A huge, programmable breadmaker, but its controls and recipes can be fiddly
Fruit and nut dispenser: Yes, Number of programs: 32, Time to make standard medium white loaf: 3h 10m
Whereas the Kenwood BM260 is compact and understated, the BM450 is flashy and huge. It’s big in every direction, so you’ll need a substantial worktop if you want the bread maker to be out all the time.
It looks good, thanks to its smart metal sides, chromed lid handle and reflective black glass top. There’s an automatic fruit and nut dispenser to add extra ingredients at the correct point in the baking cycle, and you can program up to five custom programs yourself. This means you can get your perfect loaf by setting the amount of time dedicated to each part of the baking cycle, such as pre-heat, kneading, rising and baking, and save it as a favourite program.
Unfortunately, while the BM450’s touch panel may look good, the buttons aren’t particularly easy to use; I often had to stab at a button a couple of times to make it register. The LCD display gives you all the info you need about what program and bread size you’re selecting and where you are in the baking cycle, but I found it hard to read.~
I’ve seen a few bread makers with viewing windows, but this is one of the few, along with the Sage Custom Loaf, that has a light for the baking chamber. This lets you see how your loaf is getting on at each stage in the process, but the viewing window is much more restricted than on the the Sage model.
Like the Kenwood BM260, the BM450 has simpler recipes, such as the standard white and wholemeal loaves, in the instruction booklet, and more complex ones in a glossy magazine. The BM450’s wholemeal recipe is far more involved; you have to mix one egg and one yolk with water, and the recipe requires lemon juice and honey, too. Compared to other bread makers I’ve seen, putting together a wholemeal loaf is a bit of a faff.
The bread maker is rather noisy in operation, but I was impressed with the white loaf it produced. This was not too hard nor too squashy, so was easy to cut, and the texture was even throughout. The loaf was huge, though, so you’ll need a toaster with extra-long slots.
With my standard Tesco bread flour, the wholemeal loaf collapsed at the top, creating an odd horned shape. When I swapped to Allinsons Very Strong wholemeal, I saw a much better loaf (below), evenly risen and baked throughout. It was a little on the dry side, though.
The BM450’s automatic fruit and nut dispenser slots neatly into the top of the lid. The fruit loaf I made with the dispenser came out well, with a good even spread of added ingredients throughout.
The Kenwood BM450 looks great and produces fine white and wholemeal loaves, and serious bakers will appreciate being able to tweak the bread recipes to their liking. I didn’t get on with the fiddly control panel and found the wholemeal recipe overcomplicated, though. Just as we completed this review the price of the BM450 dropped from £170 to £130; if you’re willing to spend a little more than that Panasonic’s SD-ZB2512 is a better overall choice, but this is a good buy for the money. Buy Now from Amazon or check out our buying guide and all our award-winning bread makers.
|Fruit and nut dispenser
|Number of programs
|Time to make standard medium white loaf
|Time to make standard medium wholemeal loaf
|Custom bake memory
|Bread paddle, measuring cup, measuring spoon
|Making white loaf peak
|Energy used for white loaf
|One year RTB