SD-256WXC Automatic Bread Maker
A good basic bread maker.
The photo is of the Panasonic SD-256WXC Automatic Breadmaker with gluten free program, which is the latest version of this long-established entry-level bread maker.
You need tobe fairly precise with your weighing to get a good rise in your bread, and maybe use 1 more teaspoonful of yeast than they say.
You don't need the milk powder that they say in the recipes – you can simply leave it out or replace with soya flour to make it vegan-friendly and dairy-free. It really makes no difference. The fast mode is not very fast – it's about 2 hours for white, 3 for wholemeal.
If you find the seed dispenser is quirky, you can add most seeds at the beginning. Dried fruit tends to get pureed into the dough if you add it at the beginning. The SD-257 makes rye bread and has a built in dispenser for raisins, seeds, etc, but it is quite small.
You may get a rim of non-mixed in flour and other ingredients around most loaves, though not enough to be a problem.
The longer you have this machine the more the paddle tends to lose its non stick qualities so that the paddle remains embedded in the bread when you take it out. Ordering a replacement paddle about once a year gets over this. The non stick scratches easily when large seeds in the bread get wedged under the paddle as it goes round.
More information here.
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