Sunday, 8 March 2015

Which Bread Maker Should I Buy?

If you've been reading my blog lately your know that I've been making a lot of bread. It's been a great activity to do with the girls but it can be tricky with the timing and proving times, sometimes they just don't want to play ball and that can wreck a loaf. I've cooked using no kneed recipes but it normally takes lots of planning and I'm not great at that.
So I've decided to take the plunge and buy a bread maker, or more to the point -get one for my up coming birthday. Every time I write about bread I get comments about how good the bread makers are now, so we've managed to find a space for it in the dinning room, not ideal but it will do for now. 
Some homemade focaccia form last week
The question is which do I go for? I'm planning on using it most days, either just to make the dough so I can cook free form in the oven, or on a timer so we can have the bread ready to make my wife's sandwiches for work in the morning. 
My friend who uses one daily swears by a Panasonic bread maker but I was interested to see what other people are using and how they rate it? 
Which would you go for or would you not bother at all?

46 comments:

  1. I wouldnt get a bread maker again, I have had several over the years, I use the kneading hook on my mixer then leave it prove for how ever long is needed in a cold oven out of the way of draughts with a damp cloth over the top sometimes I leave it overnight, if your area is prone to power cuts its fatal for a bread maker the bread will be ruined just something to keep in mind. Perhaps it might be worth borrowing your friends and have a go with it, see if you like the bread it produces before investing :-)

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    1. It's a good point about the power but we've not had many cuts since being here. Trying my friends bread was what made me think I'd have one, I always thought bread made in a breadmaker was rubbish but hers was lovely and didn't go stale as soon as it got cold.

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  2. I have a top of the range Morphy Richards, it makes an edible loaf. The sweet bread recipes are very good but I find all the rest too sweet. I would not buy another, like Dawn I would and did use my stand mixer to make the dough. When I moved I gave the mixer away and wish that I had got rid of the bread maker instead. Now I make my bread by hand last thing at night and slow prove in the fridge overnight. if you know somebody who has one see if you can borrow it and try a loaf.

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    1. It's the timings I struggle with and having somewhere warm to prove the bread - our house is quite cold most of the time and so I have to run it up to the airing cupboard which can be a pain.

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  3. I used one when the kids were younger but find this method works better ..at least for me....
    http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/authors-and-photographer
    you can make conventional loaves with it.
    (Sorry I know it's not what you asked....but after owning a couple of makers it's my fivepenny'orth)

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    1. That's a great link though - thanks! I'll be looking into that. I guess my next problem would be fridge space!

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  4. I have had various different machines but my favourite and the most reliable is the Panasonic. I tend to use it to make the dough for fancier breads like stollen but I do use it to make everyday breads like white loaf and brown loaves. I make Tiger rolls (or the dough) in the Panasonic. By choice I would make by hand but I have severe arthritis. Each time I have used the dough hook on the Kenwood the bread has never done very well. I can only speak from experience. If I had to replace the Panasonic I have then it would be with another Panasonic. Having the bread machine frees you up time wise too so if your time is limited it is a way of getting the best of both worlds.

    Pattypan

    x

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    1. I've heard this before about the Panasonic and I think it's worth spending the extra to get a good quality machine.

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    2. Another vote for panasonic! I've been using it for well over a year now (usually using the recipes in the booklet it comes with) and not had ONE disaster!

      We do pizza once a week, all kinds of sandwich/seeded/herbed loaves, rolls, chelsea buns, hot cross buns...even cakes! Part of the reason I got it was actually because I begrudge turning the whole oven on just for bread.

      We have the 2500. I'd wholeheartedly recommend it!

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  5. I make bread twice a week with my Kitchen Aid dough hook attachment. Nothing to making bread.....don't understand why you have so much trouble. Maybe your yeast is different than ours.

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    1. I have no trouble making it, it's just the timings and having somewhere warm enough to prove it. I end up haivng it upstairs and running back and forth when I knock it back etc, just makes it a bigger job than it has to be!

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  6. Had one and after the the novelty wore off as well as the interior coating, it got parked in the basement and was never used again. Over 10 years that it has not seen any use. I just donated it to Goodwill a couple of months ago when I cleaned the basement out. I think a good counter-top mixer with a bread hook would be a better and more versatile investment.

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    1. I am tempted by a mixer but I like the idea of being able to set a timer on the bread machine and getting it come on ready for when we come downstairs.

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  7. Replies
    1. This is seeming to be the consensus!

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  8. I have a Panasonic I purchased from Lakeland - they have excellent after sales service and would recommend.
    I loved my bread maker for about a year but I now rarely use it but they are great freeing up space in your freezer if you store reserve bread.

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  9. I have a Panasonic I purchased from Lakeland - they have excellent after sales service and would recommend.
    I loved my bread maker for about a year but I now rarely use it but they are great freeing up space in your freezer if you store reserve bread.

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    1. I have no freezer space what so ever and this is one of the reasons I want to make more of my own. We try to buy all the bread for the week in one go and freeze it but space isn't there some weeks and its so frustrating!

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  10. I have a Panasonic here in New Zealand - used it for many years to make all our bread which was delicious. Have only stopped using it since going "gluten free" as I can get an excellent gluten free loaf from the local growers' market.

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    1. Good to hear that yours worked well as well. I think there will be a cost saving as well to making my own loaf as lidl has such cheap flour and yeast. I tend not to go to many markets (or any shopping if I can help it) but I think it's good you buy yours from there.

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  11. I have an Oster that makes a decent potato bread. I also use it to make pizza/calzone dough. Here in the States you can get bread makers for cheap in thrift stores - check yours for same. I used mine a lot when I lived in a cold climate and had a hard time getting my dough to rise in the winter. Now that I live in a warm climate, I rarely use it.

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    1. I;ve never had a potato bread, so maybe I should make one. A second hand bread maker is an option and like you I struggle getting bread to prove sometimes.

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  12. Having had several bread machines over the years from cheap upwards, I now have a Panasonic and just can't fault it. Get one of those if you can, I know they're expensive but they are well worth it. I used it every other day, on the overnight timer setting. so that the bread is ready the next morning by the time we get up (with time to spare so it can cool down before cutting!). With the cheaper ones I've found that you get very variable loafs of bread but I've never had a bad one in the Panasonic.

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    1. That's just what my friend said, she's had others and they just don't compare. I like something that's consistent.

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  13. We used to have a bread maker years ago and used it quite a bit, but I wouldn't get another one. I have just purchased a stand mixer to help speed things up for making cakes, etc. Tried the dough hook, and it works well but only for one loaf. Generally I make two loaves in one go (one to eat, one in freezer), so I have come to the conclusion that making bread by hand is the way to go for us. Only takes 10 minutes to knead the bread, and if I need the bread to get a move on I put the bowl of dough over a saucepan of warm water.
    Good luck with this one. From what everyone else has been saying the Panasonic is the way to go for you. And a happy birthday in advance if I miss the actual day.

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    1. thats a good tip with the bowl of hot water to get it to prove, somedays here I need that!

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  14. As Vera says... Panasonic!
    We now use ours entirely for dough...
    because I do not like the hole the paddle leaves.
    It was the best present we've ever had...
    bought it with wedding present money over 16 years ago...
    and, while it doesn't get used every day because there are only two of us... it is never not in use.

    No problem with recipes...
    you just have to remember to put them in the bucket in reverse order from any book...
    dry first... then salt and liquids last.

    I use oil instead of butter... a mix 30/70 of walnut and first press colza [rape]... or olive for Italiany / Mediterranean type breads....
    measured in a Melita coffee scoop.
    And I also nowadays leave out the powdered milk...
    both mean that you need less liquid than the recipe says...
    eg: 20 to 30ml less in a 450 grams of flour loaf....
    dough weighs out at just under 700 to 800gms...
    depending on what other ingredients I happen to put in.
    I always use some spelt flour...
    Doves from the local Health Foods when we were in the UK...
    over here in France it is on all flour shelves.
    Liddl do some excellent bread mixes... but with all bread mixes you still need to add some yeast... and cut back quite heavily on the salt!
    I made one using Lidl's Sunflower mix, only, with some added seed mix...
    followed my usual method... wonderful loaf,, but...
    it could only be eaten with paté, cheese or sossij!
    It was way to salty for anything like jam... and even home-made marmalade.
    Get a Panasonic... start playing with bread!

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    1. Missed out... yeast first... before dry ingredients...
      and ours came from Lakeland Plastics, too!

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    2. I'll have to try different flours and grains, I quite fancy growing some grains to mill my own to be honest. A grain mill has been on my wish list for quite some time now.
      I quite like salt (my guilty pleasure) but I'll have to cut back on it for the sake of the girls! Also I'm not great with milk or cream so I'll probably go down the oil root as well.

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  15. I don't make bread often now I've joined the Slimming club but, when I do, it's mixed in the Kenwood chef. First the fry mix is mixed with the 'K' beater attachment, then the oil and water added and mixed/kneaded with the dough hook. I use any supermarket brand dried yeast and my loaves/rolls etc rise well in the kitchen on top of the cooker on cooling racks. I use the Kenwood Chef because my hands are stiff and sometimes the knuckles are swollen, I only knock back the dough by hand and shape/put into tins etc.
    My pet hate about bread makers is the hole in the middle lol!
    I hope you find a solution soon.

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    1. Getting them to rise in my house in winter is a task in itself! I do love knocking back the dough and hearing the slight hiss as I do. I'll still make some by hand as it's a great thing to do with the girls.

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  16. Should have said,'Dry' mix not 'fry' lol!

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  17. we have a morphy richards. but I use my kitchen aid (bought on the very first black friday on amazon in the UK, extremely cheap). I love my kitchen aid it has replace lots of my other gadgets.

    I make 3 loaves a week. Mix it on saturday, then as above I leave it in the fridge over night I think it improves the flavour and then knock back, divide and leave to rise again and then all into the oven at once with water in a enamel bowl in the bottom. this keeps it 'springy'.

    Soda bread I knock up if we have people stay to dinner when we were expecting them to.

    once we have moved (am fed up of typing that), I am hoping to have some of my friends 'mother' and have my own yeast.

    other than that I use doves. if it has been in the cupboard for a while chuck it. nothing worse than trying to learn to make new breads and the yeast not doing as it should. it put me off hand making loaves for a few weeks before. and then I got new yeast and was off again.

    I use loaf tins for the weeks loaves but free form if for dinner or giving to people as thank you for having us gifts. I like crust.

    I do have one of these bowls,

    https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/155463407/large-round-handmade-cane-bread-proving?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=shopping_uk_en_gb_supplies-everything_else&gclid=Cj0KEQjwifWnBRCB5PT57KSVw-kBEiQASV7aRIcxbqyq8v-JrDzuxc12yrA30onzmxNnoX81UfEU85kaAhvK8P8HAQ

    although I bought mine in the kitchen shop in Bath. it makes that lovely swirly pattern on the loaf . It always gets and ohhhh when you bring out a loaf like that. even if I am serving it with tinned pate from France.

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    1. Your the second one to mention Doves, so I'm going to have to look them up. I love the look of the bowl! I might have to add that to my wish list when we get our new kitchen, I've just made a bakers peel out of some old oak we found, I'll do a post later in the week - I'm quite pleased with it!

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    2. As for getting an ahh, some of my loaves look a little too rustic!

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  18. I've had a couple of different makes but I never really got on with any of them. Then I went back to making it with my Kenwood, just using the dough hook.

    Now it's even easier .... we hardly ever eat bread, so I just buy the occasional loaf when we fancy one.

    Sorry this is of no use to you really ;-)

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    1. We live on bread and I think we always will! No way could I give it up, I always feel so hungry otherwise!

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  19. Panasonic, but look on ebay and they have lots of different prices, I bought a new one last year for £69 and it was brand new with a bit of a battered box. Makes good bread.

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    1. That's a good tip, I don;t mind a damaged box! Thanks.

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  20. I make up 5Lbs of bread dough in one batch with the Kenwood. Bake and freeze.

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    1. No spare freezer space until I get the extension built and I don;t think that'll be for a little while yet.

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  21. And as for the yeast, don't buy those little multi sachets that they sell in the supermarket, if you can try to find Doves Farm Quick Yeast, it's a dried one in a bright orange packet of 125g, costs around 99p and lasts about three months per packet.

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    1. Another one for Doves! I'm going to do a google search and order some ready I think! Thanks

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  22. Kev, definitely a Panasonic - ours is the stainless steel ZB2502. Highly recommended - we tried cheaper ones in the past and they are no good. Quick tip - we found a company on eBay selling cosmetic seconds for about half price - we paid £70 delivered. The stainless skin on these models is a really thin guage and I suppose they get dented in transit quite easily. Ours has a small dent - I'd rather see a dent in a kitchen appliance and have £70 in my pocket than the other way round!

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  23. Just to say that we have a Panasonic too. It is 15 years old and never had anything go wrong but if it does, you can buy replacement parts and I like that. We had a Lidl breadmaker first of all but it only lasted 5 minutes so I took it back and complained. Other friends have had various models but their general consensus is Panasonic too.

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  24. Panasonic here as well :) ours is in daily use :) Also use Doves Farm yeast and bread flours.

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