Bread machines have become a near essential appliance in millions of bread-loving households across the country. These machines offer a brilliant alternative to making fresh bread without all of the time-consuming work that goes hand-in-hand with making homemade bread.
One of the most common pet peeves for home bakers, regardless of which bread machine they use, is that ugly hole at the bottom of your loaf. This hole is caused by the kneading paddle that stays in place while the bread is completing the baking cycle. Although this is a purely aesthetic problem, it can be pretty frustrating, especially if you want to make a perfect loaf.
The good news is that some manufacturers have recognized this problem and have created bread makers with collapsible paddles. These clever machines have kneading paddles that will collapse prior to the baking cycle, leaving a significantly smaller hole in the final product.
If you are looking for such a machine, you’re in luck.
Here, I have put together a list of some of the best bread machines with collapsible paddles that are currently available in 2022. While your choice of collapsible paddle bread machines is still pretty limited (there are only a handful of models available with this feature) I have chosen a few machines I think are worthy of a look.
Bread Makers with Collapsible Paddles
Because collapsible paddles as still fairly new creations, there is only a small minority of bread machines that have collapsible paddles. Currently, your choice is currently limited to the Breville BBM800XL and a few Breadman models.
The Breville BBM800XL is a high-end bread machine that has a lot to offer bread-loving bakers. It is one of the most popular bread machines on the market and is loved by many, myself included.
One of the main features of the Breville, that sets it apart from many of its counterparts, is the collapsible paddle. Just before the bake function starts, the kneading paddle will automatically fold down, minimizing the damage caused to the bottom of the loaf.
In addition to the collapsible paddle, it also has an automatic fruit and nut dispenser. This is a great feature if you like to add things like raisins or nuts to your bread. The dispenser will release them at the right moment during the knead phase so they are evenly incorporated within the dough.
It also has plenty of pre-set menus that allow you to make whatever type of bread your heart desires. It comes with 13 automatic settings, including one for gluten-free bread, yeast-free, dough, and even jam. I also love that you can have complete control over the cycle times, allowing you to create over 60 delicious recipes in this machine.
As with most bread machines, the Breville gives you three crust colors options (light, medium, or dark). It also has four loaf sizes; 1lb, 1.5lb, 2lb, and a family-size loaf of 2.5lb. Both the bread pan and the kneading paddle are non-stick making them easy to clean.
The bread maker features a smart LCD screen with progress indicators and the dial lets you navigate through the settings with ease. On the lid, you will find a large viewing window so you can watch as your bread rises and bakes. There is a button on the control panel that turns on a light that is built in the inside of the chamber. This will allow you to see clearly through the viewing window and watch the magic happen!
The main body of the machine is made from stainless steel giving it a modern and sleek look that will look great in any kitchen, which makes it a pretty weighty appliance too. The Breville is bigger than other machines out there weighing in at around 16.85lb (7.2kg) and measuring 9.8 x 15.7 x 13.9. You do need extra bench space for this machine to fit in your kitchen.
Perhaps the biggest downside to this machine, however, is its price tag. It’s not exactly the cheapest machine on the market, but with its huge versatility and clever features, I totally think it’s worth the investment.
All in all, the Breville BBM800XL is a great machine for those who are looking for a high-end bread maker with all the bells and whistles.
The Breadman Professional BK810S is another bread machine that has a collapsible paddle. This machine is not as popular as the Breville but it does still boast some great features.
Just like the Breville, the kneading paddle on this machine will collapse before baking to prevent holes in your loaves of bread.
In terms of performance, the Breadman Professional has14 automatic settings, including gluten-free, whole wheat, dough only, and jam. The loaf sizes vary between 1lb, 1.5lb, and 2lb which is large enough for a small family. Similar to the Breville, the Breadman also offers 3 crust colors; light, medium, and dark. Both the bread pan and the blade have a non-stick coating making it easy to remove from the bread and to clean it.
The Breadman BK810S also has a large viewing window on the lid so you can watch your bread as it bakes. The digital screen and push-button control are user-friendly and you can navigate between each setting effortlessly.
The machine has a 15-hour delay timer so you can set it to have fresh bread ready when you wake up in the morning or come home from work. If you are late from work or are waiting for your friends before you take the loaf out, the machine will keep the bread warm for up to 1 hour after it has baked it.
Like the Breville, the Breadman also has an automatic fruit and nut dispenser. This will release the ingredients at the right time during the kneading phase so they are evenly mixed in.
It has a refined stainless steel housing and comes with a measuring cup and spoon. The machine itself is a little heavier than the Breville, weighing in at around 17.2lb (7.7kg) and measuring 16.57 x 11.97 x 15.59 inches, which makes it larger in size too.
If you are looking for a bread machine with a collapsible paddle that is not as expensive as the Breville, the Breadman BK810S is a great option.
It’s worth noting that there is another Breadman machine that also has collapsible paddles; the Breadman BK200B. This bread maker can make two loaves at the same time as it has space for two bread pans. Unfortunately, this bread maker has been out of stock for a while now and there is no indication that it will come back in stock.
How does a collapsible paddle work?
So how do the clever folding paddles work on these machines anyway? It’s actually pretty simple.
When the paddle is in use during the mixing and kneading cycles, it is positioned in an upright position. The shaft turns the paddle in a single direction, which in turn, kneads the dough.
When the dough is ready to bake, the paddle spins in the opposite direction. This causes the paddle to collapse down and prevents it from leaving a large hole in the bread.
The main benefit of having a collapsible paddle is that it produces a much smoother loaf of bread. Having said that, you can’t avoid some sort of incision or outline of the paddle at the bottom of the bread. Collapsible paddles don’t completely get rid of that.
Are collapsible paddle bread makers worth it?
The Breville bread maker collapsible paddle is a hit or miss, and with a quick bit of research, you will see that the jury is still out on how efficient it is at collapsing. Some owners of the Breville BBM800XL say that the collapsible paddle works well and they’ve not had any issues with it not collapsing.
Others, on the other hand, mention that the paddle doesn’t collapse properly and gets stuck in the loaf. For the paddle to collapse it does need to push down into the tough dough, so you can see why it can sometimes get stuck in the loaf and not collapse. The motor might not be strong enough to push it through the dough efficiently each time.
For the Breadman, the paddle seems to work quite well. Most owners say that it collapses like it’s meant to and the incision it leaves at the bottom is very minimal.
The Breville BBM800XL and the Breadman BK810S are both great bread machines with collapsible paddles. The Breville is more expensive but has more features, while the Breadman is a great option for those who are looking for a cheaper machine.
Both machines have their pros and cons, so it really comes down to personal preference. If you are looking for a bread machine that not only has a collapsible paddle but also offers a mind-boggling range of functions, then I recommend investing in the Breville.
The reason why not a lot of bread machines have this feature is that it is not really needed. Whether the paddle collapses or not, you will still get a small hole or incision, so the collapsible paddle doesn’t completely eliminate any marks at the bottom of the loaf. It is also pretty easy to manually remove the paddle from the bread machine before the bread starts baking. If you have a machine that doesn’t have a collapsible paddle and the hole at the bottom frustrates you, try removing the paddle yourself.