Well I did it, I ordered a new bread machine!
My older Breadman bread maker seemed to be on its last legs. I know I’ve been saying that for months, but it just keeps on going! My husband has tinkered with it several times bringing it back to life when I thought it was a goner. Unfortunately, I’m afraid the poor thing won’t last much longer!
It’s served me very well throughout these months on my bread journey. I’ve learned so much and I’m still growing and learning. Bread is amazing! But I think it’s time to move on.
After a lot of thought, I decided to go with the West Bend 41300 Hi-Rise Electronic Dual-Blade Breadmaker. I just placed the order through Walmart.com and it’s estimated to arrive at a local Walmart store in a couple of weeks. Then I’ll have 90 days to test it out, put it through its paces and decide if it’s the right model for me.
From what I saw from photos, it’s set up similarly to the Zojirushi. I’m sure that the Zoji is quite awesome with all its bells & whistles, but it’s also more than double the price. I just couldn’t justify spending so much more for a bread machine. The West Bend reviews online are very good, so hopefully I will be satisfied with its performance. Time will tell.
Here’s what the West Bend 41300 Bread Machine offers:
- Dual knead blades provide thorough dough kneading for a lighter taste and higher rise. – (similar to the Zoji, plus hopefully having two paddles will be less taxing on the motor when I make whole grain bread dough)
- Traditionally shaped, horizontal bread pan can accommodate 4 different loaf sizes; 1 lb, 1.5 lb, 2 lb, and 2.5 lb (I like that I can knead larger quantities. I’ll have to experiment with the different sized loaves.)
- 11 digital settings include Basic, Quick, French, Sweet, Dough, and a special customizable homemade setting. (I don’t bake in the bread machine, and sometimes I don’t even use it for first rise. I am looking forward to experimenting with all the custom settings.)
- Easy enough for beginners, but customizable for expert bakers as well. The “homemade” setting allows preferences to be set for kneading, rising, baking, and keeping warm. (Yes! I like custom settings!)
- 3 level crust control: Light, Medium, and Dark. (Doesn’t matter since I probably will never use it for baking)
- Delayed start cycle is programmable for up to 12 hours, set it in the morning and come home to the scent of freshly baked bread. (Good option. I might use this to delay the start of the dough)
- Instruction manual includes many delicious recipes, including garlic bread, wheat bread, bagel dough, even Low Carb and Gluten-free (It might be good to experiment with smaller and larger loaves)
- Includes 2 knead blades, non-stick bread pan, measuring cup and spoon, and knead blade removal tool.
Here’s what the user manual says about the Homemade Setting:
“HOME MADE” – This program is for the baker who is very familiar with baking in a bread machine. This program allows for complete personalization of making bread. The time of each cycle; knead, rise, bake and keep warm, can be customized. The settable time range of each program as following
KNEAD1 3-14min / RISE1 20-60 min / KNEAD2 8-24 min / RISE2 1-60 min / RISE3 20-120 min / BAKE 0-80 min/ WARM 0-120 min
So that means I can customize my kneading and rest/rise times, and set the bake/warm for 0. Yeah, I will like that a lot!
Another really great positive is replacement parts. On the West Bend web site, you can purchase a replacement bread pan for $17 and a set of paddles (with measuring cups, etc) is only $4. On the Zoji web site, they sell the replacement pans for $60 and each paddle is $6.
I’ll post an updated review for the West Bend 41300 Bread Maker once I get some real time use.