Bread maker.......those with experience come tell me!

(23 Posts)
JRsandCoffee Thu 10-Oct-13 09:55:57

I know these threads have been done before but none quite answer my questions! I'm back to work in January three days a week so that will be three days of three packed lunches in addition to current toast etc. Baby nearly a toddler (sob) and loves her toast. Mother less keen on thrice weekly trips to shop/ baker to buy, just a bit of a pain for one flipping loaf from where we are! My freezer is already jammed with stuff I've cooked etc so no room in there or for another before anyone suggests that or batch baking loaves! I have considered oven baking bread the traditional way but with the vast amount of other cooking I do I reckon not viable, I used to but now there are frequently nappies drying in the airing cupboard where loaves used to do their proving and I don't fancy mixing the two!

So......

I know you get a paddle dent where the paddle does its bit, does this leave a big or small dent, how much of a PITA when using the loaf?

I'm looking at a Panasonic, but it doesn't have a seed dispenser, would I miss it?

If I make a loaf to be ready early evening will it slice well for sandwiches and toast the following morning?

For days when I've got the oven on anyway I might oven bake a loaf, how good is it if you just use the dough mixing function?

Any other advice/ favourite things it does?

So very tempted as it seems like a good answer to the bread question not to mention all the good bits about no additives and controlling salt etc. BUT don't want and can't afford a white elephant!

dreamingofsun Thu 10-Oct-13 10:21:10

paddle hole doesn't bother us. yes think it would have gone a little staler by morning so should cut ok. haven't just used dough mixing function for loafs, as too much bother. nan bread and pitza also good as well as fruit loafs and focachia. haven't used seed dispenser so i don't miss one in my panasonic

JRsandCoffee Thu 10-Oct-13 10:27:55

Thank you!

Agree you get used to the paddle hole. Very fresh bread is a bit of a pita to cut for sandwiches but fine after it has had time to cool. Plus the breadmaker can work when you're asleep or at work or just can't be a**sed and makes the house smell yummy.

We do have the seed dispenser but I could certainly cope without it. You can still add seeds to bread.

Also makes good pizza bases.

SoupDragon Thu 10-Oct-13 15:41:39

I have an aged Panasonic with the raisin/seed dispenser and I love it. I don't use the dispenser that often though and you can always set yourself a timer to chuck the seeds in through the top at the appropriate time.

I've made dough in it to bake rolls in the oven and that works just fine.

The paddle hole is irritating but liveable with.

A loaf left overnight does slice OK in the morning - a loaf cooked overnight with the timer so that it is ready in the morning, however, does not!

I love making different breads - banana bread makes fab toast, pitta bread is ready in an hour, English muffins are lovely, focaccia is great, pizza bases are good... I love being able to decide what mix of white/wholemeal I use and what sort of flour (spelt etc).

onefewernow Thu 10-Oct-13 18:46:29

I havnt used the dough only function.

The paddle bit is not an issue- you barely see it.

It will slice fine. It may be worth buying a cheap electric knife if you are used to ready sliced.

I recommend the basis £50 Panasonic. I originally had the fancy mega expensive one and hated it- too complex by half. The basic one is easy to use and delivers a good loaf in 4 hours.

Aldi do bread flour- white or brown- cheap. My loaf costs 60p, and a similar one from the bakers 1.90. We use about 5 a week for a family of 6.

snowlie Thu 10-Oct-13 21:31:53

Have had my Panasonic for 8 years....wasn't keen on the paddle hole or the odd shaped loaf which was awkward and annoying for sandwiches. After a couple of years of using it for all our bread, we experimented with using the dough only function and baking in the oven....after a bit of trial and error we got it sorted, it's pretty easy to manage, we often stick it in the fridge to slow down & control the rise.
The loaves are good for sandwiches designed for immediate consumption but I get complaints of sogginess for packed lunches - rolls work much better, you can freeze part of the batch so you have a week's worth. A lovely dinner lady showed me how to form them properly and they are a big treat for packed lunches - and bacon butties.

And the pizza function - 45mins for lovely pizza dough is unbeatable, once you get used to fresh made pizza, those sad things in the supermarket calling themselves pizza will never speak to you again!

Dh went from objecting to its purchase to now being its greatest fan. Bread made by hand or with the Kitchen Aid is undoubtedly better, but the mess and the hassle means that I would rarely bother.

wrenster Fri 11-Oct-13 07:23:42

I absolutely adore mine and would definitely recommend but only if you are a real fan of home cooked, additive free cooking - it is obviously A LOT easier to buy a loaf from the supermarket!!

Paddle hole fine. I tend to leave mine out all night (with a fly net over) if I make later in the day as they do take a long time to cool down enough to slice for sandwiches. The bread doesn't last for too long when you're having it for sandwiches.

I have the panasonic sd2500 would recommend it 100%. I also deliberated over the more expensive model but I am very glad I didn't pay the extra money, you don need it. The price goes up and down on Amazon, so I waited until it was £80 or £90 I can't quite remember and then bought it.

I wouldn't be without mine but essentially I could buy everything from the supermarket if I was tight on time and I wouldn't have had it when my guys were babies (they're 5 now) and its fine, in fact they only want 'bread Mummy makes!'

SoupDragon Fri 11-Oct-13 07:23:47

Bread made by hand or with the Kitchen Aid is undoubtedly better, but the mess and the hassle means that I would rarely bother.

I would agree with this. I inherited my breadmaker from my dad as he much preferred the bread he makes by hand and it wasn't getting used. He has the time and inclination to do it "properly" though and still makes all their bread. I can't be bothered with all that faff and my freezer isn't big enough to store the bread like he does and so the breadmaker is ideal.

Also have an aged Panasonic which is brilliant - I use the dough function to make rolls for packed lunches as they freeze easier and DH loves them with soup. If it broke we'd have to go and buy another one as it's lovely - we love the pizza dough as well - which is even better after being stored in the fridge overnight.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 11-Oct-13 12:44:00

I have a Panasonic which replaced a cheaper brand about six years ago. Gets used 2 - 3 times a week. I tend to use the 'rapid' programme for everything - 2 hours 15 minutes typically - and I don't think it makes any difference whether you use the seed dispenser or put in a handful at the start of the process. The paddle leaves a slot which might make a few of your slices a little raggedy at the bottom but doesn't really spoil the experience.

Tips.... put a good knob of butter in each loaf so that they stay moist. Invest in a well-sealed bread bin/box for the same reason.

ArtemisCake Fri 11-Oct-13 13:09:37

I don't live near a shop and can recommend a bread maker as a great timesaver. I would check how fast the quick bake is, as my panasonic is 2 hours which is great when pushed for time. I never use the seed dispenser, but use the dough function loads for pizza bases, rolls, buns, anything that needs kneading.

SoupDragon Fri 11-Oct-13 14:20:04

I've never had much success with the "rapid" option on mine. When I want bread quickly, I use the 45 minute pizza option which produces satisfactory rolls. It also makes perfect pitta bread which is even quicker as takes less time in the oven.

snowlie Fri 11-Oct-13 17:09:31

I've not had much success with rapid either - loaves are dense and tasteless.

fossil971 Fri 11-Oct-13 17:19:45

Paddle hole no problem - one or two slices will have a small dent in the bottom.

Only used seed dispenser twice ever (for raisins). You could set a timer and chuck them in yourself.

Fine if you cook the evening before, to slice the next morning. Buy a really sharp good bread knife if you don't already have one.

Dough function is fine, I mostly use it for pizza as not very confident on bread.

I love the breadmaker just because we always get lovely fresh "Luxury" bread without ever having to go to the shop. I just make the bog standard 70% wholemeal loaf, a treat is to get some special flour. The recipes in the Panasonic book are great. I make 5-6 loaves a week.

I'm sure hand made bread is better than bread machine bread (for those with the time), but both are MILES better than any thing you get from a shop except the most top end artisan bakeries.

I dont think it is easier to get from the supermarket, if you don't have freezer space, don't want 7-day preservatives and don't live next door to the shops.

SoupDragon Fri 11-Oct-13 18:40:14

I have this book I addition to the Panasonic recipes.

snowlie Sat 12-Oct-13 07:22:30

Hot cross buns are amazing, cross not needed and they are definitely worth the bother!

Twiddlebum Sat 12-Oct-13 07:38:21

I have 'borrowed' but never given back to mum kenwood bread maker and its brilliant!!
It doesn't have a seed dispenser I just chuck it all in at the beginning (and I used about 5 times the amount of seeds than what's in the recipes!!)
As for the paddle dent bit... We use that bit for chunky toast as it stops it falling apart which happens if your use it for a sandwich.
I get my bread flour and yeast in bulk from lidl.... So cheap!

One tip... I spend an hour or so once a fortnight weighing out my ingredients into bags (excluding yeast and water!!) so flours (I use a mixture of white, wholemeal and spelt), dried milk powder, salt, sugar and seeds all mixed into bags so every day I can just open the lid, throw the water in, empty a bag in, add the yeast and press go!!! This saves so much time!! (And means even my DH can put a load on to cook!! Lol)

austenozzy Sat 12-Oct-13 08:33:27

we bought a slicing rack from lakeland as it's too easy to get through a whole loaf in six slices! our panasonic is great but dd doesn't seem too keen on crusty bread. been a little while, maybe we'll try her again and experiment with different dough and recipes. good luck!

snowlie Sat 12-Oct-13 10:27:56

Twiddle bum - don't you add oil or butter to your bread?

SoupDragon Sat 12-Oct-13 12:22:53

I make mine with butter but no milk powder or sugar.

Twiddlebum Sat 12-Oct-13 15:11:32

Sorry, yes I add olive oil at the same time as I add the water

snowlie Sat 12-Oct-13 19:06:03

No don't use milk powder or sugar either, so making up a bag would be more effort than it saved. We weigh everything directly into the bread pan...it takes at most 2 minutes.

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