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!

CheCazzo Wed 09-Jan-13 20:56:30

I make almost all of our bread now but I use my KitchenAid and the dough hook - and luckily I'm not pressed for time otherwise I can see it would be a hassle. Never used a bread machine but I would say rather buy it for the health and enjoyment benefits than for the money saving possibilities although obviously in the end it will save money! This is a terrific book and I use it all the time -


yessirnosir Wed 09-Jan-13 21:03:40

Get one they're brilliant. The bread is so much nicer and you do, indeed, know exactly what goes into it. I tend to make the same loaf on a day to day basis, so doesn't take long as it's only a few ingredients and I know it off by heart, so don't have to check the recipe. You can do different loaves when you have the time/inclination.

Do get a Panasonic - they're definitely the best. I had a Kenwood one that wasn't as good and broke after a couple of years, no such problems with my Panasonic, they're always Which best buys.

As you go to sainsbury's they have a particularly yummy wholemeal seed flour, which you just treat as ordinary wholemeal flour - it's a taste the difference. I always like the stoneground ones.

They make THE BEST pizza dough, better than any shop bought.

You wake up to that lovely smell.

Only down side is it doesn't stay fresh enough to eat as bread on day 2, but is still perfectly acceptable toast, and that just shows how packed with preservatives supermarket bread is.

HalleLouja Wed 09-Jan-13 21:35:17

I use my Kenwood Prospero with its dough hook to make bread dough. I had a breadmaker and only used it to make dough, so I ditched it. Mine wasn't a Panasonic though.

You need to make sure you use fresh flour and not one that has been opened a few weeks.

Shiner Thu 10-Jan-13 10:29:37

I have a Panasonic one and use it for all our bread; I spend 5 mins in the morning putting in the ingredients, and set the timer for it to finish just as I get home from work at 5.30pm. Delicious and convenient. However it's true that the bread doesn't keep as long as supermarket bread, but I guess that's due to the lack of preservatives. Not a problem for us as we get through a loaf in two days anyway.

I also use it to make the dough for both breadbuns and hot cross buns which go in the freezer.

It's been used so much that the non-stick coating in the tin is starting to come off!

JamNan Thu 10-Jan-13 11:54:55

Definitely worth it. Got mine on eBay for £12. Look in your local paper too.

I have a Panasonic and it's still going strong after 7-8 years. We aren't a big bread household. Just one loaf for toast a week, and pizza doughs every week or two. But it's worth it just for making the pizza dough. I never liked the shop bought ones.

rockinhippy Thu 10-Jan-13 12:09:17

IMHO No, mines sat in the attic gathering dust & has been since I first used it - Making bread isn't as hard as people think, its very easy making it without a machine & kneading can be very therapeutic & IMO it tastes far better

rockinhippy Thu 10-Jan-13 12:11:04

PS - I also use my Prospero with a dough hook

It's brilliant. Takes 3 minutes to put the ingredients in and then is ready when you want it. Or you can use it for all sorts of doughs which the. Take minutes to finish. I love having bread that I know the nutritional content of. We have bread saver bags from Lakeland which mean it keeps fresh for 2 days rather than one which helps.

LaTrucha Thu 10-Jan-13 12:21:57

The Panasonic one we have is great. I love it. It's not time consuming, much, much cheaper and the bread is much tastier. Do it!

About 5 years ago some self-sufficient friends of ours calculated their cost per loaf and it was around 55p including electricity. I don't know how much bread in the supermarket costs now as I never buy it, but back then it was around £1.08-1.20.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 10-Jan-13 12:25:54

I've had a breadmaker for about 10 years... first a cheapie which died and now a Panasonic. We make two or three loaves a week typically so I'm sure they've paid for themselves. Certainly stops me 'popping to the shops for a loaf' and ending up spending £50.. smile

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 10-Jan-13 12:26:35

BTW ... don't make bread without salt completely. Tastes like nothing.

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

Yes you can do it overnight.

I also use mine for bread rolls and pizza dough

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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!

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!

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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?


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.

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?

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!

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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