This is my second breadmaker but it is far better than my old one for two reasons, namely the fact it makes better bread and also that the mixing paddle retracts before baking to ensure no large holes are left in the bread. On my old machine the paddle would remain in the bread as it was baking, requiring me to cut a huge hole in my loaf to remove it.
There are plenty of different baking programs and I'm having great fun trying my hand at different loaves and styles. I like the way that I can select varying crusts as my previous breadmaker baked very crispy loaves and I much prefer a softer style. The seed/nut dispenser is great for a no-hassle method of adding them to my loaves. I baked an especially nice soft walnut loaf the other day and my seeded batch/granary loaves are brilliant. It only takes a few 'experiments' to get the recipes right as aside from the basic white loaf, I do find most of the enclosed recipes a little sweet. Adding less sugar is the solution!
I am currently experimenting with organic flour and my mum has requested a gluten-free loaf which is baking as I type this review. The smell of freshly baked bread filling the kitchen is divine! If anyone has ever fancied a breadmaking machine but been put off the idea by the thought of it being too much hassle or the finished product perhaps not being as nice as that bought from a shop, let me allay your fears. The bread this machine bakes is so much tastier and nothing beats a super-fresh, warm loaf! One word of caution though, don't use the quick bake option. The bread is so much nicer when it is allowed to bake slowly. With the timer feature, this can be done whilst you're asleep or at work! It takes ten minutes to prepare the machine and then you just leave it for a few hours. Thoroughly recommended!