Product Type: Kenwood bread makers
Newest Review: ... also comes with an additional cook book containing many great recipes. I have baked the quick bread (from ingredients to loaf in less than... more
Kenwood BM450 Fastbake
Author Name: superness11
Kenwood BM450 Fastbake
Advantages: easy to use
Disadvantages: no time delay on pizza dough!
The smell of freshly baked bread is mouth-watering and evokes a sense of homeliness. To seal the deal, many people recommend baking a loaf of bread before prospective buyers come to view your house.
The bread maker makes making a loaf as simple and easy as making a cup of tea! There is no need for mixing bowls, oven thermometers or spatulas. Like any form of home cooking; you get to control what goes into your product, for example, how much salt you put in and there are no additives or preservatives. You can even choose to use gluten free or organic products. You get to experiment with different ingredients and wow your friends. I made a marmite loaf the other day. The general consensus? They either loved it or hated it!
I have had a bread maker before so I knew what I was looking for when I went shopping for a new machine. I was still overwhelmed with choice though when I went shopping for one.
The Kenwood BM450 stood out from the rest. It is a very attractive looking machine and has an impressive specification. Unfortunately it has a rather heavy price tag and I paid £119.99 for my machine. At the time it was one of the newest bread makers on the market so I could not really find it any cheaper than this. You can now pick up the same machine for around £89.99. I have seen it priced for this much on Amazon.co.uk.
*So what do you get for your money?*
In box is:
* 1 x Kenwood BM450 Bread Maker with Ingredients Dispenser
* 1 x Bread pan
* 1 x Measuring spoon
* 1 x Measuring beaker
* 1 x Kneader
* 1 x Recipe book
* 1 x Instruction manual
* 1 x Registration card
* 1 x Plug.
The machine looks really good quality and it is very stylish. My kitchen is black and white and this looks great in it, thanks to its contemporary design. I keep it on top of my work surface because I like the look of it. Coupled with this is it pretty heavy at 9.52kg so it is a bit of a killer lifting out of the cupboard all the time. It is heavy due to the metal oven inside. It does take up quite a bit of room though!
The machine is made from stainless steel with a black glass lid on the top and touch screen buttons on the right hand size. There is a clear LCD display that tells you how far along the bread is in the process. There is a little window for you to check on the bread though the process. I like to see how the bread is browning.
*Is it easy to use?*
The machine is very simple and easy to use; simply throw in the ingredients and off you go. It mixes the dough, kneads it and bakes it all in one machine. Simply set the right programme and voila. The ingredients dispenser has a 125 g capacity and automatically opens and dispenses ingredients at the appropriate time during the bread-making cycle, this is used if you want a seeded loaf or fruit loaf.
The loaves can be made in three sizes; 500g, 750g, and 1kg. I find the 750g loaf is perfect for the two of us for a day. As the loaf doesn't have any additives; the loaf doesn't last as long as a conventional sliced white. You can also decide on the darkness of the crust and there is a little button with a picture of a loaf on it. There are three levels in browning. A source of arguments in my household! I like light crusts and my boyfriend likes really dark golden crusts!
The quickest setting cooks at 58 minutes which is fantastic and you get a perfect loaf in less than one hour. I often use this function if I am in a rush. Most of the time though I use the time delay function as I love to wake up to a nice loaf!
There is a time delay function of up to 15 hours. This is great as it means you can wake up to fresh loaf or come home from work to one. An added feature is the eight-minute power interruption setting which means accidental unplugging or a brief power outage won't ruin your bread. The machine is extremely quiet so it will not keep you awake through the night. If you can't be there to get your bread out of the machine there is a handy little keep warm feature which keeps the bread at a warm temperature for up to an hour.
The machine has 15 programmes to choose from which can be quite daunting! These include making pizza dough for example. I have not experimented with all the programmes but the instruction book has a list of what each one does. They are really easy to set up using the touch buttons. There is a little button with a scroll on, you push this then hit a number as each programme has a corresponding number. The buttons are ultra sensitive though so make sure you don't knock them accidently when setting it up.
*Getting the bread out*
Now, with previous machines, I have always prodded the loaf and had holes in it. With this machine, you get a specially designed mixing paddle to assist you getting the bread out. This is thin in design and more curved to fit to the contours of the bread to lift it out.
*Is it easy to clean?*
The pan and paddle are non stick and you should never find anything stuck to them. To clean the machine, take out the paddle and the pan and wash in warm water with a sponge. These are the only products to clean the bread maker. Dry the part and put back in the machine. The external of the bread maker can be wiped clean. The black glass is a haven for finger prints and I really struggle to keep this bit as clean as the rest!
*Is it economical?*
The most expensive ingredient is by far the yeast so it's best to shop around for this. The other ingredients such as flour, oil and salt cost a small amount and last well in the cupboards. A 750g loaf will probably work out about 70p - 80p including the cost of the electricity. I think this is a small price to pay for a decent hot loaf and is cheaper than the supermarkets!
The bread maker is huge success in my household. To compliment the bread maker I have recently invested in a book called 'The Bread Maker's bible.' This book includes fantastic techniques and innovative recipes for your bread maker. It shows you how to make the perfect loaf, from a classic loaf to a French stick and then on to more daring products such as Turkish flatbreads or Saffron Brioche Bread!
I'd fully recommend this machine. It's simple and easy to use; perfect for those with a hectic life style. It comes with a 1 year warranty and for the price I think it's an extremely good product.
Summary: A great reliable machine
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