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
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
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
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.
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.
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.