I like wholemeal bread with a good texture, colour, small and taste, but over the last 20 years each supermarket in turn seems to have replaced its excellent wholemeal with an ersatz variety of a strange sponge-like texture, a suspiciously uniform dyed-looking colouring, and hardly any aroma or crust. I read various internet reviews that all agreed the Panasonic was the only breadmaker to get if you wanted top-grade wholemeal, although many makes could manage a decent white loaf. So I took the plunge and forked out £85.
Well, folks, it's all true. The Panasonic does indeed produce a better wholemeal loaf than any supermarket, and at half the cost. I haven't bought a loaf since the machine arrived 6 months ago, and I make an XL (850gm) loaf every two days. I reckon the machine will have paid for itself in a year. It takes just a few minutes to load the machine and set the timer before you go to bed. In the morning you tip it out to cool while you make the tea. Easy!
I've tried out lots of the recipes that come with it, and have several favourites: spicy fruit loaf, French rustic white, olive bread, rye and wholemeal 50/50...........The instruction booklet is excellent, and Panasonic is obviously a company that has a seriously-funded R&D section to develop and improve its products - a friend who has the preceding model to mine noticed several worthwhile improvements. One thing I have found though, is that flours vary a lot. (The book warns you.) Keep trying different ones till you find one that rises consistently well and tastes good.