Now I’ve used bread makers in the past, but nothing is quite like the Sage Appliances Custom Loaf Pro. This not only looks the part with it’s brushed stainless steel exterior and it’s bright led screen, but it makes the most amazing bread, pizza, cakes and even jam. The latter two I’ve not tried yet, but plan to soon. This is the best bread maker I have ever come across.If you read my previous post you will see my recipes for amazing Gluten Free bread made in the Custom Loaf Pro and it was the best Gluten Free bread we’ve ever tasted. Far superior than any store bought bread. This is an expensive and large kitchen gadget, not one you can forget about. So, I’ve been using it as often as I as we can. It is simple and easy to use, so much so that Tyler, my 7 year old has been following the recipes and making the bread.
The recipe booklet has a wide range of breads, cakes and jams to make. This is definitely a great starting point for making things in this bread maker. After making the Gluten Free bread, Tyler and I decided to make out own seeded loaf. We followed the instructions for a normal white loaf, but used Allison Country Grain Bread flour instead of white bread flour.
Looks great doesn’t it and it tasted so good. Simple, relatively quick and you can’t beat it on taste and texture. Fresh bread is one of my favourite scents and whether you top it with butter, jam or cheese, the fresh bread makes all the difference.
Once you’ve put your ingredients into the bread pan. Sit is inside the bread maker. Make sure you follow the ingredients the way it suggests to keep the liquid away from the dry ingredients at the start. The bright digital screen is intuitive and very easy to use. You select the programme for the type of bread you want to make, select the size, from a small 500g loaf right up to a family sized 1.25kg loaf. Light, medium or dark crust, click start and away you go. There is a rapid setting, if you can’t wait to taste. The cooking time, temperature, etc is all worked out for you. You can even set it up the night before and put the time on, fresh bread to wake up to. Now, that might actually get me up out of my bed in the morning. What an amazing scent to wake up to. What do you think?
With so many different types of bread, crusts, etc there is definitely a recipe there to suit everyone from gluten free, yeast free to whole wheat, french bread or just a normal white loaf. I haven’t experimented with these too much so far, but I have added some sun-dried tomato and garlic to my bread mix. Oh my, you have to taste. Heavenly is one word I’d use. There is a dispenses at the top of the Sage Appliances Custom Loaf pro which adds in your extra ingredients once it’s kneaded the dough for you. It automatically empties things like nuts, olives, raisins, chocolate, etc into the dough and continues to knead them in.
We love homemade pizza as a treat. I usually make the dough by hand, but making two different dough’s, one gluten free and one non becomes a bit of a pain. I need not worry any more. The Sage Appliances Custom Loaf pro does all the hard work for me. Add the ingredients in and it kneads them until it becomes a dough. It then keeps it warm to rise and then it’s ready to roll and add the ingredients.
The recipe I used for the gluten free one is as follows:-
- 150ml Water
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon xanthum gum
- 250g gluten free white flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
I set it to the pizza dough setting and away it went. You can roll it into whatever shape you want and then bake in the oven. We made a veggie one. It turned out great and tasted very nice. It was crispy around the edges and softer in the middle, the way I like my pizza. You’d need to play around with the baking part and rolling to get it the way you like it. But, I have to say, this was far easier than doing it by hand. It might take a little longer, but it is a lot less hassle and mess.
I haven’t tried the jam one, but it might be something for over the summer. I am definitely going to give hot cross buns and stick cinnamon rolls a go. How good do they sound? It even gives you a recipe for the toppings. They can’t be fully made in the bread maker, like the pizza it makes the dough for you and then you put in the oven once shaped. If you’ve made these, do leave a comment below to let me know what they are like and when I make them I’ll make sure I update the post.
We are loving this new gadget and have been using it every few days. The bread is fantastic and it really is simple to make. Tyler is loving that he can put all the ingredients in himself and set the settings and out comes some yummy bread. It doesn’t heat up on the outside. It is not really suitable for a child to lift out the bread pan as it gets very hot. Once you are used to using the bread maker, why not adjust the basic recipes to make your own flavoured breads and dough? I’d love to know what you’ve made.
Now it’s not quick to make, but it is worth it. The Custom Loaf Pro will also keep the bread warm if you don’t want to take it out straight away. It does beep when finished. We also love the fact you can press the light button and see how the bread is coming along. This is what it looks like above. You don’t need to lift the lid to see how it’s going. It’s a nice wee feature of the product.
The Sage Appliances Custom Loaf Pro is well designed, you can watch the mixing paddle spin and knead the ingredients taking each last bit and mixing it up. A lot of the breads and dough are made with the collapsible mixing paddle, which means that although there is a hole at the bottom of the loaf, it’s not too big. Everything comes out of the bread pan, making cleaning very little. I’d recommend placing on a wire rack to cool.
We absolutely love this and would highly recommend it if you are looking for an appliance to make bread on a regular basis and other items like the pizza dough, etc. It doesn’t require a lot of ingredients to make the basic bread, most of which you probably already have in your kitchen cupboards. At £249.95 it’s not cheap, but it does everything effortlessly and looks great. John Lewis has the Sage Appliances Custom Loaf Pro at £199.95 until the 30/6/16.
I will try to post some more gluten free recipes as and when I make them. If you make anything do link it in the comments so others can have a look and let me know what you think? Below is some of Heston Blumenthal tips, as he helped create the Sage Appliances Custom Loaf Pro.
Heston’s hints and tips for bread making
- Bread and pastry all begin with dough. But what makes them so different? The key here is liquid, temperature and relaxation (and I am not talking about relaxing at the pub with a pint!). Liquids such as water react with gluten proteins in the flour to make the dough more elastic. Hence adding water to flour, as well as kneading, will promote elasticity in the dough – also known as gluten development. This is great when creating bread.
- A pre-ferment containing just flour, yeast and water will help add flavour and texture to the bread. Most pre-ferments take approximately 24 hours. Once comfortable with this method, some ingredients can be substituted for added flavour.
- When working with wet doughs such as brioche burger buns, it is very important to sift all of the dry ingredients. This will help avoid any lumps in the ingredients in the dough.
- Excess flour is an issue when shaping or balling the bread dough. While working on the Burger recipe for In Search of Perfection 2, I found that a little water on the bench helps shaping the dough as it gets a bit of traction with the surface of the table or board.
- Baking is a science – each ingredient has a particular reason for being part of the recipe – more than just flavour. It is important to accurately measure the quantities of each of the ingredients.
- When using freeze-dried yeast, adding lukewarm water to a bowl and the yeast with a little sugar will help kick start the fermentation process.
- When mixing the ingredients, it is important not to add the salt and the yeast together. Salt can stop the yeast from fermenting. Salt and yeast can be added at different steps when making the dough.
Disclosure: I’ve been sent the Custom Loaf Pro by Sage Appliances for the purpose of this review, but all views expressed are my own.