About a year or so ago I replaced my faithful second-hand Breadman Bread Maker with a shiny new Panasonic SD2511. And… it’s been a rocky road. Despite following the manual and the included recipes slavishly, it’s taken me over a year to get a decent loaf out of it.
Caveat: I take long breaks between loaves when things aren’t going well, so this is probably a tale of twelve loaves maximum.
The major issue I have with the Panasonic SD2511 is that it produces very damp, doughy bread. It just doesn’t seem to get hot enough for long enough to really bake the bread through and all my early loaves had a damp, under-baked core. Pretty disgusting to eat, if it was edible at all.
Finally, this week, I was able to get a good quality loaf out of the machine – hopefully this won’t be the last time!
Here’s what I’ve learnt about how to handle the Panasonic SD2511.
Tip 1: Don’t put the wet ingredients on top
The manual insists that you put the dry ingredients in first and then the wet ingredients on top. This always seemed weird to me; it was the opposite of what my Breadman asked you to do and always meant closing the lid on a mix with the distinct look of… well… vomit. Half a jug of water dumped straight onto flour is just not a pretty sight.
Tip 2: Decrease the amount of water
The basic white bread recipe for the SD2511 calls for 350ml of water to 500g for flour. I knocked that back to 300ml to see what would happen and the loaf was all the better for it.
Tip 3: Bake it on “Dark” mode
I’ve started always setting the crust to “Dark” no matter what. It doesn’t result in particularly dark crust in my SD2511 but, combined with reducing the water content and putting the ingredients in contrary to the instructions it seems to have the “magic touch” of getting the loaf baked through.
Tip 4: Don’t be afraid of using a bread mix
There are some great bread mixes out there that have everything you need except water right inside the packet. I’m not enough of a purist to worry about using one of these (if I were that hardcore, I wouldn’t use a breadmaker at all). I think the key to success with these is that everything is pre-mixed so it gives you a better chance of getting a good rise out of the dough. (This may be helped by reversing the ingredients order?)
Share your Panasonic SD2511 Tips!
This machine has a great reputation and lots of great reviews online so I’ve always suspected mine either has some sort of quirk, a slightly lazy element, or that I’ve just been doing something wrong. If you’ve got some Panasonic SD2511 tips of your own, I’d love to hear them!