Bread makers have brought so much ease into our lives. Instead of spending hours and energy kneading, proving and baking, you pop all the ingredients in the bread machine, press a few buttons and off it goes. In a few hours you have fresh, warm and irresistibly delicious bread with minimal effort.
There are so many different brands and types of bread machines out there so it can be quite overwhelming when deciding which one is fit for you, or whether it is even worth buying a machine in the first place.
The Breville BBM800XL, aside from being one of our favourite bread makers, it is also one of the best and most advanced machines in the market. This review will take your through all the features, the pros and cons and will hopefully answer any questions you may be having about the Breville bread maker.
The Bread Maker
The actual body of the bread maker is brushed with durable stainless steel. There are also cooling vents all around the sides and the back of the Breville BBM800XL to ensure it does not overheat while it’s baking your loaf.
A very interesting feature that many bread makers do not have is the cord wrap round the back of the machine. So, when you are done with your bread maker, simply wrap the cord around the pegs and store it away. No more cords hanging all over the place!
The Breville BBM800XL also comes with a manual so make sure you thoroughly read it as it has everything you need to know. A great addition to the manual are the recipes that are included for almost every function. This is ideal as you will have all the recipes you need in one place rather than having to dig up all your cookbooks.
Control Panel Buttons
Breville has really tried to make this machine as user friendly as possible. The LCD screen is super easy to navigate and everything is easy to read.
At the top, above the LCD screen, you will find 3 buttons; Units, Mute and Light.
The unit button allows you to easily change between pounds and kilograms and Celsius and Fahrenheit.
The mute button is a very thoughtful addition by Breville as it mutes any sound and alerts the machine makes. This is a great feature if you plan on setting your machine on a delayed timer through the night.
Under the lid, there is a build in light. So, the light button turns it on and lets you see the progress of your bread without having to keep opening the lid and letting all that precious heat out.
Under the LCD screen you will find 4 more buttons, as well as a push dial.
The delay start button allows you to delay the start of the bread cycle for up to 13 hours. This is a great feature that allows you to set your machine on in the evening, let it work it’s magic through the night, and then wake up to freshly made bread in the morning.
If you want to change the temperature that your bread is baking at or want to change the times of each phase of the bread cycles then the modify button will do just that.
You can use the cancel button two ways. You can either press it to cancel and return to the main menu before the cycle has started, or you can use it to cancel the cycle once it has already started.
The start/pause button does just that. Press to start the bread cycle. If you want to pause the cycle to add, let’s say, egg wash on your loaf, then you can press and hold the pause button for a few seconds until the word ‘PAUSE’ appears on the screen. Press it again to continue with the cycle.
The push dial is used to scroll through the options on the LCD screen. Turn it to go through the list and push to select your preferred setting. You will also use the push dial to select your desired crust colour.
When you open the lid of your Breville Custom Loaf bread maker you will find a standard loaf pan with handles.
The handles are great as it makes removing your loaf much easier. The bread pan also has a non-stick coating, so your bread should not stick on the sides when you are taking it out.
The Breville bread pan can yield 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5 pound loaves. This is more than how much other bread makers yield and is ideal for making small loaves or family size ones.
With the Breville Custom Loaf you will get 2 paddles. The light grey one is used for jams and the darker one for kneading bread. Now, unless you are a frequent jam maker, then you will probably not use the grey one as much.
The Breville kneading paddle is very unique and really stands out from the rest. Aside from it’s non-stick coating it is also collapsible. This is a great feature as a lot of bread maker owners complain about the rather large hole the paddles leaves at the bottom of the loaf. So, when your dough is ready to bake, the paddle will go from the upright position to the flat position and when it’s finished baking, you should only have a small indentation at the bottom of your loaf.
If you really don’t want to have any sort of hole or indentation on your loaf, you can remove the paddle manually just before the baking cycle begins.
A great feature that many bread makers do not have is an automatic dispenser. At the top of your Breville machine, above the lid, you will find the automatic nut dispenser. You can fill the latch with all your favourite ingredients, such as, nuts, fruits, herbs and spices.
The latch is programmed to automatically release the ingredients during the kneading process. Add the ingredients before the machine begins working its magic and it will release them about 8 minutes before the second knead. The dispenser works in these settings; Basic, Basic Rapid, Whole Wheat, Whole Wheat Rapid, Gluten Free, Crusty Loaf, Sweet, Yeast Free and Dough.
What makes this Breville Custom Loaf great is that it gives you the option to fully take control of your own loaf. Select the Custom setting with the push dial. Now you are free to pick any bread setting and customise the temperature it’s baking at, the time it takes between each cycle and the crust colour. There are up to 9 spaces available where you can add your own custom settings.
Is The Breville BBM800XL Worth Buying?
If you are a busy person who doesn’t have much time on their hands but loves homemade bread, then bread makers are definitely worth it. They are so convenient and do most of the work for us. And at the end of it you get good quality, bakery standard bread.
Breville have really gone above and beyond in making this bread maker easy to use. From the cord wrap, to the automatic dispenser, to the user friendly interface; they have really thought of everything. And they have even put a light under the lid! It is also one of the very few bread makers out there that give to the freedom to customise your own loaf.
Although it is a great machine, it does come with a few cons. Even though the collapsible paddle sounds like a great idea it does have a tendency of getting stuck and not actually collapsing at all. If it does collapse, it can take out a big chunk of bread while you are removing it from the pan. So, it might actually cause a much bigger hole than if you were using a regular bread maker.
It is also quite a bulky machine, weighing over 7.5kg (16.85 pounds) and measuring 16.4″ x 9.6″ x 13.3″. So it will take up a lot of space in your storage space and on your kitchen top.
You also might find that when you are making a smaller loaf, your loaf might come out uneven due to the large size of the pan.
Breville brings out some of the best kitchen appliances on the market, and the BBM800XL bread maker is no different. It has some excellent features, including its large 2.5 pound loaf capacity, the automatic dispenser, gluten free setting and its generally extensive programme selection.
The only fault that we can really find is the not very collapsible paddle and the bulky size of the machine. It is also worth mentioning that the Breville BBM800XL comes at around $200. It is much pricier than many other bread makers on the market.
If you are looking for a more budget-friendly option, don’t worry, there are plenty of great bread makers for less than half the price!
Next review coming up: Zojirushi Virtuoso