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Do you use a Breadmaker?Any recommendations and tips?

(62 Posts)
MrsHoolie Wed 15-Feb-12 13:55:22

Hello.
I am thinking of buying a Breadmaker.

Not sure what features to look for or what make.

Also,do you use the 'all in one' packet mixes?

I used a really old one which was my Grandads but you had to use all the ingredients and it was hit and miss how it came out.

Any tips greatfully received!

Bramshott Wed 15-Feb-12 14:03:48

We have a Panasonic and make all our bread in it. Never used packet mixes so I can't comment on those, but ours is really easy and reliable - just chuck in the yeast, flour, water and other bits, and away you go. I put it on to be done at bedtime and then cool overnight as it's hard to cut when it's very fresh.

Ours has a raisin dispenser which is good if you like seeds in your bread, or use it to mix dough for buns etc. It also has a timer which is really useful (although we don't often use it overnight - see above).

It's brilliant - I don't get to the shops regularly and previously we used to freeze bread to keep it fresh, but I much prefer the breadmaker.

BlueChampagne Wed 15-Feb-12 14:13:03

Bramshott is spot on!

We have had the Panasonic for nearly 4 years and it goes about 5 times a week. It has been very reliable.

HuevosRancheros Wed 15-Feb-12 14:21:38

We also have a Panasonic one, and it is fab. Ours is the SD-252, don't think that exact model is available now, but it is the basic one, without the nut/seed dispenser - you can still make raisin bread etc, but you have to be around to chuck the raisins in at the correct time, so would be a faff, but I just make "plain" bread. We got it about 7 years ago, at the time both the Panasonic ones available were the most popular on Amazon, nothing seemed to compare. The others on the market seem to have got better since then, judging by the reviews.

It has a timer, which is essential for me - I set it up at bedtime and have it ready for when we get up. Yes, the bread is a little tricky to cut, but it tastes divine. Both reasons explain why we get through a loaf very quickly! smile

I don't use the all in one mixes, but that's mainly cos you can't use the timer with them, as the yeast would be in contact with the water during the waiting period(well, that's what the bread machine instructions say). I also don't bother with sugar, milk powder etc as most of the recipes ask for, I just do yeast, flour (lots of different types), salt, butter, water. Takes less than 5 minutes to set up, a doddle.

Love it, love it grin

EllenRose Wed 15-Feb-12 14:22:13

Agree with Bramshott and BlueChampagne and it sounds like we all have the same model. Only tip from me - make sure the 'paddle' (absolutely not the right word but having a mind blank moment blush ) is firmly on its spindle. Have spent the last four hours being surrounded by gorgeous bread smells only to find it hadn't mixed properly. Completely my fault, not an issue with the bread maker but rather disappointing nevertheless sad
Never use the packet mixes - dead simple to put the yeast, flour, water, salt / sugar and whatever fat you want in - the Panasonic comes with the good basic recipes for all flour types and we use it to make Pizza dough too.
Very good investment.

HuevosRancheros Wed 15-Feb-12 14:24:04

Oh, but one thing - there is a rapid bake option, think the bread is ready in just over an hour, rather than the usual 4. The reviews I read before buying it all said that bread made this way was awful, that was the only downside of the machine.

I never bothered making a rapid loaf for this reason, then did out of desperation a couple of months ago. How bad could the bread be? Bad They were right smile Worth waiting a few more hours!

TunipTheVegemal Wed 15-Feb-12 14:31:56

yes, my advice is to always use the longest possible setting - you get a better flavour and a better rise.

I wouldn't say the rapid bread is bad on mine, but it takes more sugar to make it rise and hence more salt to balance the sweetness. I would rather have bread that tastes bready than sweet. Sometimes I make a small one in emergencies.

I've never used the all in one mixes. When you've been doing it for a while you know your recipe by heart and you have all the ingredients to hand and it takes nearer two minutes than 5 (I timed myself the other week!)

I love my Panasonic too. Had it over 6 years, used nearly every day, still going strong. I have the raisin dispenser but have only used it a few times, could do without.

HarrietSchulenberg Wed 15-Feb-12 14:38:11

I have a Breville compact one that's quite old now. It makes lovely bread but the rapid bake is only good if you want chunky bread to go wtih soup, not big bread for sandwiches and toast. Rapid bake is awful for wholemeal.

I have tried one packet mix and wouldn't bother again. It wasn't awful but it was so-so - made better bread from separate ingredients.

Timer facility is very important as there is nothing to beat the smell of fresh bread wafting up the stairs when you wake up in the morning.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 15-Feb-12 14:39:17

Another very happy Panasonic owner. Had a cheaper brand before that but found I spent quite a lot over the years replacing buckled tins. I've occasionally used packet mixes but find that the variety on offer in the UK is pretty limited. However, whenever I'm in France, I stock up as they seem to have more interesting mixtures! Unlike Huevosrancheros I always use the rapid programme and the bread is lovely.

alana39 Wed 15-Feb-12 14:43:58

Don't use one any more, 2 reasons.

The one I was given had a non-stick coated pan, which after about 18 months started leaving bits of teflon throughout the loaf. Not tasty and didn't want that inside me.

Even before that I had stopped using it to bake, just to mix, so that I could shape the dough how I wanted to and bake in the oven. Now just make it from scratch myself although less often as it's not so convenient.

So I would think carefully about the shape and composition of the pan. It is fantastic having the smell of baking bread waking you up in the morning.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 15-Feb-12 14:48:55

Tips.... Garbage in = garbage out so worth buying really good quality ingredients rather than trying to economise. Second the idea to cook it in the evening and allow to cool over night before cutting.

YouOldSlag Wed 15-Feb-12 14:51:40

My Cookworks machine has just died on my after nearly a year so would buy a better brand next time .

However, I ended up just using the dough setting and shaping my own loaves, rolls and pizza bases. Pizza is especially good this way, just roll the dough into a tin and add what you like then bake. Healthy and very filling.

I am planning to buy a new one because when I had something in the slow cooker and a loaf in the bread machine, I felt like Mum of The Year. (sad I know).

I did use the packet mixes sometimes and they were fine, white was better than wholemeal though as a rule.

Blu Wed 15-Feb-12 14:57:18

I'm very pleased with my Panasonic, and would be even more pleased with it if it had, like newer models, a retractable paddle as the only downside is that sometimes when you get the bread out the paddle stays in the loaf.

It takes a little while to get used to following the instructions, but it is important to follow them exactly for each type of loaf, wrt to using the right setting and putting the yeast in first, then flour, then other things.

I am intrigued as to what ingredients of bread you missed out to be surprisesd that it didn't work? yeast, flour, sugar, water are essential to any bread - the only other basic ingredients in most of the bread recipes are salt and oil or butter which affect flavour and keepability.

I never use a packet mix - much more expensive.

TunipTheVegemal Wed 15-Feb-12 15:07:43

sugar isn't essential! The nicest, slow-risen loaves don't have any. Salt is for the flavour IMO - bread with no salt at all is horrible.

FruitShootsAreALittleHorrit Wed 15-Feb-12 15:14:09

I have a Panasonic too. I used to use mine every day up till about 18 months ago.
Today however I cleaned it out and put in some very old ingredients to see if it still works

it's very quiet. I don't remember it taking this long before it mixes.
I hope it's not dead
However I'm not expecting great results since the ingredients were bbe March 09 blush

What I'm getting at is buy the Panasonic one!

Blu Wed 15-Feb-12 15:34:22

Oh, I thought maybe the sugar was important for the yeast to work.

Fruits - don't worry, they 'do nothing' for ages!

MoreBeta Wed 15-Feb-12 15:40:25

I have a Kenwood. Works well.

Dont bother with packet mix, just buy good quality ingredients and folllow the recipes in the recipe book that comes with the breadmaker. Made a lovely brioche the other day for the family. I make gluten free bread in mine as well.

TBH though I now make a lot of bread by hand. It really is not hard to do. The first ever bread I made by hand was this Artisan Bread. It was more or less mix in bowl, allow to rise, put on tray in a big round blob and cook. Guests love it in big chunks.

BornToFolk Wed 15-Feb-12 15:44:36

I have a Pansonic and it's brilliant. I do mostly rapid bake and they always turn out well. I have used packet mixes which turn out fine but I don't use them often as it defeats the object of having a breadmaker for me (i.e. cheaper and knowing what's in the bread!) but I usually have a couple in the cupboard in case we run out of bread/bread ingredients.
If you've got a Lidl near you they do cheap (and good) bread flour and mixes.

habbibu Wed 15-Feb-12 15:54:36

Dan Lepard's top tip - add half a crushed 500mg vit C tablet in with wholemeal bread flour. Seems to really help the rise. Anotehr vote for Panasonic, and for cooking the night before if you want it for sandwiches the next day.

RantyMcRantpants Wed 15-Feb-12 15:57:24

I am another one with a Panny and love it. I make a loaf each day. One day it is a normal loaf and the next I do a gluten free loaf as I have two who are coeliac. Great for pizza dough as well. The kids also love the spicy fruit loaves.

FruitShootsAreALittleHorrit Wed 15-Feb-12 16:09:12

Well I just looked and it has mixed it without me even hearing. So that bit is still working grin

now waiting for the questionable results from my rather dodgy ingredients, should be ready at 6 will test it on the children

I seem to remember having to put in in the freezer in desperation wait for it to cool before slicing as it is too soft for a bit.

TheSkiingGardener Wed 15-Feb-12 16:09:36

We have a Panasonic, must be about 10 years old now and still non stick and going strong. The rapid bake load is fine, just a bit denser.

If I was buying one now I would get one with a non stick pan, retractable paddle, timer and raisin compartment.

I've never used the packet mixes, just have some different bread flours and a tub of active yeast to hand. Takes minutes.

HuevosRancheros Wed 15-Feb-12 16:12:41

Do we all work for Panasonic then wink

Blu - had no idea the new models had retractable paddles, what a great idea! Does that mean you don't get the slit in the loaf too? I hate the way that half-way through the loaf the slices have a hole in the bottom.....

I found the paddle was increasingly getting stuck in the loaf - the paddle had a few scratches on it after so many years of use, and that was making it non-stick. Bought a new paddle and it's like new again smile

Maybe I should try the rapid bake again - those of you who have had success, do you just follow the instruction book recipe?

Fruitshoots - it "rests" for the first 40 minutes or so, so all the ingredients get to the right temp smile

Blu Wed 15-Feb-12 16:29:16

Well, I now can't find a Panasonic model with a retracting blade / paddle.
I have found refernces to a Murphy model with a retracting paddle...I'm sure I saw a panasonic one at some stage...must have been fantasising!

Blu Wed 15-Feb-12 16:31:15

Yes, I follow the instructions that come on the booklet.

Loads of different types but I have been quite unadventurous - I make wholemeal (with about 50% white: wholemeal) , white, spelt or a spelt / rye mixture.

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