Bread Makers

I'm considering investing in one of these so a few questions for the yeast and dough intelligentsia...

1. Is it worth getting one with loads of features or will a basic one suffice?

2. Where do you buy ingredients from?

3. Can you make up any type of bread you want and include different flavours - cheese bread etc?

4. Is it possible to make gluten free bread if you're following a particular diet?

5. Any make / models particularly recommened?


  • 1 I had one and although it made nice bread it ended up stuck in a cupboard as i just went and bought a loaf instead......... smells nice though mmmmmmmm. Basic ones are ok but the features do come in handy.

    2 You can get them from any supermarket

    3 Sure can

    4 Think so yep

    5 I had a Morphy Richards fastbake. Was good with plenty of features.

    Hope this is helpful :)
  • We had one and it was rubbish - in the end we took it back and got the money back.
  • I've got a Panasonic one and use it most days, I made some croissants this morning, I have made peanut butter bread!! yummy, cakes, scones, pizzas ciabatta and french bread in mine I love it. Yes it is a bit of a bind putting in all the ingredients every day but waking up in the morning to the smell of freshly baked bread its well worth it
  • I use mine for pizza bases more than anything else. Takes about an hour and a half and you can do it a lot quicker by hand but you can chuck all the ingredients in and then go off for a run if you like. And its a lot less messy.
  • Always used to make bread by hand - got a bread maker - used it constantly - thought I couldn't live without it - it broke down and was too expensive to replace - (it was a Kenwood - £145.99 job - and the repair bill was £85 just 2 months after the guarantee ended!)

    Used to use it a lot for pizza bases and like Chimp it was great to get on with life whilst it made bread

    BUT when it went wrong it was serious - and could have caught fire - so am not sure now if I'd leave it alone

    Now I just use the fast action bread maker yeast (single rise) and stick it all in the Kenwood to mix - it's not the hassle it was in the old days of buying yeast from the bakers and 'sponging' it first
  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭
    1. There aren't really that many fancy features to be had. They all have different cycles for white, brown and wholemeal bread plus options like adding nuts and seeds etc.

    2. Any good supermarket will have the rapid-action yeast and strong flours that you need, and everything else. This isn't a problem.

    3. Yes. The machine will have recipes included in its instruction manual, and there are books sold separately, recipes on the Internet etc, or you can experiment.

    4. Yes, if the machine supports it (you'll need to check this). However, I am told that the resulting bread has the taste and texture of cardboard.

    5. Panasonic SD-251.

    General tips: avoid the £50 generic "bakes a loaf in one hour" machines. They're flimsy, unreliable and rely on inordinate amounts of yeast. I had a Kenwood Rapidbake, big mistake. The Panasonic one costs about £100, is solid and well-made, has a shedload of recipes and baking cycles (including for proprietary gluten-free ingredients), and has never turned out a bad loaf. This morning's effort was ploughman's bread, containing Branston Pickle and apple juice. Lovely!

    I haven't bought shop bread in years.

    Highly recommended.

  • One thing there's no denying though. The house smells fantastic while the bread's baking.

    Almost worth buying one just for that!
  • we have had one for about 2 months, its used about 3-4 times a week. we still by shop bread, cos the loaf from the bread maker is eaten before its cold!!
    but it makes a nice change to have proper bread.
    have made pizza dough, raisin cake, raisin loaf and different times of bread
    my dad recommends Carr's flour, I brought some the other day and it made my best loaf to date
    we have russell hoobs bread maker pro, got it off ebay for about £30 less than in the shops
    go on, get one, its fab
  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭
    Absolutely, Chimp. Helps disguise the stench of sweaty running gear.

    Some of these machines can make jam and marmalade as well.
  • Oh yes - if you get one - get the largest size if there's a choice - cos even then the loaves are really small

    Its very noise when its chugging away - especially if you put it on for an early morning loaf and it wakes you up at 4.30am!
  • Just reread your post BR

    Where do you get the ingrediants from ?!!!!

    Strong bread flour (supermarket - Tesco's or Sainsbury's have a good range of organic flours - I use 1/2 wholemeal and 1/2 white - Mr SS used normal flour once - you end up with a brick)
    yeast (supermarket)
    water (tap)
    oil (bottle - olive's great)

    I never use salt or sugar
  • how much does the basic no-frills loaf cost to make?
  • If you do use salt though, make sure its kept well away from the yeast when you're putting the ingredients in the machine. Direct contact with salt "kills" yeast.
  • You can buy bread here in Ruthin for £2 / loaf - mega rip off - but it's made from
    spelt flour - which is sort of Roman I think and although it contains gluten apparently most people with gluten intolerance find it OK becos its at such low levels

    we've got spelt flour in the cupboard so must've made some once - can't remember it tho

    You'd have to be a real bread junkie to get the price of the machine back in savings / loaf
  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭
    The Panasonic has programmes for white, wholemeal, raisin and seed, ciabatta, french, non-gluten and sandwich (smaller denser loaf). Or dark or light crust.

    Cost isn't the point, YRR. Ever wondered why supermarket bread keeps for ages? It's full of weird preservatives. Home-made bread goes off within a couple of days (if it's not scoffed in the meantime). Easy solution - freeze it.

    I admit it, I'm a bit of a bread machine bore :-)
  • Must weigh ingrediants exactly - otherwise its really messy cos the dough rises too much and escapes and burns

    Making it by hand you can get away with being a bit more inaccurate

  • Thanks all - Muttley, you are breadman of the year:-)

    SS, I asked as the supermarkets in Barnsley are of the `no frills' variety. We don't have a Sainsburys8-)
  • Another bread machine bore here!
    Since we got ours (year ago) I've only bought a couple of 'emergency' loaves from the supermarket - and I can't stand the taste or texture of them now.

    Get one!

    love the idea of ploughman's bread muttley - how much pickle did you put in?

    forgot the yeast once and ended up with dwarf bread - which was used as a door stop for a while before it went off!
  • BR - know what it's like - we've just got a small Morrison's here in Denbigh - really useless - but luckily my job takes me to the flesh pots of Wrexham where's there's everything except a Morrison's!

    Happy breadmaking :-)
  • Oh yes - a great one for packed lunches -

    make up the dough - roll it out into a rectangle - spread it with tomato puree / olives / cheese / whatever - roll it up like a swiss roll - slice thinly - freeze

    then each morning you can take out a few slices - put in the cold oven - they defrost and prove whilst it's heating up and then you can have mini pizza swirls for lunch! Takes about 15 mins to cook - me and Min are addicted
  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭
    Fraggle - the ploughman's loaf is half white, half wholemeal flour, usual amounts of other usual ingredients and with the liquid half water and half apple juice. Three tablespoons of Branston.

    I sometimes do this one with Pataks pickle and a tablespoon of curry powder - the resulting loaf is a fluorescent yellow colour like a council workman's jacket.
  • The best breadmaker on the market according to almost every survey I've read is the Panasonic SD-253 (slight upgrade from the model Muttley mentions, but basically the same thing). I'm sure that others will do a great job too, but this is the one that I have, and I've never been disappointed, a year on. Yes, it does the gluten-free loaves but I've not tried making one. Has a lot of recipes for fruit and savoury breads, or you can just make dough for baking yourself if you want rolls or pizza base etc.

    Right now, the smell of baking bread is filling the house. Mmmmmm!!!

    Would definitely recommend getting one.
  • Beanz52Beanz52 ✭✭✭
    Definitely get one - the Panasonic as above.

    Standard loaf is 70% wholemeal - use a mix of wholemeal and granary. When the kids ask for white bread I tell them they can have it if they make it they do!

    I use a lot less salt than the recipe says, and you kow exactly what is in it. I also add a few seeds sunflower, linseed etc for added goodness.

    SS - will try the pizza swirls this week!
  • I use mine a lot, but usually use the dough cycle and bake it in the oven. Don't know whether it's just because mine was quite cheap, but if you bake it in the machine, the texture's not as good, or the loaf sometimes escapes and burns!
  • If you buy one, make sure to buy one with a programmable timer. Why? Because then you can load it up with ingredients the night before, and wake up in the morning to the lovely smell of freshly baked bread wafting through your house... Quite simply the most effective technique for getting out of bed, the smell makes you damn hungry, whatever the time!
  • Another vote for the Panasonic from me, it's not the cheapest but it produces solid, dependable results. Well, maybe "solid" was the wrong choice of word for bread, but you know what I mean! Off to put a loaf on rapid back now, so I have lovely fresh bread when I'm back from my long run!
  • BTW, mine is the Panasonic SD-206, which is probably an older model than both Muttley's and the 253 which RC mentions. Proves its longevity, at least, I think ours must be about 3 years old.
  • BR - from my experience of the supermarkets in Barnsley you should ahve no problem. Morrisons at town end, Asda where the papermill used to be and Tesco out at Wombwell all stock everything you need.
  • You were right BB, even the Co-op in Royston has everything:-)

    OK, the Panasonic 253 came yesterday...

    Attempt one at a Basic White Loaf - flour water, milk, salt, butter, sugar, yeast poured in. Result was a flat mess. We put it down to using milk rather than milk powder therefore too much liquid.

    Attempt two at a French Loaf - flour, water, salt, butter, yeast (no milk needed). Pressed all the right buttons. Result much the same as attempt one.

    I've read the troubleshooting guide and it suggests that if the water touches the yeast then it might not rise.

    So attempt three involved pouring in the ingredients very carefully.

    However (being an inquisitive sort) I keep peeking in the oven during this 6 hour process and for an hour nothing seems to be happening, not even the oven getting warm. Is this normal or have I got a dud?
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