Many people have discovered the convenience and ease of baking fresh-baked bread with bread machines. Most do a good job with basic breads, but a common lament is when the addition of ingredients in the middle of the process is required. This Panasonic Bread Maker offers a solution. It has a built in tray that automatically adds fruits such as raisins, apples and nuts, or other ingredients such as herbs or cheese that would interfere with the kneading and rising process if added too soon.
The Panasonic SD-RD250 model bakes two sizes of loaf: medium and extra-large. This translates to a 1 pound or 2 pound loaf. It also has settings for light or dark crust finishes. It features an easy to use control panel with 5 pre-programmed settings including: Basic, French, Pasta, Pizza Dough, and Bake Only. The Pasta Mode is actually for the blending and kneading of pasta dough, and the Bake Only mode is for baking cakes without the kneading and rise stages necessary for bread making.
Most owners are enthusiastic about its performance and the automatic ingredient feature but they tend to focus on simpler recipes that require the addition of an ingredient during the bread making process.
What most of them like is the unique dispenser that automatically drops up to 5.29 ounces (150 grams) of raisins, dried fruits, or nuts into the bread dough for thorough, even distribution. The result is an even scattering of raisins, instead of clumps in one section and bare sections elsewhere. The dispenser can also be removed from the machine for washing between uses.
Ingredients Can be Added at Any Temperature
Like many other bread makers, the Panasonic SD-RD250 allows you to add ingredients including liquids at any temperature and will gradually warm them to activate yeast for proper rising.
Timer Allows You to Preset for Baking up to 13 Hours in Advance
The Panasonic SD-RD250 allows you to preset so you can wake up to fresh baked bread or come home to the same. The display is also easy to use. According to one owner:
“Display is clear, buttons work fine. Simple to use and lots of recipes.”
“Diamond Fluorine” non-stick coated loaf pan
According to Panasonic the bread pan is a “rugged pan which also features a diamond-fluorine coating for even heating and scratch-resistant, long-lasting use.”
Some people like that:
“I’ve had the machine for a couple of years and the bread pan is still non stick as good as the day I bought it. I use it every couple of days for bread and once a week to make dough for bread rolls.”
That sounds good for people concerned about the Teflon coating found in most pans, but “diamond fluorine” is actually the industry name for “Teflon.” It makes you wonder why they used such an obscure set of words like “diamond fluorine” to describe their loaf pan.
There is also a limitation related to the ability of the Panasonic SD-RD250 to bake some wheat flour and gluten free recipes.
Limited Wheat Flour and Gluten Capability
While the Panasonic SD-RD250 does a very good job with conventional white breads; French bread and the addition of ingredients mid-course – it is limited when it comes to wheat breads and gluten free. According to Panasonic it will bake wheat breads with up to 30% wheat flour. Some owners highlighted this limit:
“Being somewhat big on whole wheat bread, it’s disappointing to find out this machine can only handle 30% whole wheat whereas most other competitors have that capability to make 100% whole wheat including gluten free bread.”
Gluten free is a growing food trend and other bread makers such as the Zojirushi Virtuoso have both gluten free settings and the ability to knead, rise and bake 100% whole wheat flour. It’s really a question of the complexity of what you’re trying to bake and your cooking style, particularly as it relates to complex, gluten free recipes.
Gluten Free Setting?
There’s a need expressed by many people to bake gluten free. There seems to be an issue with the Panasonic SD-RD250 bread maker in that regard based on a Q & A between potential a buyer and owner:
Concentrated Heat versus Viewing Window
According to Panasonic: “Unlike other bread machines, the unit does not offer a viewing window. The absence of a viewing window creates a more even reflection of heat inside the unit, which offers the following three advantages: excellent crust, good rising, and even color.” While Panasonic touts this as a benefit, most bread machines have this feature and many owners miss the ability to see their loaf baking through a viewing window:
The bottom line is simple and that’s perhaps the best word that can be used to describe the Panasonic SD-RD250. If your objective is to make simple breads using traditional baking flour and have the need to add ingredients such as fruits and nuts -this is the break maker for you. However, if you are trying to make whole wheat loaves or gluten free you will struggle to find success. It’s also a bit disconcerting when Panasonic uses phrases like “diamond fluorine” to describe “Teflon.”
The Panasonic SD-RD250 is a 550-watt automatic bread maker and measures 14.6 by 11.1 by 12.8 inches. It weighs 15 pounds. It can be found at retailers or online.