Breville The Custom Loaf Review
Compare to Similar Products
Breville The Custom Loaf
|Price||$300 List||$378 List|
$399.00 at Amazon
$127.46 at Amazon
$74.99 at Amazon
$99.99 at Amazon
|Pros||Easy interface, lots of options, thorough manual, good customization||Well rounded, great crusts, excellent gluten-free bread, good sandwich size and shape||Excellent white and wheat bread, pleasant-looking breads, good crusts||Great wheat bread, lightweight and easy to store, inexpensive||Lightweight, easy cake baking|
|Cons||Expensive, big, finicky paddle, unfortunate gluten-free bread||Large footprint, heavy, expensive, only makes 2 lb recipes||Gluten free recipe doesn't work, cake recipe was undercooked, crowded interface||Poor cake recipe, uneven distribution, lacks recipe variety||Off-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 paddle||From standard white sandwich bread to your favorite holiday cakes, this is the best kitchen helper we've found||If you want excellent traditional sandwich breads, this is a solid choice — just don't expect good gluten-free or sweet bread||A smaller, more affordable option with solid performance making white and wheat breads||Though 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%)|
|Wheat Bread (30%)|
|Gluten Free (15%)|
|Yeast Free (10%)|
|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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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