Bread-making is back, but which bread-maker to go for?

Sales of bread-makers are rising faster than sourdough loaf, but which ones are best? Emily Jenkinson investigates.

Atkins is out and artisan breads are in, and increasingly we’re making our own. That’s according to John Lewis, which has seen a 70 per cent increase in sales of bread-makers over the last year with a 33 per cent spike in purchases following the first episode of this year’s Great British Bake Off.

Mary Berry might be helping to re-awakening our love of the loaf, but the benefits of bread as a healthy food staple are increasingly being recognised by dieticians and nutritionists. Recently, The National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) said that bread not only provides energy, but also contains dietary fibre and a range of important vitamins and minerals, including calcium, iron and protein. Meanwhile, books such as The Carb Lover’s Diet have helped to dispel the myth of bread as the enemy of all slender waistlines, stating that wholegrain varieties can actually help to burn calories.

Of course, the fresher the bread and the fewer food emulsifiers, conditioners and preservatives added, the better bread’s health benefits and all-round taste, and by making it yourself, you can ensure that the quality is tip-top. But which bread maker to go for?

Gregory Easton, acting buyer of small electricals at John Lewis comments: “If you’ve been bitten by the baking bug and are looking to invest in a bread-maker, make sure you choose the right model to suit your needs. If you’re a fan of simple everyday breads, models such as the Kenwood MB260 and BM450 are perfect for making savoury loaves, as well as white, wholewheat, French or gluten-free breads, and cakes too. For more ambitious bakers, there are some great products with settings that allow users to produce rye bread, pizza dough and speciality breads with various grain and flour types.”

For those with a taste for fruity, nutty loaves, Easton recommends the Kenwood BM450, the Panasonic SD-ZB2502BXC or the Morphy Richards Premium Plus, all of which feature settings suitable for more adventurous home-baked breads. Unlike the cumbersome models of old, these also have the benefit of being relatively small and can be integrated onto your kitchen worktop alongside the toaster and kettle. And of course, there’s no kneading necessary. “Simple loaves can be produced in just two hours,” says Easton, who suggests programming your bread-maker to produce a loaf for when you get up in the morning. “The sophistication of these models means that all you need to do is add the ingredients and let the machine to the work, leaving you to wake up leisurely to the smell of freshly baked bread.”

Gregory Easton’s top tips on how to get the most out of your bread-maker

1. Always use a dry yeast as it means the bread will keep for longer

2. Always use bread flour (not all-purpose flour) as the high gluten content of bread flour allows the dough to stretch and rise.

3. To prevent air pockets from forming in the dough, spoon the flour into a measuring cup and use a flat knife to level it out.

4. The temperature of any liquid ingredient you are adding to your dough should never be higher than 26°C as if it gets any hotter, it will kill the yeast.

5. If your bread fails to rise properly there are several reasons why this could be the case: the yeast was past its expiration date; the liquid was too hot and killed the yeast; the ingredients were too cold (all ingredients should be, where possible, at room temperature).

Emily Jenkinson is interiors writer for the mydecomarketplace, an online shopping experience where you can search hundreds of home furnishings and accessories all in one place.

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Hire Manager - Tool Hire

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is seeking someone w...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past