Pros: easy to use, reasonable price, different bread options
Cons: have to find good recipes to use
I like to cook and get home from work early. That gives me time to experiment with recipes. My attempts to make bread have been failures so I've been thinking about a bread-maker. I must've said this to my husband or sister because my mother-in-law bought me the Cuisinart Bread Machine for Christmas. She consults them to ensure that she gets me something I want. So far, I really like it!
About This Product
The Cuisinart CBK-200 Bread Machine pretty much does everything except measure ingredients. You simply measure ingredients, add them in proper order (liquids, solids, then yeast), and select your bread settings. You select the loaf size (1 pound, 1.5 pounds, or 2 pounds), crust color (light, medium, or dark), and type of dough (basic/white, French/Italian, whole wheat, sweet, gluten-free, packaged mix, cake/quick, dough, pasta dough, jams, bake-only, rapid bake).
Once you get things set and hit start, it will mix ingredients, knead dough, allow it to rise, and then bake the loaf all in one cycle. There are beeps after the first rise cycle to let you remove the mixing paddle if you don't want a hole in your bread. You also can add mix-ins like cheese, raisins, etc.
The bowl/baking vessel has a non-stick coating as does the mixing paddle so cleaning takes less than a minute. I just wipe them with the soft side of a soapy sponge and thoroughly rinse. Simple.
I like having the ability to make my own bread because I know exactly what ingredients go into it and I don't have to worry about chemicals, preservatives, etc. Using the Cuisinart CBK 200 Bread Machine is very easy and you have a fresh loaf of bread in less than 3 hours.
The quality of the bread depends on the recipe, though, and I'm still trying recipes for different breads. I've found a good recipes for buttermilk dill, ale, and French breads. The white bread and rye breads that I've tried produced very dry bread slices that weren't so great for sandwiches and were horrific as toast. I don't blame this bread machine, though, because it is entirely the fault of the recipe.
I can't speak to this machine's ability to make jams, quickly bake breads, or to make pasta dough, dough that is meant to be hand-shaped and baked in a regular oven, or to make sweet breads because I haven't tried those functions and probably never will.
At $99, this machine has a nice price and is worth it in my opinion. I use it twice a week to make bread that we use for sandwiches and toast. Busy families who have children in various after-school activities probably don't have time to mess around with a bread-maker, but it works well for me because I have plenty of extra time and a desire to eliminate unnecessary chemicals and preservatives from my diet.