293 of 308 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great first breadmaker: great results - please don't listen to the horror stories on forums, 12 July 2011
I won't lie - I was nervous about buying a breadmaker, there seems to be such a variety of reviews and opinions on a host of forums about disastrous results, waste of money and poor machine quality. I went for this as a very good priced breadmaker, thinking if I get on well with it I can invest in a Panasonic (which cost around £100)and seems to be the brand that everyone says are foolproof and don't have the niggles that cheaper models seem to. I am really pleased with this breadmaker, not only was delivery really speedy but it is easy to use and the results are great. My first loaf wasn't a success but that was entirely my fault for making a couple of mistakes; the white loaves and wholemeal loaves I had made since have been really great, tasty, golden and very light. I think if you follow the instruction book to the letter you can't go wrong; make sure that you weigh the water as it says - it is unbelievable how inaccurate a measuring jug is. It does not come with any of the frills like measuring cups or a really in-depth recipe book but if you have measuring scales, a tablespoon and a teaspoon you will be fine. If you want to buy-in ingredients so you can start baking the moment your breadmaker arrives you will need: strong bread flour, olive oil, sugar, salt, milk powder and dried yeast (I used fast acting dried yeast from the supermarket which worked fine) - this will make a lovely regular loaf of white bread. Just buy both wholemeal and white bread flour if you want to make wholemeal.
A couple of points that seem to be referred to on forums which worried me:
- the paddle comes away inside the baked loaf: it does but with a cocktail stick and a bit of perseverance you can get it out fairly easily - it isn't a reason not to buy this model and seems a common problem with lots of breadmakers..
- the loaf is very pale: it doesn't give a very dark loaf, I am not sure you would get that with a breadmaker anyway, but by selecting the darkest setting (there are three levels) I have been able to produce a lovely golden brown loaf that has a crisp crust, soft top and is light inside. I have not tried the 55 mins cycle, although I will, but I cannot think this would produce the quality of bread and crisp golden crust I am after - if you want a really speedy loaf then it maybe isn't for you or you may have to be prepared to compromise on the characteristics of your loaf.
I would recommend this breadmaker - it is affordable, easy to use if you follow the instructions and weigh ingredients accurately and will fill your home with a wonderful smell and your tummy with wonderful bread.