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Panasonic SD254 Breadmaker

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      10.01.2014 18:18
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      A very good buy for anyone wanting to make their own bread, with good features and reliable results.

      When you have three growing and hungry children you get through a lot of bread - on average a loaf every couple of days. And if you are concerned with the quality of what the little darlings are shovelling into their tummies, and not just the quantity, then a breadmaker is essential. Not only can you be sure you know exactly what's going into it, but you can also make sure it is tasty and fresh.

      The Panasonic SD254 has a lot of good features. One that is particularly useful is the delay function, whereby you can put in all the ingredients and leave it overnight to wake up to the smell of freshly cooked bread. Other useful features include options for different sized loaves, for mixing dough and different types of bread such as french sticks.

      However, the main things I need in a breadmaker are twofold: firstly, does it make good bread, and secondly, is it easy to use? The Panasonic does an excellent job in both respects.

      Making a standard loaf is a doddle: it takes me about 2 minutes, literally. Quicker than going to the correct aisle in the shop and finding something. The recipe is engraved in my mind from having done it so many times, but even to start with it's very straightforward - 1 tsp yeast, 480g flour (half brown, half white bread flour), 1 tsp salt, 1tbsp sugar, 3 tbsp olive oil, 100cc milk, 220cc water. Press the button and 5 hours later (or in the morning) you have a really nice wholemeal loaf, with no additives. And of course you can use organic flour and fair trade sugar very easily to make it ethical too.

      Making other sorts of bread is also easy. The booklet which comes with the machine covers quite a range of possibilities, and once you've got the idea it's very easy to come up with your own recipes, or look them up on the internet. Things get even more interesting when you start using the other options such as making dough. I've recently had some success at making brioche rolls and Christmas stollen, for example. With this sort of bread you have to take it our of the machine to prove and rise, and then cook in the oven. I would say that occasionally dough recipes don't work quite as well, but mostly they've been quite successful.

      The paddle occasionally gets stuck in the bread, and has to be dug out - preferably before you cut into it with a bread knife, though this only scratches rather than damages it. Still, it's something to look out for. Assuming the paddle stays in the pan, a paddle shaped hole is inevitably left in the bread. This is something you get used to (and of course you could just make the dough if you were that worried about it). I've seen some breadmaker models where the paddle folds down when the kneading is finished, but to my mind the extra complexity, and presumably cost, is not worth the slight improvement.

      It is reasonably easy to clean - we generally just leave it soak for a few minutes, then use an ordinary washing up pad to get rid of any odd bits of stuck on burnt flour. The paddle comes off to be cleaned. The spike it sits on needs a bit more attention as dough tends to get stuck there; the hole in the shaft of the paddle also needs cleaning out properly - we bought a wire brush (the kind of thing you use in wine-making) to do this, as you need something stiff but quite thin to get at it properly. I don't suppose any left over bits of bread would do you any harm if they got left there, as they would get cooked again, but it would seem a bit icky - so I always clean it thoroughly.

      One slightly less useful feature is a beep telling you when to add dried fruit if you are making that kind of bread. In my experience this comes far to early and the individual bits get mushed up, so I ignore this and just add this at the end. That aside, there are no problems with it at all, other than it takes up a fair bit of space.

      Finally, even taking into account the relatively high price (more than some other brands), it represents extremely good value for money. Including the cost of buying the machine, the ingredients and the electricity, each loaf costs 10-20p, which compares extremely favourably to anything comparable that you could buy, and is less than a cheap tasteless white budget loaf!

      All in all, I would recommend this machine if you are going to get a breadmaker. Ours is several years old and still working very reliably and well. You only get one shape of loaf, but that's a small price to pay!

      (Edited to add info about cleaning it and about the paddle which I realised were relevant).

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        15.02.2013 10:48
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        Bread maker

        We absolutely love bread in our house and can get through a loaf practically in one day. On of the things we put on our wedding list, six years ago now was a breadmaker and I'm pleased to say ours is still functioning perfectly and cooking up lovely loaves of bread for us.

        We have the Panasonic SD-254 which is a fairly simple machine but that is something I definitely wanted, I didn't want something too complicated with lots of buttons and functions and possibility to go wrong. The machine is a basic white product with a lid that opens up with the help of a hinge at the back. ITs a little bit bulky but is actually fairly thin so it sits on our counter top in the kitchen quite nicely and doesn't take up too much space. There is a plug at the back and that's all you do to switch it on, plug it in. At the front of the machine is a little digital display screen and the different options that you can click through. Beneath this are a few buttons to help you make your choice. The buttons from left to right are:

        Select
        Option
        Size
        Crust
        Timer
        Start/Stop

        These buttons are extremely easy to use and let you choose from different types of loaf such as whole wheat, french, Italian, etc and different sizes such as medium, large or extra large. We always go for a large loaf which is probably 3/4 the size of a regular shop bought loaf and this is enough for us during the day.

        The loaf itself is really easy to make. Inside the bread maker there is a metal tin with a handle which slots into the bottom of the breadmaker and all you need to do to get it out is to turn and pull upwards with the help of the handle on the top. Inside the metal tin is a little metal paddle at the bottom which is what folds and kneads the bread when it is baking in the machine. This little paddle slots into a hole in the bottom of the tin and comes out easily so when you want to wash it its really handy. I find when washing the metal tin it comes clean very easily and you are never left with any sticky bread residue on it which is nice. When the bread has finished its baking cycle you simply lift this metal tin out of the machine and then turn it upside down to get the bread out. The breadmaker came with a handy book and some recipes although the special breadmaking flour that you can buy also has recipes on it too which are extremely easy to follow although you must follow them step by step as some require getting the order of the ingredients into the metal tin just right otherwise the bread will be ruined.

        What I really like about this machine is that you can set a timer for the machine to come on a bit later so what we always do is prepare it and set it when we go to bed and have it be ready for about half an hour before we get up. Then we are met with the smell of lovely fresh warm bread when we get up and it tastes delicious for breakfast. We don't put any preservatives so by the afternoon the bread is fairly hard and not really that edible but first thing in the morning its wonderful.

        The bread that comes out of this machine is really tasty. It has a wonderful golden crust to it and inside the bread is lovely chewy and fluffy. It really is the best bread and much better than store bought bread and well worth making it if you can.

        A simple, easy and tasty way to make your own bread at home.

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          05.12.2010 03:05
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          Great product if you're looking for freshly-baked bread on-demand

          The Panasonic SD254 is a great machine which will churn out perfectly soft bread every time. It is very easy to use, and comes with all of the equipment that you will need to make a basic loaf (except for a set of weight scales which you will need to measure out the flour). The manual is logical and well-written, and very easy to follow. It contains a very useful set of recipes which will make a variety of delicious breads.

          The first (and next 100 loaves) I made was the basic white loaf (recipe in the manual). The bread was delicious (I am very picky with bread and used to spend 10-30 minutes in the supermarket picking my loaf). It was soft, had a great texture and perfect consistency. The basic wholemeal loaf was also great, although I preferred the white loaf. Since then, I have made a variety of breads with great results (there are separate recipes books you can buy if you so desire). The bread machine also makes cakes, and has a useful dough setting which will allow you to churn out dough for other baking requirements suck as pizza-making. It is spectacularly easy to clean - just a rinse and wipe with a sponge and its ready to go the next time.

          On the downside, the SD254 is fairly noisy (I first bought it during my undergraduate years and once made the mistake of leaving it on overnight in my room - safe to say I did not get much sleep that night!). It also takes up a fair bit of room (in my kitchen I have to pull it out of its little corner as the lid doesn't open without hitting my wall-mounted cupboards). In addition, the best part about the bread is in some ways also the worst. The loaves when freshly-baked are so delicious and soft that it makes slicing fairly difficult and uneven. However, if you leave the loaf to stand (and avoid temptation) for a good 20-30 minutes, this becomes less of a problem. Lastly, if you are pressed for time, I would not recommend it - the fastest loaf still requires at least 2 hours of baking.

          Overall, if you appreciate fine, freshly-baked bread, and have the time (or are organised enough to set your breadmaker to work overnight) to wait for it, I would highly recommend this machine.

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            11.08.2010 15:36
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            Would not be without this now!

            OVERVIEW
            My Panasonic SD254 is probably one of my most used kitchen appliances due to its size and versatility.

            DESIGN
            The bread maker has a cool to touch outer casing which is useful if you have small children. Although the casing does become warm, you can place your hand on it without it burning. The casing is very sleek and only takes up a small amount of space (37cm tall x 28cm wide x 33cm deep). The unit only weighs 6.8kg so is light enough to lift in and out of a cupboard if you do not have room to store on your work surface area.

            When you open the lid you will see a small metal 'bucket' with a paddle in the bottom. This element literally twists and lifts out making the machine incredibly easy to fill and then clean afterwards.

            EASE OF USE
            This bread maker is so easy to use, even I can manage it! Once the ingredients have been added it's just a case of selecting the bread type you are baking, the size of loaf and your preference for the colour of the crust - light to dark.

            The machine comes complete with a recipe guide which contains simple step by step instructions. A standard loaf only requires five ingredients consisting of dried yeast, flour, water, salt and sugar and takes between 3 - 4 hours to bake. The machine will make three different sized loaves from medium to extra large and calculates the cooking time automatically. If you can't wait that long then there is a rapid speed setting which will bake the bread in around 2 hours.

            VERSITALITY
            You can cook various types of bread from white and wholemeal loaves right through to fruit or Rosemarie breads. You can bake so much more than just loaves though including pizza bases and croissant dough - the only limit is your imagination.

            SPECIAL DIETS
            As you can choose what ingredients are added, the bread maker is ideal for people with special dietary requirements such as low salt, gluten free or high fibre diets.

            MY OPINION
            I would not be without my bread maker now and make a couple of loaves a week. The machine has a 13 hour delay timer and there is nothing better than waking up in the morning to the smell of freshly baked bread. The only disadvantage is that there are no preservatives in the bread so you need to eat the bread within a couple of days as it goes off quite quickly. As the bread is so soft and tasty, this is not usually an issue for me.

            At around £75, the cost of buying the unit is relatively cheap and making your own bread far outweighs the cost of buying it from the supermarket. Over time, the bread maker will end up paying for itself - bargain! Once I tried my own bread I didn't want to go back to the pre-packed supermarket loaves.

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              15.07.2010 20:35

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              Brilliant breadmaker for anyone

              This was such a good christmas present last year, that very day I was having fun making bread with it. Although it hasn't got as many features as the SD255 I find it's perfectly good for me as I have been able to make lots of different loaves of bread and the recipe book that came with it was great.
              It's quite quiet which is always good and even more importantly when it comes to cleaning the machine it's really easy.
              This breadbaker also is very ease to use and i'll be sure to recommend one to anyone wanting to make some nice loaves of bread. One thing that I should mention is that the beep it makes when it's finished making the loaf of bread is quite quiet so i'd suggest using another alarm in addition to it so you don't get nasty burned bread! So far I haven't had any problems with this wonderful breadmaker and i definitely think you should buy one

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              12.07.2010 22:39
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              Really easy to use, and good value for money.

              I had wanted a bread maker for ages, and I am so glad I finally gave in and bought one! There is always the worry that when you buy an appliance like this, you will use it for a few weeks, then the novelty wears off, and it is consigned to the "appliance graveyard" at the back of the cupboard. We paid about £70 almost a year ago for this bread maker, and I have to say, it has been well-used, and well worth the money. It is fantastic coming home to the smell of freshly baked bread, and you barely have to put any effort in!

              This model has the capacity to produce a variety of different types of bread, ranging from wholemeal, to "French", even raisin breads and pizza dough. There are then different options for loaf sizes and crusts, so there really is something for everyone. (There is a slightly more expensive model which can make spelt and rye bread, but I haven't found myself missing these!).

              The bread maker is really easy to use, and even comes with a measuring cup, so you don't even have to weigh anything. All you need to do is load in the ingredients, select your bread type, size and crust, and press go! It beeps if you need to do anything (such as add extra ingredients for sweet/raisin breads). It takes a minimum of 4 hours to make a basic loaf, but this can be extended so that your bread bakes overnight in time for breakfast.

              The only issues I have had with this bread maker is that occasionally the blade for mixing gets totally baked into the loaf, which is a bit of a nuisance. However, I have heard from friends that this can happen with other models too. There is also very little difference between actual loaf sizes, and darkness of crust between settings.

              In all, this is great value for money (in my case anyway, it has paid for itself), and really easy to use. Enjoy!

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              10.06.2010 21:02
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              Excellent value - and hasn't failed me yet!

              I love the smell of fresh bread in the morning, and with this breadmaker I can have it everyday. The instructions are perfectly simple, all you have to really do is measure out the ingredients and put them in the right places .

              I bought this for just under £80 from Argos, and I've loved it ever since. It definitely well worth the money, as I've worked out it costs me out 30p a loaf - although I now find myself eating much more bread!

              The machine is really smart though in that I can time the bread to be cooked in several hours, so if I start it at night, it can be cooked at 7 when I get up. The minimum time for a loaf to be finished is 4 hours, but this can vary depending on what type of bread you want to make.

              When I made fruit loaf, the machine told me when I needed to put the raisins in. You can also just set it to make the dough, so that it will mix it for you. This way I can cook bread rolls in the oven without getting messy. It can also make dough for many other things such as croissants, but I haven't been that ambitious just yet!

              The machine isn't strong enough to make rye bread though, as the mixer isn't strong enough, which was saddening as I'd been going through a "Swedish" phase.

              The crust on the bread comes out really well though, but sometimes it's a little soft on the top which makes it a pain to slice. I think this is just because of the mix of flour I use though - white with 20% wholemeal. I also find I have to slice it fairly thickly so it doesn't disintegrate in the toaster.

              This really is an excellent buy overall though, the bread is much better than anything you buy in a store, as there are no preservatives (but you do have to eat it quicker), and in the long term, it does actually save you money. Win, win.

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              28.04.2010 11:21
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              If you like fresh bread, buy this breadmaker

              I had been suffering breadmaker envy of my friend for some time, when I was finally seduced by an orgasmic pepperoni and mozzerella tear and share bread, and ran home, logged into Amazon and clicked on the Panasonic 254, which I had been advised was the best. I have not regretted it for a second and use it most days. I have not bought a single bread product at a supermarket since. It is absolutely no faff at all. There is a time setting, so you just put all the ingredients in before you go to bed, set the timer, and you wake up to the delightful smell of a freshly baked loaf. There is also a dough setting, so it kneads the dough, you shape it, leave it to prove and then bake in your oven. So far I have made pizzas, foccacias, tear and share bread, and all kinds of rolls, recipes of which you find in the recipe booklet provided. I've also gone on line and found other recipes for pretzels, bagels and doughballs and these have been fantastic as well. Save yourself some money and buy the 254, not the 255, the raisin dispenser is not necessary, as this model has a beep signal that lets you know when to add the raisins (or olives etc). I love this breadmaker, definitely go for it!

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              24.06.2009 22:57
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              A brilliant breadmaker

              I love my breadmaker. I bought my Panasonic SD254 from John Lewis last summer. The sales assistant told me that the Panasonic was by far the best and the most popular make of breadmaker. My other half thought this would be another gadget that would end up in the cupboard - but it is always on the kitchen counter.
              I did consider getting the 255 model but it was £20 more expensive. I knew that that I would not use the nut dispenser and the rye blade often enough to justify the extra cost.
              The breadmaker itself is really easy to use. I weigh out ingredients according to the manual using digital scales. The timer function is excellent - it means that you can wake up to a freshly baked loaf in the morning or come home to bread baking from work. I have made a huge selection of loaves in the past year, the wholemeal is my regular basic loaf. I treat myself to fruit loaves at the weekend (but can't use the timer function as I don't have the dispenser). I get three loaves from a 1.5 kilo bag which is a saving as I never really managed to get through whole loaves of shop-bought bread.
              This breadmaker is realiable, consistent and well worth every penny. I would not be without it.

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                13.05.2009 22:23
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                You can't put a price on that fresh baked smell!

                A breadmaker is something I always thought I would like to have but I feared that it would get used once and then start to gather dust in a small corner of the kitchen. A friend gave this to me as a birthday present and I haven't looked back. It is more expensive than some other machines on the market but having seen friends use others and hearing about their experiences this is definitely worth the investment. The recipes are easy to follow and very varied, I never knew there were so many types of bread that you could make! I haven't bought any bread or bread rolls in months and whenever my friends come for dinner they always comment on how fresh and tasty the bread is, you really can't get better than homemade! It's easy to clean and incredibly simple to use, I'd definitely recommend it to anyone!

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                  03.05.2009 20:55
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                  Top range product but maynot be appreciated by all buyers

                  I invested some of my amazon vouchers from my dooyoo miles and spent a bit more in buying the Panasonic SD254 breadmaker a month or so back and read on to see what I have to share with you(sorry its not the bread itself).

                  Whats in the package:
                  ------------------------

                  The machine itself which is white and would look lovely in most kitchen. It looked huge in the picture on the website but isn't that big once out of the package .Sitting smugly on my kitchen counter its dimensions being .. w=10", l=10" and a height of 14" is just the right size for a medium sized kitchen. It weighs roughly around 7.75kgs, so not it can be shifted from one place to the other easily .

                  There are four suction-feet which sort of suction-positions the breadmaker to the counter. The breadmaker bakes in three sizes large, medium and extra-large and has three different crust settings too.
                  It has a wattage of 505-550W.

                  It has a touch-key programming panel on the top-front which is again user-friendly and informative in itself . It has a flashing button that enables you to know whether the breadmaker is in operation or not and blinks when the bread /dough is done. The clear LCD screen show the time left to finish when on and the different programmes you could set up. You could re-programme if you've made an error by pressing the on/off key ..its very like the panel on a digital microwave , nothing too difficult once you've played around a bit and have got the hang of it.

                  Inside is a non-stick heavy metal bread tin with a handle and a dough/mixing blade . This is easy to wipe clean with a damp cloth . or simply moisten the adhering crust by pouring in some warm water and scouring gently with a sponge. You have to remember to remove the blade if embedded in the loaf before slicing otherwise you might end up scratching the blade like I have done.


                  There is a recipe/instruction booklet which is very easy to follow and made setting up(which was a simple task in itself) of the machine very easy .All the instructions are printed in large a font which would be nice for elderly people preferring large prints too I assume. There are recipes for all sorts and types of bread and several for dough for some breads and cakes that can be further oven baked.

                  A small plastic measuring jug and a measuring spoon-set. These are not dish washer safe, but I just rinse them and wipe clean .

                  Placement:
                  ------------

                  Naturally it has to be placed near an electrical socket and though it does not dance around/vibrate while doing its job , the manufacturer recommends that it should be placed at least away from the edge of the counter .Again it should not be placed near any other heat source and should have a gap of at the back and sides for the air-vents (mostly on the sides)to work properly , saying which maybe it shouldn't be placed below any wooded cabinets/storage either as they might get spoilt from the loads of vapours that get vented while the bread is being baked .
                  One is not supposed to touch the breadmaker when it is switched on .


                  What do you need:
                  ---------------------

                  For a basic bread all you need is strong bread flour, butter, yeast , salt, sugar and water. Just place the ingredients in the breadpan as instructed in the manual .Then you choose the setting you wish to bake the bread in and just switch it on. Once done take it out immediately(bread goes harder when system goes into the keep-warm function) from the tin and place it on a cooling rack or within a cold oven wrapped in a cloth otherwise the crust and sides go real hard.



                  Does it do its job:
                  -------------------


                  Well that is one loaded question, but yes it does the job... like I have said I had done a very thorough background research and had come to the conclusion that Panasonic breadmaker is the 'BREADMAKER' everyone should have.
                  Out of the 200 or so reviews I had read nearly 75% reviewers raved and ranted how excellent it was etc etc. However after using it for two months I would like to differ , in the sense that it isn't what I was looking for in an appliance with that hefty price-tag. Here I would like to clarify that I have been baking bread in an oven for some time now but this is the first breadmaker I have had. Most people perhaps compare its efficiency with another breadmaker they have had before which wasn't that great but as this is my first and only one I have nothing to compare its performance with. I haven't made all the types on the recipe-book but have tried most of the basic and everyday loaves and the conclusion I have reached is as follows:

                  Rapid bake mode :
                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                  I had a doubt about how good this mode would be as people using breadmaker often say that the bread -crust does not puff out . The mode is almost very good in my opinion and I use it most of the time if I haven't pre-planned about making a bread as the bake time is just an hr and 55 mins , it saves energy and time. The drawback of this mode is that you can't have a light crust , you have to set it at a medium or dark crust otherwise the bread comes out heavy and the top soggy and under-cooked. This again makes the side crusts thicker and harder than desirable (have to decrust for my little one). I would give this a 4 star.

                  Basic bake mode:
                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                  Both the white and brown basic bread mode are excellent. I find the large size too small and of half a loaf size so I stick to the large or extra large mode . This is the only mode I have found to produce quality bread each time. Five star

                  Sandndwich mode:
                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~
                  To be honest in my machine this mode is utterly dysfunctional . I am very disappointed with this and consider it a major drawback as we usually eat sandwich bread in our house and even after several experiments I have failed to produce anything close , I end up with a brick each time. I give this mode a negative star(if that exists).

                  Dough-mode:
                  ~~~~~~~~~~

                  You have to make alterations to the amount of water in most of the recipe provided in the booklet but usually when you have successfully worked out the ratios of ingredients the end result is out of the word..so don't give up and keep experimenting. Maybe 2.5 stars , as I love the pizza base dough mode.


                  Delay timer-mode:
                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~

                  One brilliant feature of this appliance is that it has a 13 hour delay start-up system and the pamphlet directs you as to how you should go about setting it if you want to delay the start of the process so that it finishes baking whenever you want the bread to be ready and waiting... this is really great if you want to serve fresh warm bread to your guests or if you want warm bread first thing in the morning. Again a 5 star.

                  You can not however bake a milk-bread or some more speciality breads in this setting as the milk/ingredients will spoil when kept out for that long.

                  Gluten-free mode:
                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                  This breadmaker has a brilliant gluten free mode to boast of , but as none of my family members have gluten-intolerance this is one mode I have yet to try and comment on but I think would win brownie points with some users.

                  Also thrown in are a keep warm function and a 10 minute power-cut sensor automatic function. The raisin/nut timer alerts you when to put these in as this model does not come with a built-in nut dispenser.



                  For a medium sized bread requiring 500gms bread flour the cheapest I can work out is (25p for flour, 10p for butter and 10p for yeast, salt, sugar) plus as it has a very high wattage consumption around 550W , so on an average to make a basic bread it runs 4hrs so about 20p, that's a total of 55p and then a few pennies more to be fair if you take into account that you need petrol to get to the supermarket and on water meter for washing/adding ... you can buy a same sized Danish bread or a supermarket bread for around 40p upwards . So what it does and how efficiently depends on what you are looking for .

                  It does bake a decent bread but I still miss my Hovis sandwich bread . It can hardly be called energy efficient as it has a relatively high wattage , more so as it runs for 4-5 hrs at a stretch. As an appliance in itself it is not that great but compared to the other breadmakers in the market it is of superior quality from what I have read so far.


                  Whats in it for me:
                  ----------------------

                  Pros:
                  ~~~

                  Isn't noisy when its switched on , just the low hum of things being mixed .

                  The bread tin is easy to clean.

                  I don't have to run to the convenience shop if I have run out of bread.

                  Just about the right size.

                  I get the home-baked freshness as a bonus.

                  I know exactly what is going into the bread , no bleach , no chemicals.

                  I can wake up to the smell of fresh baked bread and a warm perfect loaf everytime I use the timer mode.

                  The recipe booklet is full of so many different bread which are easy to make if you just have the ingredients like, brioche, croissants, pizza dough, onion loaf, almond and apricot loaf , dough for rolls and buns etc are a few to name.

                  The environment/temperature within the breadmaker is so maintained that the dough proves excellently .This is one feat I have yet to achieve unaided in the ever changing British environment.

                  Cons:
                  ~~~~

                  Leaves a hole and two inch sized cut at the bottom. Not a big deal if slices are thick unless you are making a sandwich for a child , where the thin slice tears along the line.

                  The smallest sized loaf (L) is an absurd size for a bread the tin could have been a bit more longer than high in my opinion.

                  The blade gets easily scratched if you forget to take it out before slicing and it's a £13 alone to replace it.

                  Bread/crust goes hard if kept in keep warm function, calls for immediate removal from bin.

                  I need to hunt around for the right ingredients and stock them.

                  A bit expensive but then I suppose it must be better than the low-priced ones.

                  The lid just sits down lightly and there is no way of locking it when in operation , I have to make sure that my inquisitive little one doesn't pull it up and have a look inside...it would be nice if they made it a bit more child-safe.

                  It doesn't have a nut dispenser but this is minor as you save £20is when buying compared to the upgraded model with nut-dispenser and this model does have a nut/raisin timer option too.


                  Price and availibility:
                  ----------------------

                  It cost me £67.03 from Amazon , but can be obtained at any price between £60-£90 .

                  Readily available from most places selling home appliances and a few places even sell the spare parts like the blending paddle/blade.

                  On a final note-
                  I have to admit that the bread that comes out of a breadmaker does smell a bit more yeastier than a shop bought one and does not stay fresh for as long but this is not a fault of the breadmaker in itself but because of what has or has not(preservatives) been added There is nothing like having a slice of fresh warm bread with your cuppa in the morning .

                  Still if you want the truth this is one appliance I could do without specially as I already have a very good dough-hook/maker already sitting at home , but if you are one who depends on a breadmaker or make loads of different types of bread this is a very good one to go for .

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                    22.04.2009 10:03
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                    Excellent breadmaker producing lovely bread every time

                    I thought long and hard before investing in this panasonic breadmaker. It is more expensive than many on the market but I have to say it was worthy investment. I have had this machine now for just over a month and I have not bought any bread or rolls since then. The machine is easy to use and consistenly produces lovely smelling and tasting fresh bread.

                    I have tried most of the settings now and the bread, pizza bases, rolls have all been delicious. I have tried several of the cake/loaf recipes from the book and these have all been delicious as well. I have not missed the seed dispenser or rye flour blade in the SD255 model and I have glad I saved myself the £30. I bought this machine from amazon for £67.99 with the SD255 model retailing for nearer £100.

                    There are lots of features to make sure you get the bread you like, e.g. crust darkness and size. I find that a large size is big enough and the XL is just a bit too tall for sandwiches etc. The sandwich setting gives a lovely soft bread and it is very easy to cut once it has cooled. The settings are easy to use and lifting the breadpan out just needs a little anticlockwise turn and then lift although you will need a think oven mitt as the handle gets really warm. It can take a good few shakes for the bread to fall out as well.

                    Others have sometimes said that their breadmaker is noisy and vibrates when mixing, I can say in my experience this model is very quiet with only the sound of the blade going round but you can only just hear this.

                    Although the machine does take up a bit of workspace it is not so big that it looks cumbersome and out of place. The breadpan just needs a little wipe to clean it and they suggest that you don't wash it. To be honest though any bits of dough dry after a few minutes and then just need a little wipe and they come out easily.

                    In order to measure out the yeast, salt and sugar you get a little plastic spoon and this is not dishwasher safe which is a bit annoying. I have ended up just using my own measuring spoons and this has been fine.

                    I am over the moon with my breadmaker and really glad I splashed out on this. It is also really good to be able to be in control of what you are eating instead of buying bread with additives and preservatives.

                    An excellent piece of kitchen equipement.

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                      17.02.2009 01:40
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                      happy with it!

                      This is an excellent machine. The recipes are varied and easy to follow.

                      I bought it for my husband when he thought he had an allergy to wheat as it has a gluten free function on it.
                      The recipe for Gluten free bread was for a branded bread mix which wasnt readily availanle to me, I think it was for Glutafin. As he was undiagnosed we could not even get it on prescription to try it out. Howvere, I did try a recipe ad hoc and it turned out fine and was lovely whilst it was fresh and warm, the next day howver it was like a house brick! Nevermind. Gluten free bread can be like that.

                      I have tried all sorts of other breads in it and it is simple to use and relatively quiet and now I would not do without it.

                      Panasonic is a good brand for all sorts I think and I would recoomend this machine with a clear conscience!

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                        13.01.2009 18:08
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                        The best breadmaker out there

                        I love homemade bread but despite being an otherwise good cook have always found making it by hand very hit and miss.

                        When I decided to get a breadmaker after realising that they not only make the whole process very easy but save a fortune compared to hsop bought bread (a loaf costs around 30p including the electricity) I spent a long time checking online to find out about them.

                        Despite the higher price this one stood out amongst the rest and so I decided to invest the extra money for it.

                        I'm very glad I did. I've seen several other people I know have very little success with cheaper breadmakers yet I've never had a bad loaf.

                        In fact it constantly surprises me every time I take a loaf out how consistent it is in producing great bread.

                        I have also had great results on the rapid bake options - in fact the standard loaf I make is a wholemeal one on rapid bake and it's always very good.

                        The bread of course tastes fantastic as the only ingredients are yeast, flour, butter, water and a bit of sugar and salt.

                        The book that comes with it is very good and has loads of recipes for different types of bread plus cakes, pizza dough, etc etc.

                        Some people seem to have an issue with the blade making a hoel in the bottom of the loaf - this ends up being a tiny V at the bottom of each slice though when you actually slice the loaf so it's no problem.

                        I would recommend as soon as the loaf finishes taking it out and putting it onto a cooling rack wrapped in a tea towel - this keeps the crust nice.

                        To clean it between each use I just put some hot water in the bottom of the pan, then lightly wipe it with the soft side of a pan scourer.

                        Only one issue to report - everyone eats much more bread now because it's so nice so i have to make a loaf every three days or so. However it still works out cheaper than using shop-bought and it's so much nicer I would probably still use it even if it wasn't.

                        I would put the fact it doesn't have the raisin/nut dispenser as a negative point (the 255 does but you pay extra for it) but you can still select the raisin option - it just beeps at a certain point and then you put in your extra ingredients. Chocolate chip Brioche anyone?

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                      • Product Details

                        With the superior build quality and simplicity of design and operation, this bread maker is an ideal addition to your home / It gives you the convenience of having fresh bread at anytime from fresh basic ingredients and can cater for particular dietary requirements e.g / gluten free, low salt, high fibre / The SD254 has a raisin nut beeper to allow you to add additional ingredients to your recipe / Short name: Panasonic SD254