Baking Bread Using A Bread Maker

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 bread?
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!
Reply to
Jake Will N
All I can say is that bread makers seem to make wierd shaped bread. Why can't they make a square loaf that looks like a normal loaf?!!
Reply to
Jake Honeywill
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.
Reply to
Leif Roar Moldskred
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 cheapo machines?
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.
Tim
Reply to
Tim Conde

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