I am a degree student and have just been set a live project by Kenwood
to redesign and improve their current range of bread makers.
Please could you help me out and tell me about your experience of using
bread makers to make bread....
What are the main problems you face when using a bread maker to make
What you would improve about current bread makers?
What are the design floors of the machine that you own?
What is your machine good or bad at?
All responses are greatly appreciated!
The main annoyance I had with the bread maker was having to get out
the scales and weigh up the exact amount of flour. Not a big deal, by
any means, but enough that I rarely wanted to bother with it late in
the evening (which is when it's natural to prepare it so you'll
have fresh bread for breakfast.)
Gradation marks for fluids on the inside of the bread form and an
integrated scale so you could weigh out the flour in situ would be
an improvement in my eyes.
Also, the blade tended to get stuck inside the loaf, with the only
sensible way to get it out to carefully cut the bread into slices
until you could pry it out without breaking the loaf entirely --
which tended to end with scratching the blade and thus degrading
the no-slip covering, which made it tend to get stuck inside the
loaf even more.
Oh, and the model I had didn't have a proper clock ("Have the bread
done by 6:30 am") but just a delay ("Wait three hours and fourty-five
minute before starting the selected program.) I suspect newer machines
have fixed that issue, though.
What is good and bad about my current bread machines? Big topic
First, what price point are you interested in? I have a lot of ideas but if
they are looking to incorporate enough good features in a cheapo machine to
make it semi-attactive, forget it. If they are looking at a Zoji-type with
some far-out features, that's different.
First, give me a rectangular loaf everytime, preferable 12 inches long. 90%
of the bread we eat here is in the form of sandwiches, toast or French
toast. Odd- shaped (or round) loaves don't blow my skirt up at all. Oh, and
with multiple paddles.
Second, give me good, solid, isolated, bullet-proof electronics. Some
machines just don't have the life that others do and it is often the
electronics killed by heat.
Third (and this is one I like), how about paddles that retract into the
machine somehow (and out of the loaf). As an alternative to that, why have a
bottom paddle at all? And don't give me the excuse that they always have.
How does your Kitchen Aid mixer work? All together now: FROM THE TOP. So why
not have a separate attachment that places a mixing paddle(s) into the pan
from the top? When the bread is ready to bake, you remove that top piece,
snap on the baking cover and blast off.
Another one, 100% programability. If the recipe calls for a rise time of 88
minutes, that is what I enter in. If it calls for 4 separate 90 minute rises
with 10 minutes of kneading between each, that is what I enter in. Haven't
we come far enough with microcircuitry to make this a reality, even on the
Make it out of metal, not plastic.
How about bread pans of different sizes that come with it?
Crust is a big one with me, and I adore the sourdough I get baking in a
Dutch oven. How about a cover for the baking pan in the machine?
While I'd like to have a DVD player or an MP3 player incorporated into the
machine, this is probably not the time or place.
For the cheapies, how about just something reliable and consistent? Fully
programmable. And with a nice rectangular loaf.