Since posting pictures of my homemade bread on Facebook and on this website, I have had tones of request from friends and family asking me to disclose my ‘bready’ secrets especially the brand and model of the breadmaker that I am using. Well here are my ‘secrets’:
Secret 1: I use TangZhong to make bread
Secret 2: I use my breadmaker to do the hard work (mixing and initial kneading and proofing)
(now it’s not a secret anymore!)
Review on my bread maker:
My initial criteria for a breadmaker, 1) cheap and 2) makes bread (not asking for much). I was surfing the internet and found the Argos Value Range Breadmaker to fit the bill, so I decided to give it a will.
Product information for the Argos Value Range Breadmaker (White)
- 580 watts
- 12 programmes (Includes basic white bread, French bread, whole-wheat, quick bread, sweet bread, ultra fast baking, pasta (115 min), dessert, dough, jam, cake and bake without kneading and proofing)
- Maximum bread size 1.3kg (option of making small or large loaf)
- 3 crust settings (light, medium and dark)
- Suitable for making jam and cakes
- Add ingredients signal
- LCD display
- 13 hour delay timer
- Keep warm function
- Viewing window
- Cool touch
- Recipe book
Pros of the breadmaker
- I find the breadmaker to be very user friendly, all you do is literally chuck all the ingredients in, push some buttons and you get a loaf of beautifully baked fresh bread….can’t go wrong….except if your ingredient proportions are not compatible /incorrect and you use the wrong yeast!
Cons of using the breadmaker
When baking a loaf in the machine, the machine leaves a large hole on the bread (hole caused by the kneading hook) and bread pan produces a non conventional ‘vertical ’rather than ‘horizontal ’loaf. Although these are listed as cons, it doesn’t really bother me.
Pre Mix Bread Flour versus Raw Ingredients
I have baked bread from my own recipes and using pre mixed flour (mainly Hovis). I have also used the breadmaker to do the initial mixing and first proofing of the dough before I shape the dough to make buns to be baked in the oven. Whichever method I used, our homemade bread tasted delicious, definitely better than shop bought breads. This breadmaker comes with a recipe booklet, I have tried some of the recipes, it’s not bad, but I understand that it may not float everyone’s boat. The recipe booklet provides measurements in cups and spoons rather than in metric measurements, again it doesn’t bother me as baking is not an exact science and we love the TangZhong breads (recipes posted on mywebsite).
Argos Breadmaker Verdict
The size of the bread loaves are relatively smaller than the shop bought bread, and can feed 2-4 people for 1 to 2 days, so you will have to make fresh loaves daily or every 2 days for feed a family of 2 to 4. This is not a bad thing, surely you can’t complaint if you have fresh bread so often. This is when the 13 hour delay timer comes in useful. All you have to do is chuck in all the ingredients, set a time delay for the bread to be ready when you wake up in the morning for breakfast!
I find that this breadmaker is value for money and makes good bread….it does what it says on the label!
I must admit, I have yet to try to make pasta, jam or cakes with this machine, may give it a will in the near future. Right now we are hooked on bread, and with its current track record of making delicious bread, I would definatelly rank it a 5 star and highly recommends it.