Hamilton Beach HomeBaker 29881 2 lb. Bread Machine Reviews

Hamilton Beach HomeBaker 29881 2 lb. Bread Machine Reviews

12This is a budget brand bread maker that’s worth every penny. The Hamilton Beach HomeBaker consistently receives excellent ratings, and performs better than many of its high end competitors. When price goes down, however, the number of features also often decreases. While you won’t find many bells and whistles, this machine does deliver where it counts – it makes great bread.

Key features

  • Large loaf capacity
  • Delay timer
  • Extra kneading paddle included
  • Reminder bell for fruits and nuts
  • 12 cycle settings
  • Low price
  • 3 crust settings

Often sold for under $50 on Amazon.com, this bread machine delivers quite a few features for its price range. Two loaf sizes, and a 2 lb. loaf capacity, 12 cycle settings, and a reminder bell for fruits and nuts are all normally found on more expensive models, but are featured on this model as well. A delay timer and extra kneading paddle make life more convenient for the avid home baker, and the low price for the total package is truly notable.

Loaf size and shape

The Hamilton Beach HomeBaker 29881 produces 2 pound loaves. The loaf pan shape is rectangular, but a little wider than you might expect from a store bought or oven-baked loaf. Slices should still fit fairly well in a toaster, however.

Dimensions

17″ x 13″ x 13″ inches

Settings and cycles

This bread maker includes 12 pre-programmed settings, including basic, French, gluten free, quick, sweet, 1.5 pound express, 2 pound express, dough, jam, cake, whole grain, and bake. Two loaf sizes maximize the number of options users have, and three crust settings – light, medium, and dark – don’t hurt to have, either.

Cycle length

  1.  Basic (Time: 2 hours 53 minutes for 1.5 lb., 3 hours for 2 lb.)
  2.  French (Time: 3 hours 40 minutes for 1.5 lb., 3 hours 50 minutes for 2 pound)
  3.  Gluten free (Time: 3 hours 32 minutes for 1.5 lb., 3 hours 40 minutes for 2 lb.)
  4.  Quick (Time: 1 hour 40 minutes)
  5.  Sweet (Time: 2 hours 50 minutes for 1.5 lb., 2 hours 55 minutes for 2 lb.)
  6.  1.5 pound Express (Time: 58 minutes)
  7.  2 pound Express (Time: 58 minutes)
  8.  Dough (Time: 1 hour 30 minutes)
  9.  Jam (Time: 1 hour 20 minutes)
  10.  Cake (Time: 2 hours 50 minutes)
  11.  Whole grain (Time: 2 hours 55 minutes for 1.5 lb., 3 hours for 2 lb.)
  12.  Bake (Time: 1 hour)

Additional features

Where budget brand bread makers go, this model truly packs a punch, as you can see from the feature list above. The nonstick baking pan is removable, and dishwasher safe, too. The paddles are also dishwasher safe, although I would recommend placing them in the silverware cup, or washing them by hand, just because of their size. The digital display is a great feature for this price range, too.

Pros

Where pros are concerned, this model has price cornered. The machine offers bakers a wide variety of options – significantly more than are normally found in this price range. The two loaf sizes allow you to make the amount of bread you truly need, as well. Three crust settings will please even picky eaters, and the ability to handle gluten free breads is a big advantage for individuals with dietary concerns.

Cons

As great as this model is for its price range, it is a budget brand. Problems with the recipes provided in the manual have been noted repeatedly, and the machine also tends to brown the crust a bit more than you might expect. Many users prefer to use only the light setting, although an adventurous soul or two might employ the dark setting. Customer service is a big problem with this company – as well as the product tends to perform, cross your fingers that you never have to deal with Hamilton Beach’s support. They aren’t very attentive, or even interested in resolving complaints, according to many buyers who have had to deal with them.

Conclusion

Budget brands are budget brands for a reason – they find a way to cut corners and do things more cheaply. If you keep that in mind, you’ll end up getting what you expect. If, on the other hand, the large feature list appeals to you and you’re expecting top quality, you might be sorry. This is a solid bread maker – for its price range. My favorites remain the Zojirushi’s, although they are at a higher price point they last for many years and are extremely reliable, as well as flexible.

The manual for the Hamilton Beach HomeBaker 29881 2 lb. Bread Machine is available online.

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