t-fal pf311e actibread programmable bread machine review
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review By Amazon Customer
I have used a bread machine once or twice a week for the last 10 years. I have a few machines and I’ve used them all, but they are all white and none have the style and good looks this one does. This machine has a black top and bottom and stainless steel body and really looks fancy. If I had designed a bread machine to match our kitchen, this would be it. Our whole kitchen has black appliances and counter-tops plus a stainless steel sink so it looks really nice sitting on our kitchen island (where it’s been since receiving it because I’ve been using it so much).
This is advertised as a gluten free machine, but I’m pretty sure after doing some research you could use about any bread machine for gluten free bread. Most GF mixes I’ve seen either say don’t use a GF setting on the machine, or don’t know there’s any machines that actually have GF settings. The recipe book has 8 gluten free recipes and 6 of them require a gluten free premix, plus with the GF mix you still have to add 6 to 10 additional ingredients. There are 3 gluten free programs.
Instead of having to push down on the pan to snap it into place you put the pan in a little off center and gently turn it until it locks in place. The machine is very sturdy and does not move around the counter-top while mixing like some bread machines do. I do find that I still need to check to make sure all the ingredients are getting mixed. I do like the option of 1, 1-1/2, or 2 lb. loaves, and also the three different browning levels. There are a total of 15 different programming cycles and some rapid cycles. There are recipes and programs not only for bread, but for pizza dough, cakes, jams and pasta. The recipe book has pictures of almost all the recipes. One option that would be nice is an automatic nut/fruit dispenser like on some machines, but I can live with adding them myself. First time doing honey and almond bread I kept waiting by the machine for the beeper to sound so I could add the almonds but it wasn’t until 24 minutes into the cycle.
The instruction booklet recommends starting with French bread which shows 1 1/4 lb. of flour; huh? Pounds, not cups. I looked up conversion tables and it seemed like I got different results to convert pounds into cups, so I didn’t try that. My first loaf was a honey and almond bread that was delicious, except that I put the browning level on dark and the sides came out almost black. The inside of the bread was yummy, but my jaw is still sore from biting on the crust. So, no more dark crust. I then tried the same bread adding raisins and that didn’t work at at all; the raisins didn’t get mixed in. Then I tried crusty french bread which was good although tasted more like plain bread. I made french bread again with light crust and raisins and yummy; we have a winner! With most recipes you can add the ingredients and set the timer so you can have fresh bread in the morning or when you get home. My husband said this is some of the best bread he’s eaten in all the years I’ve used a bread machine and he looks forward to each loaf.
After figuring out what recipes we like, size of loaf and browning level, I’ve really been enjoying this machine. Since it matches our kitchen so well and I’ve been using it so much I think it has found a permanent home on our kitchen island. And there’s nothing better than the smell of fresh bread when returning home. 🙂
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