Product Type: Morphy Richards bread makers
Newest Review: ... loaves you can make in this machine are very handy in that regard and really easy to put together. The instruction manual is basic but ea... more
In-depth review of the Morphy Richards 48281 Fastbake Breadmaker
Morphy Richards 48281 Fastbake Breadmaker
Member Name: oraya
Morphy Richards 48281 Fastbake Breadmaker
Date: 01/05/11, updated on 01/05/11 (84 review reads)
Advantages: Makes great tasting bread with out all the hard work.
Disadvantages: None that I have come across , well apart from the paddle sticking in the bread but that's minor!
This is my second Breadmaker, my first was starting to feel a little dated with all the latest models around. So one Sunday evening, laptop in had, I sat down to do a little online research. There were so many makes and models to choose from. After half an hour or so I had narrowed it down to just three, which had practically identical features and customer ratings. I then set out to find the best possible prices I could find on my chosen three, telling myself the best price would be the deciding factor on the one that I purchased. That's what I love about the internet, it opens up a world of window shopping for you dressed only in your pj's and slippers. :)
On eBay I came across the Morphy Richards 48281 Fast bake, being sold by Morphy Richards themselves for £20, the usual retail price was over £60. The reason stated for being sold so cheaply was "because it was a second". Well I've learnt over the years that seconds can cover a whole list of different reasons, from dents, scratches to damaged boxes. So after sending them a message to define what they meant by second, I was informed that the packaging was damaged. Big deal, who cares about the box? It will only end up in the bin. So I paid the buy it now price and awaited deliver.
48hrs later (amazing service on the part of Morphy Richards) I was unpacking my new Breadmaker. First impressions were "It looks very smart and trendy!" (My old one looked so old fashioned in comparison.) And it fitted in with all the other white kitchen appliances I have. I must admit it is a little larger than my previous one, but my work tops are reasonably deep to not make it look overbearing.
The exterior of the machine is in a sleek white, the digital controls area in black and are situated on the slopping front of the machine & the access lid (which is easy clean) on top.
The Control Area consists of the following:
The display window will show you:
1) Browning level selected
2) Weight selected
3) Programme Number chosen
4) Time left before the bread is finished baking
Control Buttons (situated below the display window) consist of:
1) Timer delay, plus and minus (two separate buttons) - these are used to set the delay of making the bread (except for the Fast bake for obvious reasons.)
2) The Start & Stop button (One button.)
3) Colour button (As in whether you want your crust light, medium or dark)
4) Menu button (For the selection of programme, explained in depth later.)
5) Loaf size
The machine has three loaf sizes 1lb, 1.5lb and 2lb and a choice of 12 different programmes. The bread pan itself is coated with non-stick and there is a detachable paddle (which has both good points and bad, I will explain why a little later on). You need to treat the pan with care, don't use any abrasive cleaning agents or scrub pads on it. To be honest I tend to only wash mine with just warm water and a sponge.
The programmes available to you are:
1) Basic white loaf. - Basic loaf would have been a better description for this setting, as it is also used for brown bread, and many other flavoured breads such as herb breads etc.
2) French. - This is used for baking as it suggests French breads, they tend to be a lot lighter in texture and the crust is usually lighter and crisper.
3) Wholewheat - Don't use timer delay on this programme because I have since learnt that on most bread machines Wholewheat has a longer pre-heat time to allow it to soak up more water. I tried a few times to put a timer delay on Wholeweat, the results were not good. Now I know why!
4) Quick - Used for quick baked loafs. I personally don't like this setting, the loaf is denser in texture and doesn't taste as good. But then I do tend to like softer breads. If you like denser breads along the line of some of the German breads, then you will probably use it!
5) Sweet - For sweet breads
6) Fast bake - Used for 1.5lb loafs
7) Fast bake II - Used for 2lb loafs
8) Dough - I use this all the time to make Pizza's and French sticks for salads. It's always a favourite, especially the pizza's. Once you've made your own you will never go back to buying shop pizza's again.
9) Jam - Self explanatory. Though I can't comment on this one, I've never used it in all my years of owning a bread maker. Would love to hear from those that have though!
10) Cake - Haven't used this either.
11) Sandwich - This is used to bake a really light textured bread with a softer and thicker crust to it.
12) Extra bake - Again haven't used this setting either. According to the instructions it's for increasing the baking time, useful for jam making.
After your bread has finished baking, there is a keep warm function that will circulate hot air for an hour afterwards. Though I like to take mine out pretty soon after it has finished baking, because I've noticed that if left in there for any period of time, it starts to dry it out slightly. Still each to ones own!
That's pretty much it on the functions and options available to you on the machine. In this next section I thought I'd share some points of view that I have, and some handy tips!
I mentioned earlier that I would go into a little more depth the good and bad points of the bread pan.
The good points are: It's a decent size, and the detachable paddle means that in the event that the paddle breaks (which believe it or not this does sometimes happen with wear!) It costs very little to replace as it's not integrated into the pan, it means you don't have to replace the whole thing.
The bad points are: Because the paddle isn't attached to the pan, every time you tip your bread out, you then have to dig the paddle out. This leaves a messy whole at the end of your loaf.
Over the years I've experimented with my bread machine to ensure I get the best loaf I possible can out of it. And these are the things that I have discovered.
1) If it's really hot weather, make sure you pull your machine out further onto the work top so that there is more air circulating the air vents. And run the tap just a little so that the water isn't to warm.
2) In winter the water that comes out your cold tap is icy cold. Which is way to cold to activate the yeast. Boil a kettle and add just a little hot water to the measure, this will ensure your bread rises to it's fullest.
3) Measure accurately. I can't tell you how important this is.
4) Always add some powdered milk to you ingredients. I know now a days they have added it to most bread machine recipes, but on a lot of them it is still an option. It does make a difference, it makes your bread lighter and softer.
5) Don't worry about using bread improver. In all honesty I have probably tried just about every recipe out there over the years, and on most of them I have tried it both with and with out bread improver, and to be honest haven't noticed any difference.
6) Don't be afraid to experiment! All recipes can be adapted, try adding different toppings and items to the bread. For example through experimenting I discovered a great recipe for mozzarella and salami bread. My daughter loves it! Also a few minutes before your bread has finished backing, open the lid brush on either some milk, a small amount of oil or egg and add a topping of your choice i.e poppy seeds etc.
7) When adding your ingredients, always.. always start from the top down. This is done so that the yeast doesn't come into contact with the activating ingredients which are the sugar and water.
8) Once a month take the end off your vacuum and Hoover the inside of your machine. Flour will build up down there due to the mixing process.
9) If you have some yeast and you aren't sure if it's live, (sometimes you can get a dodgy batch) because your bread hasn't been rising so well. You can test it by adding about half a cup of warm water to a bowl, then stir in a teaspoon of sugar and finally sprinkle a couple of teaspoons of the yeast onto the surface of the water. If you have an oven with a pilot light place it in there, if not place the bowl somewhere else that is warm. And leave it there for ten or fifteen minutes. If the yeast is live, it should foam and produce a strong yeast aroma. If not, you know it's dead.
10) Don't bother using anything other than cane sugar. It's required to activate the yeast, there are so many looks like sugar, taste likes sugar, but isn't really sugar out there, but these will not, I repeat not work.
11) During the second cycle of kneading you will hear some beeps, this is when you can add other ingredients such as fruit, nuts, finely chopped cooked meats, cheese etc. As prior stated, experiment. You will soon learn what you can't and can't do with your bread maker.
12) You can only use fast acting dried yeast in your machine, these are sold in small boxes and the yeast is foil packaged. They will usually be marked in super markets as "for use in bread machines". Don't use fresh yeast, this is fine for hand made bread but no good for bread machines.
Well that's about it. I hope you have enjoyed my review and that it is useful to you in deciding if the Morphy Richards 48281 Fastbake Breadmaker is for you. I'm really please with my machine, and as yet haven't come across any cons. And I've been using it for a while now, so that's a good sign. Happy baking!
Summary: I love my bread maker, it's probably the one thing that is used the most apart from the cooker.
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