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My new breadmaker


I’d been wanting to get a breadmaker for ages, ever since I found that I no longer had the back-shoulder-arm strength to knead bread – not even the Hovis one-knead-only variety. But there’s so many options, I was overwhelmed by the choice.

I found this one on Amazon; it had very good reviews, and I put a comment on one asking about the controls, saying that I’m visually impaired and needed something simple to operate. The woman was very helpful, giving me a detailed description (even better than the actual product description!) – this has only two buttons, one for the type of bread and one on-off.

Bought it eventually, and tried it out. The measure was difficult, as the transparent plastic cup had transparent markings. Usually I rub a marker pen over the marks, then wipe it off – there’s enough left to highlight the marks, but this was marked on the inside. So I had to hold it up to the light and squint as I marked the outside of the cup (I had thought of using my own measuring cups, till I managed to read enough of the manual to be told that US and UK cups aren’t the same size – there go all my internet-collected recipes!)

Managed my first loaf (even if I did forget to add the yeast until after I’d actually started the process! I measure everything into small dishes, so I can just add them when needed; I was clearing the dishes up when I noticed that one still had something in, quickly lifted the lid and added it).

I’d read that the paddle could get stuck in the finished loaf (they enclose a paddle-removal tool with the measures) but it didn’t, though it did leave a hole.

My local Sainsbury has only small bags of bread flour, so there wasn’t quite enough to make a second loaf; I added a bit of brown bread flour to make up the required amount.

There’s a pause in the process when you can add extra ingredients, seeds, nuts etc. This time I added more seed (it was multiseed flour) to get a seedy top. That didn’t happen, it kept mixing. Seems that I’ll have to oven-bake to get a topping.

This time the bread came out a bit darker and a bit lopsided:

May have been because of the bit of brown flour I’d added, or the extra seeds. Or because I lifted the lid during the process to add the seeds and let some heat out. Or maybe this is usual and my first loaf wasn’t. The hole in the bottom was a bit bigger, too, and more ragged:

All in all, I’m very glad I bought it. It has settings for wholemeal bread – which needs a vitamin C tablet being added, for some reason! My very favourite bread is granary, but I’ll have to go further afield to get that flour. It also has settings for dough, so next time I make pies I can try that. Can also use that setting to make my own pizzas dough – and my local has pizza dough mix, and so do I, now!

It only makes a fairly small loaf, but then the model is called “Daily Loaf”, and for a family that’d be right. The first loaf lasted me three days, so twice a week would keep me stocked up.

I found Morphy-Richards’ email address and wrote to them re the manual – it’s rather small print, and I said that I was visually impaired and did they have a large-print version, or even just a normal-size one in Word that I could enlarge. They sent ma a pdf in large print, which I wasn’t expecting (when I’ve contacted companies before about this, their usual response is not to respond at all).

Lol this isn’t an advert for this company, or this model breadmaker, but both get full marks from me. I can now make bread any time I want, as often as I want, and not have to do anything more strenuous than push a couple of buttons.

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That's great Fran - nothing like the smell of home made bread to get the taste buds tingling

12 Oct, 2014


so true, Wndy! so far I've had nothing on it but butter: having bread that *tastes* is still a wonderful novelty. Thgis bread is a bit sweeter than I'm used to, because there's sugar in the recipe, but that's a nice variation

12 Oct, 2014


Wonderful results! Nice coach machine too! :) YUM!

12 Oct, 2014


You should add your own review commenting re the print Fran. Maybe Morphy Richards will see it and sort it out for others in a similar situation.
I have to say, not plugging Morphy Richards, but my rather expensive iron packed in recently and after 1 phone call a brand new one winged it's way to me in 3 days. I'm very impressed with that.

12 Oct, 2014


Looks like there's going to be lots of bread tasting in your house Fran. I love fresh homemade bread. The hole in the bottom is the problem with breadmakers, but it doesn't alter the flavour!

12 Oct, 2014


I feel quite guilty now Fran ! I only bake cakes ! Everything else is shop bought ! Well done you for persevering !

12 Oct, 2014


thanks Karen, Scottish, Waddy, Rose and Snoop.

I prefer to start with a basic machine in anything; learn that and work my way up, rather than dive off the top board! it was hard enough using the small-print manual - found a magnifying glass that worked, but that took both hands, and had to put the glass and manual down to measure the ingredient, then go back to check what measurement, then put them down again - for every ingredient!

And, typically, when it arrived I had: half large loaf in the fridge; half large loaf in freezer; entire small loaf in freezer (I usually split a large loaf and freeze half for later; it can be toasted from frozen). So there I was with, effectively, one large loaf and one small one, and I thought, "Let's make some bread"!

@ SCottish - I'm working on my Amazon review, and I shall certainly give Morphy-Rirchards full kudos for making the effort to meet my visual needs. They do seem to realise that going the extra mile will pay them dividends - I'll look for that brand in any future elctrical item I buy.

@ Waddy - my original idea for getting a breadmaker was to get it to do the kneading taht I could no longer do, then shape it and bake it in the oven - then I could add any glaze or topping that I liked. First time out, I thought I'd try the whole thing. But I'll try the "dough" setting for future bread as well as for pastry.

@ Rpse - I don't tend to make cake or cakes, as there's only me here to eat them, and I'll eat them instead of making a proper meal. Same with biscuits.

Sainsburys does a lovely tasting wholwheat seeded bread, but often it's gone before I get down there. Usually the only other brown option is Hovis, which I have to say I'm not overfond of.

@ I had thought of greasing the whole inside of the bucket with oil, which is needed in the recipe, but it has to be added after the water, so didn't seem likely to take.

When I read the manual properly, it said to grease the whole bucket before first use, which I hadn't done; that might make a difference - the loaf came out easily the first time, but i had to shake the bucket and slap the bottom before it'd release the loaf this time - greasing would certainly help all round.

Maybe I could spread the oil around the sides and over the paddle in the process of adding it to the water. So long as the loaf releases from the bucket it wo'nt hurt to let it go cold before trying to get the paddle out - in both cases the paddle stayed in the bucket, it was getting the bread OUT of hte bucket that was the prob second time round.

but it's all a learning process, and i must read all of the manual now that i've got a readable one!

12 Oct, 2014


Great blog as usual Fran. You reminded me that I have one tucked away somewhere under the stairs. I was disgusted when it was given to me as a birthday gift as I had always made my own bread. It stayed in it's box for 3 months until OH got it out and used it. I was surprised how small the 'large' loaf was but it tasted very good. I used it from then on to mix the dough and then shaped and proved the dough as I wanted it....cobs or rolls. I haven't made any since we cleared everything out of the kitchen to remove and replace the Rayburn last July. Must have a go this afternoon.

13 Oct, 2014


Excellent news Fran. You are an inspiration!

13 Oct, 2014


Well done Fran, I've never made my own bread, I do have a breadmaker but never used it, in my own defence it was a new one dad had bought just before he passed away and my brother insisted I have it, just never plucked up the courage to give it a go, I do make my own cakes, scones and pies though so not all bad, you never know I might give it a go one day, lol..
So pleased Morphy Richards sent the instructions to you, typical of other companies to ignore you, does not make for good public relations does it !!...
I hope you enjoy yourself both making and eating your loaves, mum and dads house smelled smashing when dad was in breadmaking mode, he was in his element trying out different recipes, a great winter pastime.....

13 Oct, 2014


Hi Fran I have a Morphy Richards breadmaker, and have always been pleased with the results. Did you get a recipe booklet with your machine? We particularly like the recipe given for Tomato bread :o) and also the Hot Cross Bun Bread! Don't use it as often as I did now, as I'm sure we put on a lot of weight eating such delicious bread!

15 Oct, 2014


@ HB – thanks dear. The loaves are eccentrically-shaped, and small – I knew this wasn’t a big machine but was still surprised at how small the loaf was.

@ Stera – thank you! [blushing modestly]

@ Lincs – can understand why you’ve not used yours, as you didn’t get it by personal choice.

I’m going to give Morphy-Richards full kudos in the review, lol and to anyone and everyone who happens to mention the word “breadmaker”!

Most of the smell is contained within the machine, but when I start oven-baking it’ll come out in full (wish they made air freshener in that scent!)

@ PetalTracy – yes, there was a combination manual and recipe booklet, but with my vision I had severe problems reading it – needed both hands, one to hold the paper and one the magnifying glass, put them both down to get the next ingredient, put that down and pick them both up again to check weight, put them down, weigh it, then up again for the next one … lol I’ll have to get a screen on my kitchen cupboard, linked to the PC, so I can just put the thing up on high zoom!

I’m going to go “by the book” till I get the hang of it, then start trying variations: my favourite bread is granary, so once I’ve worked out how to cut and measure half a vitamin C tablet I’ll be doing a lot of that. Didn’t know about hot cross buns; I only glanced through the booklet, and tha was hard enough work!

I rally only wanted it for the actual kneading, but decided to chicken out and do the whole process first couple of times. Next time I’ll try the “dough” setting, then I can shape it and glaze it and oven-bake it. Used to enjoy kneading the dough – lol amazing how much negative energy one can work off!

15 Oct, 2014


I have to halve tablets for Brynner Fran, I found the easiest way to get a clean break is to use a BLUNT knife and cutting board, place tablet on the board and press hard, if you haven't the strength to break the tablet then whack the back of the knife with a rolling pin or similar, do not trap your fingers between as it does hurt, LOL, usually can get two clean halves...

15 Oct, 2014


thanks, Lincs! I'd been thinking of putting it in a plastic bag and whacking or rolling it all to powder, then measuring the amount I need - can't remember off-hand, but it's a tiny amount. Your way sounds better! If I can cut one properly in half, then crush and measure it, I'll know how much I'll need another time, and maybe I can cut a stack and store them like that to be powdered and added.

lol my local small Sainsbury only had effervescent vitamin C tablets; I posted a question on Amazon about it, and they said that wo uldn't do, I needed proper tablets, which I've now got - Lakeland sells vitamin C powder, but the reviews say that the packaging is very flimsy, some people got theirs loose cos the container had broken.

17 Oct, 2014


I'd forgotten all about adding Vit C but the bread seems to be Ok without it so don't worry if you haven't got any.
I don't use a breadmaker but can't see why that would make any difference?

17 Oct, 2014


it only says to add it to brown or wholemeal bread, so I assume it'd be needed for granary too. I never did when I hand-kneaded the dough, so I'll try it once with and once without to see what the difference is, if any. The prob was to find vitamin C tablets that weren't orange-flavroured!

17 Oct, 2014


Hi fran, on my breadmachines, 2 from Lidl and my
present one a Kenwood, i have managed to take the dough out after the machine has finished its kneading program - many machines give a warning sound at this stage-
you can then remove the paddle and just drop the dough back in. This way you don't end up with a hole in the bottom and it comes out much easier. Good luck w your new toy, i love mine.

18 Oct, 2014


Thanks for the tip, Resi! this machine gives a beep so you can add extra ingredients - seeds, nuts, etc - I put some seeds in, hoping that they'd make a topping, but the loaf ended up smooth, so they must have got incorporated into the mix - probably during the rising stage.

It has a "dough" setting, but I'd never thought of taking the bread out at the beep, removing the paddle, then putting the dough back! I'm due to make another loaf today, so I'll try it, thanks again.

19 Oct, 2014


I'm taking on board all these instructions and when I'm on my own one day I'm gonna give it a go, our local Sainsbury is at the retail park which is only a short wak to the bottom of my road so it will be an impulse shopping trip one day when I'm bored, lol.......

19 Oct, 2014


my local small Sainsbury only has small bags of bread flour, and only a couple of types, though it does have "strong whtie flour" which I assume would do. Hope yours is better stocked! - I'll have to go further afield to get granary flour.

19 Oct, 2014


Strong flour and bread flour are the same thing Fran. You can use ordinary plain flour if you haven't got the strong - the only difference is that there is more gluten in the strong one, which helps to make the dough more elastic when kneaded.

21 Oct, 2014


thanks, Stera. I don't really like white bread, or at least the kind of white bread that's usually sold! the loaves I made were white multiseeded, which has a nice taste.

21 Oct, 2014

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