Rabu, 23 Februari 2011

What I wanted, great bread

West Bend 41300 Electronic Dual Blade

West Bend 41300 Electronic Dual Blade

I bought the West Bend Hi Rise bread maker about three weeks ago (November 2010). I originally was going to get a Breadman machine but read reviews that parts and service are difficult to obtain. Then I was looking at a Cuisanart but there seem to be issues about performance. Finally I settled on the West Bend based on overall good reviews. Later I found a local discount store has these on sale for fifty bucks. But I think it is a good value for anything under a hundred.

I have made about a dozen loaves so far and they have all turned out great. I have made plain white, whole wheat, Honey Oat, Cranberry quick bread, Banana Nut quick bread, and Buttermilk whole wheat. I used Red Star Active Dry Yeast for all loaves, although recipes sometimes call for bread machine yeast or instant yeast.

The recipes from the West bend manual are perfect, contrary to some comments about the poor manual. Perhaps they made corrects based on the feedback. The white, whole wheat and quick breads I made all came from the manual's recipes. I also used Beth Hensperger's Bread Machine Cookbook (highly recommended), and Sheasby's Bread Machine Bible.

The machine is well built. Solid, simple controls. The bread pan is very sturdy. I really like the two paddles and it mixes the ingredients into a consistent dough very well. I have not had the paddles stick in the loaf at all. One tip for easier removal of paddles. They often get baked dough stuck around their bases making removal difficult. Soak in warm water as stated in the manual. When you go to remove them, first push down on the paddle to break the binding dough, then pull up. You don't really feel it move down, but it does just enough to break the gummed up stuff. Works every time.

It has cycles for everything, plus a manual mode in which you can program your own cycles, and a dough cycle. It has settings for Light/Medium/Dark crust; and for 1.5, 2.0 and 2.5 pound loaves. I have baked 1.5 and 2.0 lbs loaves of the various bread types I have tried so far and they all turned out perfectly baked with beautiful brown crusts. I warm the water or milk in the microwave before pouring into the bread pan; this helps the yeast start working sooner. No significant collapse of the loaf.

Read the books carefully about interplay of yeast, liquids, temperature, salt, and sugar. There are many types of yeast so be sure you understand which type you have and how much to use. I use very basic Red Star Active Dry Yeast. It takes about 2.25 teaspoons of yeast for a 2# loaf (about 4 cups of flour). Faster acting yeasts can be in the 1.25 - 2 tsp range. If you use honey or molasses in place of some of the sugar then reduce the water/milk by the same amount (about 2-4 tablespoons).

I am not a baker by any means. I got a bread machine because I wanted a simple way to make my own bread. It takes about 10-15 minutes to assemble the ingredients, and then it does everything else in about 3.5 hours for a 2 lb loaf. For one loaf at a time this is VERY easy. If I needed to make multiple loaves at a time for a larger family I might just opt for using the Kitchen Aid mixer and convection oven for multiple bread pans all at once. A bread machine like the West Bend can make a couple of loaves per day easily. I make about 3-4 loaves per week and that feeds my wife and I plus we can give some away to other family and take some to potlucks. My first ever cranberry bread loaf was a big hit at our last breakfast potluck.

I am spending more time learning about bread, ingredients, and recipes and less time making the bread. I would never have the inclinations to get into bread this much if I had to do it all by hand. If I was a real baker I might want to get my hands on the dough, but for convenience of home made bread the West Bend is perfect.

Overall: sturdy, makes great bread of a variety of types, simple to use, mixes dough well, and works with recipes from the manual and other books.

No complaints at all. I like it so much I am getting each of my daughters the exact same machine!

Get your West Bend 41300 Electronic Dual Blade Now!

6 komentar:

  1. I purchased this to replace a 13-15 year old Z brand that finally died. I liked the fact that it has two kneading blades and can do gluten free and lo carb bread (maybe they all can these days, but this one has a special cycle).

    The first loaf I made (or rather it made) was a basic white bread and it turned out perfectly; the second and third were wheat-yogurt loaves - also nicely done. The third did collapse a little bit when baking, but living at the coast the humidity is high and I expected to have to tinker with the recipes. One thing the manual doesn't tell you is why it beeps at the end of one of the rises - I assume that's when you should add fruit/nuts (that's what a couple of other models do). So far so good and I can recommend this model.

    BalasHapus
  2. At first I was mad because the recipes in the manual did not include pizza dough. However, I used the bagel dough recipe, and it proved to be WONDERFUL for pizza.

    Other than that, this product does exactly what it was designed to do: It makes bread and dough. It's quiet, doesn't "walk", and I've had no problems at all.

    If you like thinner crust pizza, just cut the amount of sugar to 1 tbsp and amount of yeast to 1 tsp.

    Considering what you will save, making your own pizzas vs ordering delivery, this bread machine could pay for itself in a short time.

    BalasHapus
  3. Wallace Gallagher14 Desember 2011 08.32

    I am so happy with this bread maker. I have owned a few before and knew there was a few features I wanted on my next one. I couldn't find what I wanted under $100 bucks until this and I got this one for $80 and its great. From the very first loaf. I use the recipes in the booklet it comes with. The booklet is short 24 pages per language. My best advice is READ IT, all of it. Explains basics of bread making, flours and ingredients and what they do to your bread. I feel the 1.5lb loaf makes sandwich size bread and above that more of the bowl shaped bread. Has a list of why your bread might turn out funny or flat but that has not happened to me. The knead blades have only come off in my bread once and that was in the rye. I have made the basic white bread, the rye, the quick nut bread, the whole wheat, the coconut ,and the bagels, then the basic dinner roll dough. All turned out great, rye was not like what I get in the store but was still tasty. I have never made bagels before this and they were great and its so easy, easy but still work. The dinner rolls are made on the dough cycle then shaped and cooked in the oven. Every recipe was good. Only thing I can think to warn you about is the machine is large, I have a small kitchen but I use it almost daily so it has to stay out but it takes up a lot of room but its worth it. Also they list 1.5lbs recipe on one side of the ingredient and 2.0lbs on the other, make sure you read down the list for only one size. And the quick breads recipe requires some reading and rereading because its GENERAL GUIDELINES example when it says select menu, then color, then pick loaf size, you can't because on quick cycle (as it says elsewhere in the booklet) quick cycle is only 1.5lbs also depending on which quick bread you are making you opt out some ingredients for others for flavor variations- its all there but may be confusing to some. Has two windows and two paddles, the base of the pan pops in and out, no twisting. Display lights up while your selecting menu items. Cleans easy. I am very happy and it will get lots of use.

    BalasHapus
  4. A few weeks ago my 10 year old bread maker (that I used 2-3x a week) went out on me thus the hunt began to find a replacement. After 3 days of looking at many makes and models I found this one. It is wonderful. I have tried ever recipe in the book for bread along with my old ones and they all turned out great. The double blade helps with all wheat recipes a lot and I really like the shape of this pan. The best feature though is that if you unplug it by mistake you can just plug it back in (within a few mins) and it just picks right back up as if it never lost power. (this is not the case with most bread makers and i have lost my share of bread to this with my old maker) I was surprised as to how deep it was, when pushed to the back wall of the counter it almost comes to the edge but it is worth every inch! Very well made and works great, and easy to use. Very happy with my choice and worth every $$$$.

    BalasHapus
  5. Stacey Browning13 November 2013 07.32

    I have used 2 breadman bread machines in the past, so my experience is relative to those previous machines. My previous 2 breadmakers were vertically oriented with only a single beater blade, so I was excited to try this bread machine with two blades. I have tried a few of the recipes that came in the manual and so far they have all come out wonderfully. I like how the loaves come out horizontal, it makes for a much more traditional slice of bread. The dual beaters is great because if you watch it the blades kind of pull and stretch the dough apart like you would if you were doing it by hand; with only a single blade sometimes I would see the dough just twirl and not get as mixed. The bread seems to get a more even crumb, which makes for better slicing; with the breadman machines, whole wheat bread would taste good but it would crumble apart when slicing it and sometimes would disintegrate in the toaster. The motor seems very strong for mixing heavy recipes with whole wheat or rye flour.

    Also to be clear there is a "homemade" setting on this bread machine, where you can enter in custom mix/rise/bake times. It doesn't seem to save the setting, so you would have to punch it it in for each custom cycle before you start. Also there is no pause button, though you can effectively pause things by unplugging, it will remember for a few minutes. These minor drawbacks don't seem too bad considering this is less than half the price of some competing dual blade machines.

    The machine has a nice design and feels fancier than my previous machines (matches my stainless steel appliances), and while larger it also has a lower profile so I can actually fit it into my shelves. The only design drawback I see is the beater blades come off easily. This means they always come off in the loaf, which my previous bread machine this was rare. West Bend acknowledges this problem and provides a little metal hook that you can use to fish out the blades after you remove the loaf. Also you have to make sure the blades are seated just right when you start the mixing, as I have started a cycle and one of the blades didn't spin and I had to stop and fix it. Also the bread pan can be hard to get properly seated in the machine.

    I have a minor issue with the instruction manual. While it is very detailed and has good advice about making bread, it states that you should add ingredients to the bread pan while it is already seated in the machine! This may damage the machine or even be a fire hazard. It is better to remove the pan to add ingredients, which reduces the risk of inadvertently spilling ingredients into the space outside the bread pan where the heating coils are located.

    BalasHapus