An old hand at bread-making I may be, but I was a little daunted when I was recently sent an automatic Panasonic bread maker to try out. I have never used a machine to make bread before, other than an oven and I was a little concerned I would fall at the first hurdle. In truth I’ve always been a bit wary of bread makers as I’d heard they weren’t great for the flours I like to bake with – spelt and rye.
The rather sleek machine that landed on my doorstep really didn’t look scary at all. I soon realised I needn’t have worried about my flours, this model comes with a speciality mode for the more unusual flours as well as a special kneading hook for rye bread – hooray. Likewise it has a gluten free program which makes it accessible to pretty much everyone. In fact it seems that virtually anything can be made in this machine: big loaves, small loaves some as big as your head, even cakes and jam, it’s what the showman said.
- model SD-ZB2502
- raisin nut dispenser – additional ingredients can be placed here for automatic addition later in the baking cycle. It does not work for all programs.
- two kneading paddles, one for rye and one for all other breads.
- comes with measuring cup and spoon
- crust colour can be chosen: dark, medium or light.
- varying size loaves: medium, large or extra large.
- timer delay to enable overnight baking or something warm and delicious awaiting you when you get home from work.
|Photo courtesy of Panasonic|
What to try first was the big dilemma. It would probably have been sensible to have made a basic loaf, but hey, it’s Christmas. Perusing the rather extensive list of recipes, I saw one for panettone – decision made. I’ve never made panettone before, or brioche, which was really the essence of the recipe. I decided to substitute the currants with chocolate – well why wouldn’t I? I also used my own candied orange peel and thought I’d add a little orange flower water too. But I was careful not to mess with the quantities; I didn’t want my first machine bake to be a dismal failure.
This is how I made
- Weighed 400g strong white flour and poured into the bread pan.
- Added 4½ tbsp vanilla sugar (golden caster), 1 tsp Cornish sea salt and 50g cubed unsalted butter.
- Poured in two medium sized beaten eggs and 200 ml milk.
- Added 1 tsp orange flower water, 50g chopped candied orange peel and 50g of dark chocolate chips.
- Placed 50g raisins in the raisin/nut dispenser and 1½ tsp instant yeast in the yeast dispenser.
- Closed the lid, chose the programme for brioche and waited about an hour for the machine to beep at me alerting me to the fact it was time to add a second lot of cubed unsalted butter – 70g this time.
- Set it on its way once again and waited a further 3 hours for the bread maker to do its thing.
- Eight beeps signalled the end of the process. I removed the bread pan and turned the panettone out onto a wire rack to cool – no problems at all. I was pleased that I could hardly see the hole where the paddle attachment was, a feature not shared by my mother’s bread maker.
As it turned out, there were no hurdles to fall at, well maybe just a little one. The instructions were clear and the bread maker was easy to use – phew. The slight hurdle I stumbled at was that the raisins did not come out of their dispenser – this was a little annoying. It seems that this feature only works with some programs; as I later read, I was meant to add the raisins, along with the other additions, when I added the second lot of butter – oh well! The loaf tasted absolutely delicious anyway. CT, who is a big fan of brioche, was delighted. It was light, buttery and fragrant. I think everyone may be getting chocolate panettone for Christmas this year.
The bread basket and dough paddle were easy to clean and really there was very little fuss involved at all. I am genuinely pleased with this bread maker. If only it would do the washing up as well.
I was sent a Panasonic bread maker to try out. I was not required to write a positive review and as always, all opinions are my own.