Morphy Richards Breadmaker

Morphy Richards Breadmaker – Adventures in Baking:

OK, first of all, I’ve never used a breadmaker before.  Although I have made bread – it was a  labour of love.  And, while it was always  quite successful, the result has never seemed to warrant the effort.  But, who doesn’t like the smell of freshly baked bread?  Anyway, when I was offered a Bread Machine to review by Morphy Richards I was curious to see if it worked and cut the effort to a level that would mean I got hooked on baking my own bread.

granary bread

Well the best you can say about my first attempt was that the result was interesting.  I’d suggest any other virgin Breadmaker users out there do things rather differently to me.

  • Firstly, use a bread mix. Measuring the ingredients isn’t that complicated, but, you will need things that you may not have in your kitchen store cupboard (vitamin c tablets for example) and that you probably don’t use in normal bread baking.  And, until you’ve got used to making bread in a breadmaker I think it’s important to ‘follow the rules’
  • Secondly, as I found out to my cost, there’s no override on a breadmaker.  If you get the settings wrong, you can’t adjust things mid cycle – even if you switch the machine off and back on again at the mains.  So make sure you don’t ‘start’ the machine accidentally.  Read the manual (I did, but I assumed wrongly that you’d be able to adjust settings as the machine was going.  You can’t.)
  • Finally, practice setting the machine up with no ingredients in the mixing bowl.  That way, you can get used to the order of doing things and what now seems like an almost intuitive logic.

Now, I don’t think my doomed loaf was the fault of the bread machine.  I tried to make a granary loaf, which is a little more complicated than a plain white loaf in terms of ingredients, and I somehow got the machine set on programme 18.  CAKE.  Well, I ended up with granary loaf cake…and honestly I did try eating a bit and it was really not a great experience.

baked bread

Not to be defeated this morning I set out to make a basic white loaf, 1lb.  In other words, the low risk option.  And you know, having messed around a bit with the settings first, checked out exactly what to do and then set things up very carefully, I got pretty good results.

bread with paddle

The only thing that didn’t work exactly as said on the can was that the ‘drop down kneading blade’ didn’t drop down, and I have a loaf of bread with a big hole in the middle.  But the texture and taste is great.

cut bread

I haven’t checked the delay function on the machine yet.  I think I need to try ‘breadmaking for beginners’ for a bit longer before I try going to bed and leaving the bread to start baking in the middle of the night, however wonderful it sounds.

So to sum up the results so far

Plus:-

  • It did produce a remarkably good loaf of bread on my second attempt.  With no effort other than measuring the ingredients.
  • You don’t need to watch it.  The bread will stay warm for an hour after it is finished…so you can leave it without worrying
  • The set-up is remarkably clear once you understand the logic.  It allows 19 different programme settings, with size and ‘crust’ variations for many.  My loaf was set to produce a slightly darker than standard crust.
  • There are lots of things you can do with the machine other than make bread.  Including making cakes, jam and rice pudding.  And there are recipes to show you how to get started – over 50 of them.  I suspect once you are used to the machine it is quite easy to adapt your own recipes.
  • Although you can’t put the baking pan in the dishwasher, it is very easy to clean with a non-stick surface
  • Everything you need to get started is included, measuring cups and spoons so you can follow the recipes.
  • There’s a delay function, so you can set the breadmaker up and go to bed and wake up to hot, freshly baked bread.

Minus:-

  • There’s no emergency stop.  If you start a baking programme, that’s it, till the timer has worked through. And, you have to switch the machine on and off at the mains which may or may not work for you.
  • The instruction book also contains the basic recipes.  That means if you are trying to follow a recipe and are not familiar with the instructions, you are constantly turning backwards and forwards.
  • The measurements appear to be biased toward ‘cups’ rather than weighed measures.  Most UK bakers regard cups as a less accurate way of measurement, so not only does it mean using a method of measurement that is not common in the UK, instinctively it feels wrong.  And even in the US, food writers are moving toward weight measures rather than away from them! check out this post for example…

For the most part the machine is great and, once you have worked out the logic, quite easy to use.  I’d have preferred to see the recipes in a separate booklet to the instructions, simply so that a beginner like me can have both pages open at once.  And, having extra measures in the form of spoons and cups when my own scales should do the job perfectly well is just slightly annoying.  It’s a minor niggle, but for the UK market why not show the weights the way we expect them to be and add the volume measures ‘for those who are not sure how accurate their scales are’.  Mine are electronic and measure to the gram…

white bread

But, as they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating…or should that be, the proof of the bread is in the making?  And the (second) loaf of bread wot I made was pretty damned good!

Disclosure:  I was sent the Morphy Richards Breadmaker as part of their Innovators programme.  All views expressed are my own.

 

 

 

4 / 5 stars     
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Comments

  1. Hello!

    Bread machines have their downsides, I totally agree. The blender blade being stuck in the bread is a very common problem. I try to grease mine liberally before putting the ingredients in – which helps.

    I would recommend this book – it is really helpful. Good advice, troubleshooting and workable tasty recipes:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Complete-Bread-Machine-Cookbook/dp/0091879574

    Best wishes
    Snigdha

    • Thanks Snigdha, overall I think it’s going to work really well for me. But I am so used to adjusting programmes mid-cycle (on my washing machine, cooker, microwave etc) I was really thrown by not being able to do so first time round!

      The blender blade is supposed to be an innovative design that drops down, mine didn’t…I’ll try greasing next time so thanks for the tip! and the recipe book!

  2. I got a bread maker several years ago as a present – it’s not something I would have bought. (I’m such a horrid baker and I’m sure they thought it would be a benefit.) I’ve used it “maybe” for a month. Just not terribly excited with the quality of the loaf that comes out of it – and bread isn’t so god awful expensive to buy a decent loaf when I need one.
    I will say… That yours does other things than just make bricks and cornerstones is a huge bonus! and might even being worth it to someone to have another multi-use tool in the kitchen.

    • there are instructions for making jam, rice pudding and cake. All of which sounds good…

      I have to say the white loaf was pretty decent, although I could taste the powdered milk and sugar (or maybe it was just in my head), so I’ll try adding less next time, or maybe using warm fresh milk instead of water.

  3. I love to knead, yes to use my hands for making bread or ‘schiacciata’ (as you can see also today on my blog!). I consider it’s very relaxing!
    Sometimes I also use breadmachine, when I have to do bread with my sourdough and I have to stay outdoor for the whole day.
    In this case, it’s useful to have it, because I can leave it at warm temperature for the rising phase, then, if I’m back home for cooking in oven, ok, otherwise it cooks into the breadmachine, but I choose a medium cooking time. (I have a Kenwood, and some of my experiments are on my blog)
    Greetings from Tuscany, Simo!

  4. My dad, who is amazing in the kitchen, has been making his own bread for years! I remember the first few times he tried (we’ll call those his trial runs — lasted about a year). It was terrible. The texture was off, it was crunchy, you name it. Eventually, he figured it out, though, and now he’s got it down to a science.

    It sounds like your learning curve was a bit sharper. I think it’s normal, though, to struggle initially with one of these. Great post!

    • Thanks Cari, this is a good machine, it also makes jam, ricepudding and cakes and I think the first attempt was simply my inability to follow instructions!

  5. I ahve been making my own instead of a machine. Maybe I need a machine instead??

  6. Thank goodness you managed to make a loaf in the end, and not a granary cake! I have never used the cups that come with bread machines, I always use wights and measures. As you know I also have one of these bread machines, and I made bread rolls on mine, well, I used the dough programme! I have also made a basic white loaf too, and must admit to being very pleased with the results. Karen

  7. Excuse the typos, on my iPad and hate the touch keypad!

  8. jam recipe spot on marmalade disaster follow the recipe exactley twice marmalade goes to hard cant afford to loose anymore ingredients my mum says 1 tbs of water doesnt sound enough but thats what recipe says and 3 medium orange juice is it a misprint or any ideas

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