Product Type: Panasonic bread makers
Newest Review: ... So, Flour, yeast, sugar, water, fat and salt - that's all you need for a perfect loaf - and of course the SD-255. There are two main ... more
Panasonic SD255 Bread maker review
Member Name: firefox111
Advantages: Easy to use, easy to clean makes great bread
Disadvantages: Quiet beep when finished, mixing blade can come out in loaf
I bought this bread maker about 5 months ago after my old breadworks gave up the ghost. I have one word to describe it "Brilliant!!".
I have to admit i'm not one for really reading instructions I refer to just get stuck in and see if I can figure what to do next on my own. I opened the box and unpacked the bread maker from its ample protective box and polystyrene packaging and polythene wrapper.
The bread maker comes with a soft back paper recipe book with plenty of recipes to get you going, two kneading blades (one for dough making and one for making bread). Also included are a double ended measuring spoon and a measuring jug (well small cylindrical measuring vessel).
The SD255 is robust and well made and boast that the exterior of the bread maker is cool to touch (It is I have touched it when it's baking - although I don't recommend touching anything that could potentially be hot!!!). The unit itself is 37cm high 28cm wide and 33cm depth and has an easy clean plastic exterior. Located in the lid of the bread maker is the hopper that various items that can be added automatically during the bread making cycle such as sunflower seeds, raisins - you get the idea.
Setting up for the first go
Ok I plugged the bread maker in and found the recipe book nothing hard there. I then quickly read the basic instructions of how to operate the SD255 and found a recipe for a plain white loaf making a quick note that the ingredients do have to go into the bread hopper. The SD255 has setting for usually a fast make/bake and a full length make/bake. The time saved is a couple of hours but I think the full length cycle makes the tastiest loaves.
Using the supplied measuring jug and spoon the ingredients were added in the order with the dried yeast first then the flour then salt/sugar and butter/margarine finally last of all I put the measured amount of water in the bread hopper.
Setting up the type of bread and cycle is easy to do Panasonic with the SD255 have given a nice clear lcd display indicating the type of bread i.e. wholemeal/white/50%white 50%wholemeal and options such as fast/long cycle and an option to add the extra ingredients that you may prefer in your loaf - I prefer the bread with chewy bits in such as oats and sunflower seeds etc but that's just my preference.
On the lcd display for some of the types of bread it also allows you to select the type of crust light - medium - dark. A good tip here is to get a little set of digital scales I picked mine up from a local supermarket for £8 and they can be reset to zero as you add the ingredients so you can weigh the flour and margarine butter all in one go in between each addition resetting the scales to zero for the next item to be added.
I put the hopper in the bread maker making a slight twist to lock the hopper down as the mixing blade is driven by the drive located in the bottom of the bread maker and eagerly pressed the start button. The bread maker will now just sit there and slightly warm up - yes that's right its just sits there - nope there is nothing wrong with the SD255 it's the resting cycle which helps build up the gluten in the bread - believe me it's the way good loaves are made which is why this bread maker excels.
After some time the SD255 mixes the ingredients together with a whirring noise then rests then allows the bread to proove then knocks it down and prooves again.
The bread maker now starts the cooking cycle which to me it's the hardest bit believe me the smell of cooking bread always makes me hungry. It takes about 1 hour to cook a white loaf but you can see the time remaining on the lcd panel at the front of the machine. You can delay the bread maker to start after quite a few hours so you can wake up to fresh bread in the morning.
When the cooking is completed an audible beep sounds from the machine it can be quiet so keep a listen out for it as you want to get the bread out of the machine to cool down. WARNING Be careful although the bread maker is cool on the outside its like - well an oven in there never go inside the bread maker without some oven gloves on it is very hot. If you do leave the bread in it goes kind of rubbery it's still edible but is a bit chewier.
Make sure the machine is cool the SD255 is very easy to clean just add some hot water to the bread pan and use a sponge to wipe it down inside the bread pan hopper. The inside of the machine is pretty uncluttered so it's easy to give a wipe in there with a damp sponge there's just the heating element that can get in the way a bit but nothing really annoying. The little hopper for the sunflower seeds etc can be lifted out and washed in the sink. I have had my SD255 for about 4 months now and it's like new still the non stick coating in the bread hopper is well coated, secure so no scratches there. The white plastic cool touch outside has not discoloured at all and is still shiny again no scratches. I use my bread maker every couple of days so the maths say I have used mine about 60 times although sometimes I make bread for family to take round so its probably a bit more than that
I have to say my friends have bread makers and I had a few before this the Panasonic SD255 must be the best bread maker out there all the loaves I have made white, brown 50/50, fruit loaf, raisin bread, rye bread, milk roll all rise beautifully and are perfectly formed every time with a beautiful crust.
The bread is like that which the supermarkets bake in store it's really tasty and delicious and great just on its own with a bit of butter. The loaf can be cut to make sandwiches but a word of caution here watch the mixing paddle doesn't come out from the hopper inside the loaf. This happened to me an unfortunately I was cutting the bread and found the paddle inside with the knife which made a little nick in the paddle edge.
The bread when made is best eaten within a couple of days but it's still fine for toasting for a couple more.
This is certainly the king of bread makers the crème de la crème in my book you just cannot beat it every loaf perfect every time every day it's just keeps going and going.
Although the SD255 may seem a bit pricy it's well worth it the flour it seems happy with all flours I have tried including the cheapo ones you can get for 30p a bag. Yeast is about £1.50 for a tub of dried yeast and the electricity used is a few pence per loaf. But if you think of what you can save per loaf or in fact if you are like me I go for a loaf of bread and end up spending a fortune in the supermarket it's a steal to buy one.
Well nearly everything it's the best out there in my opinion
Easy to use
Easy to clean
Makes great bread
Watch out for the bread paddle in the loaf if it comes out when turning out the loaf when you are cutting the loaf.
Audible beep could be a bit louder when watching the match I have missed it a couple of times but hen again maybe I should turn the TV down instead :o)
Summary: Well worth the money paid
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