Oster Expressbake Review
Pros: Great for gluten-free, not too heavy
Cons: Bread pan is hard to remove, white and wheat bread came out looking awful
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Oster Expressbake is one of our least favorite bread machines that we encountered in the course of our review, largely due to its dismal showing in our whole wheat and white bread tests. It's a bit more of a hassle to use than many other products, all while being a bit more expensive than average.
While the Oster Expressbake did do very well with the gluten-free bread, it did quite poorly with the whole wheat and white bread. The white bread came out looking essentially the worst of the group. The ingredients did not get fully mixed and incorporated, so the dough was not consistent at all, leading to a large pocket of flour getting baked on the side of the load. The crust color was also not very consistent, with the top and bottom being much lighter than the sides and the entire crust being a shade lighter than we would have expected with the Oster set to medium.
The wheat bread also came out relatively terrible when it came to appearance. The top of the bread collapsed significantly, leaving a huge depression in the middle of the baked bread — the sides were 1-2" higher than the center of the bread. The top of the bread was also undercooked as well. However, the sides and the bottom were much more consistent in terms of crust color, though the top was still a bit lighter than we would have liked.
The Oster Expressbake did do one of the best jobs at baking our gluten-free recipe. The dough was exceptionally well mixed, with the least amount of unincorporated corn starch on the outside of the finished load. It was also one of the overall best gluten-free loaves in terms of appearance, with a nice medium crust on the sides and bottom. The top crust was just a tiny bit lighter.
Ease of Use
Unfortunately, the Oster Expressbake is far from the most convenient and easy to use appliance that we have tested. The bread pan is a bit of a pain to remove from the machine. It doesn't lock in and always seemed to be stuck whenever we went to remove it. This machine also lacks any automated dispensers.
However, it is one of the lighter machines and isn't overly large, making it fairly easy to move around if you don't plan on storing it on your counter. It weighs in at less than 10 lbs. and measures in at 13"(L) x 11"(W) x 12"(H). It also includes a measuring scoop, cup, and a hook to aid in the removal of the kneading blade.
The Expressbake is about average in terms of features and functions, having most of the basic ones that are common for these types of kitchen appliances. It has a delay timer that you can set for up to 13 hours, as well as a keep warm function for after your bread is done baking. It offers the typical light, medium, and dark shade settings for the crust and has settings for 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0 lbs. loaf sizes.
The Oster has 13 automatic presets — basic, French, whole wheat, sweet, quick bake, express bake 1 lb, express bake 1.5 lbs, gluten free, dough, pasta, jam, bake, and cake — as well. This bread maker does lack any sort of backup power supply so you are out of luck if power gets interrupted during the baking process.
The Oster Expressbake is a pretty poor value option, as some significantly less expensive models placed much higher in our rankings.
Overall, we simply found the Oster Expressbake's performance to be a disappointment and we would recommend you consider other models when shopping for a new bread machine.
— Austin Palmer and David Wise