Breadmakers are relatively new inventions. In fact, the first breadmaker was manufactured in 1986. But since then, they've become a bit of a staple in kitchens across the world, and although you might have a bread machine gathering dust in the back of your kitchen cupboard, now is definitely the time to dig it out. Breadmakers are incredibly versatile and you can use them to rise, knead or leaven bread dough, to bake sweet or savoury loaves or even to bake cakes. Take a look below at our selection of fantastic breadmaker recipes - bake just one loaf or cake and you'll never be without it again.

For the bread machine to yield perfect bread with a soft interior and a chewy crust, you need to add the ingredients in the correct order. Typically, the liquid ingredients will be added to the bread pan first, followed by the dry ingredients, with the dried yeast on top - so that the yeast doesn’t come into contact with the water. The paddle will turn the ingredients into dough, which will then be proofed before being baked. Loaves can take anywhere from one hour to four hours to bake, depending on whether you’re making a sweet or savoury loaf.

You can also use the bread machine to make the dough for breads that need to be baked in the oven. The machine does all of the work in terms of kneading, then all you have to do is shape the bread as needed and follow the recipe. You might need to prove the bread again, depending on the type of bread you’re making – for example, rolls, buns and plaited loaves will all usually need to be proved again once more after being shaped.

Take a look at the fantastic selection of recipes above for inspiration for using your bread maker, including banana bread, chocolate loaf and cheddar cheese bread.