Betty Crocker is a brand name mostly associated with recipes, and pre-made recipes mixes for sale. However they have over the years released several cooking products, including a handful of bread makers. These were all produced by General Mills for Betty Crocker, although they seem to have now been discontinued. So how well did these machines work? Let us talk about that below.
The product we are going to be looking at today is the more recent BCF1690. At this state we aren’t even sure when this model was released – scouring the user manual gives us no clues, and a Google search proves even less fruitful. Judging by our guess we would say it was released in the early 2000’s. The design is nothing to really write home about, but on the other hand it isn’t too bad either. It comes in a glossy white color, while the main control area is mounted on a grey rounded triangular space on the front.
Below the control panel of the machine is the trademark Betty Crocker logo, and there is a warning sign on the top warning about the potentially hot surface. The top has a large viewing windows, and the sides have two large vents for the heat to escape. The lcd on the front is a bit small, but we were still able to make out what was displayed without having to lean in too close. Overall it is a decent design in our eyes, although it is certainly not as flashy as some of the currently available models.
There are quite a few different options and recipes to play around with. The recipes include the follow: basic, french, whole wheat, quick, sweet, ultra fast1, ultra fast 2, dough, jam, cake, breadmix, and bake. Aside from these there are also three standard crust options to pick from including light, medium or dark. You have the option to choose from two different loaf sizes including the medium 1.5lbs and 2lbs. The built in timer can be changed in ten minute intervals, ranging all the way up to 13 hours. This seems to be a pretty standard timer option from most models we have come across, as any longer than 13 hours will result in spoiled ingredients. We should mention that this is by how many hours you want to delay the finishing time, not at what time you want the bread to be ready!
Once the bread is finished baking, the machine will signal this by beeping several times. It will then switch over to the keep warm mode, which can be cancelled by hold down the start/stop button. Cleaning the machine is not too difficult, as you simply wipe it down with warm water. The baking tin has a nonstick coating so you will need to treat it with care which means avoiding metal utensils or steel wool to clean it. A bit of soapy water is enough to do the trick, and keep in mind the nonstick coating means it is not dishwasher friendly.
Bread is made in the conventional manner which is done by putting in the liquid ingredients, the dry ingredients and then the yeast on top. Baking times tend to vary, but the basic bread for example takes exactly 3 hours to do which is quite good. The other bread programs tend to vary around 4 hours or so, with the exception of the ultra fast modes which cut down the cooking times significantly. Many users have reported satisfactory results from these ultra fasts recipes, so this is something to try out if you are in a hurry for a loaf of bread.
The main bread recipes programs have all received good reviews from many different users. The basic recipes seems to get the most praise, as it produces a great loaf of bread in a short time. That isn’t to say that the other recipes aren’t any good, as these are also well complimented.
So that is the Betty Crocker BCF1690 bread maker in a nutshell. It is quite a decent mid range bread maker, which does what is it says on the packaging. The only problem you should run into is trying to find one for sale.
User Manual: If you are looking for the user manual you can find it.
- Decent design
- Good range of recipes
- Easy to clean
- Fast cooking times
- Good results
- Not dishwasher friendly
- No longer sold
The Betty Crocker bread machine is a quality bread maker. It has a few different recipes and options, and works well. The only issue is that these no longer seem to be sold in retail stores online, so you will have to or second hand shops to find one.