Written on: 06/01/2013
I've had the Kenwood BM450 bread maker for a couple of months now and it has been excellent. With no previous experience I've produced a series of really nice loaves with very little effort. I started with packet mixes but it is very easy to use with separate ingredients and that has given me nicer (and cheaper) loaves. As seems to be the case with all bread makers the key thing is accurately measuring your ingredients then adding them to the pan in the right order. But this takes no time at all.
The unit looks great and is very, very easy to clean. I've read some negative comments here and elsewhere but they haven't affected me so far.
Some people say it's noisy. Of course it isn't silent. But I live in a small flat where my kitchen and living space are one. I have no issues using this in the evenings while watching TV. Overnight I certainly wouldn't hear it from the bedroom. No idea why people are bothered by the noise level. It is nothing like as noisy as my washing machine and a bought a direct drive washer/dryer just because it scored well for being quiet. Compared with my washing machine the bread maker is very easy on the ears.
Some people have also complained about the paddle getting stuck on the spindle. There's a decent amount of play between paddle and spindle on my machine so perhaps this is something Kenwood has tweaked. Equally I always put a little vegetable oil on the spindle. Bottom line is I've never had an issue with the paddle sticking. If I ever do I'd be confident a bit of a soak would make it easy to remove.
There's a great range of programs including gluten free and even jam making. And the unit is programmable if you want to do something specific that isn't pre-loaded. I can't imagine I'll need to go there though.
There are a lot of reviews out there saying you should only buy a Panasonic if you want a bread maker. Panasonic are obviously good and one of the reasons I wanted a bread maker was having tasted the excellent bread that friends of mine make in their Panasonic. But I found it very easy to match their results with my Kenwood with very little effort. I have a feeling Panasonic is no longer the only game in town and if you want a generously-featured bread maker that looks great and is very easy to use and clean I think the BM450 is an excellent choice.