Hamilton Beach 29882 Bread Maker – Full Review
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Hamilton Beach 29882 Bread Maker – Full Review

Zojirushi BB-PAC20-bread-maker

If price is your main concern when looking for a bread maker, then the Hamilton Beach HomeBaker 29882 breadmaker is one worth looking at. And beyond the surprisingly affordable price tag, you’ll find a sturdy machine that offers a variety of exciting menu options, including a setting specifically for making gluten-free bread. While I have to admit that I’d like this machine a whole lot better if it had an automatic fruit and nut dispenser, there is plenty to like about it.

With 12 settings including an express cycle that delivers a 1.5-pound loaf quickly, it gives you the versatility to make a wide variety of marvelous recipes at a fraction of the cost of fresh bread from an artisanal bakery. While it’s true that you will need to add in any mix-ins such as seeds, herbs, dried fruit, or chopped nuts when a beeper sounds, it’s also true that this is easier than doing things the old-fashioned way, without a bread maker. And whether you choose a simple white bread or a fancy Czech Houska braid filled with almonds and raisins, the baked goods you make at home will astonish your family and friends!

The Hamilton Beach HomeBaker 29882 offers easy cleanup inside and out, which adds to its overall user-friendly design. The interior features a smooth, nonstick baking pan that offers the advantage of being dishwasher safe, and an extra mixing blade is included, allowing you to make a second loaf of bread while the first mixing paddle is in the dishwasher. Outside, a smooth case is quick and simple to wipe clean. The round viewing window takes just a little glass cleaner to polish when needed.

These are just a few highlights. Read on for more details about the pros and cons that come with owning the Hamilton Beach HomeBaker 29882 bread maker.

Two Loaf Sizes

While the HomeBaker 29882 is marketed as a 2-lb. bread maker, it lets you make smaller loaves, and even features a special 1.5-lb. express cycle that lets you make a loaf of bread in just under an hour. While it’s possible to make even smaller loaves with the Hamilton Beach HomeBaker, the manufacturer warns against it, stating that the ingredients in the recipes provided work best when added in the exact increments recommended. Other reviewers have tried making recipes under 1.5 pounds, and have reported varying degrees of success. I found the machine was good for making small amounts of dough, which I then shaped and baked separately in the oven, adjusting time accordingly. With experimentation and creativity, plus a separate oven for doughs that aren’t compatible with the bake cycle, you can probably use this bread machine to make just about anything in the 2-pound and under range.

 

Three Crust Shade Options

Hamilton Beach 29882-5

A crust color button makes it simple to ensure that your bread has the look, flavor, and texture that you prefer. You can choose to make bread with a light, medium, or dark crust.

A Dozen Menu Settings

Like many of the best bread machines on the market today, the Hamilton Beach HomeBaker 29882 offers versatility via an array of menu settings that let you make everything from basic sandwich bread to fancy challah, flatbread, or dinner rolls. Its menu options include:

  • Basic – makes a nice, basic loaf of white bread or bread with mixed flours
  • French – use this setting and light flour to make fluffy loaves with nicely browned, crisp crust; not for recipes that call for butter, milk, or margarine
  • Gluten Free – works specifically with gluten-free ingredients; ideal for gluten-free bread mixes
  • Quick – accommodates batter breads that do not use yeast for rising and instead rely on baking soda or powder for leavening; kneads, rises and bakes faster than basic setting
  • Sweet – for baking breads with additives such as dried fruit, chocolate, added sugar, or fruit juice; rising takes longer and resulting loaves are light and airy
  • 5-lb. Express – works with quick-rising yeast to knead, rise, and bake a 1.5-lb loaf of bread in 58 minutes
  • 2-lb Express – same as 1.5-lb express; loaf is larger
  • Dough – use the dough cycle to prep dough for items such as dinner rolls or artisanal loaves; ideal for pizza dough too
  • Jam – makes jam and chutney with fresh fruit; you can use it immediately or store it in the refrigerator or freezer to enjoy later
  • Cake – mixing, rising and baking for recipes that call for baking powder or baking soda
  • Whole Grain – for whole wheat and other breads that call for heavier flour varieties; resulting loaves are heavier and more compact
  • Bake – no kneading or resting; use to add bake time to loaves that aren’t quite finished or to bake items mixed outside the bread maker

Nonslip Feet

While this isn’t the heaviest bread maker I’ve tried, it does a very good job of mixing dough, which causes some shaking. Hamilton Beach planned for this by adding nonslip feet that prevent the bread maker from “walking” across the countertop during mixing cycles.

 

Dishwasher Safe Components

Hamilton Beach 29882-2

Most bread machines on the market have nonstick baking pans, but few are also dishwasher safe. The Hamilton Beach HomeBaker 29882 is among the exceptions; both the baking pan and the mixing paddles are dishwasher safe.

 

Attractive Exterior

Hamilton Beach 29882-3

If you like the classic look of black kitchen appliances, then you’ll probably appreciate the way the Hamilton Beach 29882 looks. It has a compact footprint, a slightly rounded profile, and a very sleek black cabinet that complements a variety of interiors well. Its control panel has a contemporary appearance, and the round viewing window is a nice touch, complementing the overall design while allowing you to peek in and check on bread’s progress.

 

Special Recipe Booklet

While most bread makers come with basic instructions and at least a few recipes to get you started, Hamilton Beach has distinguished itself in this area by offering not just the basics, but a complete, well-written set of operating instructions and a special recipe booklet from Bob’s Red Mill. The booklet includes recipes for gluten-free breads that taste so much better than anything I’ve had from the supermarket. There are additional recipes for breads, doughs, and jams inside the instruction book, which make it very easy to try out all the cycles. A timetable for each setting is also included, so you’ll know how long each item takes to make before you get started.

 

Automatic Keep Warm Setting

After the baking cycle finishes, the bread maker automatically goes into a “keep warm” cycle that lasts for an hour. You can cancel this easily if you’re not interested in keeping the bread warm.

FAQs

“Many bread recipes call for sugar. Can I use a substitute such as Splenda instead?”

Sugar feeds the yeast, helping the dough rise. Most recipes call for just a little, and if you omit it, your loaves won’t turn out properly. If you are making a sweet bread and want to use less sugar, you can substitute part of it with an artificial sweetener. Avoid using any that contain saccharin, as they will adversely affect the bread’s flavor. With a bit of experimentation, you should be able to enjoy satisfactory results.

“Can I add protein powder to the recipes?”

You can experiment with this and see how it turns out, or use a recipe that calls for protein powder. If you use an existing recipe, it may turn out a bit better than one you’re experimenting with. If you opt for experimentation, be sure to add a little extra liquid to compensate.

“Can I add things other than basic ingredients, i.e. seeds, cheese, cranberries, raisins, chopped nuts, or sprouted grains?”

Yes! You can add all kinds of sweet or savory things to your bread dough. There is an alarm that sounds when it’s time to pause and add extras. The user manual has complete instructions for adding extras.

“Can I make sourdough bread with the HomeBaker 29882?”

Yes! Even though there’s no special sourdough setting, you can use the basic setting to make sourdough bread, or use the dough setting to mix up sourdough dough and then bake it in the oven. There are quite a few delicious bread machine recipes available online, in e-books, and in traditional books, too.

“Do you use one or two paddles when mixing bread?”

The bread pan is vertical, meaning the bottom is smaller than the sides. While there are some bread makers that utilize dual paddles, this one calls for just one mixing paddle at a time. The second paddle is included for convenience.

“Can I open the lid during the bread making cycle?”

Yes, however it’s best to open the lid only when the alarm sounds advising that it’s time to add nuts, raisins, etc. The manufacturer warns against opening the lid during the rising or baking stages, since this could cause the loaf to fall or not rise properly.

“Can you store baked bread inside the bread machine, or do you need to put it in a bag?”

It’s OK to store bread inside the bread machine after the cycle has stopped and the bread machine has completely cooled off, however you should use it quickly as it will lose moisture rapidly. It’s best to store your bread in a bag. Put it in after the loaf has cooled completely, otherwise you may find soggy spots.

“Can I use this machine to make bread from a mix?”

Yes, you can make all kinds of breads from mixes, as long as those mixes are designed for compatibility with bread makers, and as long as they make a 2-lb loaf or smaller. Follow the package instructions for best results!

“How long is the time delay setting?”

You can delay the time for up to 13 hours in one-hour increments.

Conclusion

The Hamilton Beach HomeBaker 29882 Bread maker offers a surprising number of features, given its affordable price, and equally surprising, it gets consistently good reviews with a few negative comments from people who have gotten defective machines (something that happens even with the most expensive bread makers!) I looked for a reason to gripe about this machine but could not find one. It delivered a reliable performance, and the bread turned out to be just heavenly. You can use this bread maker to treat your family to everything from banana nut bread to Italian focaccia, depending on the amount of actual involvement you want to invest in the process. If simplicity is your goal, then rest assured, this bread machine does a fantastic job of making a nice, crusty loaf of plain bread that in turn makes marvelous sandwiches. The HomeBaker 29882 delivers additional convenience via dishwasher safe components, and the sleek, handsome exterior is a nice touch. You can find the Hamilton Beach HomeBaker 29882 Bread maker for sale at online retailers including Amazon, and it is available at select brick and mortar stores as well.

Anne Kennedy

Anne Kennedy

Hi! I’m Anne Kennedy, a nonfiction author, dedicated foodie, and contributor to Top 5 Reviews. I started contributing to this site in 2015 with the goal of helping others select quality home goods that help make busy lives easier. It’s interesting – and a lot of fun – to test things like bread machines, juicers, and of course coffee makers, learn what different models have to offer, and see how they compare with one another before passing my findings about the best ones on to you. Happy hunting!
Anne Kennedy
Hamilton Beach 29882 Bread Maker – Full Review
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