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Love to make bread at home but want to cut corners? A bread machine might be for you. Read our review of this mid-range model from Russell Hobbs
The Russell Hobbs breadmaker may have been the smallest machine we tested on our search for the best breadmakers, but the smaller size did not impede on any of its many features – it can even make an impressive large 1kg family-sized loaf. With its soft curved lines and shiny black casing, it's a machine you'd happily leave out on the worktop when not in use. There are 12 pre-programmed recipes, and most come in three sizes with three crust colours and two fast bakes which will have a loaf of bread out of the pan and cooling in under an hour.
We loved this product for its compactness and its shiny black casing which, surprisingly, did not fingermark and only needed a wipe with a damp cloth to retain its good looks.
The soft curved lines also make this a machine you would be happy to leave out on the worktop when not in use, but if you do need to put it away it weighs just over 4kg and size-wise will fit comfortably into a standard kitchen cupboard.
Size did not impede any feature of the machine; it has 12 programmes with a choice of three sizes for most of them and for a small machine, it still makes up to a large family-sized 1kg loaf.
Two programmes are fast bakes which will have a loaf of bread out of the pan and cooling in under an hour, which makes this a very appealing machine for families needing bread in a hurry. Other recipes include different bread, doughs, sweet bread, gluten-free and jam.
The instruction book is short but has everything you need to get the breadmaker up and running quickly.
There is no fruit or seed dispenser with this machine. Instead, there is a loud audible signal when it is time to add them, so you will need to be around to do this which slightly restricts which breads to make, but with 18 recipes there will be one to use in there.
The control panel on the lid is super simple with just three soft-touch buttons for menu, size and colour and the delay timer. The viewing window on this machine is large and gives a great view of what is happening inside.
With a 660W motor we would have expected the Russell Hobbs to be noisy. It isn't, but neither is it silent, chugging away in the background and only the beeps reminded us we had bread in there.
At the price this machine really does deliver. The bread was excellent, a soft, springy crumb and a well-developed crust though a little light in colour. On taste it was as good as others at a much higher price. The bread came out easily but we did discover some bread stuck under the panel which had baked on, but a five-minute soak sorted that out.
You do not have the freedom of leaving the breadmaker to do its thing if you want to add nuts, seeds or fruit, but that is a small sacrifice to get a product that delivers as well as this at the price.
Russell Hobbs breadmaker specifications:
Machine size: 32.2 x 29 x 30 cm
Programmes: 12 pre-programmed
Delay function: yes
Viewing window: yes
Crust colour adjustment: yes
Loaf size (s): 500, 750 and 1000g
Keep warm function: yes
Guarantee: two years
This review was last updated in November 2020. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at email@example.com.
Do you have a breadmaker or do you prefer to go back to basics and trust your natural instinct? We’d like to hear your thoughts…