Although I love the smell of any freshly made bread in the morning, if there’s one type of bread I find truly irresistible, it’s sourdough. I am a sucker for the crispy exterior, open crumb structure, and acid taste of a homemade loaf of sourdough.
Unlike a regular loaf of bread that requires yeast to make it rise, sourdough uses what is known as a starter to leaven the bread. This natural fermentation of the yeast is what gives sourdough its slightly acidic taste and heavenly aroma.
Although your trusty bread maker can lend a helping hand here, there are some complications in making sourdough bread in a bread machine. The first problem is a traditional sourdough starter needs to be fermented and fed over the course of 5-7 days or even more.
Another issue is that Sourdough bread requires a longer raising time compared to bread that uses baker’s yeast. This extended raising period is the reason not all breadmakers will have the ability to bake sourdough bread. You will need a bread maker that has the correct settings to be able to make sourdough in a bread machine.
Because not all bread makers have these settings, in this post, I want to help you find the best bread maker for sourdough bread. I have done some digging and found the most popular bread makers that are perfect for making sourdough bread.
Let’s get started!
Sourdough Bread Machines: Things to remember
Can you make sourdough bread in a bread machine? Technically yes, but before we get started, there are a few things to keep in mind when making sourdough in a bread maker. Unless your bread machine has a setting specifically for sourdough, you will need to manually adjust each program depending on which stage your sourdough bread is at. In other words, your bread machine will need to have customizable dough only and bake programs.
Once your dough is kneaded on the ‘dough only’ setting, you can just leave it in your bread maker while it doubles in size. If your bread machine has a proofing setting, great. If not, let it sit in your bread maker in a warm place until your sourdough has doubled in size.
If you want to follow a great step-by-step guide on how to use your bread machine to make sourdough, take a look here.
The Best Bread Maker For Sourdough: My Top 7
Here are seven of my favorite sourdough bread makers available in 2022. The machines either have specific sourdough settings or manually customizable settings, either way, you will be making delicious homemade sourdough in no time with the help of these machines!
The Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso is the best sourdough bread maker on the market in my opinion. I admit that it may look like something out of the early 2000s but don’t be fooled when it comes to making delicious bread, this little machine is an absolute pro.
What makes this bread maker stand out from the rest is its two kneading paddles. It ensures that all your ingredients are mixed and kneaded to perfection. It also has a longer loaf tub and with the capacity of up to 2 pounds, there will always be plenty of bread to go around.
Perhaps one of the best features of the Zojirushi Virtuoso is its dual heating elements, something that is really rare to find on home bread makers. This top heating element ensures that you’ll have a perfectly even color on your sourdough every time. Although it does not have an automatic ingredient dispenser, it does beep when it is ready for the ingredients to be added manually.
The best feature of all, which makes it one of the best bread makers for sourdough bread, is that it has a sourdough starter setting (page 21 user manual) as well as a cycle for making a sourdough loaf. On page 22 of the manual, you can find a guide on how to make sourdough bread using the Zojirushi.
All in all, I really like this Zojirushi machine, and there’s little doubt that this is one of the best bread makers for sourdough currently available. While it may not be a budget-friendly sourdough bread maker out there, if you’re serious about your bread making, this is truly a great investment and addition to your kitchen.
- Has sourdough starter setting
- Large loaf tin
- 10 pre programmed settings
- Top heating element for even browning
- Removable paddles
- Adjustable timing
- Quieter than other bread makers
- Quick bake cycle
- Dated design
- No automatic dispenser
Kitchenarm 29-in-1 Smart Bread Machine
If you’re looking for the best budget bread maker for sourdough bread, look no further than the KITCHENARM 29-in-1 SMART Bread Machine. Again, this machine has a setting specifically for a sourdough starter as well as a setting for sourdough bread. Sourdough is a notoriously tricky dough to perfect, but with this machine, you’ll have no trouble at all and will get perfect results every time.
This machine is also great if you are a beginner. It has 29 automatic programs that include 21 bread menus and 7 non-bread menus, like cake, jam, and yogurt. Plus, the fully customizable cycle-level programming menu means you can create any recipe you like, no matter how complicated it may be.
The machine supports both high gluten bread flour and gluten-free flour, so you can still make healthy bread without sacrificing taste or quality. This bread machine can also make bread with fresh ingredients, like onions, oranges, and zucchini.
- Sourdough bread maker settings
- Very budget friendly
- 2lb loaves
- 12 pre-programmed settings
- A bit loud
I’m a big fan of Breville kitchen equipment and their BBM800XL bread maker is no exception. It’s consistently rated as one of the best bread makers for home bakers and with 13 different settings, it is one of the most versatile bread makers out there. The setting varies from your basic bread setting to jam making. It also offers 3 crust colors.
The Breville bread maker is also great because it offers flexibility in quantity, with 4 different loaf sizes from 1 pound to 2 ½ pounds. If you love adding nuts and dried fruit to your bread, this bread maker has an automatic dispenser that allows you to add ingredients that are automatically dispensed during the optimal time of the kneading process.
What makes this one of the best bread makers for sourdough bread is the fully customizable settings. This allows you to customize the kneading and baking times for your sourdough bread. Although there is no specific setting for sourdough, the customizable nature of this machine means you can create one. All you need to do is put the bread maker on the crusty loaf setting and let the bread machine do the rest.
You can find a step-by-step guide to this on page 90 of the Breville BBM800XL user manual.
- Stainless steel
- 13 settings
- Adjustable time and temperature in every phase
- 4 loaf sizes
- Collapsible paddle
- Automatic dispenser
- LCD screen
- Built in light for better view of the baking process through the window
- Power failure back up
- 46 step by step recipes in manual
- A little bulky
- No top heating element
- No sourdough setting
Overall, this bread maker can not be faulted. Sure, it may be a bit loud and might take a wonder along the countertop, but nothing a wet cloth can’t fix. More importantly, it is easy to use and is perfect for sourdough bread. This sleek stainless steel bread maker will be a great addition to your kitchen top.
KBS Large 17-in-1
This bread maker is a quality machine that can make a variety of different breads, including sourdough. It has a recipe for sourdough starter and a setting specifically for making sourdough bread.
The KBS has 17 different programs to choose from, as well as a fruit and nut dispenser that releases ingredients automatically at the optimum time. The ceramic pan is also designed to make the bread evenly baked and healthier for no chemicals.
With a delay timer, you can program the bread maker to start up to 15 hours in advance. It features an intuitive digital touch panel control and a sleek stainless steel shell. This is a quality machine that will make perfect sourdough bread every time.
- 17 preset menus including sourdough setting
- Ceramic bread pan
- LCD screen
- 15 hour delayed timer
- A bit loud
- The recipes are a hit or miss
If you are looking for a more budget-friendly sourdough bread maker, then this Cuisinart machine could be the one for you. The Cuisinart has a sleek, minimal design and price tag that won’t break the bank. Its durable stainless steel exterior means it’ll last forever and with a small size, it won’t take up much space in your kitchen.
Impressively, it has 16 pre-programmed settings and 3 crust settings so you can pick how dark or light you want your bread to be. It also has a large viewing window for you to watch your bread being made with anticipation!
It only has 3 loaf sizes in comparison to the Breville and Zojirushi which both have 4, although the Cuisinart still yields a large 2-pound loaf. The Cuisinart also has a much longer cycle which can last from 3 to 5 hours. So if you are wanting a quick bake, this is probably not the best as you will be waiting a while for your bread.
Although the Cuisinart doesn’t have a specific sourdough setting, it does have a dough only and a bake setting.
- 16 pre programmed settings
- 3 crust settings
- Power failure back up
- Stay cool handles
- 12 hour delay
- LCD screen with big viewing window
- Long bake cycles
- No ingredient dispenser
- No preset sourdough setting
This bread maker has everything you need to make sourdough bread. It also comes with its own recipe book and measuring cups and spoons which is a great bonus.
Cuisinart CBK 110
If you are looking for a space-saving bread maker that is just as good as the high-end ones, this is the one for you. This Cuisinart has 12 pre-programmed settings, 3 crust colors and can bake up to 2-pound loaves.
What is great about this machine is its counter-friendly and compact shape. It has a vertical shape and fits well in storage without taking up too much space. There is also a viewing window and an interior light so you can peek at your bread while it’s baking.
This bread machine, like all the others we reviewed, features a dough-only and bake program. Ideal for making sourdough bread.
- Budget friendly
- 29 settings
- Beginner friendly
- No top heating element
- No specific sourdough settings
Cuisinart has created a reputation for itself and you will definitely not be disappointed with this one.
SAKI Bread Maker
The Saki bread maker is the perfect machine for anyone who loves to make bread in large quantities, especially those delicious sourdough loaves. It doesn’t have a specific sourdough setting, but in the manual, you will find a sourdough recipe.
The machine can make a 2lb, 2.5lb and 3lb loaf of bread, and it comes with a 15-hour delayed timer so you can prepare the ingredients before you sleep and wake up to fresh hot and crusty bread. The machine also has a viewing window and a double mixing paddle to make sure the dough is mixed evenly. Plus, the SAKI Bread Maker boasts an automatic keep-warm function so your bread will be nice and warm when it’s done.
The Saki bread maker comes with a 2-year warranty, so you can be sure that it is a durable machine. Overall, the SAKI Bread Maker is a great bread maker for anyone who loves fresh and delicious sourdough bread. It is easy to use and comes with everything you need to get started. Plus, it has a large size that is perfect for anyone who wants to make a lot of bread at once. So if you’re looking for the best bread maker for sourdough bread, the Saki bread maker is a great machine.
- 15 hour delayed timer
- Sourdough recipe included
- Ceramic bread pan
- Large LCD screen
- The exterior gets quite hot
Which machine is right for you?
As you have just seen, there are a few bread machines out there that do have sourdough settings. If you are not able to get your hands on one with specific settings, then simply find a machine that offers adjustable settings.
Remember, this is essential for sourdough bread as it does not rise at the rate time as bread made with baker’s yeast. Sourdough requires a slower rise and it is hard to tell how long it will take to rise. So, when picking the best bread maker for sourdough bread it really comes down to the details of each bread maker.
If you want an all-around bread machine that can do everything on a budget, the KitchenArm 29-in-1 bread maker can do it all. Its compact size means it will not take up much space in your kitchen and its features are great.
If you want an appliance that not only makes great bread but also looks good in your kitchen, the Breville is a no-brainer. The fact that it has a setting that can be used for sourdough bread is ideal as you won’t have to do much apart from preparing the starter.
That said, if you are wanting quality, top-class bread then go for the Zojirushi. It’s consistently reviewed as making the best quality bread, even better than the Breville.
The Zojirushi would be my first pick of the lot, but the choice is yours!