Breadmakers - are they worth it?

edited 28 August 2012 at 6:10PM in Old Style MoneySaving
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  • edited 23 August 2012 at 12:41PM
    Mistral001Mistral001 Forumite
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    edited 23 August 2012 at 12:41PM
    I have a breadmaker. I bought it from Lidl's about 6 or 7 years ago for about £25.

    I see them as a bit like slow cookers. For me you can quickly dump the ingredients in both of them and leave them for several hours and hey presto when you come back you have a meal/bread.

    I do not keep mine in the kitchen (either breadmake or slow cooker). I keep them out in the outhouse so that I do not get cooking smells in the house. I work from home and that is important to me.

    For me it is all about convenience. Also I think they save quite a bit on electricty compared to electric cooker. If you have a gas cooker the saving might not be very much I would imagine.
  • pineapplepineapple Forumite
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    Swan wrote: »
    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
    Thanks for this, I never realised it was possible to prove dough in a cool environment though over a longer time. I wouldn't be surprised if it tasted better too.
    As for commercial bakeries - don't they use a sort of steam proving? Possibly explains why it doesn't taste like 'real' bread. :(
    On the subject of taste, has anyone used Einkorn flour? You can get it online. It's a traditional wheat supposed to be healthier and better for those with gluten insensitivity.
    Could just be the latest expensive fad though! :rotfl:
    http://www.einkorn.com/types-of-wheat-nutritional-content-health-benefits-comparison/
  • Sui_GenerisSui_Generis Forumite
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    GreenQueen wrote: »
    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.

    Just bought the Panny 2500 and as you have such long experience can you tell me if this is correct?

    I've unpacked and found the paddle flops about on the centre spigot - there's about 30deg of play in it. My previous BM had a tightly fitting paddle is the Panasonic defective? I can't see this lasting long, surely it should fit tightly on the spigot?

    Thanks
  • I have a panasonic bread maker and its fantastic but if im honest mines doesnt get used as much as it should. When l make homemade soup its a must to make fresh bread.I also make homemade pizza dough with kids and they love it. It also bakes a mean gingerbread or fruitcake.
    My machine gets used more in the winter and can be a godsend when the weather is bad and you or the shops run out of bread. The year of the really bad weather I kept not only my family but sisters and mum stocked up with bread. Its an investment and well worth the money. I think l might make a loaf tonight.
  • Bought a Panasonic stainless steel one just before Christmas 2011 & LOVE it! Sooo easy - chuck it in, switch it on. Only two of us during the week so only do about 2 loaves in the week, then more at weekends when son home (he eats loads!) - for no waste, you get used to using it as bread on the first 2 days, then toast for a couple of days, then the ends I freeze & when I have a couple bags full I make dried breadcrumbs in bulk which keep in airtight jars for a year or more to add to gratins, homemade burgers etc. Havent got the hang of rolls yet, but I will! And usually keep a white & a brown in freezer for emergencies (when I forget!)

    But if I had a 'family' & had to make lunchboxes every day, I would think it would be a godsend! Like someone said, not just about the cost (but I make a large loaf for about 50p) but you know what you're eating! and can make different sorts of bread too - experiment to add seeds & grain, kids don't even notice!

    No flour mills near here, all the ones I see online by the time you add postage arent any cheaper than Allinsons strong white bread flour 3kg bag £2 in tesco - has been for months. (Other brands & other supermarkets are available!) That works well for me. I paid a lot for my Panasonic (over £100) but its already paid me back in less than 6 months.

    With the poor harvests this year, all food stuff is going to go up in price (not just wheat based like flour and bread but other stuff because the harvest of the stuff they feed animals with has also been poor, so meat will also be expensive) so I have begun stockpiling flour - reminds me of my gran in the war with sugar!! I have about 4-5 months stock at the moment but when I see the dates extend past Feb/March 2013 I'll buy more.

    I did try making by hand, but I just cdnt get the hang of it. I would love to - I envisage myself as a domestic goddess!!! :rotfl:- one day when I have time & less stress I'll try again, but this works for me right now.

    I recommend anyone to try it, you won't know til you do. But admiration to those who hand-bake - you have my greatest respect!!
    PS - anyone seen Real Bread Campaign - worthy cause.
  • I've had a bread maker for years - an unbranded one from Woolworths. It worked really well and saved a lot of time; when I was in student digs, I could wake up to fresh bread. My husband had a Morphy Richards which had a couple of parts replaced on it a few times under warranty. It worked just the same as the unbranded one, even though it was a much more expensive, branded one.

    With the cost of ingredients (and utilities!) having gone up so much, we found it isn't actually cost effective anymore, so we don't use it. In fact, we hardly eat bread anymore.

    One of the important things about it though, is that it is very quick and if you like bread baked at home, it is fast. But the downside is that the gluten doesn't break down as much. If you leave your bread to rise slowly in a draught-free place, it is tastier and easier to digest, especially if you're digestion's not great with grains that contain gluten. My Dad makes bread sometimes that has two slow-rise periods and it is fantastic and doesn't make me feel bad in the tummy afterwards.
  • We Have always had a bread maker and it has always been very useful. Although there isn't anything quite as good as making bread by hand in my opinion. The biggest benefit is convenience.

    Good Luck.

    PheifferPropertyServices
  • I have an early model Panasonic that has been used about twice a week for twelve years and only once went a bit wonky. Well worth it IMHO.

    The problem with the paddle hole can be fixed by removing the paddle at about 25 mins from the start of baking. Just take the pan out, tip it away from where the longest part of the blade is and hook a fingernail under the paddle blade, lift and bobs your aunty. At the end of baking all you are left with is a small hole and not the usual hardened indentation. The bread comes out just as easily, might need a slight shake up and down though.
  • chippchipp Forumite
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    I stopped buying shop bread a year or two back as it seemed to have more additives than proper food. I couldn't make bread to save my life when I was at school but someone recommended trying the "Grant Loaf" (google it, I found a Delia recipe) and that works for me as there is minimal kneading, in fact none in the traditional sense. It seems to work for any bread flour - I like Sains TTD wholegrain seeded - you just adjust the water. I do most of the proving in the warmed oven and just take it out (well swaddled) for the last 10 or 15 mins when I switch the oven back on. I used to do half quantities and use an elderly 1lb load tin but after a while treated myself to a new silicone one, supposedly a 2lb one but when measured I found the old (1lb) one held 1 3/4 pints and the new (2lb) one 2 pints so you might need to adjust the quantities to suit your loaf tin. I think the crust was nicer using the old tin but regardless of how much I greased it, the bread always used to stick.

    The cost of elec probably offsets the relative inexpense of the ingredients but I think it still works out cheaper than shop-bought, it tastes better and I know what's in it.

    I too thought about a breadmaker but not sure if they will make bread without fat and imagine there might be a lot of trial and error to start with as all flours behave differently. If someone can enlighten me here I could be a convert as there would be much less washing up!
    If you can't think of anything nice to write, say nothing. Rudeness isn't clever.
  • pineapplepineapple Forumite
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    I have decided against one as being retired, time and convenience are not a factor and I don't have space anyway.. Plus I now know I don't need to switch on the oven/heating especially to provide warmth to prove. Plus I can make a bigger batch and freeze it to counteract the possibly higher cooking cost of an oven.
    Hovever the one bought bread I like is Burgen Soya and Linseed. I've seen it priced above £1.30 but now and again you find it on offer at £1 a loaf. At which point I stock up and freeze! It makes fabulous bread and butter pudding (I add mixed fruit and walnuts or pecan nuts).
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