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We fitted our own DIY kitchen about two years ago and were very pleased with our handy-work. We'd gone for medium oak coloured cupboards and a black granite effect work surface and it looked very good - so good that our old roll-top breadbin which we'd had for years looked distinctly tatty and out of place. I liked the appearance of the Nigella breadbin - the black coloured one - and it fit in very well with our kitchen. After much deliberating over the price - as initially it went against the grain to part with £50-£60 for a breadbin - we bought the item.
The Nigella breadbin is made from stoneware and has a solid wooden (beech) lid which also doubles as a breadboard. It is grooved underneath and fits snugly on top of the bin. We have never used it as a breadboard as it looks too nice to be manhandled. The body of the breadbin is big enough to store two small/medium loves in and measures approximately 45cm long x 23cm wide x 22cm deep. Being made from stoneware it is quite sturdy and a bit on the heavy side. But since I don't tend to move it around much that is of little consequence to me.
It keeps my bread fresh - as you would expect any bread bin to do. It is easy enough to clean with a light wipe around the inside every now and then. It is robust enough for our everyday usage. It looks solid and traditional. It does its job.
But that is not the main benefit of the Nigella breadbin. It is the Ferrari of breadbins. It attracts the eye, it screams quality and it becomes a talking point for every new visitor to the kitchen. Bread-bin-envy. Kudos.
Availability and price.
The Nigella breadbin is currently £50 on Amazon and comes in black, pale blue, cream and soft pink. Yes, it's a lot of money - but I look on mine as an objet d'art. Would recommend.
For several years now, like many keen cooks, some of the many calorie laden recipes of Nigella - her brownies and Pavlova are to die for - have been staples in my kitchen. So when, a few years ago, we were looking for a bread bin for our then new kitchen, the Nigella range was an obvious contender. We bought this super-size bread bin then, it's now priced at £50 or so, we paid a little less than that but still it was quite an investment. It's made of porcelain, and the lid also doubles as a bread board. There are other items in the range, and it's also available in pink and cream; we chose this duck egg bin as it matches our Dualit blue toaster perfectly.
Now it's fair to say that Nigella is a girl who likes her food, and as you might expect this bin has been designed accordingly. It's a whole 45cm long x 23cm wide and a cavernous 22cm deep. In reality this means that you can accommodate a fair few bread or cake products with ease - mine is currently housing a white loaf, some wraps, half a packet of hot cross buns and some cookies I don't want the kids to get their hands on. The storage potential of this item is undoubtedly a good thing, but much as I like that important fact about this bread bin, even putting to one side the hefty price tag of this item there are a few down sides to ownership of this particular item.
Firstly, and yes, I realise I should have noticed this in the shop, but in all the time I've owned it I haven't quite ever got past the fact that it looks rather like a toilet cistern. The unfinished matt finish of the ceramic material it is made of also means that it gets quite grubby over time, a bit of a scrub with my trusty "bar keepers friend" does bring it up like new but it's a bit of an issue. It's apparently dishwasher safe but rather heavy and bulky to put in the average appliance. The lid too, is not without its problems. When I checked Amazon is awash with horror stories of the lid warping and not fitting. I've never had this issue to be fair, but it isn't made of one solid piece of beech but four bits fused together and the middle piece has started to split slightly over time, though I've been far too precious to use it often as a bread board as designed, so it isn't washed on a daily basis. If you were going to cut on it more often, the inside has a ridge, which collects crumbs nicely and also ensures a snug fit - though I don't think it's airtight as billed by any means. I don't think storage of items in it actually prolongs their life, but it does stop them cluttering up my work top.
The fact that the lid is designed to be a board is undoubtedly clever, but it is rather heavy (3lbs according to my scales) and even though I have been extremely careful when putting it on and taking it off, early morning starts being what they are, over time I have managed to hit the side of the bin with the lid and this lead to the development of a hairline crack. The aforementioned fissure grew and grew and will, I fear, one day in the very near future be terminal. The porcelain is extremely thick, but as I am afraid I have proved this is a breakable item.
All points taken into consideration, this is a bin that, assuming you like the look of it, does store bread stuffs well and has size and the Nigella name on its side. It is, however very expensive for what it is and, as I have explained, not without its issues. I haven't yet found a bin that I like more to replace it, and have come to the conclusion that its surprisingly hard to find nice bread storage. On balance I like, rather than love, this bread bin and would recommend it, just, if you like the look of it, just don't expect it to be quite as practical, durable or maintenance free as you might think.