611 of 617 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great bread machine, bad manual
I love this bread machine. It is the best I have ever owned. I would give it a 5 star rating if the manual was better and there wasn't such a long wait to add in fruit or nuts.
I have been using bread machines for over 20 years. This is my 4th bread machine. My last bread machine lasted the shortest time, only 2 years. It was a Breadman 875. I like to make a...
Published on March 14, 2010 by Bob from TN
240 of 249 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars MMMM.... Good Bread, but.............
Very easy yo opporate. All recipe books we've used work with this machine. NONE of the loafs have "sunk" and it really does a great job with the mixing times and different bread textures, ie.e a rye is done differently in the machie than white bread, and you get perfect results! Our kitchen is stainless steel and black. 5 - star
Update 3/26/10 - After about 5...
Published on December 16, 2009 by Steven Levin
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611 of 617 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great bread machine, bad manual,
This review is from: West Bend 41300 Hi-Rise Electronic Dual-Blade Breadmaker (Kitchen)I love this bread machine. It is the best I have ever owned. I would give it a 5 star rating if the manual was better and there wasn't such a long wait to add in fruit or nuts.
I have been using bread machines for over 20 years. This is my 4th bread machine. My last bread machine lasted the shortest time, only 2 years. It was a Breadman 875. I like to make a whole wheat cereal bread and the motor on the Breadman was not strong enough to handle the heavy dough. In addition the rise on my breads was inconsistent. Sometimes it would have a huge rise and others it would barely rise. I never had this problem with my other bread machines.
After reading all the reviews and considering my budget I decided to purchase the West Bend 41300 Hi-Rise. I liked the idea of 2 paddles and a horizontal loaf of bread. As soon as I got the bread machine I plugged it in and read the manual. The manual is a big disappointment. All the other bread machines I have owned have the amount of time for each part of the bread making process. The West Bend doesn't tell you how long it will be when you get the beep to add ingredients like fruit and nuts. The only thing you get it a count down time on the bread machines display.
Another thing the manual didn't tell you was to run the bake cycle (this is one of the menu items) before you try to make any bread. This is important. It burns off any residual oil and sealing material left from the manufacturing process. I recommend you do this in an area with lots of ventilation. Either open the windows in the kitchen, use the garage or do it outside. It will stink and you don't want to have that smell baked into your first loaf of bread.
Once I had burned off the gunk I was ready to make my first loaf of bread. I wait until the add ingredients beep to add in a cooked multigrain cereal to my whole wheat bread. Right away I discovered a big difference in the way the Hi-Rise makes bread. My 3 previous machines would run for 5 minutes to mix all the ingredients, rest for 5 minutes and then knead for 15 to 20 minutes. Usually 5 minutes before the end of the kneading cycle it would beep to add ingredients. The Hi-Rise mixes and kneads for about 15 minutes, lets the dough rise for 45 minutes to an hour and then kneads for another 15 to 20 minutes. The add in beep occurs about 8 minutes before the end of the 2nd knead. This means you have to be around about an hour after you start the bread cycle to add ingredients. This is a negative for me because I like the start it and forget aspect of bread machines.
By this time you are probably wondering why I said in the beginning that I love this machine. It's because it makes the best bread I have ever had, it has no problem with my heavy cereal whole wheat bread and the rise is very consistent. In fact one thing I am still getting adjusted to is the rise. West bend is telling the truth when they call this machine Hi-Rise. With my previous machine I had to add extra yeast (active dry, not bread machine) and gluten to get a decent rise for my whole wheat bread. When I did this with the Hi-Rise the dough rose all the way to the top of the machine. I had to open it and push the dough down a little bit so it would cook evenly. For my most recent loaf of bread I carefully measured exactly the amount of yeast in the recipe and it still rose to the top. My next loaf will have less yeast than recommended for the recipe.
The quality of the finished bread is fantastic. Even the whole wheat bread is light and soft with the air pockets small and evenly distributed throughout the bread. It is similar in texture to commercial made bread.
There is another review that talks about having a problem getting the paddles out of the bread without tearing up the loaf. In my experience this is a problem with all bread machines. Since the 41300 has 2 paddles it can be twice the problem. Most single paddle machines have larger paddles that are bent and they can take out a big chunk of bread when they are removed. Since the paddles are straight they each seem to make less damage to the bread. If the paddle stays in the bread West Bend provides a tool for removing the paddle from the bread. I like to cut the crust of the bread to determine which direction the blade is and then pull it out and up from the opposite side of the blade to minimize the damage to the bread.
One other issue I have read is with getting the paddles out of the bread pan. The manual says put warm soapy water in the pan (but never imerse the pan in water) as soon as you remove the bread. I haven't had any problem removing the paddles after they soak for a few minutes. I use a small brush to clean the inside of the paddle after it is removed.
Makes the best bread I have ever had.
Consistent high rise.
Light and fluffy bread.
Manual does not tell you to burn in the machine before making bread
Manual does not have times for each step of the bread making process.
Long wait for add in beep.
419 of 434 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All the power and capability of a high end Zojirushi made affordable!,
This review is from: West Bend 41300 Hi-Rise Electronic Dual-Blade Breadmaker (Kitchen)I came to machine made bread late, and it was a long road to get here. You could say I was a purist stuck in times past, or I was just waiting for my questions to be answered. I know a bunch of people who swear by thier bread machines, and several folks who've had one die and miss it terribly. Me, I had no real problems making bread the old fashioned way so to speak. I learned how to make bread from my Mom when I was a little girl, and that always worked for me.
I'd read that for features and function the Zojirushi was the top of the line. Great, but there was no way I could cost justify that kind of money for a bread machine. Plus, while it met most of my specifications, it missed on one important one, loaf size. For me a requirment was a horiontal loaf, and an ideal was maximum function and control. Including loaf size and crust.
Enter the Hi-Rise. It's selectable for four different loaf sizes 1, 1.5, 2 and 2.5 pound loaves. It has three different crust settings that give one control over color and thickness of the crust, accessed with the temp button.
With a horizontal loaf pan, and dual blades, it makes it simple and easy to prepare just about anything. The large windows in the top make it easy to watch how your bread is doing and the display is easy to read and keeps you informed about where in your journey each loaf is. It even has prgrammability in terms of when the bread machine starts, and even allows you to create a custom profile for "Home Made" bread. Wake up to the smell of bread baking? Done! Now you can program the coffee machine to start your morning cup of java, and have fresh baked bread waiting too. Spoil me rotten why don't you!
The acid test of course was actually making bread with it. Took it out of the box, used the basic white bread recipe that came with the manual, hit start and walked away. I looked in now and again to see what it was doing, but I did not hover, chosing instead to believe that this would work just fine and I'd have a wonderful smell to tell me that all was right in my bread machine.
Soon, the unmistakable aroma of rising dough filled my senses, and sometime later, baking bread. When done I took it out of the machine and placed a wonderful looking and sounding loaf on the cooling rack and waited a bit before putting on water for tea. When I say sounding, one of the things my Mom taught me was to tap on the side of the crust lightly like with produce to get an idea of how the bread was inside. A properly cooked loaf should have a slightly hollow sound to it when tapped. Sure enough, this one did.
When the time was right, I poured a cup of tea to steep, waited for it to be ready and cut a slice out of my warm, crusty, perfect, loaf of bread. It was crusty on the outside as it should be, and warm, slightly moist, springy bread on the inside. I grew up in New England, and one of the things I love is "Country Style" bread. Slightly heavier, and moister than your run of the mill bread, it has a wonderful taste, texture and weight to it not generally available outside of New England.
Before I even tasted this I knew I was in for a treat from the smell, feel and texture of bread. The first morsel was a reward beyond my expectations! "Country Style" bread by pushing a button. Plus because I controled the ingredients it is healthy too. I used 1% milk, and "Smart Balance" butter substitute along with Unbleached King Arthur Bread Flour and Fleischmen's "Highly Active Yeast" in the making of my first loaf. Perfect "Country Style" loaf in terms of all criteria. Taste, Texture, Smell, Weight, Crust, Color and Moisture.
It is easily the simplest loaf I've ever made. Put the materials in the pan, select options, press start and walk away. I'm thrilled with this bread machine! Hundreds less than it's nearest Zojirushi in terms of price and more features. Needless to say, I'll make more of this so called basic bread again, because now I can have "Country Style" bread anytime I want it despite no longer living in New England. So far I've only made one loaf, but I know hundreds more are to follow, next I'm going to go for a New York Deli style Rye.
The West End Hi-Rise is a gem at twice the price, and honestly has more features then the high end Zojirushi. Plus this has one touch selectable loaf size & crust type which the Zojirushi does not.
Would I reccomend this again? Oh yes, without question.
240 of 249 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars MMMM.... Good Bread, but.............,
This review is from: West Bend 41300 Hi-Rise Electronic Dual-Blade Breadmaker (Kitchen)Very easy yo opporate. All recipe books we've used work with this machine. NONE of the loafs have "sunk" and it really does a great job with the mixing times and different bread textures, ie.e a rye is done differently in the machie than white bread, and you get perfect results! Our kitchen is stainless steel and black. 5 - star
Update 3/26/10 - After about 5 months of use (2 loafs per week) it stopped working... it powers up, runs the program, but the motor doesn't turn on... it is under warrentee but we've e-mailed and called for 5 days now with NO response.
Today, we called AGAIN and after tring some phone aided suggestions we all realize... it's broke. Unforturnalty, they are out of stock on this item and we will recieve a replacment in just over a month... oh well. Seemed like a good deal, and worked great (while working) I guess you get what you pay for... lowered my original 5 - star to a 2 - star, as can't be used, but hopefully a new one is coming. I will update again, hopefully in about a month.
Update 6/1/10 - We received a new bread machine about 3 weeks ago. This unit looks identical as the first but; the bread quality is not consistent as it was in the first machine. It doesn't seem to get as hot as it needs to, and the mixing paddles are much stiffer than the original one, so I don't think the dough is getting a good enough workout and a majority of the loaves have sunk in the middle, never an issue on the original machine. Lastly this unit has several slight scratch marks over it in the black plastic and in the stainless steel... refurbished? Who knows...
Final thoughts... For the price I guess you could take a chance... Although it looks nice and has some great features it's not consistent. I might suggest saving for a higher quality machine as the bottom line is - if it doesn't work well, you not going to use it... unless you only want to make bread bowls. Staying at 2 stars.
85 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great machine just not so great user manual,
This review is from: West Bend 41300 Hi-Rise Electronic Dual-Blade Breadmaker (Kitchen)This is my first ever bread machine so I don't have any other bread machine to compare it. I bought this for my parents for Christmas but they're too lazy to bother with it, so I'm the one making the bread.
Pros: easy to program, has a lot of features, makes good bread!
Cons: bad user manual recipes, blades hard to remove from the pan (but easily fixable by soaking in water and detergent)
Machine Mechanics, Usability and Features:
I like how this machine has two kneading blades, and I think many other machines at this price only have one blade. This machine also comes with many bread type settings including settings for french, quick (for those using baking soda instead of yeast), wheat, and sweet bread. I mainly use the basic setting on this machine though because I find it works best. In terms of hardware and mechanics, this bread machine is not hard to use. There a few buttons you need to press to get to the right setting (bread type, crust darkness, and loaf size) but they're easy to use and understand with the lcd screen. I found it a little tricky to line up the pan with the pan rest on the bottom of the machine but I think that's with every bread machine. You also have to make sure the blades are put in properly, that the grooves are matched up so the blades align with the rod. Otherwise, they won't spin. Some reviewers complained about how the blades would sometimes come off and get stuck inside the finished loaf and they'd have to fish the blades out--the machine comes with a metal hook for that--and there would be holes in the bottom. I personally don't care if there are holes in my bread. Bread with holes in the bottom is still edible and still delicious. Another reviewer complained about the opposite, how the blades would get stuck on the pan. This happened to me, too. I found the solution is just make sure you soak the pan with water and detergent immediately after you take the loaf out. All these are minor concerns and I wouldn't give this machine one fewer star because of them.
How Well It Bakes:
As for the resulting bread, be warned if you're a first time bread-baker (like me), it might require some tinkering before you find a recipe that works. My first three tries at sweet bread resulted in dense dough-like loaves, and I was about to blame the failure on the machine. However, on the fourth try, I used a different recipe, which I found on the Internet, and that loaf turned out amazing! For the first three loaves, I used recipes from the user manual. They not only did not work with the bread machine that they were written for nor did they taste very good in terms of ingredient proportions (e.g. too sweet, not enough raisins, etc.). So my advice is to disregard the recipes from the user manual and just look for highly rated bread machine recipes online or buy a bread machine recipe book like this one, Betty Crocker's Best Bread Machine Cookbook: The Goodness of Homemade Bread the Easy Way. I also found that, if you're using active dry yeast, you need to activate it before adding it to the machine, or your bread will not rise very well. This is called proofing the yeast. To do this, add the desired yeast with a spoon of sugar and add warm (not steaming) tap water to cover the yeast. Stir and wait 5 to 10 minutes and if you have good yeast, there should be lots of foam and bubbles. If you see no activity, throw the yeast away and buy a fresh batch.
This is the cinnamon raisin bread recipe that I used. I didn't have cinnamon but without it the plain raisin bread still turned out excellent. It's from the Betty Crocker website, and it makes a 1.5lb loaf.
1 cup water (I used hot, not steaming, tap water)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
3 cups bread flour (I used regular all purpose white flour and it still turned out great! Make sure you don't pack the flour and try sifting it.)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast (I used active dry yeast, just make sure you proof it beforehand to activate it)
3/4 cup raisins
1. Before adding ingredients, proof the yeast and soak raisins in water for 5-10 minutes (to make them soft).
2. Add all ingredients (except the raisins) to the pan in the order according to the manual (liquids first, then dry ingredients, then yeast).
3. Put the machine on the basic setting (setting #1), light crust, 1.5lb loaf, and press start.
4. Drain raisins and add them in during the second kneading cycle.
I know I've written more than just a review because I added some tips and a recipe. I wanted to make the point that if you do decide to buy this bread machine and end up getting dense loaves with it, it's not the machine's fault. You just need the right recipe!
113 of 117 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great bread maker,
This review is from: West Bend 41300 Hi-Rise Electronic Dual-Blade Breadmaker (Kitchen)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.
56 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I SURE am making an awful lot of bread considering I'm not a bread-lover!,
This review is from: West Bend 41300 Hi-Rise Electronic Dual-Blade Breadmaker (Kitchen)I have to admit, I don't like bread. I know that sounds sacreligious to some, but it's true. Sometimes, though, it's nice to have an artisan bread to take to potlucks and such. I got an electric knife as a gift this year, so my first thought was, "Hey, why not get a bread machine so you have something to use your knife for? Bread needs slicing!" Logical, right??? Much to my chagrin, it's like trying to find a needle in a haystack when it comes to bread recipes on [...] that don't involve a bread machine. I have NO clue how to make bread by hand, so I decided to give the ol' bread maker concept a try as a Christmas present to myself.
I've owned a machine before (when there was no internet to find bread recipes on) and hated the thing. You had to buy bread mixes from the store, it was ugly on the counter, and who wants to eat verical 'tube' bread? To my own incredulity, I have made at LEAST one loaf of bread everyday since I received it. I LOVE watching the machine work its magic, and IMHO, it TRULY is magic! I had no idea you could make bread at home like you buy in the plastic bags commercially! I make bread for neighbors, I make bread for get-togethers, I make bread for ham roll-ups, I make bread for the heck of it with this machine! I LOVE that I can control the ingredients that go into the bread. No preservatives here! And my hubby's vegan, so I can create breads he'll eat 'cause I KNOW no animal products went into the loaf. I LOVE that my son doesn't have to eat store-bread from a bag.
About the machine, though:
I LOVE the horizontal loaf pan. I've had vertical in the past, and feel like such a geek saying, "Yeah, this is from scratch...nevermind that wierd 'tube' look". I could never get past eating homemade bread that looked like a tube.
I LOVE the two paddles. It's awesome to watch the kneading process and how efficient it is with the second paddle.
I LOVE the way it looks on the counter! Not only do I leave it out 'cause I use it so often, but it just looks classy, to boot!
I LOVE that, from dough to bread, virtually nothing sticks to the sides. At all. (Ask me again in a few more years, though).
I LOVE the flexibility of settings that are available on the machine. Settings that take care of 'blissful bread-making ignorance' for the beginner--like me--to 'control-every-step' for the pro's. I can even make homemade (yes, controlling ingredients again) jams to go with my fresh bread. I can also load up the machine before bed, and set the machine to wait on making the bread until we're ready for a fresh loaf for breakfast. I love the dough setting...I'm not limited to boring ol' loaves! I can allow the machine to make the dough (the hard part), then shape them into little balls when it's done and, PRESTO! I'm the bread queen at the ball.
I LOVE the price-point for this machine. You truly can't go wrong.
None that I've found so far. (Ask my hips in about a month, though.)
And, might I mention, I LOVED purchasing this from Amazon! I got free shipping to my door with the Prime account, and saved on sales tax (which would've been another $8 here in my state/county). I've had the machine for about a week, and have had no problems with the paddles coming off in the bread or anything else. Love it, simply love it. I know what my bread-loving family members will be getting for Christmas next year!
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Warning,
This review is from: West Bend 41300 Hi-Rise Electronic Dual-Blade Breadmaker (Kitchen)I purchased the West Bend 41300 Breadmaker on October 2011, and used it 30-40 times, by December 2011 the Teflon coating was peeling from the pan and the paddles exposing the Aluminum.
1. Ingesting Teflon is not recommended and I think is banned in Europe.
2. Aluminum is also dangerous to ingest.
I returned the unit and received a 100% refund from Amazon, excellent service from Amazon. I notified West Bend twice about the problem and never received a response from them.
50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The recipe for bagel dough is also for pizza dough.,
This review is from: West Bend 41300 Hi-Rise Electronic Dual-Blade Breadmaker (Kitchen)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.
51 of 55 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars strong motor,
This review is from: West Bend 41300 Hi-Rise Electronic Dual-Blade Breadmaker (Kitchen)I got this at Walmart. I'm impressed with the dual blades. They knead quite a bit of flour. I only baked with it once, but it performed well. I mostly use it to knead artisan wetter dough and it does a fine job, better than my mixer. Can't comment on durability, I've had it a month and use it every other day, sometimes twice a day. Can't program it as completely as the Zo, but for half the price, you can somewhat make your own program. Manual says it has a pause function, when in fact, it does not. (misprint according to manufacturer) Otherwise, I'm pretty happy.
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Breadmaker,
This review is from: West Bend 41300 Hi-Rise Electronic Dual-Blade Breadmaker (Kitchen)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 $$$$.
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