Pros: heavy duty, user friendly, multi-functional, value for your dollar, makes a 2# loaf
Cons: All that wonderful bread is making my jeans too small.
Oh my gosh! This bread machine is the best! Ok, so my first loaf came out lumpy and dense, but this was an operator error. The subsequent loaves have been devine.
I've found the use of bread flour is important. With that first loaf I thought I could use regular flour with three tablespoons of gluten thrown in. Not a great idea, hence the lumpy loaf.
Also it's a good idea to measure your flour into a larger measuring cup and add it all at once just in case you lose count as I did. Yup. Had to pour the water from the pan down the drain and then dumped the wet, pasty flour in the trash and remeasure. But wait! Where are my little paddles?? Oh. In the trash with the flour (and coffee grounds and banana peels.) sigh. Ok lesson learned.
Once you put the ingredients in the pan (in order ~ yeast mustn't touch water) and turn it on, it goes to town.
It's hard to believe those two little paddles can mix and knead the dough sufficiently but they do! It's fun to watch through the window as they work. My husband and daughter and I stood there for several minutes peering at those little paddles doing their job. Yes, we ARE easily amused.
All the options can seem a bit daunting, but honestly, it's as easy as putting in the ingredients in order and pressing two buttons to make a loaf of multi-grain bread that's healthy and delicious.
The guide that comes with it was a little confusing to dyslexic me, but once I figured out that the directions are BEHIND the recipe the going was smooth.
There are recipes for pizza dough, jam, cinnamon rolls, french bread, raisin bread and many more. Also peruse your own bread making cook books for recipes that are compatible for bread machines.
My machine had a bread knife included that makes the slicing of the finished loaf a breeze. It's wicked sharp so keep it out of contact with soft finger tissue.
My personal opinion is to buy this one instead of wasting money on a less expensive unit that will need to be replaced within a year or so of heavy use. You'll save money in the long run.
To prove my point, my daughter had a less expensive unit that she burned up in a matter of months because she was baking a loaf a day for her family.
I can't say enough for this machine. I'm happy to know exactly what is in the bread I make, i.e. no preservatives or unhealthy fillers. I hope to have a long and enjoyable relationship with my bread machine.
Buy. Bake. Enjoy.