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
Have you seen the price of bread?
Member Name: HonestBob
Date: 04/02/09, updated on 06/02/09 (1050 review reads)
Advantages: Lots of features and functions
Disadvantages: Small loaves, have to be very careful with the ingredients.
Have you seen the price of bread??!!!
I have a large family (5 kidlets) all of whom love bread, so getting a breadmaker and baking my own loaves seemed to make sense. Admittedly I did very little research and simply bought the cheapest breadmaker I could find, figuring that I could make a bigger investment if I stuck to baking my own bread but wouldn't lose too much money if the whole breadmaking thing worked out to be too much hassle.
This breadmaker from Tesco fitted my novice-baker requirements perfectly. I wanted something cheap, simple to use and that would not take up vast amounts of precious work surface space.
The Breadmaker comes with an easy to follow User Guide, briefly outlined below;
*Safety and setting up the machine
Information such as, after baking the machine is hot, so only touch whilst wearing oven gloves.
- I'm glad they told me this one, it's just a shame I forgot about it! The breadmaker does get quite hot to the touch, not enough to burn you on contact, but enough to get a bit of a surprise. I certainly wouldn't recommend lifting the machine whilst it's hot unless wearing a good set of oven gloves.
*Your breadmaker and its Components
Basically a labelled diagram of the machine parts and control panel.
- The machine has very few parts (thankfully). The plug is already attached so no need to worry about that. The only removable parts are the bread pan and the mixing paddle. The bread pan twists into place but comes with a very flimsy handle which I doubt will last for very long. The paddle sits in the base of the bread when it is removed from the bowl. I have had two problems with this. With my first loaf I did not realise that the paddle would be in the bread and nearly broke a knife trying to carve through it, and my second loaf failed completely because I forgot to put the paddle into the bread pan so none of the ingredients were mixed together before baking!!!
Did I tell you that I'm a terrible cook??
The control panel is simple to use, just keep pressing the menu button until the programme you want appears in the electronic display unit. The display itself is not particularly bright, but it is sufficient for its purpose. I would prefer it if a full information display appeared regarding type of loaf and size, but with the guide book to check number codes against, I'm coping with this.
*Using the Breadmaker
Information on how to prepare the machine and in which order to add the ingredients (water first, then dry ingredients followed by yeast). This is actually really simple to follow, I'm just too simple to follow it. Ever in a rush, I've made the typical learner errors of too warm water and mixind yeast with salt. Not financially expensive errors to make, but certainly time consuming and I'm glad I had a shop bought loaf on hand for emergency toast.
*Controls and Programmes
Guidance on choosing a programme and the sequence of operations that need to be followed when programming (simpler than it sounds)
Basic white bread
French White bread (thicker crust)
Quick cook programme (required baking pwder)
Sweet (yeast breads)
Ultra Fast 1 (700g loaf)
Ultra Fast 2 (900g loaf)
Dough (for shaping and baking elsewhere)
Sandwich (large light breads with minimal crust)
Bake (to bake dough that has previously raised)
*Recipes - Getting started
A selection of recipes that can be made in the breadmaker, including;
Whitebread and variations (cheese, date, cranberry, potato)
Cheese & Onion Bread
Peanut Butter Bread
Wholemeal Bread and variations (e.g. soda bread)
For a cheap breadmaker, it has a lot of functions!
All I wanted it to do was bake white bread, occasionally wholemeal bread, and to prepare dough, but so far my creations have been pretty poor. I've produced loaves that could kill a man (if dropped on his head), loaf sized crumpets (nice toasted with butter, but definitely more crumpet than bread, right down to the small holes running through each slice)
Admittedly I used old flour for the first couple of creations, but even with fresh ingredients I'm not competing with Warburtons on any level.
However, I'm not defeated yet and the machine has not been consigned to the depths of a cupboard. The bread has got a little better with each baking session, the kids enjoy it, and my last batch, although a little heavy, went particularly well with chunky vegetable soup. On checking the instructions (which provide a handy troubleshooting guide) I think I may be using damp flour or letting the yeast come into contact with the salt.
The machine itself does not take up a huge amount of space, maybe the size of a breadbin in terms of surface area. As this is a compact model it isn't to heavy to move around, however, I keep mine on the kitchen surface permanently as I have so little cupboard space. It does require a fair bit of height though, to enable the hinged lid to be lifted when putting in and removing the breadpan. If you position the bread maker under cupboards this might be a problem.
The machine can be quite noisy, producing a low rumbling sound whilst mixing the dough and a brief alarm when mixing has finished and baking is due to begin. The steel effect sides are also difficult to keep clean, holding tight to any finger marks and requiring a bit of elbow grease to keep gleaming. The interior, however, is easy to clean, with no awkward nooks and crannies where nasties can fester.
The machine can be timed to come on in the early hours so that you wake to freshly baked bread, however I have yet to test this feature out (irrational fear of burning down the house).
Price £39.11 or about 37 loaves!
Summary: Use your loaf - bake your own!
|Ease of use:|
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