The Ultimate Breadmaker FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions!

It’s been about 9 months now since we replaced our Panasonic SD253 breadmaker with a nice shiny Panasonic SD-2501 and I thought it would be a good time to compile some answers to the frequently asked questions that we’ve received over that time – so here goes.

1. What do I need a breadmaker for?
2. How easy are they to use?
3. Can I use dried yeast?
4. Why doesn’t my bread rise?
5. How should I clean the bread pan from my breadmaker?
6. The blade/paddle is stuck in the bread – how do I get it out?
7. How long will my bread stay fresh?
8. What kind of sugar should I use?
9. Can I make the bread with no salt?
10. My breadmaker is broken, what can I do?

What do I need a breadmaker for?

To make delicious, fresh, tasty bread with fewer artificial ingredients, preservatives and other additives than get in the bread from supermarkets.

Ideally we’d all get our bread from a fantastic local baker, or we’d spend time making it by hand every day.

For most of us, sadly, great local bakers are a thing of the past and we just don’t’ have the time to make bread by hand (at least not every day).

A breadmaker is a great solution – you can have fantastic bread, at a reasonable price, with minimal effort.

 

How easy are they to use?

In a word – easy. They vary from model to model and between manufacturers, but essentially they all work in the same way.

Put the right about of ingredients in the bread pan, put it into your breadmaker, select the right program and wait for your bread to be baked.

I can get a loaf going in the same time as it takes to make a cup of tea.

 

Can I use dried yeast?

Yes!

Most bread makers don’t require you to premix the yeast with water, you simply add the requisite amount of yeast to your breadmaker in accordance with the manufacturers instructions.

 

Why doesn’t my bread rise?

Most commonly,:

The ingredients have been measured incorrectly,
or
The temperature of the ingredients is too hot or too cold.

By all means feel free to experiment, but when starting out, be sure to follow the recipes supplied with your breadmaker and measure all ingredients exactly.

Ensure you have accurate scales and use a measuring jug and teaspoon/tablespoon measures for liquids and smaller amounts – don’t guess!

If you still can’t get a decent result I’d suggest returning the breadmaker as not fit for purpose and buying a better model!

Also – see the answer about salt below….

 

How should I clean the bread pan from my breadmaker?

Fill the bread pan with warm water and leave to soak.

Then use a soft cloth and wipe clean. If you have to, use a mild detergent (as little as possible). Most breadmaker bread pans have a non stick coating, which you’ll want to try and protect.

 

The blade/paddle is stuck in the bread – how do I get it out?

Carefully, taking care not to scratch the blade.

This isn’t really a problem I’ve had since having the Panasonic SD-2501 and I’d say 99 times out of 100 the blade stays in the pan. Before that though, I used to use a wooden chopstick (or 2) to fish the blade out.

I’ve also found tha the sooner you take the bread out of the pan after the breadmaker has finished the easier it is.

 

How long will my bread stay fresh?

Day 1 – lovely and fresh
Day 2 – Still reasonably soft and fresh
Day 3 – Still edible, but probably only really good for making toast.

Generally this isn’t much of a problem as you’ll be making slightly smaller loaves, cutting larger slices eating more ☺

 

What kind of sugar should I use?

Check the instructions for your breadmaker – but plain old granulated sugar is just fine. Using a finer sugar (such as icing sugar) can help your bread to rise a bit more, if that’s a problem.

 

Can I make the bread with no salt?

You can, but the salt helps regulate the action of the yeast, stopping the bread from rising too much and possibly collapsing.

Feel free to use a low sodium alternative, or reduce the salt a little bit each time you bake to understand how this affects your bread.

I’d recommend you still aim to add at least a ½ tsp of salt to each loaf.

 

My breadmaker is broken, what can I do?

Depending what’s wrong with it you may be able to find spare parts reasonably affordably. New pans, paddles and rotor arms are all available.

Sounds simple, but check the fuse.

If it’s under warranty, contact the manufacturer and see what they can do for you – it’s probably worth an attempt at contacting them even if the warranty has expired.

Otherwise, you’re probably looking at replacing it with a new one.

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