Food | Do bread makers really work?

I've wanted a bread maker for ages, but didn't quite know whether I should take the plunge or not.  Then I discovered that my brother has one and he raved on about it - the smell of the bread in the morning, how tasty it was, the variety of breads it can make - I was sold.
Shortly after this conversation, I noticed, in an Aldi specials leaflet, that they were due to get some in store the Thursday after for £49.99 so off I went to buy one and a packet of bread mix to use in it. 

I chose this mixed grain mix for my first try with the machine, but when I opened the box of the bread maker, it does have recipes for making the bread from scratch, which I would like to do in the near future.
When I first looked at the instruction manual, I must admit that I found it quite confusing, but we eventually just picked rapid bake for the function and medium crust for the colour of the finished product.
We placed the required amount of water into the baking pan and then simply poured the bread mix on top.

We closed the lid and pressed start.  The timer was showing three hours and thirty five minutes for a rapid bake and it counts down digitally so you know exactly how much time is left.  There is a viewing window at the top of the machine, but ours seemed to be steamed up for  about three hours of the total time so we had to hope that everything was working as it should.  You are not allowed to open the machine up as it is working or else the rising bread will sink into a mess. 
The machine makes quite a few noises and I think it would possibly wake me up, if I was to use the timer that operates it during the night
As the time passed over, the machine didn't require any more attention.  I was hoping for a strong baked bread smell, but the windows were all open as it was a hot day and all I could really smell was that 'new' appliance smell you sometimes get when you first use a hot electrical gadget.
At the end of the time, we lifted the pan out and tipped the finished loaf onto a rack to cool and this is what it looked like.

It was risen unevenly, but I felt that this made it look a little more rustic, but other that that it looked just like a loaf should and I was very happy with it.
Unfortunately, we had been invited out that afternoon, and by the time we got back, it was fully cooled so we missed the opportunity for buttered 'warm' bread which I had been looking forward to.
All in all, I was very happy with the machine and it does work.  I'm going to have a go at making a loaf from scratch next, to see how that works out.

What do you think?
Have you got a bread maker?
Nicola x
Post linked up to Mummascribbles for #TwinklyTuesday here.


  1. I've been tempted by a bread maker in the past but then I always think it takes the fun out of it a little - I enjoy making shaped breads and flatbreads because I just to get my hands involved. I think they are great though for convenience (we freeze our shop bought bread and it's never great afterwards) or if you have allergies and need to know what's going into your bread. Thanks for sharing X #twinklytuesday

    1. Thanks for visiting, Laura. I know what you mean about the creativity options using your hands brings. I'm hoping when we use our own ingredients instead of a mix, that it might smell a bit more gorgeous. We were looking forward to that