I've had other bread machines in my life. They were just test drives really. Puppy love. Then I met the Cuisinart CBK-200. Love. True love.
Recommend this product?
I use this particular appliance five out of seven days a week. I know this machine. At any given time it is churning on my counter, then baking on my counter, then beeping on my counter. It has turned homemade meals into homemade meals with homemade bread. Homemade bread didn't happen in this house before a bread machine.
The Cuisinart has 16 program options...from dough to jam to a variety of breads requiring different timings and the like. The loaf size varies from 1 to 1.5 to 2 pounds. Crust comes in three varieties as well - light, medium, dark.
But from the beginning:
Out of the box the rather large unit (approx. 18" x 12" x 15") is ready for use. It came with the unit and a recipe book which includes a variety of bread recipes as well as jam ideas. Also included is the non-stick loaf 'pan' and spinner used for the kneading process.
The machine itself is of the convection variety, meaning after the kneading and rising, the baking occurs with just a bit of whirring noice thanks to the hot air method. It makes for a mildly warm unit when baking occurs - and while it does whir, it's not obtrusive at all.
During the mixing process there a couple of notable 'beeps'. These beeps, as this user finds them, are benefits:
1. BEEP - this means it's time to add mix-ins. Perhaps raisins. Currents. Dates? The beauty of the beep? It doesn't have to happen. If I don't need to mix anything in, I don't need to hear the beep.
2. BEEP - this means the dough has done its thing and is ready to bake. In my previous bread machines it would just happen. Then I'd remove a loaf and have to cut out the flapper/kneader. This time I can read in and remove the flapper rather than have it bake into my loaf of bread.
The unit's flexibility in mix-ins, loaf size, crust color is wondrous. The ability to make dough and stop there is a big deal in this homemade pizza-loving family. Sweet breads are a different breed and can also be easily conjurred up.
The styling is streamlined - a classic aluminum with some black trim. The controls are all at the top with easy buttons and a digital read that shows loaf size, crust, and time left.
Finally, because I did lose a previous machine to bouncing, it is worth noting the stability of this unit. Regardless of whether it's traditional bread or dough, there have been no incidents of bouncing during a cycle. My last machine died a quick death when it bounced right off the counter and met its demise. I have no fears of this.
CONS? I personally have but one - the cord is a bit short for my liking. I'm sure it has a bit to do with where I like to place the unit, but even three extra inches would go a long way and make me even more supremely happy.
Amount Paid (US$): 110