Lakeland’s bread maker is a highly effective, all-round performer at a very reasonable price
- Great results across the board
- Easy to use
- Simple to clean
- Crust colour isn't always consistent
- Paddles sometimes get stuck in bread
- No fruit and nut or yeast dispenser
If you’re a firm believer that homemade is best, then a decent bread maker is an essential purchase for your kitchen. A good bread maker minimises the effort normally associated with traditional baking, and this is exactly what this Lakeland digital touchscreen bread maker achieves – and more.
With a clear, easy-to-use touchscreen and 12 cooking modes for a range of bakes, it’s a joy to use, making light work of white, wholemeal and gluten-free bread. Its simplistic versatility makes it an excellent choice for novice and seasoned bakers alike, and it produces great results every time.
Lakeland touchscreen bread maker review: What do you get for the money?
This is a mid-priced machine costing £130 and it comes with all the basic accessories you’d expect, including measuring tools, kneading paddles and a hook for removing the bread tin and paddles at the end. You also get a comprehensive instruction booklet with recipes for each setting, so you can get started right away.
One of the first things you notice about this machine is how light it is compared to other appliances of its size. While this might normally be associated with a feeling of cheapness, it’s anything but. In fact, with classy, polished metal at the sides, a large LED digital display and touch control panel occupying the top half of the front panel, it looks and feels like a high-quality piece of kitchen equipment.
Everything is controlled from the front panel. You can choose your preferred cooking mode, as well as crust colour and loaf size. Alongside the basic presets for white, whole wheat, sweet and gluten-free loaves, there’s also a custom bread setting for experienced bakers, which allows you to adapt the kneading, proofing and cooking times to suit specific needs. There are also task-specific settings for when you just want to knead, proof or bake, and three additional settings for making your own yoghurt, jam and cake.
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It’s a well-priced machine considering its premium design and range of cooking modes, especially when compared with other breadmakers at a similar price and even some more expensive devices.
The one thing it does lack, however, is an automatic ingredient dispenser – something you’ll find on some pricier models. If that’s important to you, you may want to consider the Panasonic SD-ZB2502 instead. This machine has one dispenser for yeast – so it’s dropped in at the optimum time – and another for additional ingredients such as fruit or nuts.
Lakeland touchscreen bread maker review: What’s good about it?
There’s a lot to love about this bread maker, but my favourite thing is how easy it is to use. A big, clear screen, well-laid-out menu and thoughtfully designed instruction booklet make this ideal for novice breadmakers. As well as its simple design, the controls are impressively responsive, and an automatic lock prevents you accidentally pausing it or changing settings by accident mid-bake.
The kneading and heated dough settings take the hassle out of bread prep, meaning no more achy hands or under-proofed dough. Being able to adjust the time manually is a huge bonus as well. It means you can tailor kneading and proofing to specific dough types that may need specialist attention.
How well does it bake bread, though? In testing, it made a fantastically fluffy white loaf, with a thin, crunchy crust using the recipe provided in the book. The results were impressive using both the basic and quick cook settings, which take just over three hours and two hours for a 1kg loaf respectively.
Fifty per cent wholemeal loaves came out just as well, with a thin crust and a surprisingly light centre, especially considering how easy it is normally to turn out a dense loaf when baking by hand. It also produced decent gluten-free loaves for the most part, although the results were a little less consistent than with classic flours.
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The benefits continue after cooking, too. Loaves come out of the pan with ease, and for the most part, the non-stick pan and exterior are easy to clean. A small cleaning brush (not provided) is needed to get inside the paddle holes if dough finds its way in there, though.
Lakeland touchscreen bread maker review: What could be better?
While there are a couple of small issues with this bread maker, they’re almost not worth mentioning. The first is that crust browning isn’t always consistent, so sometimes you’ll see differences from loaf to loaf, even when using the same setting.
Another is that the paddles aren’t well secured. They stay on perfectly fine during kneading and proofing, but occasionally get stuck inside the bread when you tip out the loaf after baking. This isn’t a huge deal, as you can use the wire hook included in the box to fish them out quite easily. This does leave an extra hole in the bottom of your loaf, however.
Lakeland touchscreen bread maker review: Should you buy it?
Tiny grumbles aside, Lakeland’s touchscreen bread maker is more than deserving of a spot on your kitchen counter. Its intuitive design makes it ideal for bakers of all abilities and it produces impressively consistent loaves across its range of presets.
What’s more, it takes 99% of the hassle out of kneading and proofing, while leaving you with minimal washing up. And then of course, there’s the price. You might think that £130 is a lot of money but, compared with other bread makers on the market offering similar features, it’s fantastically good value and worth every penny.