Reviews You Can Rely On

Breville The Custom Loaf Review

A great option for anyone looking to customize your own bread recipes, just be wary of the collapsible paddle
breville the custom loaf bread machine review
Credit: Jenna Ammerman
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Price:  $300 List
Manufacturer:   Breville
By Jessica Riconscente and Maggie Nichols  ⋅  Oct 31, 2022
54
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 7
  • White Bread - 30% 5.7
  • Wheat Bread - 30% 4.5
  • Gluten Free - 15% 4.0
  • Yeast Free - 10% 6.4
  • Convenience - 15% 7.2

Our Verdict

The Breville the Custom Loaf bread machine practically begs to be experimented with. Though we found its included bread recipes to be just average, this model allows for almost endless testing and trials of new and improved baked goods. Its manual walks you through the complicated science of bread making, with plenty of tips and tricks on improving your loaves along the way. This model lets you change both the timing and the temperature of the bake. It also comes with an automatic fruit and nut dispenser. Though it's not a winner for any of its bread recipes "as is" from the book, we still think this model has potential for recipe tinkerers.
REASONS TO BUY
Easy interface
Lots of options
Thorough manual
Good customization
REASONS TO AVOID
Expensive
Big
Finicky paddle
Unfortunate gluten-free bread
Editor's Note: We retested and updated this review of the Breville Custom Loaf October 31, 2022.

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Easy interface, lots of options, thorough manual, good customizationWell rounded, great crusts, excellent gluten-free bread, good sandwich size and shapeExcellent white and wheat bread, pleasant-looking breads, good crustsGreat wheat bread, lightweight and easy to store, inexpensiveLightweight, easy cake baking
Cons Expensive, big, finicky paddle, unfortunate gluten-free breadLarge footprint, heavy, expensive, only makes 2 lb recipesGluten free recipe doesn't work, cake recipe was undercooked, crowded interfacePoor cake recipe, uneven distribution, lacks recipe varietyOff-tasting gluten-free bread, a bit bulky for its footprint, just average performance
Bottom Line A great option for anyone looking to customize your own bread recipes, just be wary of the collapsible paddleFrom standard white sandwich bread to your favorite holiday cakes, this is the best kitchen helper we've foundIf you want excellent traditional sandwich breads, this is a solid choice — just don't expect good gluten-free or sweet breadA smaller, more affordable option with solid performance making white and wheat breadsThough a convenient cake-maker, this average model left us wanting more in nearly every way
Rating Categories Breville The Custom... Zojirushi Virtuoso... KBS Pro MBF-010 Elite Gourmet Maxi-... Hamilton Beach Home...
White Bread (30%)
5.7
7.9
8.5
6.6
5.8
Wheat Bread (30%)
4.5
7.2
8.5
7.7
4.8
Gluten Free (15%)
4.0
8.0
2.0
4.7
6.1
Yeast Free (10%)
6.4
7.3
4.6
2.7
6.9
Convenience (15%)
7.2
5.9
5.3
7.1
5.7
Specs Breville The Custom... Zojirushi Virtuoso... KBS Pro MBF-010 Elite Gourmet Maxi-... Hamilton Beach Home...
Measured Dimensions (HxWxL) 14" x 16" x 10.25" 13" x 18" x 10" 13" x 13.5" x 8.5" 11.5" x 10" x 14" 12" x 11.5" x 15.25"
Measured Weight 16.9 lbs 22.7 lbs 13.6 lbs 8.0 lbs 11.6 lbs
Number of Functions 13 15 17 19 12
Available Loaf Sizes 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5 lb 2 lb 1, 1.5, 2 lb 1, 1.5, 2 lb 1.5, 2 lb
Automatic Fruit and Nut Dispenser Yes No Yes No No
Number of Recipes 47 51 17 18 30

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Breville the Custom Loaf is one of just two models we tested with an automatic fruit and nut dispenser and has the best customizable options of any model we tested. It's larger than average for this group and weighs a hefty 16.9 pounds. It comes with 13 functions and 47 recipes.

Performance Comparison


breville the custom loaf bread machine review - the breville bread machine allows for almost infinite recipe...
The Breville bread machine allows for almost infinite recipe customization.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

White Bread


Despite making this recipe repeatedly, the result was just mediocre. The top of the bread came out knobby and uneven, with areas around the outside that were extra caramelized. The crust turned out a nice color though, if a little light on top, and had a good crunch to it. However, it was too thick and ultimately prevented the inside of the bread from baking evenly. Instead, large air pockets were left in many places, while other spots — particularly around the sides and bottom — were overly dense. Our taste testing panel thought the white bread made by the Breville was alright though.

breville the custom loaf bread machine review - the breville makes average white bread.
The Breville makes average white bread.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Wheat Bread


The Breville wheat bread recipe wasn't great either. We found it had similar problems to the white bread, but more so. It needed to be fully mixed, resulting in a lumpy loaf that fell flat on one end to a size we couldn't properly use for sandwiches. The crust and interior of the bread were decent in their textures and colors, though nothing special. The base of the wheat bread loaves turned out quite thick, requiring extra effort to cut through. In general, our panel of tasters found this bread to be a bit salty and dense compared to the others, though not unpleasant.

breville the custom loaf bread machine review - the breville wheat bread was also average, though it turned out...
The Breville wheat bread was also average, though it turned out lumpier and more unevenly shaped than expected.
Credit: Jessica Riconscente

Gluten Free Bread


This bread machine struggled to make decent gluten-free bread. The resulting loaves barely rose and had many obvious chunks of flour left floating around inside. While the crust appeared to be an alright shade of medium to dark brown, the top had barely any crust, creating a big contrast between the light-colored top and the much darker sides. It also came out undercooked and easily reverted back into dough with a pointed finger press. When we ate it, all our panelists found this bread to be thick, dense, and almost rubbery in how undercooked it was — but also really enjoyed its flavor! The Breville gluten-free bread recipe included no less than four types of flour.

breville the custom loaf bread machine review - we don't like how dense and rubbery this gluten free bread is.
We don't like how dense and rubbery this gluten free bread is.
Credit: Jessica Riconscente

Convenience


This is where the Breville really shines through. It has the largest display screen of any model we tested. Though it comes with just 13 functions, the first one is "custom", where you can get it to do just about any combination of temperature and timing you want. We didn't love how the recipes we made (of 47 included options) turned out, but this is the only model we tested that can be customized to this degree. For anyone seriously excited about experimenting — and sometimes failing — at making different types of bread, the Breville allows you to personalize your settings to toy with the outcome. Its guide talks you through the foundations and fundamentals of bread making, helping you to truly understand how changing ingredients will affect the outcome of your bread — very useful for an experimental baker!

breville the custom loaf bread machine review - the breville offers a nifty cord wrap to keep things tidy.
The Breville offers a nifty cord wrap to keep things tidy.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The Breville comes with collapsible paddles, though we ultimately found these to be entirely ineffective, as they still left paddle indents in the bottoms of our loaves. It also is one of just two models we tested that comes with an automatic fruit and nut dispenser. And it's the only one in our lineup that has a built-in way to store its cord when not in use. However, we were disappointed to discover that all the yeasty bread recipes included with this model also require a specific temperature of water to be added. This takes away some of the convenience of using a bread maker in the first place.

breville the custom loaf bread machine review - if you want to play around with your baking recipes, the breville is...
If you want to play around with your baking recipes, the Breville is the best choice for you, as it's the most customizable of any model we tested.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Yeast Free Bread


That automatic fruit and nut dispenser proved its worth when adding mini chocolate chips to our sweet bread recipe, resulting in a pretty even spread throughout the loaf. It didn't look that impressive from the outside, but proved its worth on the inside. Its crust became too thick when we left it in the machine during its recommended warming segment. However, this fruit-laden loaf was cooked perfectly inside and tasted exactly as we hoped.

breville the custom loaf bread machine review - though not the prettiest, the flavor of this sweet bread was...
Though not the prettiest, the flavor of this sweet bread was actually quite delicious and the Breville's automatic fruit and nut dispenser did an excellent job with distribution.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Should You Buy the Breville the Custom Loaf?


The Breville is one of the most expensive bread machines we tested. For the average person, this overpriced appliance will not make the easy, hassle-free bread you're likely seeking. However, if you're one of the handful of people who don't mind having bad bakes on the road to tweaking your recipe to make it exceptional, the customization available in the Breville may be precisely what you want.

What Other Bread Machines Should You Consider?


If the "Custom Loaf" part of the Breville the Custom Loaf excites you into thinking of all new recipes to try, this may be the bread machine you're searching for. This product is built for dabbling and experimenting with helpful instructions and has the most changeable settings of any model we've tested. If, instead, you're looking for a machine that makes its recipes consistently delicious, consider the Zojirushi Virtuoso Plus instead.

breville the custom loaf bread machine review - for the recipe tinkerer and inventor, the breville offers so much...
For the recipe tinkerer and inventor, the Breville offers so much potential.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Jessica Riconscente and Maggie Nichols
 

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