* Prices may differ from that shown
This breadmaker makes it so easy to just grab your ingredients, drop them in and within a few hours you have a perfect loaf. I hate buying bread from the local shop because they add so many additives to it, plus you don't get much choice. With this breadmaker you can make bread with all sorts of different flavour combinations. In terms of using it.... I make bread most weekends and anyone can do it. It doesn't make much noise you have options on how crunchy you want your crust and then on a click of a button you have started. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone who wants to see the bread making process. It is not hands on at all - you don't even touch the dough. If this is what you want your only option is to make the dough from scratch. It's easy, smells good and tastes delicious.
The breadmaker performs well although a little inconsistent as most are,however be aware that the paddle bearing will invariably wear and leak in time and is not replaceable, a new bread pan is then required costing from approx £22 to £42 ,kenwood direct being by far the most expensive.
I've been looking for a bread maker for a while now as my bread maker stopped working and somebody told me about this bread maker and recommended it to me so i thought i'd try it out and it was better than i thought, i now make bread on a weekly basis and me and my family love it, i've tried making lots of different kinds of breads now. But i love it and it doesnt take as long making bread with this it takes half the time making compared to my old one. It comes with a lot more features to for example: rapid bake (that explains how fast it takes!), a digital timer with display and a viewing window. i deffinatly think its the best bread maker i have ever tried, a lot of my friends have it too now! I reccomend this bread maker to anyone that loves making bread and doesnt have a lot of time on their hands!
I've had this bread maker around 9 months now and use it on a very regular basis. I used to try making bread by hand but for some reason it never ever turned out right so I figured a bread maker was the way to go. I've had several Kenwood products, as have family members so I knew they were reliable and not too expensive so getting a Kenwood was a no-brainer for me. After getting the bread maker I have to confess I've only used two or three of the recipes but no matter which one I've tried it's come out absolutely perfect. Apart from one time I set it to make brioche and put in the ingredients for a white loaf! But as that was completely my fault I won't hold it against the bread maker! I was very impressed by the personalisation you can bring to each loaf, in that you can change the size and the crust settings. It's also possible to add in extra ingredients such as seeds at a certain point in the program. I've tried a few different crust settings until I found my favourite one but each one came out exactly as expected. I use this to make bread usually on a weekly basis and everyone who's tried some has been incredibly impressed with the bread that it makes; it always tastes fantastic and doesn't upset my tummy like supermarket bread does. I know exactly what goes into the bread which I love, and I love waking up to the smell of freshly baked bread especially at the weekends.
I know I eat far too much bread and so getting a bread maker was probably not the best thing to do but I have it now and have certainly made the most of it. I did not want to get the most expensive but wanted one that was easy to use so I chose the Kenwood BM200 bread maker. There were a few things that made it seem the best value such as the fact that a loaf can be made in under an hour although there is a better taste to the ones that are on the 2 hour 50 minute setting. I don't know if this quick setting makes it much more economical but it is certainly convenient. It comes with measuring cups which is handy and the manual contains not just how to work the machine but lots of recipes. There is a viewing window so it is possible to see if the loaf is rising or not. I was concerned that the machine would make small loaves but it produces a 1kg loaf and that is big enough. There is a digital timer but as I am a bit paranoid about leaving things switched on I don't use it but only start the bread maker manually. If you don't mind leaving it switched on it can be set at night and you can wake up to fresh bread the next day. It really is easy to use as the ingredients get put into the bowl, the settings are set and then it is switched on. It would be harder to do something wrong rather than get it right. There are 13 different settings and this allows you to make bread, pizza dough cakes and it says you can make jam in it but I have not tried that. I am not normally bothered by the design of equipment and prefer to rate them by their ability but this does look good as well as making a good loaf. It is white so does not stand out but as it is easy to clean down it always looks as good as new. This is one of the best pieces of kitchen equipment I have bought as most get shoved into the cupboard after a few weeks but this is still being used after well three years. I have seen some reviews where parts have run out after a couple of years but I only use this twice a week at most so it seems to be lasting well. I can't remember what I paid for it - I seem to remember it was in the region of £75 but whatever it was it has repaid me time and time again. Unless you normally by basic loaves you will find that making your own bread is going to be at least as cheap as getting a store bought loaf and there will be the joy of knowing you have made this yourself.
Where do I begin? Well it is a love affair I am describing. A love affair between me and my bread maker. It started one cold December day in 2009 when I found myself finally buying a breadmaker. I liked the size of the Kenwood. I wanted it to be compact enough to be able to sit on my worktop as I knew any appliance kept in the cupboard is left in the cupboard...pasta machine 1994 RIP. I had a quick look at its capabilities and was suitably impressed....good looking and with the functions I wanted. Particularly the rapidbake cycle...well we don't always want the full monty...sometimes fast is good! I parted with my pounds and lovingly took it home. On the way I proudly strutted up and down the baking aisle at the supermarket....yes people....I don't just make cakes I make BREAD! Hah! Equipped with various types of strong flour and dried yeast I eagerly went home dying to put the machine to the test. Readers....it did not disappoint. The first loaf emerged crusty and golden in an hour! I could hardly believe I'd made it myself. The first slice with butter was manna from heaven. I could not have been more proud of myself....I have three children and I can now bake them home made bread with none of the rubbish added to manufactured bread. My main motivation for buying the bread was to try and get my children to eat something other than white plastic bread. The instruction and recipe book which comes with the Kenwood is extremely useful. It has advice on the different wheats that can be used, the liquids and the role of fats and oils in breadmaking as well as sweeteners. It has basic recipes for a White Loaf, Wholewheat Loaf, French Loaf and Sweetened Loaves. Added in to these are fantastic recipes for such delicious things as Walnut Bread, Caramalised Onion Bread and Fruit and Nut Bran Loaf. There is a section on cakes and tea breads, recipes for Bread Rolls, Croissants, Pizza Dough and Naan Bread and unbelievably a recipe for Jam making! You can make two different sizes of loaf....regular or large. I tend to make the large one most of the time as the bread disappears too quickly if I make a smaller loaf. The rapid bake section is incredibly useful as I can now assemble the ingredients and put them into the breadmaker in about two minutes and an hour later I have a fantastic loaf. However the longer bake options are also really useful as you can time when you want your bread to be ready. I often put a loaf in when I go to bed and it will be ready in the morning for breakfast. And my children...are they eating better bread? Well after a bit of experimentation with the white and wholewheat flours I have now perfected a recipe that is about 60% wholewheat and 40% white flour so the children eat it up happily and I know they are getting wholegrains! We could not be happier! So a happy end to the affair. I know I have found a partner in life who will not let me down and who is predictable, reliable and trustworthy!
One of the best things about having a breadmaker is the smell of the fresh bread baking and the anticipation of opening it up to get a nice looking crusty loaf that always comes out right instead of the hit and miss loaves I make if I try and do it manually. I bought this Kenwood Breadmaker BM200 from John Lewis and it cost me £24.99 which was on offer at the time of my buying it last year. Since I bought it I haven't looked back it's been a real asset to my kitchen and as there are five of us live here now that my daughter and her fiance and baby have moved back home we really do go through a lot of bread. Making the bread is easy as you get a good recipe book with the bread maker and it tells you the measurements of the ingredients, which you just add to the machine, then you set the machine on whichever number of the recipe you are making shut the lid and the machine does the rest. Each recipe has it's own programme and the timer will mix, knead, rise and bake the loaf. All you have to do is add the ingredients and yeast and wait. It is a little noisy but as its in the kitchen it can be left on while we are in another room. The machine has an inner compartment where the ingredients go and this comes out for easy cleaning and when your loaf is ready you can lift it out and turn it upside down to get the loaf out to cool. This also has a kneader inside which mixes the ingredients, you can see the process through the little window at the top of the machine and when you first get a bread maker it's addictive going to keep looking through the window to see how the loaf is progressing. The settings are easily displayed for you to understand and you can even time the baking so that you have bread ready in the morning as it has a 16 hour timer on it, but if you just want to make a loaf for that day then you can use the rapid time to get your loaf within the hour. Once the machine has done it's work and the loaf has cooled the end results are delicious, so far I haven't had a bad loaf come out, the only thing that does bother me is the little indentation at the bottom of the loaf where the mixer has mixed the ingredients but this cannot be avoided as it's the way the machine works. So far I have made fresh white bread, wholemeal bread and fruit loaf, as well as mixing the dough for pizza bases and I also use it to mix the dough for chealsea buns and scones, but these have to be cooked in the oven after mixing. I love my bread maker as it's great for jam and toast in the mornings and living in a rural area we have no shops near it always comes in handy.
Ah the smell of freshly backed bread wafting through my house, you just cant beat that smell when you open your front door. Where is nothing better than soup with freshly baked warm bread and melting butter and this bread machine will do it all for you. All you do is add the ingredients and choose the program then let it do its magic. It will milk, need, proof and bake without any fuss or mess. All though this is primarily a bread maker you can use just the mix function to make all kinds of dough from pizza bases to doughnut batter. The loaf tin is non stick which is very handy when making a pizza base dough and the mixing blade is also non stick. When the loaf is baked and you remove the loaf tin with the convenient fold away handle (this is all metal and gets hot so use a cloth or oven glove) you just upturn the tin and out pops the loaf. Unfortunately the mixing blade is now cooked into the loaf but it pops out with a little wiggle and your loaf is ready to eat. The bead is great but it wont last very long before it gets stale and dry (2 days) which is actually a good sign as you know there are no additives in there, and the texture is denser than shop bought bread but it cuts nicely. You don't have to cook the bread in the machine you have the option to use the mix and proof function only so you can make any shape of bread and cook it in your oven instead. If you just choose to cook in the machine then the little window in the lid is very useful to watch the progress without lifting the lid, this helps your bread not to drop. And the first few times you will want to see the magic! I highly recommend using this machine for speciality flavour breads my favourite is a garlic and tomato herb loaf that is fantastic with Italian food. The recipe book inside is well worth a look and experimenting with. The buttons are flush, plastic covered, wipe clean and the programs are pretty easy to understand and use. Although it takes a couple of hours to make each loaf it is well worth the wait for the end results. The cleaning disassembly and re assembly is super simple just place the mixing blade into the loaf tin and the loaf tin in the machine and your set. You can just give the tin a wipe and your ready to go again or if you have just made a dough the loaf tin is dishwasher safe. EVERY HOUSE SHOULD HAVE ONE! 9 / 10
I had been toying with the idea of buying a breadmaker for some months, so had carried out a fair bit of research into various makes & models - the Kenwood BM200 seemed like a reasonable product which would suit my requirements at a fair price (I think I managed to find it for £55 from Argos). The machine itself has been brilliant so far & has stood up to being used on a weekly basis for the last six months, always producing a large enough sized loaf for me which tastes great. The machine itself comes with easy to follow instructions & also some recipes to try, but it also works just as well with packet bread mixes, which couldn't be simpler; add water & some butter if required, to the bread mix & leave for 2 1/2 hours for the machine to work it's magic! There is one negative to the machine, which I suppose can't be avoided but it is quite a noisy contraption at the start of the cycle when the ingredients are being mixed, but this doesn't last for more than about 20 minutes. The machine also offers a good function for timing your loaf to be ready when convenient for you - there is a 16 hour memory so you can set up the machine to produce a loaf for when you wake up, or get in from work for example. I am pleased I made the purchase of this machine; it certainly hasn't been one of those gadgets which you buy, use once & then shove in a cupboard somewhere - it's become an indispensible kitchen item for me!
First trials were a disaster but slowly got used to bending the recipes to get good results. However, after two years things began going wrong. Firstly the machine would kneed the dough and then reset itself before cooking; sometimes but not all the time. It had a mind of its own. Then it started cooking it without mixing or proving it first; what a mess. Kenwood do not consider it their problem. Basically the company line is we guarantee it for 12 months and only expect it to last for that long. I recommend buying from a reputable company that makes white goods that last longer.
I decided to invest in a breadmaker mainly for my three year old daughter, in the hope that in years to come, she would remember, with fondness, waking up to the nicest smell in the whole wide world - freshly baked bread! I did a fair bit of research on the internet and saw lots of great reviews about the latest Panasonic model but as that was retailing for almost £100, way over my budget, I looked at other options. Second favourite was the Kenwood BM200, I had read lots of good reviews about it. Anyway, I took the plunge and bought the machine on Ebay. It was sold as a graded product, which meant that the packaging was soiled or damaged but the item was new and came with a full warranty. I paid around £40. The best price I had seen it for up until that point was for £60 in the high street. I couldn't wait to for it to arrive and bought all the ingredients ready to use it straight away. So, it arrived, box slightly damaged but the machine was in new condition. The instructions were clear and kept simple fortunately, I am very impatient with new toys. I loaded the machine up and set the cycle, it started to mix and knead. After half an hour it stopped. I checked it, again and again over the next hour but still nothing. Of course, I scrutinised the manual to see if I had done anything wrong. It seemed not. The trouble shoot guide showed that ES meant there was a temperature malfunction, the machine displayed an E-5 message. The helpline was closed and it was bank holiday so I logged onto Kenwood's website, there were authorised repair centres listed with their contact details so I rang first, explained the predicament and took it in, they were open on Saturday which was very handy. Indeed, it was a mechanical fault and they were able to repair it, after waiting for a part. I was pleased that there was no quibble, I was a little uncertain with it being a graded product, but Kenwood came up trumps. A little disappointed that I had to wait almost a fortnight but at the end of the day I took a chance and can't be certain that the same thing wouldn't have happened had I bought in a retail outlet. I have baked three loaves since (only had it back two days) all on the rapid bake (one hour). The bread is delicious, tastes different to shop bought bread in that it is sweeter and resembles cake. The machine has 12 programmes in total and includes wholewheat, french, sweet, dough and even makes jam. Although there isn't a separate compartment for nuts/seeds etc, the machine bleeps to let you know you can add ingredients at that point. There is also a timer facility. I have used the large white and regular white cycle, on each occassion, it has given a gorgeous golden crust which melts in the mouth and a moistness that just makes it so yummy this gadget isn't going to do anything for my desire to get back into a size 10!!! The bread tin is easy to clean, I just leave it to soak in warm water and use a soft cloth which upto now has been enough. Yes, looking forward to having a dabble, about to look on the net for ideas!!
It was a few weeks before Christmas 2002 and I was on the Atkins diet...you know, lots of protein and vegetables, minimal fruit and definitely no high carbohydrate foods like bread, pasta and potatoes. My darling hubby Sam, whom I love to bits, always has big problems when it comes to buying me presents. As he rightly says, I have loads of jewellery, clothes, perfumes, etc and all the usual gadgets except.............you've guessed it, the one gadget I didn't have was a bread maker! He hummed and hawed and I knew that he had something on his mind, so eventually I dragged it out of him. He wanted to buy me a bread maker for Christmas but didn't know if I'd appreciate it because of my diet. (I used to be one of those women who were always on a diet of some kind and I suppose he just didn't know how long this one would last!) I'd been on Atkins, on and off for over a year but had reached what they call a plateau which means I had stopped losing weight so I said that I'd love a bread maker. I could make bread for him and the family, for presents and for me very occasionally. (I love fresh crusty bread so no wonder Id stopped losing weight!) We went to our local Powerhouse and looked at what was on offer. Sam told me to choose the one I wanted. They had about three different makes and I honestly couldn't see any difference between them. The assistant immediately discounted one make (can't remember what it was unfortunately) because he told us that a lot of customers had returned their purchase with complaints. We chose one at random and took it to the desk, but while waiting to be served I noticed a Kenwood Rapid Bake actually being used to bake a loaf next to the desk. This was on special offer at £59.99, £10.00 cheaper than normal and cheaper than the one I had picked. Sam lifted the lid of the Kenwood to see what was happening, and then noticed the placard that said, "Please do not lift the lid". We suddenly felt obliged to purchase a Kenwood! I couldn't use this until Christmas day, of course, but truly, I couldn't wait. In my youth I had gone through a long phase of home bread baking which had lasted years and Id delved deeply into the action of yeast and flour etc and the great spirituality of baking so I know how delicious a food this can be, and how satisfying it is to bake your own bread. To achieve this wonderful result without the tedious grind of mixing, kneading, proving and baking would be terrific, though maybe not so good for the soul! My Kenwood Rapid Bake is a BM200 and comes with a recipe book. I found from trial and error that the best flour to use, of those I've tried so far, is Allinsons very strong white (in a black bag) for white loaves or McDougall's Granary (in a blue and yellow bag) for granary. You can also use a mix of both for a paler brown bread. Funnily enough, the first yeast I used was Allinson's dried in a little tub, which I already had in the cupboard. I had made several perfect loaves before I realised that I shouldn't be using this. (Id bought it for making wine I think!). I then swapped to Hovis dried with no discernable difference. It couldn't be easier to make a large or small loaf with this machine. The inner metal pan, (like a little basket with a fold-down handle) detaches from the main body of the machine. The ingredients are measured, using the water measure and spoon supplied. (You do have to be exact.) The water is placed in the pan, which contains the kneader, and the flour and dried milk powder is placed on top, covering the water completely. Next the required amount of butter, sugar and salt are placed in separate corners, and then the yeast goes in a well in the middle. This pan is inserted back into the machine, which is about the size of a standard square bread bin, and the machine is switched on. You select whichever baking cycle you want and leave it to get on with it. It can take two or three hours unless you have selected the "rapid" cycle, which bakes a loaf in an hour, though it may not rise as much. There is a little window in the lid through which you can watch your dough being kneaded, and, later, you can watch it rise and turn a lovely golden brown. It really is as simple as that. I have made an egg-enriched loaf, granary loaves and white loaves with and without an extra dark crust. You can also make French bread, with French flour, sun-dried tomato bread, wholemeal, milk loaf, rustic white, walnut bread, and carrot and coriander bread. That's only the "bread" breads. There are also several "tea breads" which are more like cakes such as malted sultana and apricot, cranberry, almond and pecan, Caribbean tea bread and gingerbread. You can also make the dough to bake your own rolls and pizza, though of course these have to be finished off in the oven. The machine also has a jam making cycle so it's really quite versatile. One thing I really like, is that the recipe book explains exactly why things like salt and sugar are required in bread-making and also explains about different types of flour and how yeast works. You can easily adapt your own recipes once you understand the mechanics of the process. There are instructions on removing, slicing and storing bread also, which are important because home-baked bread doesn't keep as long as store-bought because it doesn't contain any preservatives. It is therefore arguably healthier for you too. There are lots of general hints and tips like replacing part of the water with fruit juice when making fruit flavoured breads and making sure that your ingredients are at room temperature. There is a handy troubleshooting guide, which, luckily I havent had to use yet. I did think it would be nice to put the machine on a delayed cycle and have it make a fresh loaf of bread in time for breakfast; however, the one drawback is the noise it makes! Not really that loud, but a definite churning sound which would wake me up because we have situated it in the bedroom, as Im a little short of kitchen space. (Hence the title!) Fine for baking during the day, but wouldn't suit baking early morning-unless it could double as an alarm clock. The wonderful aroma of baking bread is a very positive aspect of this process and the satisfaction and sense of achievement when you turn out a large, perfectly risen loaf is quite remarkable. My daughter has a different make of machine and can't produce a decent loaf so I reckon we managed to accidentally choose the best. Definitely one of my best Christmas presents oh and Ive decided that I am what I am, so no more diets ..bread is definitely allowed!
It was my birthday recently and we have recently moved into a new house, put these two factors together and you get a simple equation Birthday Present = house gadget! Now I dont mind that I am getting a bread maker as a birthday pressie, I want one, and what better way to make sure I remember to take my sandwiches to work in the morning than to make them with lovely fresh bread? The thing is you see, my sister has one, my boyfriends mum has one and makes the best stollen I have ever tasted. My parents however have been Atkins Diet compromised and whilst living with them I had to defrost slice by slice as and when I needed from a loaf of Warburtons. As a result I now crave bread all the time. Could there be a better way to satisfy that craving than to buy a bread maker and eat fresh bread whenever I want, I think not! So, off to the electrical retailers we go, I had done some research and decided that I quite like the look and sound of the Kenwood BM200. In Currys it was reduced to £49.99 from £79.99 (I guess theyre just always cutting prices), and was the same price at Argos. We decided to go to Currys to make our purchase as we didnt want to queue for a ridiculous amount of time at Argos. We found the one we wanted, made a man go and get one for us from out back and wandered to the till. By this point I had already flicked through a few of the recipe books that come with other machines and thought the BM 200s was quite well laid out and the actual recipes looked quite tasty. Of course I had gazed lustfully at the one that practically weighs the ingredients for you but knew that the Kenwood offered much more value for money than anything else displayed. So we bought it, went to Sainsburys and bought ingredients and went home. When I unwrapped the box I was greeted with a quite complex puzzle, how do I possibly get the thing out of the box (little rant coming now, if you dont want to read skip to next paragraph). If you are on your own it would be a nightmare to access your bread maker. It is wedged in with big chunky bits of polystyrene which are shaped so that you cant get hold of them. Just thinking about it can get my blood pressure rising! Thank goodness I had someone with me to grab the box and pull it away from the breadmaker, allowing me to then get excited about the prospect of actually making some bread. We had already read the instructions and swiftly took the bits out of the inside (baking pan, kneader, measuring jug and teaspoon) and washed them as per instructions in warm soapy water, I think this gets the nasty chemicals off. The kneader was placed in the pan and we were ready. The first recipe we tried is the Quick Start recipe on the inside front cover of the instruction book. This book is made for people like me who find it very difficult to contain their enthusiasm for new gadgets and have to use them straight away. It tells you that you should read the instructions carefully but adds that you can always turn to the quick start page if you cant be bothered. Thats what I like, an honest instruction book, people who know that when you buy something new, you dont want to spend ages reading the manual, you want to use it! Anyway, we carefully weighed out the ingredients and added them in the correct order (in the recipe they are listed in the correct order so that makes it easier), after nigh on 3 hours the bleeper went and we found ourselves the owners of a brand spanking new loaf of bread, which I made, woo hoo. It tasted divine, (my recommendation with real butter and honey) and didnt last more than 24 hrs. For those of you who think that a 3 hour wait would drive you mad with anticipation, there is a rapid bake cycle which bakes a loaf in an hour (it doesnt rise as much though). You can make all sorts of different loaves with this machine and categories of baking include sweet breads (gingerbread etc), wholemeal breads and a dough cycle (for things like pizza bases and rolls). When the bread had been baked, it is recommended that you take the pan out of the machine and turn out the bread. We did this but I would offer a word of warning, it is hot. Very hot. All parts of it. You will burn yourself if you dont use an oven glove. Yes even the little handle that lifts the pan out of the machine gets hot. Be warned. After applying cold water to a burnt appendage for approximately 10 minutes we were free to look at our masterpiece. A cooling rack was found and the pan turned upside down. Now on other loaves that I have seen that came from a bread machine, I have found there to be a rather large hole at the bottom where the kneader fits in, Not so with the Kenwood BM200. The kneader slides out of the bread leaving a small slit, not a crater the size of Venus like other machines. In all the bread had risen well, it was crusty enough on the outside, yet light and fluffy on the inside, it sliced well (although I think thats a measure of slicing talent rather than bread making ability) and tasted delicious. So thats my experience of this bread maker, I like it, I like it a lot. Value for money is excellent and it has all these little functions that you dont expect, such as the ability to make jam. The timer function allows you 12 hours before your loaf is ready, so fresh bread in the morning is a possibility and the smell is such that you would wake up salivating at the prospect of your breakfast. The machine is also quite quiet, when you start the cycle it pulses for about 6 minutes as an initial knead, it then goes into the second knead which is a constant whirring as the bread is now being thoroughly kneaded. After the second kneading there is a beeping noise which is the time when you add your other ingredients for flavoured breads. We have our machine in the kitchen and have the doors open into our lounge, we can quite happily sit watching the telly with the bread maker on and not be disturbed. We do however keep getting up to have a look at what it looks like, or how much it has risen. I figure that the energy I expend walking to and from the kitchen makes up for the calories that I ingest when the bread is cooked. It sits nicely on my worktop and doesnt look overly big, or make my kitchen (granted not the biggest in the world) look cluttered. It measures in at around 1.5 - 2 feet wide by about 1 foot front to back. My overall opinion of the Kenwood BM200 is very good, everything I have cooked in it has turned out nicely (it may be foolproof), and at the current reduced prices offered in the shops for this particular model I couldnt suggest a better model in terms of value for money. I am very happy with my bread maker and hope that we will have a long and happy life together. It loses a star however as it doesnt have a dispenser thingy, so I cant make fruit breads for breakfast. A definite recommendation from me!
For my birthday I had a new breadmaker, yes I know I only had my other one for a couple of years but it had become unusable. I did have a Morphy Richards Essential Breadmaker at a cost of just £39.99 from Sainsbury's. Well I got what I paid for. It worked well at first but after a while the bread began to stick and eventually I couldn't get it out at all! I wrote to Morphy Richards to see if I could purchase a new baking pan, but never received a reply. So I eventually decided to go for a new one and chose the Kenwood Breadmaker BM200, costing about £65. The first thing that I noticed about my new toy was the fact that the outer dimensions are smaller than my previous breadmaker, thus making it look neater and or course it takes up less room in the kitchen. The instruction book is all in English, which pleased me, as I can't be doing with searching through all manner of languages trying to find the relevant one! It seems obvious to me to enclose the instructions for a product written in the language of the country where it is to be sold. The front of the booklet explains the guarantee, next are all the necessary safeguards for the use of electrical appliances and then on to the business of bread making. There are clear diagrams of the breadmaker, although these are hardly necessary as it is so straightforward and simple it is pretty much idiot proof. The recipes are many and varied ranging from the basic white, brown and wholemeal loaves to all sorts of speciality breads such as cheese bread, tomato bread and even walnut bread which sounds interesting. The basic recipes are given in two sizes - for a large or a medium sized loaf. There are also recipes for various dough based 'breads' such as croissants, doughnuts, bread rolls, etc. For these the breadmaker just kneads the dough and then you shape it by hand and cook it in the oven or the deep fat fryer depending o n what you?re making. Sadly there aren't any recipes too for those who experience gluten intolerance, so I must try and find the recipe book to my old breadmaker for those! At the back of the booklet there is a troubleshooting guide for any problems that crop up. Now let's get on with talking about the breadmaker which, incidentally, is very easy to use. The instruction booklet advises you to try and make a standard white loaf to start with, just to get you used to the equipment, so that is what I did. For basic white bread all I had to do was this: Open the lid of the breadmaker and remove the baking pan and make sure the paddle is fitted onto the spindle in the bottom - it is easier to load the ingredients with the baking pan out of the breadmaker and you don't spill flour down the sides and on to the element! Using your kitchen scales and the plastic cup and measuring spoon provided with the breadmaker you put in the following ingredients in the order given, the amount of each depends on the size of loaf you?re making. Tepid water Strong white bread flour Skimmed milk powder Granulated sugar Salt Butter Yeast The reason that the ingredients have to be put into the breadmaker in this order is to keep the water and the yeast apart until the mixing process begins or else the fermentation will begin before the mixture is ready. You then put the baking pan back into the breadmaker, pushing it down until it locks in position, close the lid and set the machine to number 1. All you have to do now is switch the machine on and wait for about three hours and there's the loaf! What happens next will depend on the setting you choose. On setting number one the machine begins immediately. It starts by kneading in small short bursts before moving onto a constant knead. On some of the other settings the first thing it does is rest for 15 minutes. Now, this would be worrying, were it not for the fact that the instruction booklet gives a table of every setting showing exactly what happens during the cooking cycle, in which order and for how long. Now that IS a good idea! I would have been worried that I had broken the thing had I now known that it should be doing nothing! The mixture is then kneaded and left to prove for about ten minutes before being kneaded again. At the end of the second period of kneading the machine beeps. This is because some of the speciality breads require further ingredients to be added at this stage. When cooking is complete the machine beeps to alert you that the loaf is ready so that it can be removed from the machine. The machine will keep the bread warm for a further hour, just in case you're not around to remove the loaf as soon as it is cooked. After an hour it will switch off and the bread will cool with the machine and go soggy as it does so. To remove the loaf from the breadmaker just pull out the baking pan, which does take a bit of force so don?t worry that you?re going to break it and remember to use oven gloves as it will be extremely hot at this stage, and emptying the loaf out on to a cooling rack. The paddle may stick in the bread at this stage but a firm shake of the pan soon dislodges it. So there you have it a perfect loaf, with a small hole in the bottom where the paddle was I grant you but who cares when it tastes this good? The baking pan just needs wiping with a damp cloth to clean it and that's that. I told you it was simple didn't I? So far I have made white bread, which is gorgeous, wholemeal bread and granary bread, but I am looking forward to trying out the other settings. I even intend to have a go at making jam! So there you are, bread making made simple, and no more worrying if I've bought enough bread to last over Christmas! Another big adva ntage as far as I am concerned is the fact that the instruction booklet also gives you an address to contact if ever you need to buy a new baking pan for your breadmaker, so that?s that problem covered before it even occurs! Oh, I almost forgot, the smell is divine!
I received my Kenwood bread maker as a Christmas gift and haven?t bought bread since. The bread I have made with using the machine has been soft, light with an open texture and a scummy taste. I find it very simple to fill and clean, and it fits snugly into a cupboard out of the way when not in use. The timer setting is great for fresh bread in the morning. However I would recommend a warm kitchen as loafs that I made whilst my central heating was on the blink were a little flat. I did find the suggested recipe for granary bread a little heavy and somewhat brick like, but have quickly been able to adapt my own recipe to produce a lovely light version that practically lifts the lid of the machine. Having never owned a bread maker before I can?t comment on how this machine compares with any other, but I would strongly recommend it to anyone with a warm kitchen and a mind for creative recipes.