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One of the cheaper bread machines we came across, the Sunbeam 5891 is ideal for occasional use. It offers several of the same features as pricier machines, including 12 settings, like express, dough, and whole wheat; three crust color options; and a 13-hour delay start. But it gives you only two loaf sizes (1.5 and 2 pounds), which is less than any cheap bread machine we researched, so if you only want to make bread for yourself, you might want to shop for a machine that can make one-pound loaves as well.
Home bread makers really like their Sunbeam 5891, both for the end product and ease of use. One Sunbeam 5891 review on Amazon raves about how, for less than $1 a loaf (factoring in the cost of the unit), this machine churns out fresh bread at home with great frequency and excellent results. Other consumers posting Sunbeam 5891 reviews on the same site report similar outcomes with unusual flours like barley and spelt, and say the process is fast and easy. The simple and straightforward functionality appeals to users, according to Sunbeam 5891 reviews on Cooking.com, who enjoy the uniform texture of the bread and say the machine is not intimidating, is quiet, and the price can't be beat.
But the Sunbeam 5891 is not perfect. Some owners comment in Sunbeam 5891 reviews on Epinions that it's best for occasional use and less reliable if you want a daily loaf of fresh bread. Other Epinions reviews report that the Sunbeam 5891 struggles heavier flours, and a few Sunbeam 5891 reviews on Amazon grumble about oddly-shaped loaves, paddle indents, and reliability problems. A number of complaints concern incorrect or tasteless recipes that come with the machine, but that's easily remedied by purchasing a bread-machine cookbook or searching the web.
So if you're an entry-level or part-time bread maker, the Sunbeam 5891 could be the basic machine for you. If you plan to get into bread making in a big way, you may prefer a machine with more bells and whistles that will get you to the next level.