Kenwood BM450, reviewed by a family baker

It works well and after a brief positive preamble, I will focus this article of my blog to what I think is less good or not good as the rest.

this is not a paid review nor have I received a free product for that purpose

It is a great piece of equipment for making bread, pizza, buns, bagels, etc any review says that and I do confirm it, my experience is certainly positive. Its main strength point is the leavening with powdered brewer’s yeast but it also excels in the finishing of large formats (1kg), giving aromas and flavor to the crust and crumb that others do not. It has some not so positive areas too and I tried to list here below what IMHO needs improvement.

Kenwood BM450 quick view

The YouTube link at the end of the article links to pictures and videos of what a family baker was able to accomplish with this tool.

  • It is not a machine designed for experimenting with new recipes. It is not possible to put this BM450 on pause, further it is not recommended to open the door during operation, on pain of low quality bread, warns the manual. It is almost an intimidation for someone like me who is attracted by experimenting with new recipes and new flours while making bread for the family. Who, like me, knows that it is essential to be able to open that door and see how the dough is coming, evaluate its consistency, adhesion or even just to savor the scent of the flour being processed. While experimenting, it is necessary to check if either more solids or more liquids are needed. Furthermore, not giving other option the user to put his hand in that basket with the shovel in motion can be dangerous. The only way is to simulate a power failure and unplug it. Yes, because our BM450 knows how to manage these events, as explained in the manual, and will restart from where it was interrupted. I wonder about consequences for electronics? Using the power off button it is not an option because it will terminate the current program.
  • Easy to use? It is not very easy to use unless you follow the recipe book slavishly but isn’t this a futile claim?
  • the recipes.    few recipes in the cookbook are close to usual bread: wholegrain bread with eggs, for example, is something that I find hard to accept even at the level of an extreme experimentation. It is therefore necessary to adapt the recipes we find on the web, or our own recipes, to this machine and it is certainly not made easy by the problem described above.
  • the shovel of the basket is not very non-stick.     The manual says that the shovel of the basket has a non-stick treatment but the use seems to tell me otherwise. Maybe mine is faulty? Because it has proven to be anything but non-stick and to oil it properly  before use it is of little use.
  • noisy.      Yes, it is louder than other bread machines I have had in the past  but the blade of this BM450 moves with more energy than the machines I had before and this could be part of the cause. Making it work at night may not be a good idea.  Further, the lid rests with its glass edge on the machine body instead of resting on the special gasket and this increases the noise.     When the dough ball is formed and it is dense and compact you can hear sharp and strong metallic noise caused by the ball tossed here and there within the walls of the basket.
  • heating coil.      There is only one coil. I would have expected at least two from a machine that can cook up to a kilo of bread.
  • ventilation during cooking.   What a disappointment! I was expecting much more here: I was expecting different speeds depending on the cooking phase, on its finish and on the type of bread. I expected the ventilation to be programmable within the 5 programs available… but it is not so, unfortunately.   It proved to be a shy air blow that certainly facilitates the circulation of hot air, and consequently cooking, but as I wrote before, I expected much more.
  • baking small bread stick.      I happen to make small 250g flour bread both to test new recipes / flours and to make myself a sandwich. The finish is perfect below and on the sides but embarrassingly pale above and I haven’t found a way to avoid this yet.
  • The pure and simple baking program P14, does not permit to set the weight of the bread and not even its finish.
  • leavening phase      Leavening is the strength point of this machine: never seen different flours and yeasts lead to leavening so well. However, it seems to me studied more for powdered brewer’s yeast and less for fresh one and even less for mother yeast. The 5 or those like me who prefer to use mother yeast, the best option is to use the 5 personalized and customizable programs because the 15 main programs lead to dense and timidly alveolate crumbs.
  • cleaning
    The basket is easy to clean, the shovel a little less due to the poor non-stick treatment.  The internal tank, the one where the basket is housed, is difficult to clean because it is not a single shell.  The various panels have junctions along their joints and what goes there is where it sadly remains.  I hope it doesn’t start corrosive processes.
  • lid-through visibility
    The internal light is a great thing that helps both with the door closed, with the door open and it is so transversal that it highlights the crests of the bread and gives epic photos. However, the visibility is limited by the underlying panel that makes the interior and the processing hard to see.  It looks like an invitation to open the crystal door.  Looking through it becomes more an imaginative exercise than a timely and careful processing status check
  • seeds basket
    Beautiful, well crafted.  Easy to use but twice out of three it does not open. I dropped an email to customer service.
  • CD recipes ?!?
    This approachnis 10-20 years behind. Today, most laptops do not have cd-reader anymore. Why not use a 2Dbarcode to link to the company website or Youtube?
  • No App.
    It’s a lost opportunity to update the bread machine firmware over time further to correct errors, provide new functions, let the user choose which recipes to put among the 15… It would have given the opportunity to create a community, a channel with the customer and between customers, perhaps creating customer loyalty too.
  • rapid bake white bread
    I tried several times this program but bread doesn’t cook well. After 58 minutes it is still raw inside, better give it at least twenty additional minutes.
  • umidity control
    no umidity control.
  • instructions book
    I left the multilingual manual as last but it should have been in the first place, perhaps. By reading the manual I noticed detailed tables and few very accurate sections, other sections of the manual are so generic that they could also be suitable for any electric kitchen tool! Example: although the manual itself refers to such section, there are no instructions on how to position the seeds basket. Reading it all is an unnecessary use of customer time and patience.

Ora basta chiacchiere, al link YouTube qui sotto trovi un pò di esempi foto/video di cosa ho fatto con questa macchina.

kenwood BM450


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