on November 4, 2003
I've had this bread machine for about a year and a half. It really does a nice job and is quite easy to use. We use it fairly often, especially with colder weather coming on, whenever a hot, fresh loaf of bread is desired! We've tried several of the recipes in the instruction manual and have enjoyed them all. I noticed one reviewer complained about not being able to order replacement parts. I accidentally tossed my kneading paddle in the trash and was able to quickly reorder one using the number in the manual for $8. The customer service rep was very kind and helpful. I'm planning on buying one of these machines for my parents for Christmas this year and would recommend the Breadman to anyone who is looking for a reasonably priced, quality machine.
on May 3, 2000
I've been using a bread machine for years, but I just bought a Breadman Ultimate a few weeks ago. It's a dream! The controls are easy to use, cleanup is easy, but best of all: I haven't been able to get it to ruin a loaf yet. With my old DAK machine I had to carefully measure and monitor or risk wasting a whole loaf of bread. The Breadman Ultimate can somehow compensate better if my measuring is off slightly.
This machine has all the bells and whistles for you. If you consider good bread an important part of your diet, get this one. But if you just want a fresh loaf of homemade white bread occasionally, you can save a lot of money by getting one of the lesser models.
on July 13, 2001
Like every other couple on the planet we received a bread machine as a wedding present several years ago. At first I thought it'd be a "sit-on-my-countertop-taking-up-space" appliance but it turned into an item we use all the item. I love hot, fresh bread and used to enjoy making it by hand--I still do occasionally, just for fun--but who has the time? With the bread machine you can make from-scratch loaves quickly, easily and with no mess whatsoever. After a couple years of using our bargain basement gift model we purchased the Breadman Ultimate--a tool I still use at least once a week after more than two years.
Some people have complaints about how a bread machine cooks their bread and if you like ultra-crusty loaves you'll probably want to skip the machine's baking cycle and put it in the oven, but even then this machine is a godsend, doing the "heavy lifting" (i.e. mixing, kneading and rising) for you, all with one touch of a button.
Personally, I prefer very soft bread with an extremely light crust so I bake right in machine and am very happy with the results. In fact, I even reduce the cooking time about 10 minutes with the customized program setting to produce very "blonde," super-soft bread.
Other people complain of the noise and, to be honest, it's not exactly whisper quiet, but that's not a big concern for me as I don't do a lot of stealth breadmaking (ha, ha). We've got a Great Room, which means our kitchen is totally open to our main living area. I often put bread into bake and then sit down to watch TV with my husband. While this machine is a little louder than a dishwasher, it only makes noise when mixing and the smell of baking bread is reward enough for a few minutes (the kneading/mixing doesn't last long) of noise.
I will agree with other reviewers who say that the delayed baking option is mostly useless, as yeast is just too temperamental to produce consistently good results without precise temperature requirements being met. And, on that note, I advise anyone who invests in a breadmaker to also purchase a digital kitchen thermometer. Using water between 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit has produced the best results for me. Any hotter--even though most recipes allow up to 85 degrees--and my loaves don't crown properly when cooking. Though I often make my bread from scratch ingredients I have found one great bread machine mix, after trying dozens of lousy ones. I suggest King's Hawaiian Bread Mix, which can be found in most grocery stores. It's a great standard white bread, with just a hint of sweetness.
Finally, as a few other reviewers have noted you can purchase this machine for significantly less at many major retailers and other online outlets, so be sure and shop around.
on January 15, 2001
Before I was given this bread machine, I had a 10 Minute Rule. If something took longer than 10 minutes to make, I didn't bother. Wow, has this bad boy changed my eating (& spending) habits!
First of all, any joker can use it. You throw in a few ingredients, push 2 buttons, and take off for a couple of hours - only to return to a nice, warm, make-the-house-smell-wonderful loaf of bread. I hate instruction manuals, & didn't bother reading this one. Want a loaf when you get up? Set the timer when you go to bed for 7 hours (or 12?). Simple as that. The bread doesn't go soggy if you miscalculate or over-sleep & it ends up sitting in the machine for awhile.
For the first time in my life, I actually now get excited about creatively creating food. The few basic recipes in the book are a good start - particularly the honey banana one! I've tried most of them, and then started throwing other things in, to see how they would turn out. The strangest thing is, they all seem to work (with varying degrees of consumer satisfaction). In other words, this bread maker can handle/mix/bake just about any kind of bread out there. Pizza dough, too, apparently, although I have yet to try it.
I've been told that the best bread machines now have 2 mixers (this model has one). Perhaps this is true, but I have never had clumps of unmixed flour, or anything other than a well-blended loaf.
Is it a smooth, quiet machine? No. But I daresay that it would be tough to muffle something with such a powerful motor and keep it reasonably affordable and compact. Plus, the most noise is made when the dough gets thrown around, and lasts for only a few minutes. If your kitchen is more than one room away from your bedroom, you probably won't even notice.
Finally, the finished loaves of bread are aesthetically pleasing. A far cry from the old perfectly symmetrical square loaves that I've seen in the past, this machine's horizontal pan allows for a nicely risen & browned crust. A nice blend of old-school looks with new-fangled technology.
on October 3, 2001
After an abortive try at breadmaking a couple years ago (two bland, spongy loaves, and weeks of sore wrists from kneading) I figured I'd leave it to the experts. But I finally walked past that 'specialty flours' aisle once too many times at the supermarket, and so I broke down and bought this bread machine.
I didn't know quite what to expect, never having seen a bread machine before. I can tell you that this idiot-proof machine goes from zero to staff-of-life in 3 hours 32 minutes. Basically, it's like this: You dump in the liquid ingredients. You dump in the solid ingredients. You make a little hole in the flour pile, for the yeast, and then you dump the yeast in there. And If you have stuff you want dribbled on the top of the final loaf, you put that stuff in a special little compartment, which falls open at the right time.
Then you push a button.
Hey presto, delicious bread! I honestly didn't believe the bread could be so good - or the machine so forgiving. Just for laughs I dumped a bran-muffin ready-mix package into the 'honey banana bread' recipe - the result was better than the normal recipe. You can dump in a lot of things - fruits, nuts, weird flours, molasses, rye, caraway and poppy seeds, oats - it all works. I've yet to have the machine protest, even when I put it on the wrong setting.
Sourdough and really good white bread, as you might expect, take a little extra work, but each can be attained. And don't underestimate the fun factor - kids will love making bread and eating the fruits of their labors!
I'd recommend this for anyone who likes to cook or eat bread!
on October 17, 2001
I purchased the Breadman TR2200C after using a bargain priced machine for a few years. I have not been disappointed. This machine produces wonderful loaves every time, even when I'm experimenting with recipes. I love the fact that I can control the crust darkness, as I prefer a lighter crust. My old machine did not have this feature, and my family was tired of very dark, hard, thick crusts. And with loaves from this machine, you can slice the whole loaf without having it crumble and fall apart. (An electric knife works wonderfully.) As far as being noisy, I don't find it any noisier than my old machine. It certainly doesn't disturb anyone in my house. I use this just about everyday, as we have a large family and go through a lot of bread. I would highly recommend investing in this machine if you intend on making a lot of bread for a lot of years. It truly is the ultimate in breadmakers.
on January 31, 2004
I love my Breadman Ultimate. It makes perfect, fluffy 100% whole wheat bread from the recipe in the book -- so perfect that even people who don't like whole wheat bread like this. This is no small thing, as whole grain bread (the only kind I want to eat) tends to be dense and sometimes a chore to eat. I like to make my own bread so that I know what is in it and so I can eat healthier. I love the dispenser for seeds, as I don't want to hang around and try not to miss the beep. I like that I can choose the loaf size, so when I have company I can make a larger loaf, instead of having to make two, and can make smaller loaves the rest of the itme so the bread is always fresh. I read some other reviews that say they have had problems with the bread pan and with ambient temperatures affecting the bread. All I can say is I have had none of those. I have had the machine for about three years and lived in a drafty house on the Canadian border and in a tight modern apartment in Michigan and have used it weekly for much of that time and see no problems. It is a little workhorse that gives consistent results. I recommned this machine highly.
on October 28, 2003
This breadmachine has a good interface, good motor and good overal features, with one big problem. I've baked more than one hundred breads with it, probably hundreds.
The real problem is that the pan, in which you pour the ingredients and bake the bread, develops small cracks around the rivets that attach the kneeder to the pan.
That pan is very thin and after a couple of months small cracks appear, they get bigger and bigger and soon the water starts leaking through it. I can fix it for a while by pooring honey over those cracks, but then they get so big that I have to buy a new pan.
A pan is almost forty ($40) every time, I'm on my third and need a new one again. I decided to look for another machine and thinking that a system with two kneeding paddles may be better because that would generate less stress around a single paddle. I have not decided on where to go yet.
Every time I call them for another replacement pan and complain about the fact that they break, the reps just reply that this is wear-out item and is not covered by warranty, not a nice company to deal with.
The other problem with this machine is: It is very sensitive to the outside temperature, I wished they used a more refined thermostat, especially for the bread raising phases. The net result is that on a colder day the bread raises far less than on a warmer day.
on September 9, 2002
For a very long time I resisted buying a bread machine because I felt that it would be too difficult for me to make edible bread. I was afraid that after a couple of months, I would find a shelf spot for it to forever rest. I just couldn't see spending the money for something I would probably never use.
Luckily I was able to get the Breadman Ultimate on sale, which allowed me to go ahead and buy it despite my fears. And I am very glad I did.
The Breadman Ultimate is extremely easy to use. It comes with several varities of bread recipes you can try, and the controls take away any and all guesswork. At the time of this review, I have had it for a couple of months and am still making 2 - 4 loafs of bread a week. I have quit buying loaves of bread from the store. In addition, most of the breads I make myself are so much more healthy than what I was buying.
The machine comes with several recipes, including a basic white bread, a basic french bread, a cinnamon raisin bread, and a honey banana whole wheat bread (my personal favorite).
The Breadman Ultimate comes with several features, including the ability to pre-program your own recipe times, a warmer to help slowly cool down the bread so that it won't become soggy, and a timer that allows you to program when you want the bread to finish (now you can have fresh bread waiting for you when you get home).
This is one appliance that will never end up sitting around in appliance siberia.
on January 22, 2005
Nice machine, it makes a good loaf of bread. It has nice, even baking and provides many cycle options. But it does not stand up. The raisin dropper stopped working after 6 months. Worse yet is the paddle which is made from very poor metal. It wears out way too soon. We're on our 3d paddle in 2 yrs. Also, the bread pan is not repairable when the seal starts leaking. This means that you have to buy a new pan for over $50! So if you make bread once a week or month, this is a good buy. But be warned that this machine is not made to be repaired.
FWIW, we've also had the top of the line Zojirushi BBC-V20. Can't recommend that model either. They have parts available, but are not that durable. We got rid of ours after 2.5 yrs because of the weak belts breaking and many pan leaks. We make about 3 loaves a week, so we're now looking at the new Panasonic SD-YD250, at least it has replaceable parts and a better reputation for durability. One has to wonder why doesn't someone make a bread machine with the design and durability of a classic KitchenAid mixer? We'd gladly pay twice as much for it.