Best bread maker for sourdough bread

Best Bread Maker For Sourdough

There are few things better to wake up to than the smell of freshly made bread wafting around your house in the morning. That smell, as well as a strong cup of coffee, are about the only things that get me out of bed in the morning. This delightful morning ritual is probably of my favorite things about having a bread machine.

Plus, anyone who has tried their hand at making bread knows there is a bit of an art to the making process. Sure, it might feel a little bit like cheating, but to save me on time, tears, and mental breakdowns over flat loaves, many of us turn to our trusty bread machines.

Bread makers tend to be used for making a regular run-of-the-mill, white loaf that uses baker’s yeast bought from the grocery store. Sourdough, on the other hand, is a different beast altogether. It requires what is known as a starter to leaven the bread. This natural fermentation of the yeast is what gives sourdough its signature acidic taste and heavenly aroma. 

A starter needs to be fermented and fed over the course of 5-7 days, or sometimes even longer. If done right, you’ll have the perfect starter for your sourdough loaf. 

Sourdough bread requires a longer raising time compared to a loaf that uses baker’s yeast. That is the main reason why not all bread makers will have the ability to bake sourdough bread. You need a bread maker that has the correct settings in order to to make it in your machine. 

Since not all bread makers have these settings, I spent some time to finding the best bread maker for sourdough bread. I’ve tested some of the top bread makers that I think will work well when making sourdough bread. 

Want to cut to the chase? Here’s what I think are best bread machines for sourdough.

Sourdough Bread Machines: Things to keep in mind

Before we get started, there are a few things to keep in mind when making sourdough in a bread maker. Because no bread machine out there has a setting specifically for sourdough bread, you will need to manually adjust each program depending on which stage your sourdough bread is at. 

To do this, your bread machine will need to have a dough-only and bake program.

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 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 4

Breville BBM800XL

You can’t really fault Breville’s kitchen equipment and this bread maker is no different. It’s consistently one of the best bread makers out there, and my personal favorite machine. So it’s not exactly the cheapest machine ever made, but it’s one of the most versatile bread makers out there with 13 different settings, ranging from your basic bread setting to even a preserve-making setting; although most people tend to stick to the bread-making aspect of this bread maker. It also offers 3 crust colors.

I also like that Breville bread maker offers flexibility in its 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 a dispenser where you can add ingredients and it automatically dispenses them during the kneading process. 

What makes this the best bread maker for sourdough bread are the adjustable settings. This allows you to customize the time for your sourdough bread. Although there is no specific setting for sourdough, 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.

This bread maker seems to have everything you need to make sourdough. You can read more about this machine in my Breville BBM800XL review.

Pros 

  • Stainless steel
  • 13 settings 
  • Adjustable time and temperature in every phase
  • 4 loaf sizes 
  • Collapsible paddle and removable paddles 
  • Sourdough bread setting
  • 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

Cons

  • Big and bulky
  • Noisy
  • No top heating element
  • Expensive

Overall, this bread maker can not be faulted. 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. 

Zojirushi BB-PAC20

The Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Breadmaker is another one of my favorite bread makers, although it does look like something out of the early 2000s. Don’t be fooled though, when it comes to 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 the ingredients are mixed and kneaded to perfection. It also has a longer bread pan, making really good size loafs. And with the capacity of up to 2 pounds, there will always be plenty of bread to go around.

Another great feature is its heating elements, something which a lot other bread makers do not have. Its top heating element ensures that you’ll have a perfectly even color to your sourdough loaf each time. Although it does not have an automatic ingredient dispenser like the Breville, it beeps 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 its own sourdough starter setting (page 21 user manual). On page 22 of the manual, you can find a guide on how to make sourdough bread using the Zojirushi machine.

This undoubtedly makes it the best bread maker for sourdough bread, right? I’ll weigh up some pros and cons for you to have a better idea of the features. 

Pros 

  • Large loaf tin
  • 10 pre programmed settings 
  • Top heating element for even browning
  • Removable paddles
  • Adjustable timing
  • Durable 
  • Quieter than other bread makers
  • Has sourdough starter setting
  • Quick bake cycle

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Old design 
  • No ingredient dispenser 

Certainly, the cons aren’t enough to put you off this exceptional bread maker with pretty much its own sourdough setting! The quality of the bread is guaranteed to be top-notch each time, whether you want a quick bake in just a few minutes or a tasty sourdough. 

Better yet, it comes with measuring cups and spoons. It may not exactly be a budget-friendly machine, but if you’re serious about your bread, then this is will be a really great addition to your kitchen. 

Cuisinart CBK-200

If you are looking for a more budget-friendly bread maker, this is the one. The Cuisinart has a sleek, minimal appearance and with that price you won’t be breaking the bank. It’s durable stainless steel material means it’ll last forever and with a small footprint, it won’t take up much space in your kitchen. 

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 have 4, but it will still yield as large as 2 pounds. 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.

Pros 

  • Budget-friendly
  • Durable 
  • 16 pre programmed settings 
  • 3 crust settings 
  • Power failure back up 
  • Stay cool handles 
  • 12 hour delay 
  • LCD screen with big viewing window

Cons

  • Long bake cycles
  • No ingredient dispenser 

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 an even more budget-friendly 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 bread maker is its counter friendly and compact. 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.

Pros 

  • Very budget friendly
  • Compact 
  • 12 pre-programmed settings

Cons

  • No top heating element

Cuisinart has created a reputation for itself and you will definitely not be disappointed with this one.

Which machine is right for you? 

As you have probably noticed, all 4 bread makers have one thing in common; adjustable settings. This is essential for sourdough bread as it does not rise at the same 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 are planning on making the occasional sourdough bread and don’t want to spend much on a bread machine, I would suggest the Cuisinart CBK 100. 

It’s compact size means it will not take up much space in your kitchen and it’s features, although basic, still work great when making sourdough bread. 

If you want an appliance that offers more than just your regular bread, 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. 

But, if you are wanting a quality, top-class machine then opt for the Zojirushi. It’s consistently reviewed as making the best quality bread makers – even better than the Breville. The choice is yours!