Product Type: Tesco bread makers
Newest Review: ... good sign I think; if this was a product that was rarely used it would have been consigned to storage before now. It comes with measuring... more
A lot of bread for not much dough
Member Name: dbarcl10
Advantages: Quiet, fresh tasty bread, gives house a nice smell
Disadvantages: No nut dispenser
During these dark days of the credit crunch, I'm sure most people are looking for ways to save some money during the weekly shop. Luckily the credit crunch hasn't affected my partner and I too badly, but we have taken the opportunity to review our monthly spending and try to cut back where possible, without adversely affecting the lifestyle that we enjoy.
We have always enjoyed cooked meals from scratch, and I particularly like baking tasty cakes, so upon our recent weekly shop we spotted a breadmaker and thought that in the long run it would work out cheaper and we would know exactly what was going into the bread.
Here follows a review of the Tesco Breadmaker.
As the name suggests, the Tesco Breadmaker is sold by Tesco! The machine itself is brushed steel and black plastic and was one of the more stylish breadmakers on display in Tesco. It also looked more compact than other, more expensive makes on display. As you can see from the picture above, there is a small screen and a number of buttons on the front of the machine, from where you can choose the programme, loaf size (700g or 900g) and crust type.
The machine itself is 37 cm long, 32 cm high and 27 cm wide.
TYPES OF BREAD
The Tesco Breadmaker has 12 programmes that can be used to make various types of bread, including white, wholemeal and French bread, as well as cake mixes, jam, etc.
The machine comes with a recipe booklet. For a white loaf, you'll need:
1 + 1/3 cup of water
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1 teaspoon of salt
3 + ½ cups of strong white bread flour
1 teaspoon of white sugar
2 teaspoons of yeast
The machine comes with a cup measure and a double sided measure that has tablespoons at one end and teaspoons at the other.
Simply measure out these ingredients and place them, in order, into the non stick bread pan, taking care that the yeast is not near either the water or the salt. The bread pan is then placed inside the machine and locked in place, the required programme chosen and press start. The machine lid does not lock, which means that you can touch the dough to ensure it is the right consistency; if it is too wet add some more flour, too dry add some more water.
Note that the lid should not be opened during the baking process as this can ruin the bread.
Once the programme has completed, the machine has a keep warm function that lasts for an hour after which time the heating element is switched off and the bread is allowed to cool.
The machine doesn't have a fruit and nut dispenser, so if you like fruit and nuts in your bread you will need to add these manually during the second kneading process. The machine beeps to let you know when these should be added.
The machine has a 13 hour programmable timer, meaning that you can have fresh bread when you awake in the morning. Unfortunately I do find the timer to be a little confusing, as you don't set the time that you want the bread to be ready or when you want it to start, instead you use the timer like a countdown. For example, if you set the machine at 9pm, and you want your bread to be ready at 7am, you would set the timer for 10 hours, being the difference between 9pm and 7pm. If using the basic programme that takes 3 hours, after 7 hours the machine will begin mixing and kneading the bread so by the end of the 10 hours, your bread is ready.
The timer can be set in 10 minute increments, up to 13 hours.
The basic programme takes 3 hours to run, but if you want bread in a hurry, the machine can make a loaf within 58 minutes, by only kneading the bread once instead of 3 times in the basic programme. The result is a denser, heavier loaf that whilst still perfectly adequate is much more filling and doesn't rise as much.
The non stick bread pan needs very little cleaning, and on the many times that I have used the machine already I have never found any crumbs or bread stuck onto the pan. I have just given the pan a quick wipe under hot water. Otherwise the rest of the interior of the machine is very easy to clean with just a quick wipe with a wet cloth. Externally the brushed steel is more difficult to clean, as it attracts finger prints. Using a wet cloth often leaves streak marks, so I use a dry cloth to buff any marks or finger prints away.
If you don't want to leave the breadmaker on display when it's not in use, you will find that the machine has a handle that can be hidden away at the back of the machine, which makes it easy to lift and move.
Ahh, the important part. How much dough does it cost to make bread? Well, this machine currently retails in Tesco for £39.11, so it is one of the cheaper models, yet in my opinion looks the most expensive.
On the first few times that we used the machine, the bread collapsed shortly with about 30 minutes of the basic programme left. Despite reading and re-reading the instructions quite a few times, as well as the troubleshooting guide we always ended up with the same result. On about the 5th attempt we realised that the instructions called for 1 and a third cups of water, not 1 and a half. Although this was our fault, I think the instructions could have been a bit clearer as the writing is quite small, especially the instructions, therefore anyone with poor visibility may find difficulty in reading the instructions.
Once we got the ingredients right, we have had perfect results every time, for white bread, wholemeal and fastbake. So far we haven't used the cake or jam functions so cannot comment on these.
Once the bread pan has been removed from the machine, and allowed to cool for 10 minutes I find that the bread can be easily removed from the bread pan, and so far the kneading paddle has always stayed in the pan, although there is a tool for removing the paddle should it get stuck in the bread. As with all breadmakers, the loaf will have a small hole in the bottom, but I find that this is quite discreet and not particularly noticeable.
I estimate that a loaf of bread must cost around 20p, much cheaper than shop bought bread so it won't take long to recoup the cost of the machine. Another benefit is that I know that the bread is fresh and without all the preservatives that are normally added.
All in, I think that this is a great machine, and is a worthy investment for anyone looking to start making their own bread at home.
Summary: A great value bread maker
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