In recent years the market has been flooded with a variety of affordable bread makers to try and cash in on the popularity of making your own bread at home. One such brand is Cookworks who offer a few economical choices in the bread maker market. Their most popular model is probably the XBM1128, which is what we are going to have a closer look at in this article. With such a low price it is a enticing option, but is it worth your hard earned money? Let’s try to answer that below.
Now before we begin we should mention that Cookworks is a brand which is owned by a company in the UK called Argos. A quick model number search reveals that this is indeed a generic model, often sold simply as a “XBM1128” or with a manufacturer label slapped on it such as Cookworks or Akai. This is a common practice done by many manufacturers, so this is to be expected for cheaper models.
Now let’s begin by having a look at the design of this model. The bulk of this unit is a gloss white color, which is complimented by a silver ring around the center. There is a nice folding carry handle on the top of the unit which makes it easy to move around, and there are several vents on the sides. The viewing window on the top is a nice size, giving you plenty of space to keep an eye on your cooking progress. The main controls are on the front of the machine, and these are also surrounded by a silver trim. There are 6 main control buttons which curve around the bottom of the silver trim, and the lcd is above these. The lcd screen is an average size, but is bright enough to read without too much hassle. Above the lcd are the 12 recipes built into the machine, as a quick point of reference. The dimensions of this model are somewhat average at 11.5″H x 11″W x 14″D. Overall it is certainly not a bad design at all, and even though it is a few years old it still looks quite modern.
Since this is a bread maker on the lower end of the price scale you would expect it to be lacking features, but it does have quite a bit to offer. The Cookworks bread machine comes with 12 recipes including basic, french, wholemeal, quick, sweet, ultra fast 1, ultra fast 2, dough, jam, cake, sandwich and bake. The machine can make two different loaf sizes including the smaller 1lbs and medium 1.5lbs. You also have the option to pick from three different crust types including light, medium and dark. It doesn’t end there however, as there are a number of other features including the 13 hour delay timer. If you want to wake up to a fresh loaf of bread in the morning then simply load up the ingredients the night before and set the timer. If you don’t remove the bread once it is done baking it then the Keep Warm mode will kick in, which will last for 60 minutes.
Powering this model is a 600watt motor which is pretty standard for this kind of model. It only has a single paddle, and this sits in the center of the vertical loaf tin. The tin loaf is coated in a nonstick coating, though there is no mention of it being dishwasher friendly. If you are making a recipes that requires additional added ingredients such as nuts or raisins for example, a beep will sound to let you know when it is time to add them. Once the baking cycle is finished the machine will beep 10 times to let you know the bread is done.
So we’ve looked at the design and features, but the important question is how well does it work? From the many different user reviews we have come across, opinions seem to be quite happy with this model. The bread loaves may come out a square shape, but the taste and texture has been complimented by most of the reviewers. There were a handful of complaints about the lcd stopping working, but this is obviously covered by the manufacturer warranty. Aside from that the bulk of the reviews seem to be pleased with this product, and the general opinion is that it is a worthy purchase. If you are wondering what the cooking times were, the Ultra fast programs take around an hour (at the sacrifice of some quality), while the rest of the bread recipes take about 3 and a half hours to complete. These cooking times are comparable to most other bread machines, so no need to worry about longer cooking times with this model. Once the bread is finished then you will need to give the loaf tin a wipe with a damp cloth. This should be quite a painless task thanks to the nonstick coating.
The only downside to this model is that it is not easy to find in the USA, so you might have a hard time trying to find one.
So that is a quick look at the Cookworks bread maker. It is affordable and has a number of different recipes, so it seems like a good first bread machine. If you want to try making your own bread at home, this model may be a good place to start.
User Manual: We cannot find the Cookworks Bread Maker instruction manual, but you can find the Akai XBM1128 user manual
- 12 recipes
- Delay timer
- Easy to clean
- Not that common in the USA
The Cookworks bread machine is an affordable option for many people, and it has a number of features. It does seem to be rated quite highly, so is definitely worth a look.