156 of 157 people found the following review helpful
on 7 July 2010
i have had a morphy richard's Morphy Richards 48248 Compact Breadmaker Graphitewhich was ok but packed in after 12 months so that went in the bin - did try and get a replacement part as it was still under guarantee but nothing came of it and waited for months.
so i thought i'd splash out on this one instead, and i'm so happy with it. it makes much nicer bread than my previous and the cycles are much quieter.
i like the bake only option for bread but you do need to line the tin which is a bit fiddly so i bought a re-usable liner from lakeland ltd.
my favourite up to now is a white bread with poppy, linseed and sesame seeds also the french bread is yummy but the only downfall i'm getting through loads of calorific butter!
i also love the fact that the kneading blade stays in the bread pan - the morphy richards one, i was fishing it out for ages which leaves a big hole in the bottom.
115 of 116 people found the following review helpful
on 23 September 2010
I am a big fan of panasonic breadmakers. This is actually our third, and don't worry, they don't wear out quickly! I swapped the first one we had for my parents which had the raisin dropper and that one lasted us for many years at a rate of about 1 loaf every other day... If we had taken better care of it (As in the instructions) it would have lasted even longer.
So - for those of you who have older models, these are the most noticeable improvements.
1) The raisin dropper now opens to the side so it doesn't leave a big dent in the top of the bread.
2) The pan has super special non stick coating which actually really really works - very little bread stuck anywhere.
3) There is a brioche programme - delicious.
4) Much less sugar used, slightly less salt, no Vit. C powder and no milk powder for standard loaves - much easier to store the ingredients with so few of them.
5) Handy little place in the lid to store the tbsp/tsp measurers - no more hunting through kitchen drawers to locate them.
The best thing about all panasonic breadmakers is the reliability of the recipes. If you do what it says in the instruction book then you get a good loaf of bread, it's quick and easy to do and the quickest loaf of bread takes less than 2 hours to bake. It takes no more than 5 minutes to add all the ingredients to the pan if you have them on hand and press go.
Would highly recommend both this brand of breadmaker and this particular one.
Happy Baking :)
184 of 186 people found the following review helpful
Knowing people who've bought breadmakers but gradually got out of the habit of using it because supermarket bread is more convenient, we didn't realise how addictive getting a breadmaker would be. Now we've got one, we're not going back to supermarket bread, ever.
Above everything else, it's just so easy to use. Ingredients in, press a couple of buttons, press 'start', come back in a few hours, there's your loaf. There's a timer on it so you can pop the ingredients in in the evening, set the timer, and wake up to freshly baked bread for breakfast.
It's also more than a breadmaker. As I type this I'm tucking into a hazelnut and honey loaf cake, also done in this Panasonic. When we've finished that I'm going to try a cherry & marizpan cake. Besides cake it also does brioche, malt loaf, rye, French, Italian, brioche, gluten-free, dough-making, hot cross buns, croissants, Viennese rolls, gingerbreads, soda bread, and that's just selected highlights from the list. While it's not strictly the breadmaking device's fault, the whole process might be rather fattening.
It's a sturdy, rather heavy block of a device that looks a bit like a dustbin but with buttons on it. The inner tray comes out very easily and is extremely easy to clean (with clear instructions in the manual), which was one of my main worries.
In our small kitchen we were able to squeeze it in next to our microwave. When it's baking you're supposed to leave adequate ventilation around the device. Make sure you've got enough room for it, as it is quite a lot bigger than the loaf of bread it makes.
Don't throw away the instruction manual! Partly because it's got some interesting information about how bread-making actually works, but mainly because only the first bit of the manual is the actual instructions- the rest is a very thorough recipe book, containing ingredients lists and instructions for dozens of different varieties of loaves, buns, cakes, all of which can be made very simply. (The one 'ingredient' they forget to mention is grease-proof paper- make sure you get a stock of it in for the cakes).
If you put in the wrong ingredients, or the wrong amount of ingredients, the results can be disappointing- it doesn't lend itself much to 'experimenting' with trying to invent your own recipes, which have tended to be a bit heavy and flat. But if you stick to the recipes, the results tend to be very good. The bread is generally a little bit heavier and denser than supermarket breads, but not by much and we like it.
One minor gripe- not important enough for it to be less than 5 starts- is that it doesn't have an 'off' switch, you have to unplug it at the wall or wait for it to turn off automatically, which can lead to over-baking on the timer function. If you've got switches on your power sockets and can easily reach them that's fine but if the plug's in an awkward place, that would be rather inconvenient.
The difference between the SD-257 and cheaper SD-256 model is that the 257 can do rye bread (it has a special stirrer) and has a special 'raisin nut dispenser' so it can control when your extra bits get dropped in. If you're only planning to make simple loaves with it, then the SD-256 is all you need.
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on 29 July 2010
I bought this machine after my old Panasonic was showing its age. I needed one that I didn't have to stand on a stool to see the read out!
I can't believe that another machine could be better, but this is. The readout is very clear (standing on the floor), the results are excellent. The recipes from the new recipe book are slightly different and, I think, better. Less flour and sugar and no dried milk powder, the results are great! I make gluten free bread for a friend for which I use Dove GF flour and the recipe on the flour packet. I mix everything in a bowl before addding it to the bread maker adding the yeast last. This seems to be an easy way and no flour deposits around the finished loaf.
247 of 252 people found the following review helpful
on 3 August 2010
First of all I must say, this is the first Bread Maker I have ever owned. I have been toying with the idea for quite sometime now but, as with everything else these days there's too much choice and you end up wondering what to do for the best, so the idea just gets shelved along with all the other stuff you thought of buying at one time or another.
Fortunately there are many good people all over the internet to help you go some way in deciding the best choice from their personnel experiences, and this was certainly the case for me.
After trawling the internet for some time I came to the conclusion that any of the Panasonic range of bread makers seem to be getting all the best reviews so, after reading and watching various videos and presentations of the Panasonic SD-257 I decided to buy one from Amazon as recommended, and I can say it was one of the best things I have bought in recent years. I really like fresh bread but don't want the hassle of making my own bread from scratch.
The Reason for wanting a Bread Maker now, is this. My wife is getting sick of going to our local supermarket and other shops only to find that all the bread is at least 2 days old, then having to argue with the staff to put out the fresh bread that they have stored in the back.
I like brown bread, but my wife prefers white, this is not a problem but it does create a lot of waste. Now our children have both left home we no longer have a big demand for bread anymore so that's what made me think why not just make fresh bread when you want bread Brilliant.
After just 2 days it arrived at 09:10am and by 09:45 we had our first loaf on the way. We used a Hovis bread mix to start with so I could demonstrate to my very sceptical wife just how easy it was. In went the packet of bread mix, the water and small amount of butter and just 2 hours later, after we were both moving around the house and sniffing the fresh smell of baking bread, we had a prefect large brown loaf and I must say from a mix it was very nice. Since then we have tried quite a few different types of bread including the fruit loaf and they have all come out with excellent results.
To finish off I would also like to promote another reason. You know exactly what's going into your loaf because you put it there, no rubbish like E numbers or additives or fats, Just good old bread, with whatever amount you want in it and when you want it. What could be better than that?
P.S. My thanks go to all the other people who sat and wrote a review, you didn't do it in vain.
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 24 July 2010
I made my first loaf of bread today and it was perfect. Would absolutely recommend this product. We are careful electricity watchers as well and the machine used very little! It was exceptionally quiet and also a beautiful bread smell came from it whilst it was making the bread, which I know not all machines do. It also comes with a very detailed guide book even with recipes to try. So simple to use and I would absolutely recommend this product. A+++++
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 19 October 2010
Buy this machine and you will never darken the door of a bakers shop again, you'll also be able to miss out that section of the supermarket. This is an excellent piece of kitchen equipment which produces very consistent results. If you follow the instructions and are accurate when weighing the ingredients you won't be disappointed. We had very good results right from the start and have settled on the 50% wholemeal loaf as our standard 'daily bread' - this one is also very good for sandwiches. So far we've been using Allinson Very Strong Bread Flour along with Allinson Dried Yeast. I would also recommend that purchasers order the Kitchen Craft Expanding Stay Fresh Acrylic Bread Keeper, also available from Amazon, via Corkscrwew Ltd at £10.99. This device is perfect for storing your loaf and makes a beautiful job of assisting slicing (get a new sharp bread knife). Don't forget to send off your receipt to Panasonic to get the free hardback 'Simply Good Bread' by Peter Sidwell, ours arrived within a few days. Additionally I should add that we are always very impressed with deliveries from Amazon. We live in the North of Scotland, 600 miles from London and always get our stuff the next day via 'Amazon Prime' with free delivery. (We pay the £49 per annum for this service but it's worth every penny).
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 4 October 2010
I have been a wholemeal bread fan for as long as I can remember and I know where to buy the best. I have generally despised those who use breadmakers as being too mean to buy the best. However, my supplier no longer makes the particular bread I like and my son offered to lend me his Panasonic breadmaker to try it. After three loaves I was converted.
The Panasonic 257 makes perfect bread, just the way I and my family like it. Yes, it is a bit of a fag to carefully measure all the ingredients - but it is worth it (even my son now measures accurately after tasting my products.
I'll not be going into a baker's shop again!
Panasonic SD-257WXC Automatic Breadmaker with Gluten Free Program
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 25 February 2011
I brought this product after looking at all the different options on Amazon. I wanted a bread maker that did spelt and rye bread and this seemed to be the only one that did. I have just competed my first loaf.
I have never owned a bread maker before and was expecting the mixing cycle to be loud. The bread maker is in fact near silent! I was sure when I opened it my bread wouldn't have been mixed and I had done something wrong - as there was no noise - but left it running anyway. Luckily the loaf had mixed properly. But the paddle also got stuck in the bread ( it does say in the manual this paddle is loose though so this may be why.) In the manual it does tell you that the spelt and rye bread would come out with a sunken top.
I have made this bead a few times in my oven and have not had this so I was hoping this was incorrect. It did come out with a sunken top and the crust was very thick and hard. The bread was very nice, though the crust wasn't to my taste and there is no way to adjust crust or size of loaf on this cycle which is a shame. I will update this review once I have had more experiance with this bread maker but as it stands I have to give a 3 because I am not as happy with the results as I was when I dd it all myself.
Update: I have now tried three other types of bread. White, Wholemeal on rapid bake and spiced fruit loaf. All came out FANTASTIC, even the wholmeal on the rapid bake cycle which others have fed back poor results for. Its so easy to clean and I have had no problems with the normal bread paddle sticking in the bread. Also the display is simple, anyone wh says otherwise i suspect hasnt read the instructions! I would recomend doing this first! If you are looking for a bread maker to try all different types of bread this is the one for you. However I have now baked 5 loaves in 3 days!! If you do want this bread maker for Spelt/rye bread alone then I wouldn't bother! But if you are open to try other types of bread its great. I brought this spacifically for the Spelt setting, Which had dissapointing results... so sadly Only a 4* for me But if I were not fussed about Spelt and Rye it would be a 5* all the way.
41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
The prospect of making bread at home never seemed that attractive to me, I mean, the shops are so convenient. After making our first loaf in the SD-257WXC my opinion has completely changed, because:
- It is so totally easy to make bread in this thing. Stick your ingredients in, remembering to put your yeast in first, click the buttons for the right settings, which really couldn't be easier, then take your bread out when it is ready. We set the timer so our first loaf of the day is ready when we wake up every morning. It cooks overnight on Economy 7.
- You know exactly what you are eating. You buy the ingredients, and stick them in. You don't put any preservatives in, and you can buy the best flour and yeast, and yet the cost is still incredibly low.
- It tastes better. It is so easy to experiment with different ingredients, and it tastes gorgeous!
Other members of my family have bought bread makers before and have quickly stopped using them. I think they should have bought one of these Panasonics.
The only downside is that we now eat a lot more bread. But it makes us feel better than when we used to eat shop-bought loaves.