Are you an avid baker but not sure whether you should splash out on a new oven or an all-singing all-dancing bread machine? Then take a look at the pros, cons, and comparisons in this article that will help you make the best decision.

Bread MachineOven
Quick, non-supervised processLong, supervised process
Less messMore mess
No kneading or proofingProofing & kneading by hand
Bakes one loaf at a timeBakes multiple loaves at once
One bread shape & crust thicknessAny bread shape & crust thickness
Denser breadLighter bread
Alternate recipes

Making the right choice between a bread machine and an oven is essential. Are you ready to find out which is ideal for you? Then take a look at the extended guide below.

Choosing Between a Bread Machine and an Oven

We’re all looking for an awesome way to make the perfect loaf of bread. We need a method that is quick, mess-free, and that produces the tastiest results.

A bread machine is dedicated to making bread. So it is a fantastic option for making the perfect loaves every time you use it. Baking your bread in the oven is also a great way of achieving bakery-style bread.

But which is the best for your home? A bread machine or bread baked in the oven? If you’re unsure, take a look at the review in this article.

Time and Supervision

When you’re in the kitchen, time is of the utmost importance. So, spending hours laboring on a small loaf of bread is not an option. That’s why we’re all dying to look for ways to speed up the process.

A bread machine will be your star player when it comes to cooking bread quickly. Not necessarily because the baking process is so much faster, but rather because of the freedom it gives you. While your bread machine is working away, you can use the time to do something else. This could be putting the rest of the meal together or doing other jobs around the house.

Baking your bread in the oven, however, doesn’t give you the same freedom. Oven-baked bread requires more hands-on treatment. This will make it harder for you to multitask while you make it.

Also, oven bread needs supervising. You have to keep an eye on it while it is proofing and baking. You will also need to keep a close eye on the oven temperature to ensure it doesn’t burn.

If time is of the essence while you’re making bread, your best choice will be a bread machine.

Mess

We’re all trying to keep mess to a minimum when in the kitchen. And this is where a bread machine swoops in and saves the day.

Bread machines reduce the amount of mess you make while baking. This is because you simply throw all the ingredients into the bread pan, so there is minimal washing up to do after. Also, there’s no need for kneading which can be very messy.

What about when baking bread in the oven? Mixing your ingredients in a bowl and kneading the bread on the countertop create a mess that you will have to clear up.

If you are looking for a mess-free baking process, a bread machine is the best choice.

ingredients in a bread maker
The mess is contained when you make bread in a bread machine

Kneading and Proofing

We’ve now reached the part of bread making that, let’s be honest, we all find a little tedious. That is the kneading and proofing.

Kneading and proofing have been made simple by our friend the bread maker. This is because, at the start of the process, you simply add your ingredients, press a few buttons, and allow it to take care of the rest. You don’t have to do the kneading by hand nor watch the clock when it comes to proofing.

When using an oven to bake bread, you will have to do things the old-fashioned way. This means kneading your bread by hand for about 10 minutes, or as long as the recipe specifies. This also means proofing your dough at the right temperature for a set time.

If you are looking for a quick and easy way to knead and proof your dough, you should choose a bread machine.

bread proofing in bread maker
A bread machine will proof your dough

Baking Capacity

How many loaves would you like to bake today? Baking bread requires effort. So, you may find it useful to whip up a couple of loaves at once to save time in the week.

The downside of a bread machine is that it can only bake one loaf of bread at a time. If you want to make more than one loaf, you will have to wait for it to finish the whole process before you can start again.

It is easy to make multiple loaves at once when baking bread in the oven. You can make as many as your oven has the capacity for.

If you often like to bake bread in batches, you should use an oven.

two bread loaves in the oven
You can bake multiple loaves at once in an oven

Bread Shape and Crust Thickness

Variety is the spice of life, and making bread in different shapes makes it more interesting. Switching up the thickness of the crust can also completely transform your bread.

A bread machine is not able to vary your bread shape or crust thickness. A bread machine can only make one shape of bread which is the standard loaf style. Because a bread maker has no preheating capacity, it is not able to alter the crust thicknesses. This is fine, of course, if you don’t mind bog-standard, loaf style bread week in and week out. But if you fancy something a little more imaginative, you’ll have to use the oven. 

An oven, on the other hand, will allow you much more freedom. In an oven, there’s no limit to the shape you can make your bread. Preheating the oven to different temperatures will help you achieve different crust thicknesses.

Do you want to make bread in a variety of shapes and crust thicknesses? Then you should choose an oven.

bread plaits
You can make bread in a variety of shapes in an oven

Bread Density

There is also a difference in bread density between a bread maker and an oven.

Bread from a bread machine often comes out denser and more compressed in texture. This is because the bread has less room to rise when confined in the bread pan.

But what can we say about oven bread? Since oven bread has more room to rise and more space to bake, it has a different texture. Its texture is often lighter, airer, and fluffier than bread from a bread machine.

If you like your bread light and airy, you should consider using an oven to bake it.

dense bread
Bread from a bread machine is denser and more compressed in texture

Alternate Recipes

One of the great things about making your bread in a bread machine is the versatility it gives you. A bread machine is certainly no one-hit-wonder. A good model can make a number of tasty recipes such as these:

  • Jam
  • Cakes
  • Sauces and soups
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Rice dishes…and more!

An oven, however, doesn’t have the same flexibility. So, if you are looking for a machine that can help you with a few recipes at the press of a button, a bread maker is for you.

Bread Machine and Oven Pros and Cons

Are you finding it a challenge to choose between a bread machine and an oven? Then take a look at the list of pros and cons coming up next that should help you decide.

Bread Machine Pros and Cons

What are the best things about bread machines and what should you be aware of? Find out below.

Bread Machine ProsBread Machine Cons
It helps you to multitask. There’s no need to supervise the baking processIt only has the capacity for one loaf of bread
It cuts down on messIt can only make one shape of bread with one type of thickness
There’s no need for proofing and kneading by handThe bread is denser
It’s easy to make other recipes

Oven Pros and Cons

What are some of the best things about baking bread in an oven? Find out with the following pros and cons list.

Oven ProsOven Cons
You can bake multiple loaves of bread at onceBaking is hands-on making it harder to multitask. You have to supervise the baking process
You can bake bread in any shape or with any crust thicknessIt makes more mess
The bread is lighter and airier  You must knead and proof by hand

Conclusion

So what’s the verdict? Is a bread machine the one for you or is a new oven more up your street? You should use a bread machine if:

  • You want to make bread faster
  • You are keen on cutting down on the mess of bread making
  • You don’t want to spend time kneading and proofing your bread
  • You like denser bread
  • You don’t want to supervise your bread

You should use an oven if:

  • You want to be able to make more than one loaf of bread at a time
  • You are keen on being able to choose your bread shape and crust thickness
  • You like airy and fluffy bread
  • You want the freedom to be able to quickly make alternate recipes

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Have a great day!

-Craig