Excellent white but poor wholemeal loaves from this mid-price breadmaker
Fruit and nut dispenser: No, Number of programs: 32, Time to make standard medium white loaf: 3h 40m Buy the Kenwood Bread Maker BM260 now from Argos
The BM260 is a mid-priced bread maker, but it feels well made. The solid metal bar to open the lid is a touch of class. It’s a simple bread maker with no fancy extras such as an automatic fruit and nut dispenser.
It’s also remarkably compact. I’ve seen squat bread makers with large footprints, which are easier to put away in a cupboard but take up more room on your kitchen worktop, and tall bread makers with small footprints, but the BM260 is compact in every direction. This could really help if you have a small kitchen or want to put the bread maker away after every loaf.
The bread maker comes with a simple instruction manual with a few standard recipes (white, wholemeal, French-style, Brioche and Gluten free, for example) but also has a fancy full-colour booklet containing the standard recipes along with speciality loaves such as Chocolate and Caribbean Tea Bread, as well as various jams.
The standard recipes are simple enough; they require skimmed milk powder, but this is easy to get hold of and cheap. The bread pan takes a certain knack to fit and twist into place, which I never quite got used to, but the bread maker’s control panel is easy to use. There are big buttons to select the recipe, crust darkness and the size of loaf you want to bake, as well as plus and minus keys to set the baking delay for when you want to prepare a loaf the night before and have it fresh in the morning.
The display shows the remaining time, as well as icons for the various stages of the baking cycle. There’s also a prominent ‘eco’ button, which will bake a loaf in less than 1 ½ hours; ‘eco’ because a shorter baking time will use less power. I found that eco mode produced a loaf with 0.31kWh of electricity, compared to 0.39kWh for a standard white loaf. This will save you around 0.8p per loaf.
The eco loaf itself was excellent, and far better than other rapid bake loaves I’ve seen. The texture wasn’t quite as even as the BM260’s standard white loaf, and there was a prominent hole, but it was reasonably well baked and didn’t have a doughy texture.
Like the more expensive Kenwood BM450, the BM260 has fan-assisted baking, which Kenwood claims provides more even baking. I was impressed with the white loaves the machine produced. The crust was evenly baked, and each slice had a light, fluffy texture. It was a very nice loaf indeed.
The wholemeal bread was less of a success. When using Tesco Strong Wholemeal flour, the top of the loaf collapsed, and the bread had a rock-hard crust. The loaf was also very dense, but despite all that was remarkably tasty. I tried again with some stronger bread flour: Allinsons Very Strong Wholemeal, and this time the bread didn’t collapse. The bread maker still produced a very squat loaf with the consistency of dwarf bread, however; it was a challenge to eat, if a tasty one.
The Kenwood BM260 is simple to use and produces lovely white loaves, so if that’s all you need, you’ll be happy with this bread maker. I was also impressed with the rapid loaves produced by eco mode. I wasn’t able to get it produce a decent wholemeal loaf however, so look elsewhere if you need more fibre in your bread. Buy the Kenwood Bread Maker BM260 now from Argos
|Fruit and nut dispenser||No|
|Number of programs||32|
|Time to make standard medium white loaf||3h 40m|
|Time to make standard medium wholemeal loaf||3h 15m|
|Custom bake memory||None|
|Accessories included||Bread paddle, measuring cup, measuring spoon|
|Making white loaf peak||432W|
|Energy used for white loaf||0.39kWh|
|Warranty||One year RTB|