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Breadmakers - are they worth it?

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Breadmakers - are they worth it?

edited 28 August 2012 at 6:10PM in Old Style MoneySaving
53 replies 55.5K views
pineapplepineapple Forumite
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edited 28 August 2012 at 6:10PM in Old Style MoneySaving
I generally make my own bread.
Mixing and kneading is not a big deal imo - and time is not a problem for me.
My only problem comes with leaving it to rise in a warm enough place.

Do they produce bread as good as the hand made version?
Can you make a couple of medium loaves in one go?
Do they ultimately save money - as opposed to using an electric oven?

They aren't cheap and I don't want to make an expensive mistake :(

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  • edited 22 August 2012 at 10:00AM
    suburbanwifeysuburbanwifey Forumite
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    edited 22 August 2012 at 10:00AM
    I have a top of the range Panasonic bread maker and it was worth every penny. You get what you pay for with bread makers, my other one was a cheaper model and even that, the bread was better than shop bought, but my Panasonic, wow! I love it. 11 different types of bread, nut dispenser etc. it does it all.

    If you will use it, an investment of a bread maker will save you money in the long run. I regularly buy Polenta in 5kg bulk bags from Amazon and use it to make corn bread (an American thing, but I love it) and also buy flour in bulk sacks from a mill, I pay pennies for my loaves by doing this and my bread is awesome! Couldn't make it as nice myself and I am a good bread maker. No mess, no fuss, chuck it all in and my bread is there when I want it.

    Go for it. If the crisis in this country deepens further, buy your flour in sacks and save money and have bread when maybe others don't have, the supermarkets may not have stock one day and wheat prices are going up due to droughts in USA and over the world etc.

    No, it won't make 2 loaves at the same time, but as soon as one is done, you can make another. Why make 2 at the same time when it will make it for you when you want anyway. Saves money in a regular oven yes, but the power you use with a BM is less than an oven (my oven is electric not gas)
  • nuathanuatha Forumite
    1.9K posts
    pineapple wrote: »
    I generally make my own bread.
    Mixing and kneading is not a big deal imo - and time is not a problem for me.
    My only problem comes with leaving it to rise in a warm enough place.

    Do they produce bread as good as the hand made version?
    Can you make a couple of medium loaves in one go?
    Do they ultimately save money - as opposed to using an electric oven?

    They aren't cheap and I don't want to make an expensive mistake :(

    Breadmakers generally make an ok loaf of bread, I prefer my handmade bread.
    I haven't seen a bread maker that produces two loaves, or one that doesn't have a paddle hole in the bottom.

    If your problem is proofing, then draught free is more important than warm (dough will proof in a fridge, it just takes longer). If you have one try putting the bowl of dough in a cool box.

    HTH
  • edited 22 August 2012 at 11:32AM
    GreenQueenGreenQueen Forumite
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    edited 22 August 2012 at 11:32AM
    annoyed because I posted a long reply and then lost it!

    I have the same panasonic as suburbanwifey and have used it at least 2-3 times a week for 6 years, so it has earned its keep.

    Pros:
    - does all the kneading and proving for you
    - set it going on a timer overnight and have fresh bread for breakfast
    - can do "dough" setting for foccacia, pizza, bread I want to cook in the oven

    Cons:
    - the paddle hole in the bottom of the bread
    - takes a lot of room on a work surface

    Think it's probably cheaper than a oven specially heated for the bread, but not sure. If you can cook something else in the oven at the same time/just before/just after there's probably very little difference.

    Given the above and what you already do, there probably isn't a lot of benefit to you from a breadmaker.
    I seem to remember reading somewhere about proving a loaf overnight in a fridge - a very slow proving. That may be the bit you need to make things work for you?

    GQ
    2020 - banish the clutter - 8/2020
  • I have a second hand Kenwood BM and have perfected a recipe to give me an excellent loaf every time.It has been a very worthwhile buy for me.

    I never buy bread now.I get get 5 loaves made from 2kgs of flour.I haven't costed it,but would rather make my own-at least I control what goes in it.Shop bought bread goes hard faster here (Switzerland) than in the UK.

    I thought that I would miss making bread but I don't really.I do a lot of baking.

    Maybe look around and see if you can get one second hand or through Freecycle.
    NSD October 19/22
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  • valk_scotvalk_scot Forumite
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    I have worn out a few breadmakers over the years. the best bread I made though was using the dough hook on my old Kenwood Chef, proving it in the airing cupboard or in the top oven when the lower one was on and then baking it in the oven. I could make the dough the night before too, and proove it overnight in even a very cool kitchen.

    I only stopped making it by hand because my back can't cope with kneading bread by hand any more, even for a short while. Bread machine bread isn't a patch on real hand made bread, sorry, though it's still better than most bread made in the shops. And of course you can make several loaves at once by hand and freeze them.

    So if all that's causing you problems is lack of a proving area, think creatively. Airing cupboard, on top of the boiler/immersion heater, inside a box standing over the underfloor central heating pipes with a duvet on top, on a high self in a heated lounge.
    Val.
  • CtubCtub Forumite
    30 posts
    We have had a bread maker for years and used it a lot, however over the past few months I have reverted to hand made bread, which I much prefer and actively enjoy making. OH still tends to use the bread maker and it is easy to bung the stuff in at night and awake to the smell of beautiful fresh bread.
  • Ben84Ben84 Forumite
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    You really don't need an unusually warm place to rise bread. I just put mine in a bowl covered with a damp cloth on the counter. How long it takes does depend on the room temperature, but even on very cold days it will work eventually.
  • pineapplepineapple Forumite
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    Thanks folks - I've learnt a few things!
    Actually I hadn't even thought of the space it would take up. I think with time not being an issue I'll stick to hand made. Plus I can do double the amount and put it in the freezer anyway. :)
  • edited 23 August 2012 at 9:18AM
    Swan_2Swan_2 Forumite
    7.1K posts
    edited 23 August 2012 at 9:18AM
    pineapple wrote:
    Thanks folks - I've learnt a few things!
    Actually I hadn't even thought of the space it would take up. I think with time not being an issue I'll stick to hand made. Plus I can do double the amount and put it in the freezer anyway. :)
    hi pineapple :)

    since you've decided not to get a breadmaker, you might be interested in THIS thread with some tips about cold-raised dough, & about raising dough in cold places
  • whitesatinwhitesatin Forumite
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    I have the Panasonic one that releases the raisins, nuts etc. should you want to add them. I haven't used that facility yet but I am very pleased with the bread it makes, no failures yet. I give them to my son and daughter too and they love them. It does take up a bit of space but, luckily, I have a reasonable sized kitchen and a utility room so there is enough space not to worry about it.
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