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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I should have bought one years ago!
We were unhappy about what was being used in the bread we bought from supermarkets & bakers; we have also been having problems getting a good crusty loaf, that's not all doughy inside.or full of holes & one that has the right flavour, I was encouraged by other members of a website I am on to get one & have a go. So I did & haven't bought any bread from a supermarket or...
Published 15 months ago by Mrs G Steadman

versus
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Looks great - but not as good as my old Panasonic Breadmaker
I bought this recently as a replacement for my much loved, much used five-year old Panasonic Breadmaker from which I have never turned out a poor loaf. Early days yet with this model but sad to say I've had more disasters than successes. Quite disappointed. I had assumed that newer would be better. Also the "dark crust" setting doesn't produce a crust anywhere...
Published 20 months ago by Nicole Williams


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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I should have bought one years ago!, 26 May 2013
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This review is from: Panasonic SD-ZB2502BXC Stainless Steel Breadmaker
We were unhappy about what was being used in the bread we bought from supermarkets & bakers; we have also been having problems getting a good crusty loaf, that's not all doughy inside.or full of holes & one that has the right flavour, I was encouraged by other members of a website I am on to get one & have a go. So I did & haven't bought any bread from a supermarket or bakers since.
I have experimented with different flours & they do make a difference, the extra strong Canadian makes the best loaf we have made so far, we have also mixed 2 types of flour & that worked well too.
I note what many users have said about the kneading blade that it comes out in the bread, we have had that happen to us a couple of times, but it does say in the instructions about puting it on, I clean the pan & kneading blade by wiping out, then put the pan back into the breadmaker, if you then put the kneading blade on & turn anti clockwise, I then try & it shouldn't come off, if it does it's not on right, if you turn anti clockwise it will just lift off when you try it, it needs to be in the breadmaker to do this, or it will just keep turning around.
If you are genuinely unhappy about the bread you are buying or need a new breadmaker I recommend this to anyone.
I use 400gms of flour 1 teaspoon of sugar 15gms butter (I use Flora Buttery, you can also use oil) 1 teaspoon of salt (I use the low sodium salt) 280 mls of water & 3/4 of a teaspoon of dried yeast, which makes a bigger than a small loaf but not quite a large loaf on the smallest loaf setting, it has 3 loaf size settings for most recipes.
The spicy fruit loaf is wonderful & I recommend this to all.
The timer is handy, set the breadmaker up the night before & you have fresh bread ready when you want it in the morning, but note it's easier to cut when it has cooled for a couple of hours, it also has a crust setting & we find the the crustiest suits us just fine, once started we put in our bread crock, cut end down in the cupboard without the lid & it stays crusty, but put the lid on & it & the crust goes soft.
We were told that this bread makes wonderful toast, but I am afraid it doesn't last that long in our house.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent machine - but brushed aluminium exterior is prone to denting, 7 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Panasonic SD-ZB2502BXC Stainless Steel Breadmaker
This is my first bread maker experience. A fair amount of research and a reduced price lead me to choose this Panasonic model.

I've produced only two loaves so far - but I'm astonished at how easy it is and how pretty good the results are.
The machine does it all for you. You weigh in the ingredients, put the bucket into the machine and press the button and that's it. It takes less than 10 minutes to prepare it all.
I found that a good trick is to put the bucket directly onto a scales, set them to zero - and then pour the ingredients directly in. No intermediate bowls or transfers of ingredients.
The machine is extremely quiet except for a bit of a racket when the yeast dispenser operates - about 30 seconds.

Criticisms of the machine:-
It is encased in a very smart looking brushed aluminium shell which deforms very easily. Such a shame and I would have rathered a more sturdy plastic casing. This is clearly a problem because I have seen several of these machines advertised on eBay and even on Amazon with a dent in the side. In fact my one arrived with a dent because it was inadequately packaged by the seller.
If you dent your Panasonic bread maker - then don't worry. It is only cosmetic. It is a good basis for getting one cheap. You can easily straighten out the dent - completely or mostly by undoing the four screws at the bottom which go through the rubber feet. This will allow you to lift the bottom of the machine away and you can fit your hand inside and gently push the dent out. The, get used to lifting the machine by it's hand-hold recesses on either side.

The warning beeps are very low volume. It would be useful to have louder ones - or adjustable volume.

It would be useful to have some guidance in the manual as to when it is possible to remove the paddle in order to avoid damage to the loaf. It is not clear at all if the machine does a final little knead - or if it goes directly into baking. If someone knows, maybe they can write a comment about it at the end of this review.

ON the two loaves I have done so far, the loaves were not very browned on top.

--------------------------------------------------------------
Update - but here are some tips.

The flour you use is very important. If you didn't know that flours are rated on a numbering system, then check it out. I only found out after getting the machine.
You should only use flour with a minimum of 65 rating. 55 is risky - and 45 is a non-starter - only good for cakes. The Panasonic manual talks about "strong flour" but they don't tell you what that means. Well it means 65 or maybe more.

Don't use more yeast or sugar than in the recipe - if the dough rises too much, the structure won't be strong enough to carry the top heavy load and your loaf will collapse. This is especially true if you use weaker flours.

Make sure that you cool the loaf completely on a rack - or else it will become moist or wet as water vapour will not be able to escape during the cooling process. This means - on a rack or grid - not on a plate of other surface. It means - completely cool - at least 6 hours.

If there is a power cut - the machine will pick up where it left off. This is a great feature - I don't know if it was intended or just accidental - but it is great.

To avoid a loaf which has a moist crust, get it out of the machine and on to a rack immediately it has finished baking. Don't hang around. The Panasonic alarm is very quiet. Best to set a stop watch on your phone.

People tell me that these home-made loaves don't keep. Well that simply isn't true. I keep my loaves in a thin plastic bag to stop them drying out. They last 5 days or so without any problem - if they aren't eaten before then.

I find that these loaves toast very well. I often use oil instead of butter. Toasted sesame oil and some toasted sesame seeds make a very distinctively tasting loaf. I use rye up to 50% rye flour in most of the loaves I make. This has a very high rating of 130 and gives a highly structured bread which toasts very well - especially with the grilled sesame.

Pumpkin seeds etc are all very well - but a bit bland to my taste.

If you are making a pannetone brioche - try using sultanas which you have soaked in rum for a week or two. Also add some vanilla essence.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Looks great - but not as good as my old Panasonic Breadmaker, 25 Dec 2012
By 
Nicole Williams (East Sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Panasonic SD-ZB2502BXC Stainless Steel Breadmaker
I bought this recently as a replacement for my much loved, much used five-year old Panasonic Breadmaker from which I have never turned out a poor loaf. Early days yet with this model but sad to say I've had more disasters than successes. Quite disappointed. I had assumed that newer would be better. Also the "dark crust" setting doesn't produce a crust anywhere near as dark or as crisp as my old model.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant machine, 10 May 2013
By 
Susan Elbourn (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Panasonic SD-ZB2502BXC Stainless Steel Breadmaker
Thank good ness for some decent bread having tried so many different varieties they all failed so now making our own is just the best, so easy to make and coming downtrairs in the morning to bread cooking well thats a good start to the day
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why can't all bread makers work like this one, 26 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Panasonic SD-ZB2502BXC Stainless Steel Breadmaker
After my 1st bread make started leaking around the paddle I decided to buy new instead of repair.
I was not overjoyed with the results of the 1st machine, you never knew what was coming out!
Having seen the reviews for this machine and since I was now a committed bread maker I took the plunge.
All of our other kitchen appliances are black/stainless so it had to be this model to match everything else.
This is about twice the cost of my old one and IMO..........worth every penny!

It makes loafs like a baker would , not using "magic" recipes e.g. add multiple ingredients in the correct order etc. Which is also not true.
For this bread makers It's more a case of throw in the correct amount of flour, water, salt, a touch of sugar and yeast, job done. Seeds etc if you want them. It takes much longer than the old machine but I'd guess that's because it "cracks" the flour to extract the starches for the yeast. This is what beer makers do with barley. This would explain the lower sugar requirements.
For a similar size loaf it uses 1 teaspoon of sugar whereas my old machine used 2.25 tablespoons of sugar + milk + Vitamin C etc. Vitamin C is used in beer and wine making to help the yeast.

Just for the record I found that virtually all of my inconsistent results were caused by variations in water temperature.
The results from this machine are perfect every time even wholemeal on an overnight timer.
The yeast dispenser no doubt making this an easier task.

As someone else has mentioned the beeper is not very loud but not a big issue for me. The only time I would listen for the beeps
was when I wanted to add seeds for the outside of the loaf. The auto seed dispenser solves this problem
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tasty breads most of the time, 22 July 2013
This review is from: Panasonic SD-ZB2502BXC Stainless Steel Breadmaker
Panasonic SD2502 Stainless Steel Bread Maker
SDZB2502BXC Breadmaker with Yeast, Raisin & Nut Dispenser
I baked 4 breads to date and most of them turned out really well.
The recipe book was helpful too.
For the wholemeal loafs I found that I had to increase the amount of water/milk to get a softer loaf.

I have the Bread Lover's Bread Machine cookbook by Beth Hensperger and it has very impressive recipes. I suggest to grab a copy of this or some other bread machine cookbook and not depend solely on the manual provided.

I made the "Holiday Raisin Bread with Candied Peels" and it was splendid for a first try. My family and friends were astonished by how evenly the fruit peels and raisins were distributed in the bread, thanks to the kneading mechanism. The texture was good too.
Here are some pictures.
[...]
[...]

I still have not made enough breads to give a more detailed review.
I will try out more wholemeal, savory and sweet bread types before updating my review.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You'll never buy bread again, 23 Feb 2013
By 
Reggan "Jelasa" (Lancashire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Panasonic SD-ZB2502BXC Stainless Steel Breadmaker
My first attempt was OK but I did a basic white again using 25ml less water and putting it on a dark crust and it was excellent. I have since done fruit bread and had no problem whatsoever with the dispenser, I have also done the Easy Ciabatta and the family love it. At the moment I have an Onion bread in and it smells delicious. I have used it every day (sometimes twice a day!) and can thoroughly recommend it.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really does make spelt bread, 4 July 2012
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Vic Aboudara - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Panasonic SD-ZB2502BXC Stainless Steel Breadmaker
My wife cannot eat gluten (wheat, rye and oats) but can tolerate spelt. I went for this breadmaker as it has a 'specialty' option and spelt bread recipes.

It's brilliant - worked first time. Actually looks and tastes like a standard loaf of bread. One tip - use white flour not wholemeal as it rises better. We use Sharpham Park white flour. My wife can now enjoy real bread, not something that contravenes the trade description act!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the one it replaced, 1 Feb 2013
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W. Adams - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Panasonic SD-ZB2502BXC Stainless Steel Breadmaker
This was only bought because I was not able to buy a replacement nut dispenser when the one in my old breadmaker broke.
The new one is fancier (and a good deal more expensive) and bakes perfectly acceptable bread, though no better than the old one. The recipe book is less simple to follow than the old one. The design changes have mainly been for the worse. It probably helps (those who cannot read at any rate)to put the yeast into a dispenser than put it in first into the bottom of the pan, but for anyone with a grain of intelligence that was a simple process that worked perfectly well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great product, 10 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Panasonic SD-ZB2502BXC Stainless Steel Breadmaker
Makes really good bread every time . It is easy to use, and the timer is great, as you can wake up to the lovely smell of fresh bread. The only negative would be the shape of the large loaf, which is taller rather than longer, so the top doesn't get toasted ( if in a toaster, would be ok under a grill ) . The seed and yeast dispenser work really well. I would definitely recommends this product.
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