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
You don't knead to do all the work!
Member Name: FrostBite
Advantages: Variety of Settings, Value for money
Disadvantages: Size, Colour
I went through a phase of wanting to make my own bread as it is quite expensive from the supermarket or bakery per loaf; the trouble is no matter how tightly I follow the recipes and instructions my bread is hard and stodgy. So with my soup needing some lovely fresh bread for that extra touch I decided to invest in a bread maker as I remembered my dad using one when I was younger. I remember his was great and we would try making butter and jam in it (this was entertainment in the 90's).
I immediately looked in Argos for a machine as I have bought kettles, microwave and washing machine from here before and feel I can trust the quality. I found the Cookworks breadmaker for £37.99 which I immediately thought was a bargain so decided to reserve and buy it the next day. The machine is white and silver, white not being a colour I usually buy for my kitchen but I convinced myself it matched the fridge freezer so I went with it.
When I had got the breadmaker home I was like a kid at christmas wanting to open the box straight away and look inside (I also wanted to check I'd not got a returned machine that was used or broken!). There was the machine, a measuring cup (for flour etc), spoon (for smaller ingredients such as yeast) plus instructions. The machine was well packaged and was in perfect condition.
The bread machine has a good capacity and can make a loaf up to 0.9kg in size and is powered by 600 watts. There are three crust settings which means that you can alter the crust colour to suit your own tastes; further to this are the 12 individual settings allowing for quick bread, french bread, wholewheat, sweet doughs and the jams. I love the amount of variety available in one machine which makes the price and counter space worth the while.
The machine has an LCD display to count down the time left until the bread is prepared and a selection of buttons to control time, menu, colour, loaf size and to start or stop the machine. There is a function to allow a 13 hour overnight delay for baking, ingredients signal to instruct when extras need to be added and a window allowing for the progress of your loaf to be watched. I find the window is useful when baking with children as they get very excited and enjoy watching the product of their work rise.
Overall my experience with the machine has been positive, however upon first use I noticed that you need to position the bread maker very close to a plug socket as the cord is approx. 1m long. I think the cord is quite short due to the bread maker having the cord storage facility within it so a long cord would take up too much room in the machine.
The adding of ingredients is very simple - just remember liquids first! To remove the bread pan it is easy to twist 45 degrees then remove to add ingredients, to replace the same is done and if incorrectly placed the machine will let you know as it will not start. Once the ingredients are in place the loaf size, type and colour must be selected and then the process begins. Once the bread is finished the machine will bleep; now it is cool to the touch on the outside but wear oven gloved to remove the internal pan as it is hot. The bread also has paddle holes in the bottom as the bread bakes in the same space is is mixed. The bread is obviously quite a rigid spare type shape but do not let this put you off, I have found my loaves to be light, soft and a pleasure to eat. They can be stored in the freezer (I pre cut it when I do this so I can remove a slice at a time) or about 4-5 days in the bread bin. The machine is also quite quiet which is suprising for what it does, the kneading process is the loudest but it has never been an issue day or night.
To clean the machine can be a little bit awkward as the pan has a gap around it for removal and this gap can cause ingredients to fall inside making cleaning a little awkward. However, the pan is non stick and the outer machine requires wiping down after each use.
My favourite method of flavouring my dough is to use pasta sauces or other packet sauces from the supermarket to make quick and easy interesting breads!
This machine is fab for any of us who want to reduce store costs or know exactly what goes into our foods for a healthier lifestyle. I have not tried to make jam yet in this machine but when I do I will be sure to add to the review.
Summary: A low cost bread maker for those who want to take the fuss out of bread making
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