Product Type: Cookworks bread makers
Newest Review: ... measuring cup and spoon, and all the working parts come apart very easily for cleaning. I have heard many people say that they buy a br... more
A Brilliant Breadmaker!
Member Name: angelboouk
Date: 23/02/12, updated on 23/02/12 (993 review reads)
Advantages: price, design, quality, easy to use, delicious bread
For Christmas this year, my sister was absolutely stuck on what to buy me. She remembered I had been talking about a breadmaker and the problem was solved! I had no say in which breadmaker was purchased but was very pleased when she brought this Cookworks Signature Stainless Steel Breadmaker.
Cookworks advise that this breadmaker is suitable for everyday use. It boasts 12 different programmes and is a 600 watt machine. Cookworks claim that the outside of this breadmaker will be cool to the touch when in use. The breadmaker features an LCD display with the various baking options.
The breadmaker itself is quite large and is has a stainless steel finish with a black top. There is a handle for lifting the machine and there is also a clear viewing window on the lid. The breadmaker is presented in a huge box. It does require a little assembly. There is the main unit, a bread pan with mixing blade which needs twisted in the main unit. Extras also include a measuring cup and spoon. There is an extensive 'how to use' book and also a recipe leaflet to get you started.
So, what can we make in this breadmaker and how do we go about it? Basically all the ingredients as stated in your chosen recipe, should be placed in the bread pan. The dry ingredients should go in first followed by the wet ingredients and then yeast sprinkled around the top. Extra ingredients can be added after the first kneading.
This bread maker has various time options depending on what type of bread you want to bake. The quickest is 58 minutes and the slowest is 100 minutes. There is the option to delay the breadmaker for up to 13 hours which is ideal if you want to wake up to warm bread. This breadmaker has 12 programmes which can be selected to create everything from a basic white loaf to dough and whole-wheat bread. It can also be used to make cakes and jam!
There are 2 loaf size options on this breadmaker - 1.5lb and 2lb. You can also select which crust type you want from light, medium or dark so it caters for different tastes. There is the option to do a 'fast-bake' loaf which significantly reduces the baking time. The various baking options can be selected by pressing the buttons underneath the LCD screen.
~Price and Availability~
This breadmaker is currently available from Argos priced at £39.99. This is one of the cheapest breadmaker machines that Argos offer.
My sister was scared she would buy this breadmaker and it would be used once and rejected. I wasn't sure if the novelty would wear off but it hasn't so far and I use it several times a week.
I don't have much cupboard space for this bulky breadmaker so I keep mine of the work top. Whilst my other appliances are white, my worktops are black and silver so this breadmaker doesn't look out of place. I think it looks quite stylish but it is really heavy! When the lid is fully open, it stays open but does sit quite high up which limits where I can use this. The cable is a decent length to suit most kitchens.
So why did I want a breadmaker of all things? Well I love my bread and have noticed that when I buy my usual Warburtons from the shop, it doesn't stay fresh for long. I now only buy a small loaf for sandwiches and use my breadmaker for bread for soup etc. Setting up the breadmaker is very simple and takes very little time. The bread pan is quite large and has a handle which allows it to be lifted out of the breadmaker with ease.
The book that came with the breadmaker is crammed full of information including warnings (don't emerge the machine in water etc - pretty standard stuff really that everyone should already be aware of). It did take me a while to figure out how to work the machine. This doesn't mean that it is difficult to use - it just means that I try to over complicate a simple task! Once I figured out what all the buttons were for (there are 6 buttons) I was on a roll. The LCD display is very clear and responsive. I can set the time, loaf size and programme by pressing a few different buttons. The time for my chosen programme is visible and it is a case of pressing start and off we go!
~Making My Bread!~
I will admit here that I have not tried out all of the programmes as I have no need for them to be honest. I haven't made jam as it does seem a bit too much hassle when I can buy a jar from the local shop for pennies. I have however, made many types of bread from scratch and from a packet mix from the supermarket. I use my scales for measuring out most ingredients however the measuring spoon is ideal for salt and small amounts of sugar. The cup is quite small but ok for measuring out small amounts of water.
The recipe leaflet that was given by Cookworks features 26 different recipes which are detailed with how much of each ingredient is needed for either loaf size. They are very easy to understand and follow though I have received recipe ideas from friends and also from various online websites. I suppose it is trial and error and alterations can be carried out to make the bread that you really like.
Making a loaf is very simple. I have bought my ingredients in bulk from Asda for this purpose. I use Allison Strong White Bread Flour (£1.00 for a kg) and Asda Easy Bake Yeast (64p for 6 sachets). I prefer having the yeast measured out in the sachets as it saves a lot of time. All of the other ingredients I normally have in my cupboard including milk, eggs, sugar, oil and fruit. I also keep spices such as cinnamon for adding extra flavour to certain loaves.
It is so simple to prepare the machine. I start by throwing in the flour and all my other dry ingredients then add my water etc. It is recommended that when making a loaf which requires extra ingredients that you wait until the machine beeps. Once my ingredients are in, I set the time etc. For a plain white loaf (1.5lb) with a medium crust, the timer states 2 hours 53 minutes. I'm not a fan of the fast bake option as the bread doesn't seem as fluffy when it is made.
My favourite bread to make is a fruit loaf (I will put the recipe below). I love fruit loaf and use Smart Price Raisins or Sultanas. I always add extra as I love plenty of fruit in my loaf. This uses the Sweet option which takes just short of 3 hours and creates the most delicious fruit loaf. I like a medium crust which bakes perfectly. Other fruit ingredients could be added and also nuts and spices to create different breads to suit all tastes. I am not a fan of savoury type bread but there is endless recipe potential with sweet or savoury ingredients.
I have used lots of the other programmes. The French Bread is delicious as is the Italian White Bread (using the sandwich programme). The delayed timer is very accurate and I have used it a few times during the night to wake up to a small loaf in the morning. I have used the cake option with this machine. It doesn't make cakes such as cupcakes or anything but it does make delicious banana loaves! This was a big hit in my home and I just alterted the recipe online to take out poppy seeds.
This breadmaker isn't overly noisy. When the machine is kneading the mixture, it does sound quite loud but when the bread is past the mixing stage, the baking stage is practically silent. It is very tempting to open the lid during the process (I did it the first time and I messed up one end of my bread!) so just don't do it! The viewing window is clear and it is easy to look in and see the bread rising. The machine bleeps when it has finished cooking and it is recommended that the bread is removed immediately. I use oven gloves, twist and lift the bread pan before shaking the bread out onto a plate. The bread pan is easy to wipe over with a cloth and put back in the unit.
The preparation process is quick - cooking takes a while and cleaning up is a doddle. Creating a delicious loaf is very easy with this breadmaker and I have been impressed with how well it has performed. A basic white loaf is lovely and firm on the outside and fluffy inside. Perfect for serving warm and dipping in soup. I don't find that my loaves are great when spreading block butter so I rarely use them for sandwiches.
My fruit loaves are perfect though as the machine mixes up the ingredients and spreads the raisins and spices around evenly. I slice up the loaf and serve warm or toasted with some butter - absolutely perfect and much better than shop bought fruit loaves in my opinion. Every loaf I have made has tasted fresh and of a high quality but this is also down to the ingredients I use. The loaves are flavoursome and do not really cost much to make if the ingredients are bought in bulk.
I wouldn't use this breadmaker everyday but if I can't get out to buy bread, I throw the ingredients in and go from there - no mixing or anything. I love the different options and will convince myself to try out more options and sample different, more interesting recipes over the next few months. I would say this is a perfect breadmaker for any household as it is very easy to use, has ample settings and looks stylish. It is affordable as well.
Thanks for reading - pictures will be added later today :)
There 2 main recipes I follow..
*Basic white loaf - 500g of flour, 25g of butter (I use Stork), 1.5tsp of salt, 1tbsp of yeast (I use the packet stuff) and 320ml of water. Dry ingredients first - set basic and medium crust.
*Sultana loaf - 400g of flour, 1 1/2 tbsp of butter, 1 tsp salt, 1tsp cinnamon, 75g of sultanas (I use a big handful), 1tbsp of yeast and 225ml of warm water. The sultanas can be added along with the other ingredients. Select fruit or basic setting.
Summary: I love it!
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