This is brilliant my dad brougt me this for christmas and we cant stop using it, with three small children it is easy for them to help if you don't wont the mess of making it all by hand. and great to add a few extra bits in to get them trying more :).the view window on top is a added bonus as it is great for myself an my kids to see how it is coming on. It is easy to use easy to keep clean and the smell in the house is lovely. The differant settings on it is great to as me and my partner cant agree on which is best so just an excuse to make more. It also works great if using it to make dough i use it mainly for pizzas but im sure there are plenty of other things to make with it. Would recommend to everyone, just what you need when you've made a stew or soup etc fresh warm bread every time. :)
I've got to admit that I do like a bit of a bargain, and I was lucky enough to find this bread maker lurking in a dark corner of Sainsbury's, with a bit of a battered box, for £11.36 precisely, which is about what I would expect to pay for 10 loaves of bread these days. You can buy the machine at time of writing for £37.89, and even at that price it's a good buy in my opinion as it's a well made machine that works well, and, as I shall explain has striking similarities to more expensive branded machines.
The Sainsbury's Bread Maker has 11 different programmes allowing you to make a range of loaves from fastbake through to whole wheat and you can also use it to make jam and dough. It has a capacity allowing you to make 700g or 900g loaves, so large enough for a family. The programmes,display and even the varied beeps the machine makes when you are setting the programme via the buttons are identical to the Morphy Richards machine that I used prior to switching to this one (it had developed a fault as I couldn't remove the paddle to clean it), I don't know that they are made in the same factory but they do seem identical in function and performance.
What I like about this particular machine is that it is compact on the work surface on the scale of bread makers, I would agree with Sainsbury's measurements of 37.2cm width (including the carry handle you can see on the photo), 32cm high and 26.8cm depth. I also think that this machine is quite nice looking with the stainless steel cladding (easy to clean) and silver display. It seems pretty well made, the lid is a little plasticky but the viewing window is well placed and it has a good length of cord and non slip feet. Having had previous issues with the paddle on my previous machine I was bit wary of this, but it and the bread pan seem to have a good non-stick coating on them and thus far I've had no issues with either, though I do make sure I hand wash the pan rather than trusting it in the dishwasher.
The compact size of the machine does mean that the pan produces a loaf of rather strange proportions - at 17cm by 13cm not your average loaf, and this is something to bear in mind if you are wanting to make bread for sandwiches. It does also mean that it's harder than it might be to add your ingredients at the start of the cycle as the pan is just so narrow, I can't tip flour in easily from my rather wide scales, an issue that only became clear once I started using this machine. Another thing to be aware of is that the paddle doesn't retract so you are left with a hole in the bottom of the loaf once made, I don't find this too much of an issue as the paddle is quite thin. I do like the fact that the machine beeps mid cycle to let you know that now is the time to add eg fruit and also at the end so you know your bread is cooked - it will keep it warm for a while and you can set it to come on at whatever time you want so that it can go through the bread cycle (most are 3 hours), mix everything and cook it and have your bread ready to eat and filling the house with delicious odours .
I find that the results I get from this bread maker, which I use several times a week, are just as good as from my previous machine. The measuring cup that came with it is a bit flimsy, but the instructions are clear and it's not difficult to use, though if you are new to any bread maker you may want to start with a packet mix, I favour Wrights which on offer at 60p is a good way of buying a cheap but delicious loaf. The bread maker is quite noisy as it kneads and mixes and it does get a bit hot outside when in use, but though it vibrates it lot it doesn't move around and generally it does a good job at what it is designed to do. The 600watt motor seems to be good enough to cope with all the different programmes.
One small issue that I have noticed is that when you are cooking a loaf, steam is prone to escaping from the front of the machine where there is an indentation to lift the top, rather than from the vent which is presumably for this purpose. This was alarming when I first noticed it but doesn't seem to be an issue to worry about unduly. I do wonder, however if there is really a need for the handle - it just seems like an unnecessary add on - in fact I've found out that it can be removed if you put it to the front of the machine and unslot each side and this I have done so that it's easier still to store in my cupboard.
This machine doesn't languish unused in storage in this house - I use this a lot to make pizza dough, naan and roll dough and also to make bog standard white loaves. I don't rate the fast menus which do produce a heavier loaf, and can't say I'm likely to use the jam setting, but the element at the bottom of the machine does seem to cook loaves evenly with the crust coming out as billed (you can choose light, medium and dark). The dough I make is well mixed and proves well.
Overall I'm delighted with my bargain and am hard pushed to find any real difference, other than pan size and the fact that it looks nicer, with my previous machine. I think that this is a really good machine for the price (it even has a one year guarantee) and I am delighted with it. I would have no issues recommending it to anybody looking for a bread maker but not wanting to pay over the odds.
Sainsbury's Bread Maker, Item code: 113161919 available in store and on line.