machines, it does not produce a very crusty gluten-free loaf. The crust is more like that of a store-bought, soft crust bread, which is fantastic!... Unless you're after a crusty loaf of bread.
Zojirushi also makes a vertical-shaped upright bread machine, the Home Bakery Maestro. I used this machine to make gluten-free panettone, and it worked great!
The machine is roughly the same price as the Home Bakery Virtuoso, but for my money, I'd go with the larger, two-paddle, horizontal loaf machine instead.
More information: Best Zojirushi bread machine reviews 2021
Review of the Hamilton Beach Artisan Dough & Bread Maker
I recently tested a less expensive bread machine option: the Hamilton Beach Artisan Dough & Bread Maker 29885.*
The pan, like the T-fal gluten-free bread machine, is more compact than the Zojirushi and has only one mixing paddle. The bake time for the gluten-free setting is slightly longer than for the T-fal, but you can still have a fresh, hot loaf of homemade gluten-free bread in under 3 hours, which is a pretty good option.
It's worth noting that the model number of the machine I reviewed — which I liked — is 29885.
Other Hamilton Beach bread machine models are available. At least one (model #29882) has a gluten-free setting that includes two rise times, with the first kneading cycle lasting 10 minutes, followed by a second kneading cycle lasting 20 minutes after a 25-minute rest/rising period. That would be disaster, or, in this case, a very flat gluten-free loaf.
I'm not sure what's up with that program (and so many other similar "gluten-free bread machine programs" on other branded machines), but don't buy it!
Many thanks to reader Patty S. for sharing her manual for this machine with me, but I'm sorry to hear about her bad experiences as a result of those settings! Patty's experience with the Hamilton Beach #29882 machine was as follows:
As we discussed, I made my bread using the dough setting first, followed by the bake setting. The recipe stated that the dough would be mixed/kneaded before rising. So, during the rise period (30 minutes), about 17 minutes in, I heard it mix. It spun the paddle once, then paused for a few seconds before spinning again.
As soon as I heard it, I went into the kitchen and turned it off, leaving it to rise for the remainder of the time the machine was turned off. I'm not sure how many more times it would have spun if I hadn't turned it off. I started the bake-only cycle after waiting the remaining time.
Thanks to your help and information, the bread turned out beautifully. It's absolutely delicious!! Today was the first time in two and a half years that I had toast for breakfast. I was ecstatic!
Having said that, the machine will work, but you will have to keep an eye on it. I wouldn't mind if there were no other machines available. However, there are other machines; mine is being returned, and I'm ordering the correct Hamilton Beach #29885, which is $16 less expensive. Yes, I am! Haha
Thank you once more for your assistance and wealth of knowledge! Without you, my bread would not have been a success!! Thank you!!! Thank you!!! Thank you!!!
Then, after Patty exchanged it for the Hamilton Beach #29885, I recommend:
I used the 29885, and the bread was delicious! I didn't bake it for the extra time because the thermometer read 205 degrees. The bread was completely cooked; nothing was undercooked. This weekend, I made your cinnamon raisin recipe; no additional bake time was required. It's delectable!
Thank you for your wonderful flour, recipes, and wealth of knowledge!
Patty, congratulations on your perseverance! She was rewarded with excellent gluten-free bread, and she now has an excellent gluten-free bread machine on which she can rely!
Back to the bread machine: compare the size of these slices to a standard veggie burger — now that's a good size slice of bread! Unlike most store-bought gluten-free loaves, these bread machine loaves produce sandwich bread with generously sized slices that can be used to make real sandwiches.
One thing to note about this gluten-free bread machine: at the end of the pre-programmed gluten freecycle, I tested the loaf with a bread thermometer, and it needed more bake time to reach 205F internally (note from above that reader Patty did not need to add time, but that's why it's always good to have an instant-read thermometer, so you know for sure!).
The good news is that, unlike the Cuisinart**, this Hamilton Beach has a simple bake setting that allows you to easily add bake time.
I ended up extending the bake time by 10 minutes, and the loaf was tested done. Despite all of the lid opening and closing, some sinking did occur in the top of the crust.
It still tasted great and was fully cooked, so I'd consider that a minor blemish on this machine; next time, I'll add 10 minutes and won't have to open the lid at all.
The room temperature liquids go on the bottom of the pan, followed by the dry mix ingredients, and finally the yeast in a well in the center, as with any bread machine.
When the bake cycles are finished, remove the pan from the machine (using a potholder) and allow the loaf to cool in the pan for a few minutes before gently sliding the loaf out of the pan to finish cooling on a wire rack.
- Machine with a small footprint and a light weight
- Bakes a lovely, tall loaf
- One pre-programmed gluten-free Bake only setting is available to add time or program your own.
- There are also settings for sweet bread, dough, jam, rise, and bake (which would work for gluten-free)
- From start to finish, a 2 pound loaf with a nice crust takes less than 3 hours.
- Bread has a soft crust and is less expensive than Zojirushi® or T-Fal® bread.
- The dough paddle is more likely to remain in the pan than in the baked loaf.
It includes a paddle hook to assist in removing the dough paddle from the loaf if it does remain inside after the loaf is removed.
- Although a compact bread pan bakes a tall loaf, it results in slightly fewer slices (approximately 16, depending on how thick they are sliced)
- Only one paddle to mix with – a rubber spatula is required to fully mix the batter.
In the bake time specified, the machine did not fully cook my gluten-free loaf to 205o F.
- Bread has a soft crust; Zojirushi® pan is 9 inches long; if you prefer a crunchy crust, I recommend the T-Fal® bread machine instead.
Do you have a bread machine that you use to make gluten-free bread?
Is yours a gluten-free bread machine or a regular bread machine that you must program for gluten-free loaves?
Please leave a comment below with the bread maker you use and your thoughts on it so that others can learn which machines are worth a try.