Buy a cheap one Decryption. That way it's not money poorly wasted. But I do recommend just borrowing one.
1. It tastes so much better.
2. It's a similar cost when you factor in time, ingredients, clean up and energy.
3. It's gonna take up your time.
So Decryption, please let us know you didn't succumb.
Everyone else has pretty much covered most of the bases, so I won't repeat that.
One other thing that bothered me though was you need to take the bread out of the machine when finished, and leave it on a cooling rack with a tea towel over it. This simple little tasks means that you can't just set it and forget it overnight - you have to stay up while the bloody thing cooks so you can take it out when it's done (half the time burning your fingers on the casing in the process...)
The bread is nicer but it is a pain to slice and it doesn't keep because the bread mix you get usually won't have preservatives in it.
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Get a good mixer with a dough hook. You'll thank all of us who gave you this advice later.
Why are you still reading? Seriously, go buy a Kitchen Aid mixer now! Any other good brand will do too. Go on, get out!
You're still here? Fine. If you must get a bread maker get one where the blade lays flat after kneading. That will fix my main complaint about bread makers: the giant hole in the underside of the loaf.
At least get her to read through this thread first. I'd say so far it's a 70/30 split against
Ancient Kenwood banchtop mixer with dough hook combined with oven makes bloody nice bread at our place...bread makers are for filling up "appliance cupboards"...next to the milkshake maker, juicer, ice cream maker, pancake maker, etc, etc, ....
Just chiming back in here to say that I am not negative about a breadmaker, just not everyone likes the kind of bread they make. I do, but it's definitely denser, and I've yet to find a home made bread as light as shop bought. In my mind this is a good thing, hence my suggestion for trying some bread made in a breadmaker first.
I love the bread maker for fruit breads as well.
I have a mixer with a dough hook but I like the convenience of a breadmaker, as I said before we set the timer so it starts about 4 in the morning so it's ready when we get up.
The sunbeam mixing blade leaves only a small hole which only really affects the bottom slice.
For about 6 to 8 years the only bread we had was from our bread maker, but we now have a boarder who will eat 6 slices at a time, kind of hard to keep up.
We made a nice wholemeal loaf on the weekend using Lauke (sp?) breadmix.
The bonus for you, Anthony is you can make pizza dough in them very easily.
So, what I'm thinking is your missus should just give us the money instead. We can find things to spend it on!
can't go past a professional. Let them get up at 3 in the morning and cook it for you. Gadget that you have to plug in, find bech space for, clean when you have finished, and then find storage space for when you are not using it.
If you have an oven, go and buy a recipe book. Learn to cook it yourself, you might actually enjoy the experience.
Lived in a two shared houses where one of the housemates was a keen bread maker. One used a breadmaking machine, and the other did it by hand in an oven. Both methods are pretty easy and work fine, once you got the routine down. The bread from the machine is a bit denser.
Waking up to the smell of fresh bread wafting though the house is a pretty nice way to start the day.
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i have the ikon decryption and its good, does pasta dough and pizza dough in a jiffy too! In fact its used more here for that than bread.
I use it semi regularly and i think its worth it.