Breadmaker - is it worth it?

(38 Posts)
KoalaTale Wed 09-Jan-13 20:51:57

Currently I buy bread from Sainsbury, but I'm keen to reduce salt in my diet and dcs. We love bread! But I'm worried it could become a time consuming ans little used gadget...

Does anyone have experience of them? I'm looking at a Panasonic one with lots of functions as I have little free time. I wonder whether I'd ever recoup the £100 machine cost too through cheaper loaves, though my primary concern is health and I'd like to reduce the salt and cut out the additives of packaged food.

Any experience and opinions much appreciated!

MoreBeta Tue 15-Jan-13 18:01:54

I use the yellow Allinsons yeast but you must mix with a bit of warm water for 5 mins beforehand to activate it before putting into the mix in the machine.

Yeasts for breadmakers are made so you can just bung it straight in the machine.

MoreBeta Tue 15-Jan-13 17:58:39

A breadmaker is a good way to get confident about bread making if you are a beginner but now I use mine only as a convenient way to mix and rise dough. I do the last knead and cook in proper loaf tins in an oven as it comes out better than cooking it in the breadmaker.

Coconutfeet Tue 15-Jan-13 17:53:16

I've been using my Panasonic for a few years with the yellow allinsons yeast. I had no idea it wasn't suitable for bread machines till today! <Unobservent>
I've been really happy with the results too. My bread's going to be amazing with the right yeast.
I agree with someone upthread who said you save money on those times you pop to the shops for a loaf and come out £20 lighter.

ethelb Mon 14-Jan-13 15:36:56

I think so. You'll figure out the best recipe for your machine and you will be able to knock them out in 1min flat and they actually work out cheaper than baking it as they are more energy efficient than an oven. So there is a saving there to of about 8-20p per loaf.

That said I use a pair of dough hooks and bake mine as you hav emroe control. Plus dough hooks are baout £20-£30.

@ cogito...I have been measuring, so doubt that's the problem, but will reduce quantity a bit tonight, and see if it works. Thanks.

The yeast that comes in the YELLOW Allinsons tin is not suitable for bread machines, but the yeast that comes in the pale green tin is. It is also cheaper (gram for gram) than buying sachets.

Rooble Mon 14-Jan-13 14:22:49

I use the sachets, pour it into the measure through a small hole. And agree that the Allinsons tin would be far better!

wadadlis Mon 14-Jan-13 14:16:26

I just put a little bit of salt in my bread, not the 1tsp they recommend - never measure it but it's probably half a tsp at most. Tastes fine to me.

What yeast do you use everyone?

The allinson one comes in a very useful tin but says 'not suitable for breadmakers'. The alternative in Sainos seems to be annoying sachets? Need to be able to measure it out with the Panasonic scoop, so sachets hopeless (and expensive). Any suggestions?

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 14-Jan-13 14:11:27

I put one teaspoon of salt in the typical loaf. It's still a lot less than commercially produced bread.

@fedupwithdeployment... might there be a bit too much liquid in your mixture? I find dents happen when the loaf has over-risen and then collapsed on itself.

I love my Panasonic machine and we use it most days...seeing as there as so many experts on this thread, can I ask a question?

Usually my bread rises nicely (usually do 1/3 wholemeal, 2/3 white), but at the moment there is a big dent in it - instread of "doming up" it is "doming down" if you get me. So the bread is denser than it should be. Any ideas as to why?

Thanks.

lolalotta Mon 14-Jan-13 12:34:50

I use the salt that is recommended in the recipe otherwise it just tastes weird IMO!!!

KoalaTale Mon 14-Jan-13 10:38:16

I used the taste the difference Sainsbury flour, that was very nice. Also bought the Sainsbury wholemeal non-ttd flour and that was very nice.

How much salt does anyone use?I followed the recipe but used lo salt instead of standard, perhaps I'd be better off using a lower quantity of standard salt though.

ouryve Fri 11-Jan-13 19:04:48

I've just used the Allinsons extra strong flour for the first time and it's made a lovely loaf. I normally use the Doves farm, though, for white bread with sainsburys own yeast. For brown, I use the Sainsburys brown - it's not too mealy for DS2 and doesn't need the wholemeal program. Even brown bread hating DS1 will eat a fresh crust made with it.

Oh I should get that then lolalotta. I'm using Allisons atm.

lolalotta Fri 11-Jan-13 18:44:29

The Waitrose extra strong Canadian flour makes really BIG loaves...much better than Allisons flour IMO! grin

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 11-Jan-13 14:51:38

My best tip.... the Panasonic 'rapid' programme works brilliantly for everything. I don't think I use the other programmes!

KoalaTale Thu 10-Jan-13 15:37:05

Thanks all. You inspired me to head down to John Lewis this morning and buy a Panasonic bread maker smile I'll be buying a selection of flour and seeds from Sainsbury when Lo wakes up and then baking starts!

I have a Panasonic that has been churning out 5 loaves a week for the past 5 years ... 5 minutes to measure and programme.

Yes. You basically stir the flour, water, yeast and salt together and leave on the worktop for 2 hours. Then put it in the fridge until you want bread (you can use it straight away if you want to), shape into a loaf, leave to rest while the oven preheats then bake. I'm sure the actual recipe will be on the internet recipe if you Google; the book contains heaps of variation for focaccia, brioche, pizza etc.

Oh I found Smitten Kitchen has covered the no knead bread method in 2006. It looks really good. Thanks for introducing me to it!

ouryve Thu 10-Jan-13 12:38:22

The Panasonic breadmakers really are worth the money. If you make 2-3 loaves a week for a year, it's probably paid for itself, depending on what you normally spend on good bread.

MrsMiniversCharlady is the second method the one in the 5min breadbook?

Like other people I found I never used my bread machine - the bread it made was OK, but not as good as nice shop bought fresh bread tbh. I make a lot of bread with my Kenwood Chef as it's dough hook takes all the work out of kneading etc and then it's just a matter of sticking it in a tin and baking or shaping it into rolls/pizza etc (just like you would have to if using the bread maker to do the dough). It means you can be more flexible with quantities and say, make two loaves at a time rather than having to wait til the bread maker finishes and start again. Personally, I found the bread maker a big waste of money and wouldn't get one again.

Something else I've discovered recently is NY Times no knead bread and 5 minute bread book Both make extraordinarily nice, artisan-style bread which is very, very easy and requires next to no skill. The second method in particular means that you can make up a batch of dough and then leave it in the fridge for up to two weeks, just scooping out some dough and making a loaf as and when you need it.

LaTrucha Thu 10-Jan-13 12:32:05

I do make bread without salt, but then I do make brown bread so maybe that makes a difference.

Of course, when you're cosying up to your new Panasonic, OP, you can experiment as much as you like. smile

Iggly Thu 10-Jan-13 12:27:05

Yes you can do it overnight.

I also use mine for bread rolls and pizza dough

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