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Thinking of investing in a breadmaker to make home baking that little bit easier? Read our expert review of this good-looking appliance from Sage.
Sage the Custom Loaf breadmaker is a supremely handsome-looking machine, with a wonderful, high-quality stainless steel casing. It will look good in any kitchen, but you’ll need a large one – this is the biggest machine we tested.
It has a good range of pre-programmed recipes and an exciting custom function for those who like to experiment, plus several unique features, including a handy light to see how your bread is coming along and a collapsible paddle for kneading the bread.
The Sage Custom Loaf breadmaker was one of the largest machines we tested, and one of the best looking. The stainless steel is excellent quality and though it finger-marked easily, it was restored to looking pristine with just a wipe. The machine is heavy to move around, so if you have space, it will look rather good sitting on the worktop.
We found the Sage one of the easiest to get up and running after a read of the manual and examining the straightforward, intuitive control panel.
Bizarrely, this was the only machine without a recipe book, measuring cups or spoons. We checked this wasn’t an error, and there is a book, but it has to be downloaded in PDF format; a ‘to-hand’ recipe book is far better than scrolling through an online document. That aside, the instructions, recipes and tips in the document are excellent.
The Sage does come with some clever touches not found on other breadmakers we tested. There are four loaf sizes; we loved the light inside the bread chamber and the ability to switch off the beeper.
A fold-down kneading paddle promised to leave less of a hole in the bottom of a finished loaf but, we found it worked intermittently and on one loaf locked up halfway down and ripped the bottom of the bread as we removed it from the pan.
The outstanding feature on this machine, however, is the ability to customise your loaf, which for those who love to experiment is a real bonus.
We were very pleased with how quickly and easily we were able to use this machine. With its 830W motor, we found the machine very loud, though – a potential problem if you want to make bread during the night.
The rectangular bread pan is large, presumably to cope with the variety of loaf sizes, but we found the smaller loaves on a basic programme were an odd shape with a very uneven top crust.
We gave the largest loaf-size a go, and this was better at the bottom, but the top was still lumpy and bumpy.
We had no problems with the taste and texture of the loaves, the overall colour was excellent too, but for the price, we would have expected a better shape.
This machine has outstanding good looks, a high-quality build and the ability to go off-piste from the programmes. However, for the price, we would have expected a recipe book to hand and prettier looking loaves.
Machine size: 41.7 x 24.4 x 33.8 cm
Programmes: 12 automatic plus custom loaf
Delay function: yes
Viewing window: yes
Crust colour adjustment: yes
Loaf size (s): 250g, 500g, 750g, 1250g
Guarantee: 2 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? We’d like to hear your thoughts below…