When I first came across the Breadman BK2000B, I was impressed. The Breadman BK2000B Bread Maker is a bread machine with a robust bundle of features that include some unique qualities. It will allow you to bake two 1-pound loaves of bread simultaneously or a single 1.5-pound, 2-pound or 2.5-pound loaf. It has 13 pre-programmed baking functions and 3 bread-crust settings including light, medium and dark. It also has a delayed timer that can be set up to 15 hours in advance. The Control Pad is simple and involves entering numbers for different baking functions, loaf size and crust.
The Breadman BK2000B also features two paddles for better kneading and a collapsible paddle designed to minimize the hole in the base of the bread loaf from the kneading paddles. In addition, it has an automatic fruit and nut dispenser, a viewing window and settings for gluten-free, whole wheat and artisan breads. It is premium priced in the $250USD range which is what you would expect for the number of features it offers. Many owners are very satisfied but there is a pattern of complaints related to the collapsible paddles and the general performance of the machine that show up with some regularity. The more I considered the reviews and the pattern of complaints, the more I began to question my first impression.
Can Bake Two 1-pound Loaves at the Same Time
The Breadman BK2000 Bread Maker comes with 3 loaf pans. A large pan for the 1.5, 2, and 2.5 pound loaf option, and two smaller pans that allow you to bake two 1-pound loaves simultaneously. All are non-stick pans but no indication as to whether or not they are Teflon. The idea of baking two loaves simultaneously seems intriguing particularly if you want to bake a traditional white bread and a gluten free or dessert bread at the same time. Unfortunately, the pre-programmed settings for different loaves vary so you pretty much have to bake two loaves of the same kind of bread. You could try doing slight variations such as adding herbs to one of the loaves for the same setting, but making two dramatically different 1-pound loaves seems to be out of the question because of the unique kneading, rising and baking cycles that come into play. Also, the automatic fruit and nut dispenser is not designed for the smaller 1-pound loaves. Only the larger loaves. Regardless, some people really like the feature:
“Can you make just a 1 one-pound loaf or do you have to make 2 one- pound loaves?”Yes, you can make just one loaf if you want. I always make two, and one of my neighbors gets the other one.
Better Kneading with Two Double Paddles
Similar to the Zojirushi BB-PAC20, the Breadman BK2000B features two kneading paddles to help with the kneading process. This is particularly important for whole wheat bread and gluten free recipes which require thorough kneading and rising cycles. Most owners like the benefit of the two paddle feature, but an added “collapsible paddle” feature created some problems.
Collapsible Paddle Design Prevents Holes in the Loaf
The Breadman BK2000B features paddles that are collapsible like the Breville BBM800XL although the Breville features only one collapsible paddle. The reason for a collapsible paddle is to reduce the size of the hole in the bottom of the loaf left by a fixed paddle. Unfortunately, this collapsible paddle design seems to create more problems than they solve. Like the Breville, many customers complained about the failure of the paddles to collapse after the kneading cycle. Significantly, there were also a large number of complaints about the collapsible paddles in the Breadman never unfolding in the first place resulting in a failed kneading process.
“One of the collapsible paddles broke from metal fatigue. And they never really collapse to the flat profile that is promised. What I tend to use is one or two of the 1 lb loaf pans and the non-collapsible paddles.”
Good Wheat Bread and Gluten Free/Carb Free Performance
The comments about wheat bread and gluten free were generally good, but few and far between. Most owners seem to focus on basic recipes like white bread. Owners who reported any problems with gluten free or whole wheat were generally dissatisfied with the overall performance of the machine rather than specific problems with one of the more complex settings like gluten free.
Convenient Automatic Fruit and Nut Dispenser
The ability to automatically add fruits and nuts to a loaf of bread is an important benefit for people who like to make dessert breads or sweet breads such as raisin bread. However, one raisin bread maker brought up an interesting observation:
“My only complaint about it is that it does NOT drop raisins. Next loaf I’m going to try flouring them so they are not so sticky.”
It should also be noted that the automatic fruit and nut feature does not work if you are baking the 1-pound loaves. It only works for the larger loaves 1.5, 2 and 2.5 pound loaves.
There are continued Questions about the Recipe Book
It helps when any bread machine provides a good instruction book with relevant recipes for the various baking cycles. The subject of a recipe book seems to be of particular concern for some Breadman owners. Some have said that a book was not included while others have received one with their machine or downloaded a copy from the Breadman website. Most troubling is that some of the recipes seem to be incorrect and have possibly created some of the negative results that owners have complained about.
“Several of the recipes in the book that comes with it, have errors in the measurements where it will call for cups of yeast instead of tablespoons.”
The General Consensus is “Average.”
Customer opinions of the Breadman BK2000B are highly polarized. It seems that people either love it or hate it. Their enthusiasm appears to be driven by the overall utility of the machine and the range of features. The strongest complaints were related to defective and non-functioning units, extreme difficulty in ordering replacement parts such as kneading paddles, and consistent dissatisfaction with the ability of the fruit and nut dispenser to dispense fruits like raisins.
The Bottom Line
It’s difficult to predict what you’re experience will be with the Breadman BK2000B. You may get a well functioning unit with all of the accessories, or you may have one of the negative experiences that some owners have reported. For the money, it offers a large combination of features that many home bread bakers want to see. However, the premium price seemed to ignite increased dissatisfaction when a feature failed to perform as expected.
“Just purchased and used one time, the white ‘pin’ under the lid to the auto fruit dispenser is stuck in the UP position. How to get it down?”I bought one a few months ago and this has never happened to me. You may need to return it. I do have a problem with it burning the bread so I have to watch it and take it out early.
If you’re considering a Breadman BK2000B look carefully at the customer reviews and the FAQ’s at Amazon.com. If you know someone who owns a bread machine you may want to ask them as well, or investigate other models and compare price and features.
According to the Breadman website the Breadman BK2000B measures 27 x 12 x 15 Inches although Amazon identifies the size as 14 by 19 by 12 inches and a shipping weight of 24 pounds. It comes in Black and has a two-year limited warranty.