There are different kinds of machines which include the standard machines and the automatic machines. While using the standard machine, the user has to add the ingredients manually. Some of the models even have timers which signal the user to add the next ingredient. The number of features is less when compared to the automatic models. However, you can have a precise control over the working of the machine. The automatic counterpart can be preset to add the ingredients at particular times. The mixing speed can also be set. There are some models which can be programmed for certain recipes like pastries, cakes etc. Such models usually have more than two pans.
If you are considering buying a bread machine for your home, you have to consider several factors. It is always better to buy a less expensive simple model first and then move on for bigger ones later on. First, consider the size of the loaf you want according to the number of family members. Go for small ones if you are baking for two. If you need bigger ones check the 2 pound size. Also check the type of bread you want to bake. Some bread machines can bake different types of bread where you have crust control options as well like crispy, chewy, light, dark, soft etc.
Look for additional settings like jam settings or meat loaf settings etc where you can also add ingredients at a later stage. It depends on your baking plans as to what features will be necessary for you. Bread machines also come with warmers and timers where you can program to start at a particular time. You should also be able to warm the bread whenever necessary. The most important aspect is cleaning. Check whether the cleaning part can be handled comfortably or not. Machines which are dishwasher safe are comfortable to use.