Product Type: Cookworks bread makers
Newest Review: ... relatively easy to use, just throwing in all the ingredients and selecting the settings using the front buttons, easy as pie, as there is... more
Using MY loaf
Member Name: Donf18
Advantages: Great bread
Disadvantages: takes a while to make a loaf, but it is worth it
With a loaf on average costing around £1.20 and given the fact we were starting to throw quite a bit away...............something had to be done. We had talked about getting a breadmaker for a while, and after sampling some of my sister in laws sun dried tomato loaf, I was pretty much convinced as to the benefits. It was time to part with £24 in good old Argos and get us into the home baked business.
There are several different bread making kits, and there is quite a large variety of packet mixes available and it was a couple of them we tried first. HomePride I believe. Three attempts and three disasters. So what next? Well a 54p packet of Asda's bread mix and voila success and a very nice loaf indeed. They have several types of bread mix including Ciabatta, Wholemeal, Plain white so we tried them all and success every time, as to why we had the failures with the Homepride variety we are at a loss, but input from he who knows (i.e. my brother in law or strictly speaking my sister in laws husband) led us to believe we were putting in too much oil.
Using the Cookworks breadmaker is simplicity itself, we had got the black version and it does look quite smart, albeit that it is much larger than we had envisaged hence we had to clear a space for it. It stands a very proud foot high and being also a foot wide at the widest point of its oval shape. Most of this space is taken up with the front control panel, which has a crescent set of buttons where all the settings are made.
1 Time -
2. Time +
4. Start/ Stop
5. Loaf size
The first two buttons in the crescent smile are for increasing or reducing the set time to enable the user to create the same loaf over and over again. For example say you made a loaf which you really liked but would prefer a crispier crust. Use button 2 to increase the cooking time, each press adds 10 mins and experimentation will get the result you desire. Similarly if you find your crust too dark then using button 1 will reduce the cooking time and the colour of crust.
The menu button will scroll you through the preset times for certain times of loaf. The number of the menu item will be shown and this will correspond with the printed list of breads, which is directly above the smiley buttons. If the display shows a 1 then a quick glance will indicate to you that this is for basic loaves. Whereas if you depress the button until you get a 10 then another quick glance will tell you this setting s for cake. Yep it will make your cake. Other settings are for varying speeds and for kneading only. Selecting the number on the list will select this option.
Button 5 is the button used to decide which size of loaf you are making, there are two options here 1.5lb or 2lb. After any selection is made from any button a small indicator will show what has been chosen and in doing so will show you all settings currently set. You can of course change then should you see you have made an error.
The sixth button if for selecting the type of crust you wish, and there are three choices here. Light, Medium or Dark, but as I previously mentioned this can be adjusted by the use of buttons 1 and 2.
A quick check of all settings on screen and your final button is all that needs to be pressed, being that it is the Start/Stop button. One quick press and the machine will start your loaf.
Obviously before you do any of this you will be required to fill the cooking area with your choice of mix. Open the large lid which has a viewport for seeing how your loaf is doing. The foot high 5-inch square looking object which is sitting in the middle of the unit is the loaf tin. A short quarter turn anti-clockwise will enable its removal, hence the reverse for re-fitting. Grease the tin lightly and then replace. Fit the kneading pin which can only be fitted one way and then add you ingredients as per instructions or as per any other method you have tried and had success with. It's all going to look a bit off a mess, but that's OK. Close the lid and set your settings if you have not already done so. Press the Start button and off we go.
Depending on which loaf you are cooking, the time will vary, but about 3 hours is normal. During this time you will here some strange noises from the machine as in kneads and bakes. There will be some short beeps after the kneading process where you have the option now to add fruit or any additives you wish provided they are not too wet which will spoil the loaf.
The smell while this is cooking just makes you want to open it and eat the dough rawish. The finished product is excellent and as you might be aware warm bread and lashings of butter is just well......SCRUMMY. I think if you wish to embark on making your own bread you should be prepared for some failures, but the success's will way outweigh the flops, especially after a few practice's. The unit is easily cleaned after use a wipe of the non-stick coating with a clean damp cloth will suffice. I've never had a loaf stick to the sides even when I had had the misfortune to have forgotten to slightly grease the loaf tin, in fact I'm quite sure this greasing is merely a precaution and not entirely required.
Many dried fruits are available for adding to your loaf and adding a little sugar to some mixes will result in you getting a nice tea loaf. After removal from the tin and a satisfactory cooling period, you could add glaced icing and coconut and have one as good as those small shop ones, which cost the earth. If you do decide to have a go be patient and enjoy the whole experience, especially the eating bit.
Summary: A great breadmaker which makes superb loaves
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