Kenwood Bread Machine BM450, £139.99, Co-operative Electrical, from www.coopelectricalshop.co.uk
If you’re after artisan breads, this is the machine for you. You can make lots of different types of bread, including croissants, naan and pizza. With so many options, you could be forgiven for thinking this would make the machine complicated, or involve too many programmes with little instruction. Not so, there is an ‘automatic ingredients dispensing system’ to help you construct your perfect loaf, easy to use programmes, as well as the option to create your own. It does - as you’d expect - do all the stages for you including kneading, rising and baking. A great function is the time delay of up to 15 hours, meaning you can have a freshly baked loaf waiting for you the moment you walk in the door or wake up.
Panasonic SD-ZB2512 breadmaker, Stainless Steel, £189.95, from www.johnlewis.com
My, what a lovely piece of kit! It’s simple to use, has great capabilities and the shiny exterior will suit most kitchens. The instructions are comprehensive, yet straightforward to follow and will highlight exactly how and where to use the accessories. Pop raisins or nuts into the dispenser, yeast into the other slot, add the rest of your ingredients to the good-sized container and you’re set. What’s particularly appealing about this gadget is the control panel which is made to be as simple as possible and will keep you updated with what stage the bread is at. If you are keen on ‘rustic’ loafs - they even have an option of ‘rustic scones’. So if that’s your bag, you’re in luck!
Russell Hobbs, Multicooker 21850, £69.99, from www.russellhobbs.com
This bread maker is Tardis like. To the outside eye it’s not too imposing, but inside contains a healthy 5-litre capacity. However, it’s not limited to making bread - this is an all-in-one that will also rustle up stews, soups, yoghurt, and will steam and slow cook too. There are 11 functions in all. As for its baking capabilities, it may lack the many options of other bread makers, but it’s great at what it does. Wipe the side of the bowl with oil, add your dough to it, choose the bread option and off it goes. It automatically chooses a three-hour setting, but you can change this. If you’re keen on owning a contraption that’s not limited to bread making, this will suit - its versatility is extraordinary.
Zero Gluten Baker by Imetec, £199.99, from www.zeroglutenbaker.co.uk
Forget perfume, it’s got nothing on the smell of freshly baked bread. However, if you’re gluten intolerant it can be an unwelcome temptation. But there’s no need to miss out on the joys dough brings with this bread maker. As you can probably guess from the name and stockist, this is made specifically to help coeliacs who don’t want to miss out on bread, or have to spend ages in the kitchen mixing up a sticky mess! There are seven settings - including Italian bread and cakes. It also comes with a recipe book which includes 30 tasty treats to whip up (the chocolate fudge cake looks delicious). On top of that, it comes with a 200g box of Orgran Gluten Free Gluten Substitute.
Size is everything
Lakeland Small Space Bread Machine, £99.99, www.lakeland.co.uk
If you have a small kitchen, gadgets can take up valuable counter-space, and that’s where this little number comes in. Lovely and compact (26x34x26.5cm), while it may be small, that doesn’t mean you miss out on great functionality. On top of the bread maker, you’ll find the 12 settings and their corresponding number - something that will prove to be incredibly handy if you lose the booklet or don’t want to have to look up the details every time you are pick a bake. The 12 options include cake, French bread, whole wheat, sweet and gluten free. The booklet itself contains some great recipes with easy-to-read instructions. When you take into account its price, size and capabilities, this is a real gem of a bread maker.
Morphy Richards 48280 Fastbake Breadmaker, £47.98, www.appliancesdirect.co.uk
If you’re looking for a good all-rounder at a great price, you’ll struggle to beat this bread maker. You can create your own masterpiece in under an hour and keep an eye on your bread using the viewing window. Very simple to use and clean, pop your ingredients in (there are recipes provided), choose from 12 programmes and just click start. You might think that for the price they might scrimp on options, but you’re not limited to bread, you can also make cakes and jam. A lovely little contraption that is perfect for those who want their doughy treats fast.
APP OF THE WEEK
Bread Baking Basics, £1.49 from iTunes
Embracing the baking trend? This simple app gives top tips and recipes for making your own bread. The step-by-step guides are easy to follow and you’ll end up with a lovely loaf.
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