I’m glad I had a breadmaker on loan from Kenwood. If I owned one I’d need some serious help because this machine gives you a delicious crusty home-made loaf in just under one hour. Whilst the recipe book for my machine wasn’t written in English but Polish, I dug out recipes online and made a couple of the simpler loaves on offer. In fact, the only thing I had to do was to weigh out the ingredients, and programme it for the loaf I wanted to make. The machine did the rest.
It’s not the smallest for anyone considering putting it on their work surface but it is one of the best looking machines I’ve seen. Its touch controls are easy to use and the see-through lid allows you to peer inside without jeopardising the cooking process. If you’re having difficulty seeing inside, there’s an internal light which is nice to have but not essential. The glass lid is easily fitted and removed for cleaning.
The pan is non-stick and the bread drops out without extra greasing.
It makes three sizes of loaves and there’s a whopping 15 programmes with 5 personal settings allowing you to programme your own timings. I baked basic white and brown loaves and gluten-free bread. You can also make your own jam and bake cakes in it too. The indicator panel highlights each stage the bread has reached. The touch controls need a light touch and I found myself being a little heavy-handed.
For those who want to wake up to fresh bread that’s easy too, there’s a 15-hour timer which is available for some programmes and there’s also a 60-minute keep-warm function. Although I would warn that the kneading cycle is not quiet, not deafening, but noisy enough that if you live in a flat and run the machine overnight it might be a problem.
In the box you’ll also find a measuring tool, cup and spatula, handy if the flour gets caught high up on the pan but I have to say I had little use for it. I didn’t use the cup or measuring tools either because I found the markings hard to read on the cup. I prefer scales and have measuring spoons.
The raisin and nut dispenser is especially handy and drops (in my case seeds) extra ingredients automatically during the kneading process. This ensures they’re not crushed so you get slices of whole sunflower seeds or walnuts.
The loaf sizes range from 500g, 750g and 1kg and you can also choose your crust colour from light, medium and dark (which is what I opted for).
The only issue I had with one loaf was that the mixing paddle got baked in the loaf. Not a massive problem if you don’t want to use the machine immediately as you just slice it free over the course of the time the bread is fresh. This happened just once with the quick white loaf I made. The paddle didn’t make a large hole in the base of the bread, it’s thinner and is less curved than other bread machines I’ve used.
There are lots of recipes to be made with this machine and the options are endless, using the machine to knead and rise your dough for instance, if you want to make shaped bread in your conventional oven. If I had a recipe book I think I would have attempted a few more challenging recipes, croissants for instance, but for the most part a breadmaker’s used for making regular loaves and this is exactly what it does brilliantly well. Not only can you adjust recipes to work with specific dietary needs, you’re also able to adjust salt, flour types and not go without.
I made a gluten-free loaf with Dove’s Flour and the recipient loved every crumb of it.
Even with the niggles I mention, I’d wholly recommend this model, I’m glad it’s gone for the simple reason that I was eating far too much of this.