This Hamilton Beach Bread Machine review is a summary of our experience with the Digital Hamilton Beach Bread Maker after baking dozens of bread maker recipes over several months. You can double-check the specific model referenced here.
Looking for a new bread machine? If you want a fast-baking bread maker with a solid motor that mixes dough well, you may be interested in the Hamilton Beach bread maker.
Of the 5 different bread machine models we tested during production of The Ultimate Bread Machine Cookbook, this machine was one of my husband's favorites for mixing up bread machine dough for buns he bakes in the oven.
If you'd like to read the reviews of the other models we tested, be sure to check out the Best Bread Machine for Beginners article here.
Will It Fit In My Kitchen?
To best illustrate the size of the bread maker, I took these photos on my kitchen counter underneath a standard height kitchen cabinet.
The Hamilton Beach bread machine is one of the larger bread makers we tested. It is a solid black, plastic-housed appliance.
When the machine is closed, it will fit neatly underneath a standard-height kitchen cabinet on your counter.
To open the machine, not only will you have to pull the machine forward from under the cabinet, but you'll have to turn it to the side because the depth of the machine is so long it will not fit on the counter space in front of the cabinet.
It would be much easier to use this bread maker if you have a kitchen island or section of kitchen counter that doesn't have a cabinet above it.
What Can You Make With It?
The Hamilton Beach machine can technically bake almost any bread machine recipe but results will vary.
- Traditional loaves of bread
- Breads that have mix-ins like raisins and nuts
- Dough for oven-baked pizzas, rolls, and buns
The machine has the capacity for both 1.5-pound and 2-pound loaves.
The solid motor truly excels at kneading dough for pizza, dinner rolls, pretzels, and cinnamon buns.
However, because of the faster-bake program settings, the machine does tend to over bake crusts on traditional loaves which makes them overly crispy and dark.
The Bread Pan & Paddles
The Hamilton Beach bread machine comes with the most concerning of all the bread pans of the machines we tested.
The nonstick coating of the bread pan can easily be scratched and the metal feels thin and slightly flimsy.
The bread pan comes with a handle and turns to lock into place within the body of the machine. Once inserted, the pan is very stable and won't rattle around.
The shape of the pan creates a traditional size and shape of bread loaf.
I always hand wash all our bread machine bread pans and paddles. None of them are scratch-proof and even the strongest and sturdiest must be handled with care.
How Sturdy Is It?
Even though the outer body of the bread machine is black plastic, the bread maker is surprisingly sturdy and solid.
The machine is light and can be easily moved around.
- The motor is solid and excellent at mixing.
- There are rubber-coated feet that keep the machine firmly in place on your counter.
- The lid swings easily open on solid hinges.
- The buttons are easy to push and use and will hold up well to frequent use.
This bread maker could easily withstand a very busy kitchen and getting mildly bumped around.
How Easy Is It To Use?
The Hamilton Beach bread maker is very easy for beginner bakers to program but will require a more watchful eye to ensure your bread turns out well.
The program settings are very clear to navigate. It is extremely easy to choose the proper loaf size and crust darkness.
If your recipe has mix-ins like raisins, chocolate chips, or chopped nuts, you'll have to listen for the alarm beep that lets you know the right time to add them to the bread pan.
While the machine mixes dough well, sometimes the final dough ball will land off to one side of the bread pan. If left unadjusted, this can result with a bread that is baked unevenly and rises extra-high on one side and low on the other.
The easiest fix is:
- Watch and wait for the machine to finish the kneading cycle.
- Remove the paddle from the pan.
- Readjust the position of the dough ball towards the center of the pan.
- Let the machine finish the rise and bake cycles.
The Quality of the Bread It Makes
Most breads we tested in the Hamilton Beach bread machine turned out overdone.
Even on the lightest crust settings, they were often very dark and crispy.
However, this is my husband's favorite bread machine for making dough. If you want a very budget-friendly bread maker to cut time and effort in making homemade dough, this could be the machine for you.
If you try to store the machine in your kitchen cabinets, it will eat up significant space.
If you don't want the large bread machine on your counter, you'll want to consider storing it on a basement or garage shelf.
The machine is not heavy or difficult to move, just bulky and will take up a good amount of space.
The Hamilton Beach is not one of the quieter machines we tested. The motor is solid and makes a whirring sound as it initially mixes the ingredients, but it isn't too loud.
Once the kneading phase is over, the machine is silent. So there will only be some noise to tolerate for the first 30 minutes or so.
There are several things to love about this bread machine model:
- Budget Friendly: This is the most inexpensive bread machine we tested.
- No Wiggles: The machine stays firmly where you place it while running and doesn't vibrate or move on your counter.
- Roomy Capacity: It is perfect for baking larger recipes or ones that have very high rises.
- Traditional Bread Shape: The pan produces a classic shaped loaf.
- Excellent Dough Mixing: The dough program is our favorite to use on this machine.
- Very Sturdy Body: If you have a very rowdy kitchen or want to store the machine in a crowded spot where it may be jostled, it will handle a bit of bumping just fine.
Cons to Consider
No bread machine is perfect, each of the models we tested had features I would love to see improved. Here are some cons to consider for the Hamilton Beach:
- Bread Pan: The nonstick coating is easily scratched and the paddle coating started to wear away after a few months' heavy use.
- Babysitting Required: To get your bread to turn out well, you'll have to be a more active participant in the first 30 minutes to ensure the dough has been mixed and kneaded properly.
- Size: The large shape makes it hard for storage for smaller kitchens or infrequent use.
- Dry Flour Pockets in the Corners: The large bread pan has definite benefits, but the machine can sometimes struggle to properly mix the ingredients in the first phase. Dry pockets of flour can gather in the corners and should be mixed in with a spatula as the machine kneads the dough.
- Overbakes Most Breads: The crusts are frequently too dark and crispy.
Our family has mixed reviews for the Hamilton Beach bread machine.
This machine is my least favorite of the five models we tested but my husband insists we keep it because he loves how it makes dough for his favorite dinner rolls.
Is the Hamilton Beach machine right for you?
Yes, you should absolutely get the Hamilton Beach if this describes you:
- You love dark, crunchy crusts.
- Your budget demands an affordable machine.
- You are interested in making homemade dough for baking in your oven.
- You plan to make bread often enough to justify storing this on your kitchen counter -OR- You don't mind storing it in a closet or basement and dragging it out when you want to bake.