Pillsbury are best known for making a range of ready to use cake and bread mixes. A few years ago they decided to try their hand at some bread machines, and they left us with a few different ones before phasing them out. One of the more popular choices was the Pillsbury Automatic Bread Maker model which retailed at a bit over $100. Was it a good purchase for the time? Read on to find out more.
Lets start off by taking a brief look at the design of this model. It is a fairly standard design, with the bulk of the unit being a glossy white color. The Pillsbury logo is on the front and top of the unit, and the button console trim is a deep blue color. The lcd on the top has a lighter shade of blue surrounding it, and the main control buttons are the same lighter shade of blue. Just above the the lcd is a handy guide detailing some of the functionality of the machine. On the top left is a small viewing window so you can keep an eye on the progress of your bread. Overall the design is not hugely striking, but it is also not too unpleasant to the eye either. Compared to some of the other machines made in the same period it does still look somewhat modern.
This particular model can make a variety of different breads and recipes. It can make 2 loaf sizes, and the creates around 10 different forms of bread and dough. The control panel on this one differs slightly to the normal variety we seen. Generally you select the loaf size, then the kind of bread you wish to make, and then the crust type. With this one for example, your first option is to make Basic (Med 1.5lbs), then the next option is to make Basic (Dark 1.5lbs). So instead of selecting the size or crust type, you simple pick them out of the list of 18 in front of you. There is no real advantage to having this kind of control panel instead of a traditional one – simply a different way of doing it.
Aside from the basic variety you can also make french, sweet, wholewheat, and fast bread. There is also the option to make a variety of doughs including pizza, bagel and normal dough. Lastly there is a built in timer which will allow you to schedule your time of completion.
However more importantly it does produce a great variety of breads. From what we have read thus far, the results from this model have been overwhelmingly positive. The bread recipes when followed correctly create great results, so if making a great loaf of bread is your primary goal then you certainly won’t find anything wrong with this particular model.
Cooking times are comparable to all the other bread machines out there, so this one offers no advantage in this regard. Once the bread is finished cooking, it should come out quite easily thanks to the nonstick lined baking pan. However you do need to take care when adding the ingredients – our suggestion is to remove the loaf pan entirely and add the ingredients into that, then place it back inside the machine. If you do happen to spill any ingredients outside of the bread pan and into the bottom of the machine, it does become quite a tedious job to get it all out. You should also only wash the interior of the bread pan instead of submerging it completely, which does make cleaning it a more delicate job compared to other models.
So that is the Pillsbury Automatic Bread Maker in a nutshell. It is a more or less average machine for the time it was released, but it still holds up today if you only intend to use it for basic bread and dough recipes. At the time it was introduced to the market it was a little pricey, but if you can pick one up at a bargain price then it will certainly serve well as a basic bread maker.
- Decent price
- Design holds up today
- Variety of options
- Works well
- Hard to clean (if you spill any ingredients inside).
- Was a little pricey
If you can buy one second hand for a decent price, it will certainly serve you well if you don’t expect too much from this machine. It does a good job of baking bread, and is simple to use. With that in mind it is not a bad purchase at all if you can find one for sale. Since these models have all been phased out now, you will only find them on sites now unfortunately.