- 31 programme settings
- Sleek horizontal design
- Three loaf sizes
- Three crust colour options
- Manual setting for kneading and rising
- No window to see progress
- Lacks show-stopping finish
Price as reviewed:
The SD-YR2550 Panasonic bread maker has lots of new features which make baking a fresh loaf at home, easier than ever. Senior food writer Jessica Ransom put the Panasonic bread maker SD-YR2550 to the test for our in-depth review.
For many people baking bread is a task that is either too demanding or daunting. But using this bread maker makes the process efficient and ensures excellent results, every time.
Even Jessica, who regularly bakes fresh sourdough at home, was impressed with the basic white loaf and won over by the satisfaction of waking up to a warm loaf of bread that’s ready to eat.
The latest model of Panasonic bread maker is particularly impressive because the technology is designed to replicate the kneading of an artisan baker. This delivers a consistently good texture. It is also an appliance that will be useful as your confidence grows as a baker. The manual mode, which allows you to knead and prove dough according to your recipe, enables you to experiment with recipes outside of those provided in the handbook.
Weight – 7.5kg Width – 40.8cm Height – 36.2cm Depth – 25.2cm
The chic silver finish and understated design make the machine easy to assimilate into most interiors. The machine wobbles and vibrates slightly during kneading but was no louder than the average dishwasher.
Beginners will benefit from the 31 in-built programmes, which include basic loaves, wholemeal, plus brioche, rye, and more.
The delayed 13-hour timer works brilliantly and was one of our favourite features. You can also make cakes, pizza dough, gluten-free pasta dough, jams, and compotes in the machine. There are four gluten-free programmes as well as an option for using prepared bread mixes, which previous models did not have.
The automatic yeast and raisin or nut dispenser adds the ingredients at the best time, which means you can load everything in the machine and forget about it until it’s baked.
The dual-temperature sensor monitors the room temperature and the internal bread maker temperature. It adjusts the time to ensure the best conditions for your bread’s rise and proving. This is an invaluable control factor for any successful bake and ensures consistent bakes despite the weather.
Experienced bakers will enjoy the manual mode for making bread. The machine kneads and proves your dough perfectly and then you can continue with your recipe. This saves time and mess and ensures consistency.
To test the Panasonic bread maker SD-YR2550, we followed its manual for a basic white loaf, rapid white loaf, and sourdough. With nearly 60 suggestions, we felt these would be at the top of most people’s wishlist. We also tested the 13-hour delay timer and baked a packet of gluten-free bread mix. Each loaf was baked more than once to test for consistency.
We were impressed with the rapid loaf, which takes around two hours to cook versus the classic which takes around five. However, the rapid loaf lacked the same flavour and fluffy texture as the classic so we’d suggest an overnight bake using the delay timer in favour of the quick setting.
While the first loaf was easy to remove from the tin, subsequent bakes were more difficult. We used a silicone spatula to gently release the bread from the sides. This prevented damage to the shape of the bread and the tin itself.
We were sceptical about the sourdough setting and surprised by the results. On day one you prepare the ingredients to make a starter and then the next day you can use the machine to prepare the dough or bake the whole loaf. The bread had a fantastic crust and was one of the tastiest loaves we baked, but it lacked the sour notes and showstopping finish from Artisan or home-baked sourdough.
Using the manual mode would overcome this. However, it would require more equipment, it would be messier and it would take more time. The taste would also remain unchanged as most sourdough flavours result from long, slow fermentation and an aged starter.
For the gluten-free bread, we used a free white bread mix by Doves Farm. The loaf took just under two hours from start to finish.
We were disappointed with the crust colour compared to the other loaves but the texture was nice and fluffy and much better than shop-bought gluten-free bread we have tried.
If you have space and find baking bread intimidating this equipment is ideal. The bread is good and very easy to make but lacks a showstopping finish. You can overcome this by using the machine’s manual mode to make the dough and finish the loaf in the oven. However, this does require more equipment, particularly when making sourdough. The machine was undeniably simple to use and made bread that was much more satisfying than pre-packaged supermarket loaves. Plus, you know exactly what has gone into the bread and can enjoy the smell that fills your home as it bakes.