The Breville BBM800XL Custom Loaf Bread Maker is a very good appliance for all around bread making including gluten free and 100% whole wheat. It also has the added convenience of an automatic fruit and nut dispenser that adds ingredients mid-way through the kneading process. It will bake loaves in 1 pound, 1-1/2, 2 pound and a whopping 2-1/2 pound loaf. It features 13 bread settings, 3 crust settings and a customized setting feature and is generally well liked by its owners. It can prepare jams, jellies and sauces that require mixing and heating but most owners prefer the bread making function. It also features a collapsible paddle designed to reduce the size of the hole left in the bottom of the baked loaf.
Intuitive and Easy to Use Control Panel
The LCD control panel is large, easy to read and easy to understand. In addition, it allows you to customize settings for complex recipes such as whole wheat and gluten free. An example of a customized setting applies to whole wheat recipes allowing you to adjust the time and temperature for multiple steps including the preheat, knead 1, knead 2, rise 1, rise 2, punchdowns, rise 3, bake, and an optional “keep warm” phase. This setting feature is not programmable for all recipes, but most can be customized to some degree. It also allows you to preset baking times overnight or while you’re away at work so the loaf is warm and ready when you want it.
Collapsible Bread Paddle
The collapsible bread paddle is unique to Breville and designed to minimize the size of the hole usually left in the bottom of a baked load by kneading paddles. It’s hard to say if that is a significant concern for most home bread-bakers, but if that’s something that’s important to you – The Breville BBM800XL has it. Unfortunately, the most consistent complaint about the Breville bread maker happens to be this collapsible paddle.
“The collapsible paddle takes a giant chunk out of most breads, especially yeast – free breads such as cornbread.”
“Collapsing was not working well. I would prefer non-collapsible paddle.”
The failure of the paddle to collapse like it’s supposed too, plus the fact that it can leave a larger hole in some breads which it’s designed to avoid, is a bit ironic. The machine also comes with a standard paddle designed for jams and jellies so you might want to try that one if the collapsible paddle fails you.
Non-stick Bread Pan for Up to 2-1/2 Pound Loafs
There aren’t a lot of bread machines out there that can bake a 2-1/2 pound loaf. If size matters for you, the Breville could be a good choice. Some customers commented that smaller loaves come out uneven due to the larger size of the bread pan.
“Smaller batches sometimes don’t fill up the bottom evenly, resulting in an unevenly shaped loaf.”
This can be corrected by redistributing the dough at the bottom before rising or adding a bit more water, but it’s an extra step for a smaller loaf. The pan itself is coated with Teflon although Breville only refers to it as “non-stick.”
Automatically Adds Fruits and Nuts
If you like to bake dessert breads or breakfast loaves such as raisin bread, you know that the addition of these ingredients has to be done midway through the kneading process. The Breville BBM800XL features an automatic dispenser that will add these ingredients at the appropriate time. A few owners felt that the dispenser broke easily and some thought it was too small for larger-size loaves.
“The nut dispenser could be larger. It did not work when overfilled (leaving the nut door open).”
A curious limitation for a bread maker uniquely designed to bake larger loaves, although most owners like the automatic dispenser.
100% Whole Wheat and Gluten Settings
The Breville bread maker does a good job with whole wheat and gluten free breads. It sometimes requires some customization of settings to add a kneading and rising cycle, but the machine is designed to allow you to do that especially when you select one of these settings.
“I’ve used it to make whole wheat bread on numerous occasions and they all turned out great.”
Viewing Window in the lid
Like many bread machines, the Breville has a viewing window in the lid that allows you to check progress when kneading, rising and baking. It’s helpful if you want to redistribute the dough for smaller loaves, and adds to the fun of baking your own bread.
Solutions to Common Problems
Owners have found solutions to some of the unique challenges of the Breville BBM800XL including the collapsible paddle, vibration and uneven loaves.
“My machine rocks and rolls all over the counter, is that normal?”
Mine did once or twice — I just center the bread in the pan and then it’s fine.
“I have read some reviews that say the bread doesn’t bake properly and the loaves are unevenly shaped.”
I never had problems with the bread not baking properly, though the loaves can turn out uneven if there isn’t enough moisture in your dough.
“Why can’t I get my collapsible paddle free of the drive shaft?”
I have had this happen before. Try soaking the bread pan in warm water.
I also found a very small brush and I use this brush to completely clean the paddle.
“What is the size of loaf it produces in inches width and depth and maximum height of pan?”
The interior dimensions of the pan are 5.5 inches deep, 5.5 inches wide and 7.5 long.
The Bottom Line on the Breville
The Breville BBM800XL Custom Loaf Bread Maker is a very good, all purpose bread maker with some excellent features including its large 2-1/2 pound loaf capability, its automatic fruit and nut dispenser; whole wheat and gluten free settings and extensive pre-programmed settings. Its biggest limitation appears to be its collapsible paddle and the size of the fruit and nut dispenser for the larger 2-1/2 pound loaf. The majority of owners are quite pleased with the units performance and have found simple solutions to the collapsible paddle problem.
The Breville BBM800XL Custom Loaf Bread Maker is 9.6 x 16.4 x 13.3 inches and weighs 16.8 pounds. It is available in Stainless steel and has a one-year warranty.