1,261 of 1,276 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All bread machines are not the same!
You might think that once you had a box on your kitchen counter which can stir ingredients around and then get hot for a while, the results would be largely dependent upon the quality of the ingredients and the ratios they are added in, and that any old machine would do. How wrong you would be (and was I)!
We owned a bread maker a few years ago (can't remember...
Published on 25 May 2011 by David P
100 of 108 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars If only it would work!
I previously had a Panasonic SD255 and I was really pleased with it. I was seriously disappointed when it broke down after 4 years. I live a long way from any bread suppliers and I'd come to rely on that machine. So I replaced it with the SD-2501WXC. The first machine to arrive seemed an improvement on the old design, it had a non-stick pan (which was non-stick) and it...
Published 19 months ago by Eggan
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1,261 of 1,276 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All bread machines are not the same!,
This review is from: Panasonic SD-2501 WXC Automatic Breadmaker with Nut & Raisin Dispenser & Gluten Free Program, White (Kitchen & Home)You might think that once you had a box on your kitchen counter which can stir ingredients around and then get hot for a while, the results would be largely dependent upon the quality of the ingredients and the ratios they are added in, and that any old machine would do. How wrong you would be (and was I)!
We owned a bread maker a few years ago (can't remember the make now) and while it was a bit of a fun novelty and it certainly made the house smell good, the results were nothing to get excited about really, and despite endless tweaking of measurements to try and improve the slightly dense dry bricks that we kept getting out of it, we ended up just thinking that this was what machine-made bread was like and that you couldn't really beat a good fresh bought loaf. Then after only a few months the bucket lost its non-stickiness and after digging 3 or 4 loaves out in pieces with a wooden spoon, we gave up and threw it away.
However, after seeing Panasonic machines mentioned in a variety of places (Which? magazine and The Gadget Show for a start), I did some further research, and after reading the reviews of the previous models (256/257), I decided to give a machine another go and bought this new model.
It arrived a day after ordering, thanks Amazon, and as this was rather faster than expected, I was sat looking at my new machine with no yeast or flour in the house. So, after a quick trip to the shops, I bunged in the ingredients for a simple white loaf and switched it on. A little over 5 hours since the machine arrived, I am now tucking in to the results as I write this review.
I am simply stunned at the size and quality and uniform texture and above all TASTE of the loaf I have produced on the first go with this machine. It is just superb. I used Allinson strong flour and yeast and it is quite probably the best straightforward simple white bread that I have ever eaten. I am in serious danger of eating the whole loaf. Who would have thought that just flour, yeast, butter, sugar, salt and water could taste this good? The crust is thin and crispy without being chewy, and the inside is beautifully light and fluffy and moist (without being at all sticky), and uniform. It has risen beautifully, with a lovely rounded top.
I was a bit mystified as to how big loaves would be, because in everything I could find to read prior to buying, it only said it can produce "M, L and XL" sizes. Not much use. So to help other prospective buyers, these sizes use this much flour:
The machine is very easy to set up and use. You put the yeast in first, other dry ingredients on top, and the liquid last. This protects the yeast from the liquid should you be setting it up to go overnight (which I certainly will be tonight!). The ingredient dispenser on this model seems very simple but functional. The display is clear and easy to understand. The flex is short-ish at about 90cm so you need to be fairly near a socket. Be warned though, this is a big beast, you will need a fair amount of worktop space for it, and under wall cupboards is no good as it is very tall too.
After putting it all in and then fastening the pan in the machine with a simple twist, you choose the recipe, the size, the colour of crust (light/medium/dark) and press start. That's it. 4 hours later, a perfect loaf comes out. Then you have to spend an agonising 20 minutes or so waiting for it to cool enough to allow you to slice it without tearing it to pieces. The bread slid out of the pan very easily, but as frequently happens with many different makes, the paddle was stuck in the loaf. I used a wooden chopstick inserted in the hole where the spindle goes to prise it out without scratching it. The paddle is very slim so it comes out easily and does not leave a huge hole behind. The paddle and the pan cleaned up very well - it says you must not submerge the pan in water, presumably to protect the bearings in the bottom. Don't use anything remotely abrasive to clean it - a sponge is great.
So, if you are new to breadmakers, or you have owned others and been perhaps underwhelmed at the results, do not assume all machines are broadly the same - they clearly are not, and this one is just stunning. To go back to my opening remarks, obviously you should use quality ingredients, and they do need to be carefully measured and weighed. But the machine takes what you shove in it, and then works magic. Armed with this and the huge range of interesting flours now readily available in supermarkets, you really will make delicious bread that people just cannot stop eating. I can't wait to try some brown/wholemeal/fruit etc. recipes next.
Quite an expensive machine, and worth every penny. It really does make superb, delicious bread. That's a promise.
UPDATE: after a few days we have now made wholemeal, granary, and pesto and pine nut which made use of the ingredient dispenser. We have also made several overnight using the very simple timer, giving us fresh bread for breakfast and making the house smell wonderful when we wake up. Every loaf has been first class. This machine is superb.
FURTHER UPDATE, 17 months on: Unlike some other unlucky people, our machine is still going strong. It is used almost every day, I make at least 5 loaves a week I would say. The dispenser is still working fine. The bucket is still in tip top condition (despite me dropping it once, argh!!), loaves still just fall out. Interestingly, although it happened intermittently for the first 2-3 weeks, since then the paddle has NEVER stuck in the loaf. The only sign of wear is on the paddle, where the coating is getting a bit worn. I expect I may have to replace this in a few months. Half the loaves I make are granary which does mean more wear as the grains are stirred around. Still as thrilled with it as the day it arrived. We eat a lot of bread now!
257 of 264 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very very good,
This review is from: Panasonic SD-2501 WXC Automatic Breadmaker with Nut & Raisin Dispenser & Gluten Free Program, White (Kitchen & Home)The bread machine was delivered within a couple of days of ordering, really quick. It was very straight forward to get started. The manual has a good collection of recipes, enough to keep me occupied for the next few weeks. I have tried six different breads so far - white milk loaf, 100% wheat, almond and apricot loaf, foccacia (dough only), tomato ciabata and pecan and maple loaf. They all came out beautifully, tasted lovely and soft.
I have tried the timer and it works beautifully.
A few tips - measure the ingredients exactly, excess water will make the bread collapse, use strong flour only(very strong flour also works well), pour water gently when using the overnight setting as the water and the yeast should not mix until the bread making begins and use softened butter and room temp water unless specifically asked otherwise.
It is possible to make roti/chapathi/paratha and naan dough using the machine - this is very useful for me.
Definitely worth buying this model as the nut dispenser makes human intervention unnecessary.
I love it, definitely worth buying.
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Panasonic Gluten Free Breadmaker,
This review is from: Panasonic SD-2501 WXC Automatic Breadmaker with Nut & Raisin Dispenser & Gluten Free Program, White (Kitchen & Home)After researching a lot of gluten free breadmaking machines on the market I choose the Panasonic SD-2501. It makes lovely glutten free bread loaf, a big taste difference to the shop bought gluten free breads currently available. I am also catering for lactose intolerant people and it is a big plus to have full control in what ingredients I use in my breads. The only complaint I have with the machine is that I am unable to use the delay timer settings and automatic nut dispenser, as they dont work well with gluten free recipes. Had I have known this before I purchased I would have gone for the cheaper Panasonic model without the nut dispenser. I also purchased a GF bread making recipe book, as the GF recipes supplied with the breadmaker is very limited. The Panasonic has proved to be a winner with the family. The bread produced is the nearest thing to a proper sized bread loaf that can be used to make sandwiches. It smells and tastes delicious, and the texture is superb. I am delighted with my purchase and would highly recommend this bread making machine.
72 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant,
I use this machine 4 times a week to make bread overnight using the timer feature to have it ready for when I get up. Wonderful soft, tasty bread with a gorgeous crunchy crust, without all the bleaches and preservatives and yuck you get in shop-bought bread. We haven't bought a loaf of bread since we got this machine. You can buy yeast and strong flour from most supermarkets these days at a range of prices, from fancy organic flour to value/economy ranges. The instruction book included has loads of recipes for bread, dough, jam and cakes and tells you what order to put the ingredients in the pan (this is very important).
Couple of tips for people considering purchase: 1. Check the amount of room you have. When you open the lid you need quite a lot of space behind the machine and of course above; this machine can't really be put underneath wall-mounted cabinets (obviously check the dimensions of the machine against your space, but when the lid is open it requires a lot of space). 2. The "knead" step of the cycle makes the machine shudder like a washing machine on a spin cycle, so don't put it on a wobbly table or chair. Put it on a counter. 3. Get yourself some proper digital scales if you don't have any, it's sooo much easier to put the bread pan on the scales, reset to zero and add ingredients directly into the pan. 4. Don't lose the pink measuring spoon and the little water cup! You need to measure ingredients like yeast and the water using the utensils provided. We tried using a measuring jug and a normal teaspoon and the resulting bread was inedible. Other ingredients can be experimented with but the amount of yeast, flour, sugar and water must be exactly right.
I hope this review and the included tips help you decide whether to buy one of these or not.
165 of 171 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic bread maker,
I have since made various breads and every time is a success. The machine starts with about 20 minutes of rest, which I thought was odd at first, but I know understand it ensures that the results are the same every time you use the machine. During the rest it slightly warms the ingredients, so they are all at the same temperature before kneading starts. The loaf comes out of the bucket really easily, with the kneader still attached inside the bucket, so you don't have to pull it out of your loaf. The taste is amazing, the crust is lovely and crisp and the inside really soft. Everyone in the house now always fights to get the first slice as the crust is so nice! The hole in the bread that is left by the kneader is a lot smaller than I expected it to be and does not mess up my slices at all. Even though the bread does not have any of the preservatives the supermarket loafs have, it keeps a long time, and the bread is always eaten before it gets dry. (I am using the As Seen On TV Debbie Meyer Bread Bags (Equivalent to 120 bags) to keep the bread in.)
The machine is really sturdy. It hardly moves when it is kneading, nor does it become too hot, so you can certainly leave it to make your bread in the night, without worrying that it might fall off the worktop or set fire to the house (silly, but I was actually a bit apprehensive about this!).
I have also made a few loafs with fruit and nuts in. The dispenser is very useful, as it saves you from adding fruit and nuts manually and enables making fruit loafs during the night. The reason fruits and nuts cannot be added with the other ingredients is that they will disintegrate during the kneading process, so therefore will have to be added after the dough has been kneaded sufficiently. The dispenser does this for you automatically. However, the first time I overfilled the nut dispenser, so when I closed the lid, the nuts fell into the machine as the lid put pressure on the dispenser which then opened by itself. Now I make sure not to put too much in the dispenser.
I am so happy to be making my own bread. I know exactly what goes in it and it tastes a lot better than what you get in the shops. I am not from the UK originally and where I used to live we had plenty of proper bakeries. My dad even used to be a baker, so I grew up with tasty bread. Since living here I have really missed eating nice, fresh bread. I tried making it manually, but results varied and it was a lot of work. Now with a bread maker I always have lovely bread without much effort. I can now also start experimenting with all kinds of different loafs I have never had before, using the recipes in the manual!
61 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OUTSTANDING BREAD MAKER,
The bread produced in this machine is outstanding, supermarket bread and even bread from artisan bakers is no match for the delicious end product from this equipment.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sticking with Panasonic,
The reason for the upgrade was primarily driven by the fact that the non-stick coating on the inside of the bread pan on my SD-253 had started to break down, thus losing its non-stick property. No complaints about that though, the SD-253 was used to make fresh bread on average twice per week for many of the seven years I owned it. That is a lot of bread! Despite the workload everything else on the old model was still 100% functional. I did consider simply replacing the bread pan, but with a replacement bread pan costing almost 75% of the price of this brand new unit it simply was not worth taking that option.
When deciding on a replacement machine I scoured the web looking for reviews of bread making machines. I figured in the seven years since I purchased mine perhaps another brand was now king of the breadmakers, however, perhaps unsurprisingly, Panasonic came out on top most often, with only a very small number negative reviews on this suite of machines. This aligned closely with my own long term experience with my SD-253, so I made the choice to stick with Panasonic.
Key reasons for choosing this particular model included (a) Ability to make 100% Rye bread, (b) Brioche bread program, (c) Ability to make various specialty breads. The unit can also be used to make Conserves and Compotes, however I doubt that I will be using those functions.
Panasonic have taken an evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, approach with this unit. It looks different but at heart it is almost the same as the SD-253 which it replaces in my house. The dispenser in the lid is almost, but not quite, the same shape as the old one (the units are not interchangable) and the new LCD menu is more expressive; showing what stage the bread is at during the cycle, etc. But it is still basically "Select the program, select the size loaf, select the crust colour (if supported by the particular program), press "Start" and return at the appropriate time" system exactly the same as previous models. It works well, so no reason to change it. One key improvement is that the menu system has a significantly improved facility for handling for the manual addition of ingredients during a program.
A major and obvious difference however is the bread pan itself. Whilst it has the same shape and dimensions as the old unit, it feels about 20% lighter, the walls of the pan seem thinnner and, most notable of all, gone is the silver/grey "diamond finish" on the inside. The unit I received is coated with a very standard looking dark brown non-stick material, highly reminiscent of the orginal "Teflon" coating found on saucepans many years ago. The coating is very smooth, looking almost polished. It also looks nowhere near as robust as the "diamond finish" on my old SD-253. Time will tell on that aspect but where the old unit looked and felt tough, this looks and feels a lot more delicate. I am not happy about that, but time will tell and my concern may be unfounded.
Some of the recipes in the accompanying booklet have been altered slightly from the ones that came with the previous model. The testing I have done so far (I am on about loaf number 10) seems to indicate that both the new and the old recipes work fine in this machine.
At this point I have not made either Brioche or Rye-bread, but I am hoping to bake them over the Xmas period. The recipe booklet has a very tempting recipe for Rye Stout bread which, if it tastes as good as it sounds, could be an excellent addition to the table.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars panasonic sd 2501 breadmaker,
69 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Problems registering your Panasonic breadmaker on-line,
There are far more detailed reviews to read from other satisfied customers so I'll relate the only problem I've had and hope it'll save a bit of time for others who may encounter a similar situation.
When attempting to register my product on the Panasonic website I was informed, after submitting the serial number, that the unit had already been registered.
It's a nightmare trying to contact Panasonic customer services/warranty teams by phone but I eventually got through.
I was told that Panasonic breadmakers are released in such high quantities that several units will have the same serial number. The warranty is unaffected whether the unit is registered or not and registration is only for market research purposes. If I insisted on registering the breadmaker I should do so by inserting hyphons between the characters of the serial number ('110519' becomes '1-1-0-5-1-9'). You could, of course, register using the card provided within the packaging.
Hope this may help others in my situation.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars can panasonic improve on the 254 255 ????,
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Panasonic SD-2501 WXC Automatic Breadmaker with Nut & Raisin Dispenser & Gluten Free Program, White by Panasonic