Like many other large appliance manufacturers, Hamilton Beach has over a century of company history. For this reason many folks see them as a trusted brand in the industry, and this has helped them to gain a large market share. They have released a few different bread makers in recent years, and one of the more popular models that is still on sale is the 29881 Homebaker model. With a temptingly low retail price it seems like a good option, but how well does it perform against all the other lower priced choices? Lets have a look at that below.
To kick things off we start by taking a look at the design of this model. Now since this is quite a newish model, the design still holds up quite well today in our opinion. This model comes in two different color varieties including the white and grey (pictured in this article) and a black and silver variety called the 29882. Both of these color options look quite good, so it is a hard choice to pick out a winner between them. The machine is rectangular in shape, and is not too large with dimensions of roughly 12″ H x 14″ W x 10″ D. The sides are all rounded, which helps to give it a sleek modern appearance. The white model features a grey trim at the bottom, and around the main control area which is mounted on to top front section. The lcd is at the center of this, and is surrounded by the control buttons on either side. The lcd is a decent size, and shows some info including the current time remaining, the loaf size and the crust color. On the top of the machine is the viewing window, which is quite a good size to keep an eye on your cooking progress. There is not a whole lot else more to say about the design, but we certainly think it looks quite decent.
Now lets talk about some of the features of this model. The 29881 model can make two loaf sizes including the medium 1.5 lb and the larger 2 lb. This is technically classified as a vertical bread maker, although the loaf pan is not quite square in shape but slightly rectangular. This does still leave you with some slightly odd shaped loaves, but they aren’t quite as tall as with some of the loaves produced by the other vertical bread makers. The baking pan is nonstick coated, and is dishwasher friendly. There is no mention of what size motor powers this unit, and the ingredients are mixed with a single paddle. The nice thing about this particular model is that Hamilton Beach include a second mixing paddle in the package, which is a nice little extra. There are 12 recipes programs built into this model including Basic, French, Gluten-Free, Quick, Sweet, 1.5lb Express, 2.0 Express, Dough, Jam, Cake, Whole Grain and Bake. This is quite a nice variety of recipes, and it gives you a wide range of programs to play around with.
When we comes to the crust colors there are the three standard options to pick from including light, medium and dark. Also included is a delay timer which can be set for 13 hours in advance, which seems to be a standard time for most modern models. Once the bread has finished baking the machine will revert to Keep Warm mode which lasts for 60 minute, and this can be stopped by holding down the Start/Stop button. If the power goes out or if the machine is accidentally unplugged then it will continue the cooking program where it left off, as long as the power comes back on within 5 minutes.
Now the big question is how well does the machine perform? Lets have a quick look at the cooking times – the Basic bread program takes 3 hours in total to make a 2 lb loaf, and the French program takes 3:50 to make a 2 lb loaf. The Express programs take 58 minutes in total for both loaf sizes, which seems to be quite standard for a “rapid recipe”. These cooking times are all fairly average, as are the rest of the program times so no big revelations here. The cooked bread results seem to be mostly positive from a large variety of user reviews. The bread is said to taste quite good, and the vast majority of the users seem pleased with the results. The texture is said to be great, and the crust control is fairly accurate. Opinions seem to vary quite a bit on the bread produced by the Express programs, but this is quite common for any rapid bread program.
There aren’t too many user complaints about this particular model. One common issue is that a little flour can get stuck in the corners, even after the mixing phase is complete. A few people have mentioned this, but it certainly is not a huge deal in our eyes. Aside from that there don’t seem to be any other big faults to speak of.
So that is a quick look at the Hamilton Beach Homebaker bread machine. It has a number of features, and comes with a affordable price tag of around $60. It has a large variety of mostly positive user feedback, so it certainly seems like a good choice for a economical home bread maker.
User Manual: You can find a copy of the users manual over here.
- Nice design
- Large viewing window
- 12 Recipes
- Comes with extra mixing paddle
- Flour may get stuck in the corners of bread pan
The Hamilton Beach 29881 bread maker has a variety of features, and a tempting price tag. The performance is highly rated, so it certainly seems like a good choice. It comes standard with a one year warranty, and you can find out more about it on the Amazon product page.