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Breadmakers are not the easiest of items to accommodate in a kitchen. The Morphy Richards compact breadmaker measures 35cm wide, 30cm deep and just under 30cm high. It reaches 52cm high with the lid open. The loaf tin is shorter than a standard size, making loaves at 1 - 1.5 kg. This size suited a spare corner on my kitchen surface and I think the dark granite colour gives an illusion of this breadmaker being smaller than it actually is.
The Morphy Richards 48248 Compact Breadmaker comprises of: Breadmaker Loaf tin Paddle Instruction/Recipe booklet Plastic measuring cup and spoon
The control panel at the top of the machine is easy to use and there is a good size window for viewing the bread. There are 10 settings: Basic, French, Wholewheat, Cake, Sweet, Dough, Jam, Speciality, Sandwich & Extra bake. 3 Colour settings: Light, Medium & Dark. The Instruction booklet details baking times and uses for all the different settings and includes recipes for basic and speciality breads, pizza dough, cakes and jam.
A beeper will sound as you select your chosen settings, when it is time to add certain ingredients, at the end of a program and after the 'keep warm' phase. There is a timer setting which means you can set the breadmaker to turn on whilst you are out or asleep. I have found it is better to be around at the end of a programme to remove the bread and place it on a cooling rack as leaving the bread in the breadmaker can result in a tough crust.
I have been using this breadmaker on a regular basis for just over 3 years and since purchasing it I have hardly bought bread from the supermarket or bakery. Over the last year I would say I make approximately 2 gluten free loaves and 2 wholewheat loaves each week. Occasionally it has been used for pizza dough, savoury and French style breads. During the three years I have used the breadmaker to make 2 or 3 cakes but I much prefer to make cakes in the traditional way and haven't used it at all for making jam (just can't get my head around that one).
For gluten free bread: The recipe booklet provides a recipe for a gluten free loaf but I have developed my own recipe using gluten free flour, warm water, oil, sugar, yeast, salt and xanthan powder. I select Basic setting and Light colour. Unfortunately all the settings knock back and knead the dough twice which is not necessary for gluten free bread, however the loaves turn out very well with an even texture and are reasonably light.
For wholewheat bread: The recipe book provides recipes for wholewheat, granary and also brown bread. I select Wholewheat setting and Light colour. The breadmaker creates a delicious crusty loaf, well risen and even in texture. Wrapped in grease-proof paper and placed in the bread bin this bread stays fresh and lasts up to 4 days ( although it is often used up much sooner in my house).
The slight drawbacks I have discovered are firstly the paddle often remains in the bottom of the loaf so you have to pull it out whilst the bread is cooling which leaves a hole in the base of the bread. Secondly, the bread can become crusty and over-baked on both the Medium and High colour settings.
The Morphy Richards Compact Breadmaker is a reliable machine, well designed, looks good in my kitchen and is economical in terms of space. It is straightforward to use and bread always turns out easily from the tin. The paddle and baking tin are effortless to clean (wipe with cloth and warm water as these items are not recommended for the dishwasher). The machine itself is easy to wipe clean due to the sleek, modern design of this model.
After almost 3 years of regular use my Morphy Richards Compact Breadmaker is still going strong. Bread smells divine whilst baking and the loaves are delicious.