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Tower’s gluten-free digital bread maker has a nut dispenser – but is it worth £129.99?

With handy features that you’ll actually use, it’s time to unleash your inner master baker

Tamara Hinson
Tuesday 05 April 2022 09:42
<p>The controls are incredibly easy to use</p>

The controls are incredibly easy to use

Sales of bread makers are through the roof, thanks to a perfect storm of a desire for healthier versions of our favourite foods and a growing passion for baking, fuelled partly by shows like The Great British Bake Off.

The downside is that it’s easy to be intimidated by the sheer range of bread makers, which is why we suggest taking time to do your research. Got a baking-obsessed buddy who’s a huge fan? Ask them which features they use most, and which ones have rarely been touched.

Think about how many people you’re baking for – most bread makers will offer a range of loaf sizes, but, in reality, two options are usually more than enough.

Finally, whether you’re a newbie to the baking world or dipping your toe in for the first time, always read the instructions. Every model is different, so don’t assume that they’ll work in the same way as those you’ve used in the past. “It’s critical that you follow the instructions and put in the ingredients in the right order,” says Val Stones, a former star of GBBO and Stannah’s home baking expert.

“Always check the blades are securely attached, as it is easy to forget them and you may well end up with a brick-like lump of bread in the machine! When you’ve used the bread maker a few times, you’ll get a feel for the way it works, and will feel more confident when it comes to tweaking certain aspects, like the amount of flour and salt.”

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How we tested

To give this review some context, we’ll start with a little bit about our baking credentials. Our skills might not match those of Mary Berry, but we’ve been baking bread (using a bread maker) for years. In other words, we know what to look for, and we know which features aren’t essential and which ones can make the difference between a plump loaf of bready brilliance and a doughy disaster.

We’ve baked everything from pizza bases to bread, which is exactly what we did with this one, whipping up a wide range of dough-based delights and experimenting with the various features, ranging from the timed settings to the one which allowed us to add extra ingredients at preset times. In summary, we put this bread maker well and truly to the test (and our freezer is now filled with enough bread to see us through the next decade).

Tower gluten free digital bread maker with nut dispenser: £129.99, Towerhousewares.co.uk

  • Rating: 9/10
  • Number of programmes: 17
  • Loaf size: 500g/750g/1kg

Design

It’s immediately clear that everything about this bread maker has been designed to be, well, clear. We absolutely adored the ultra-bright blue LED readout – we loved how we could clearly see it from any angle, unlike many digital displays, which are slightly sunken.

There are endless opportunities for customisation. Our favourite example is the seed tray, which clips into the underside of the lid and can be filled with seeds, fruits or nuts, and which will flip open at a pre-set time to add the mixture to the dough.

Our one gripe? We’ve got a theory that its presence is the reason the window is on the small side, but all is forgiven, simply because ease of use was clearly a priority for the manufacturers, who’ve added an extra-long protruding handle which was easy to grip with floury hands, and a non-stick blade which really is, wait for it: non-stick.

The seed tray in the underside of the lid flips open at a preset time for nuts and fruit

There are plenty of added extras too, including a measuring cup and a measuring spoon.

There’s the impression that everything isn’t just bigger, but better with this bread maker, and that applies to the options for customisation in particular. The 15-hour timer delay meant we could head out for the day (and early evening) but still whip up some freshly baked bread in our absence, and having three sizes of loaf (500g, 750g and 1kg) to choose from helped dial down our sense of panic when we found out one evening (at the 11th hour) that we had more mouths to feed than expected.

Bring on the flour power

We were able to churn out a wide range of baked goods with this bread maker, and all of them were delicious. Yes, we like to tell ourselves that we’re master bakers, but really the credit has to go to this brilliant bread maker. One aspect we really loved is the ease with which we could check on the progress of our bread – status updates (such as pre-heat, rest, stir two, ferment one and warm) are clearly shown on the digital screen. Overall, the controls are incredibly easy to use, and we loved how there’s a guide to the different programmes displayed on the lid.

We’d have loved a larger screen, but it was incredibly easy to see through

We’d have loved to see a larger screen, but in reality, we can’t recall an occasion when an inspection of our baked goods prompted us to make any changes, so perhaps this minor gripe relates more to our nosiness, rather than any practical aspect. Additionally, the window was incredibly easy to see through, which often isn’t the case due to the use of tinted glass.

Tower’s model is slightly larger than the average bread maker, although it’s important to bear in mind that this offers many more features than most, and its cube-like shape, which helped it slot neatly into our cupboard, offset any size-related issues.

The verdict: Tower gluten free digital bread maker with nut dispenser

This is a fantastic bread maker with a fantastic price tag. There are plenty of bread makers with lower price points, but even more with higher ones, and the wide range of features on this model have more in common with much pricier bread makers. We always urge against forking out huge sums of cash on gadgets – of any kind – which are loaded with features you won’t need. However, not only is it highly likely you’ll use the vast majority offered by Tower’s gluten free digital bread maker, but we can safely say you’re not paying a huge amount for the luxury of these added extras.

In summary, you’ll struggle to find a better bread maker – and more specifically, one with this many features – for a lower price point.

Tower gluten free digital bread maker with nut dispenser

Voucher codes

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