Saturday, December 20, 2014

{Product Review} My First Bread Maker, Panasonic SD-P104

I have been thinking to get a bread maker for sometimes as I often buy bread for the kids to bring to their preschool, I would really prefer serving them preservative-free breads but all the kneading, rising, waiting are just impossible for me on weekdays, I often reach home only late night.. With the lack of space in my kitchen, I had to brush that thought aside. 

Until, I finally found time to spring clean my kitchen and cleared up a space for a new gadget. After doing decent amount of research, I made up my mind to get myself a bread maker that has many good reviews - Panasonic Bread Maker SD-P104.

Look at the wonderful fresh loaf we had for breakfast. Soft and fluffy, using only organic ingredients; it is delicious, fresh & most importantly, nonsense-free. 

Psss... If you want to search for some easy-to-follow breadmaker recipes, jump straight to this page.

I was daring enough to attempt timer function on first trial. Instead of a basic loaf I opted for Honey with Organic Sunflower seed. I wanted to know if this fella is as good as it claims to be.

Just get ready the ingredients and dump them all in.

Separate compartments for the instant yeast and nuts. Set the timer to complete by 8:00am and I just headed to bed. 

Ta-da, fresh loaf was ready at 8:04am exactly! It didn't rise to full as it should be, perhaps I have left the ingredients in there with the water for too long..  

Removing the bread was easy. Just turn the bread pan upside down and it dropped out effortlessly. 

Testing out the bread slicer that came free with the purchase, dummy proof. Just have to make sure you use a zigzag bread knife and cut sideways and not push hard downward or it may looses its shape.

Ready to serve.

Time to enjoy my coffee and breakfast loaf before the duo awake.

The next day, my boy and I attempted another soft bread recipe - Potato & Chia Seed Bread. It was a bit more tedious but the outcome was so so delicious that I fell in love on first bite! As I selected medium crust, the loaf has a crusty layer on the outside, and soft and aromatic on the inside thanks to the added potatoes.

Before we began.. Loaded everything into the bread pan. Half of the potatoes need to be roasted and the other half boiled and mashed before adding into the pan (that's why I said this recipe is a bit more tedious).

The extra mashed potatoes was used to make potato croquettes, check out the recipe if you like some crunchy snack, my duo loves these munchies. 

2 hours later.

4 hours 20 minutes later. It didn't had that perfect round top, which I shall find out why, but the texture was soft and the dough was definitely very well mixed, no bricks or soggy bottom at all.

Super soft bread, the way I like it.

Next I went back to basic and made this simple Raisin Bread, served with wild blueberry and golden apricot jam. The crust was a bit hard as I left it in the pan for over an hour before removing, however the bread itself is soft like pillow. My boy was so happy when he joint me for a breakfast in our backyard.

A day later, I decided to bake an Orange Butter cake. Yes, this bread maker can make cakes too. I followed the recipe strictly except I added some 10g of fresh orange juice as I only have 90g of egg liquid, so let's see what was the outcome.

Cake making took 1:30 hour. On the 12th minute I need to use a rubber spatula to scrap any excess batter on the sides. After than just let it continued baking. Despite the motor was moving very quietly (that I almost thought I did not press the start button!), the batter was very well mixed as you can see here: 

Progress is displayed on the LED screen with indication of remaining time.

Done! The cake came out beautifully.. but rather small, just enough for a small family consumption. 

The cake smell really nice but was too dense compare to the butter cakes I usually bake. But I shall give it another try to be sure.

{UPDATED} Few weeks later I tried making banana cake with my little breadmaker and it came out tasting wonderful! Refer to the recipe here.

Choosing the Bread Maker..
So, why did I picked this unit among the many brands available? I considered from 5 aspects:

#1 Delay start / Timer function
The reason I wanted a bread maker is because I wanted fresh bake in the morning, so my plan is to get ready all ingredients at night, set the timer and have the loaf ready in the morning, right before we wake up. Hence, timer function is a must for me. This particular model has 13 hour preset timer, which is a common function among many others mid-range model but this rules out most basic / entry models.

#2 Separate compartments for yeast & nuts
This will ensure I can make different variety of breads with minimal supervision. While I can opt to drop everything at the same time, exact timing for dropping of yeasts will actually helps to enhance the texture and outcome. (If the yeast comes in direct contact with salt or sugar it will not work anymore)

#3 Variety of recipes and quality bread
I was considering Breville and Lebenstil before I decided on Panasonic, it has the feedback of "making better breads that are really soft" from friends and the salesperson. Besides, when googled, I managed to find a lot of recipes and consistently good reviews on Panasonic machines, this has given me further assurance. Breville has a mixed reviews, some gave it 4-5 star rating and some as low as 1, which mainly rant about the soggy bottom or noisy sound, so I have my reservation on the quality consistency. 

One particular feature I read about this model that made a different from others, is the temperature sensor, in which this unit will adjust the temperature according to the ambient. This will ensure consistency in the dough it produces regardless of day or night temperature (typical Malaysia weather ranges from 37°c in day time to 26°c at night, a good 10°different)

#4 Pizza dough and dumpling dough function
I have not been making pizza for awhile as I was lazy of kneading and washing my mixer. While pizza dough function is widely available with most bread maker, dumpling dough function is not, so that is one bonus feature.

You can see the Pull-away Christmas Tree pizza I baked using my Panasonic here.

#5 Compact Size
Last but not least, a sensible size is important for me. I need a machine with small footprint so it does not occupies a lot of my already congested kitchen top. This Panasonic bread maker is about 32cm tall with a dimension of 24cm x 30cm. The weight is a manageble 6.1kg and comes with a handle, so making it really handy and easy for storage. Both Kenwood and Lebenstill were out from my list due to their heavy weight (Lebenstill at 8kg as it has a stanless steel body) or humongous size (Kenwood).... I do love the quality build of these 2 but unfortunately my tiny kitchen doesn't have that appetite.

Some missing functions or minus points for this unit that I think you ought to know before deciding...

Jam Making - it lacks the ability to make jams or marmalade, but I doubt I will really use it. So I rather have a bread maker that makes really good loaf than offering extra features that I don't need.  

{UPDATED} Later only I read some post that this function can be used to make chicken floss and pork floss. WOW, if only I knew it earlier! but then again, after reading the process (it needs to run 3 rounds Jam function), I think I would probably prefer making it the manual way - dry frying over a heated wok.

Peeping Window - it doesn't have a window panel on top that allows you to see the progress. While it is nice to have, I don't find it a must as I plan to use timer function most of the time, I would be sleeping while the machine is working (that's my key intention of getting a bread maker in the first place!). 

Anyway, if you really want to view the profess, after it has dropped the yeasts and nuts, you may open up the lid to check directly.
Keep warm after bake
Some bread maker like Breville has an 1 hour keep warm function, so the bread will not turn cold and hard if you forgot to take it out immediately. I totally forgotten about this requirement when I was shopping for it, although I would thought it is handy to have. 

At RM899 a unit (or RM799 after discount - USD$250 equivalent) it is beyond my initial budget of RM500. You can get Lebenstill and Breville's entry models for under RM500. However with the extra RM300, I am hoping the gourmet quality breads will outweigh the initial investment cost.

Alternatively, you can get the exact same model at for RM699 with free shipping, it is the cheapest I can find after much comparison (last I checked, the offer is over..), but big guy preferred to get it from his trusted store, TBM, which has multiple outlets that we can go to (if we ever needed after sales service) and came with several freebies when we dropped by - free recipe book, bread slicer and a packet of organic high protein flour. 

• Loaf size 
As I needed a small bread maker due to my space constraint, this unit only supports bread with a standard size. Some models such as Kenwood and Breville supports various loaf sizes. So if you have a big family (ie more than 4) you may want to consider a larger unit.  

In a Nut Shell...
After rounds of testing, I would say that I am happy with my new toy. :)

I especially like that it is quiet when in operation. Although I can hear the arm moving sound when I was working in the kitchen, it is nothing invasive nor disturbing at all, except when it dispenses the nuts/raisins, there were few loud "tut" noise. While I have yet to find out why my breads didn't rise to perfection, it did not affect the taste or textures.

The nonstick bread pan makes cleaning a breeze, just have to gentle wash the pan & blade with dish liquid and sponge, and wipe clean the yeast dispenser compartments with my kitchen cloth. No fuss, no mess, no tons of parts to wash.

Finally, the bread produced is really superb soft and fluffy, comparable to what I usually get from my favorite bakery. Except that now I can control what exactly goes into my bread.

Next I am ready to venture into more complicated recipes, stay tuned! 

{UPDATED} Check out my range of Bread Maker recipes, you won't be disappointed! and I have found out the trick to make the making perfect loaf that rise to full which I shared in the recipe... ;-)

You may read more about this product here:
Panasonic SD-P104

Or other brands that I have considered 
Breville bbm100 baker's oven 
* this unit has an impressive 23 built-on programme, really worth trying out!

Lebensstil LKBM 2101S

If you have any questions, do feel free to drop me a message below. As I discover more on the machine I shall have more to share. 

Until my next post, stay calm and bake on! :)


  1. Thanks for sharing this useful information regarding bread maker:)
    It's help me to decide which bread maker model to buy for my wife.

    1. Hi Acaii (hope I addressed you correctly), you are most welcome, hope you find a right model for your wife :)

  2. Hi can you post the recipe for potato and chia seed bread?

    1. Sure, do give me some times. FYI this is actually from the Panasonic recipe book that came free with the purchase.

  3. Hi, May I have the recipe /steps for the potato & chia seed bread? Thanks!

  4. I found the instruction manual but no recipe /steps on the potato bread...

    1. Just read your comment Kyle. OK will make a time to share the recipe this weekend.. :)

  5. This will ensure I can make different variety of breads with minimal supervision. While I can opt to drop everything at the same time, exact timing for dropping of yeasts will actually helps to enhance the texture and outcome.

  6. The making of this product is done in a unique way, so the handling is effortless. The plates, knobs as well as the pressing handles are made with special care to let loose the effort of the users. With the purchase of roti maker users can ignore the long time standing before the gas stove for preparing roti. By following simple steps, users can avoid the usual proceedings such as rolling of dough, pressing it tightly on the plate so on for making roti and chapati. The users can make thin and soft rotis within minutes by using this roti maker machine. Users have to simply place the dough in the center of the lower plate of this device.

    Roti Maker Price in Pakistan

  7. Hi, i've just bought my first bread maker. After googling and saving, I bought panasonic p104. But sadly my bread never come out properly. I try several times following the exact instruction given in the manual book. But still my bread just flat and gooey. not rising at all. Please help me..

    1. Hi Ruddy, there are a couple of tricks. I realised my tips are shared in various posts and not consolidated.. let me try to sum up some for you here:
      1) make sure the temperature is right - should be around 25-27C. I added 3 ice cubes into the drinking water to lower the temperature, this helps with the dough rising.
      2) check your yeast, has it expires or turns flat? just add a teaspoon of yeast into a small cup of warm water, if it bubbles it means your yeast is still active; else you probably has to get new yeast (and make sure you store them in fridge after opening)
      3) make sure you store the bread in air tight container after it colds down to room temperature else it will turns dry and hard.
      4) bread using high gluten / high protein flour are generally softer than other flour. so you may consider to start with soft bread recipe that calls for these flours.
      5) lastly, make sure you follow all measurements correctly (e.g. egg's weight, milk powder, water level etc). some makes mistake of using the eggs without measuring the weight, or measuring the water with scale (gram) instead of ml.

      Hope these help. Good luck!

    2. Hi would like to know do you think we can replace the water with fresh milk ? thanks

    3. Apology for my much delayed reply, just read the email notification today :(
      Yes, I think you may. I have tried many times replacing 1/2 the water quantity to equal amount of fresh milk.

  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  10. Hi, just bought tis Panasonic SD-P104, wondering if I can take out the blade before the loaf is baking as I don't want the loaf to have a hole in the bottom. Tks

    1. Perhaps you may use the knead function and switch to bake using conventional oven with a bread tin.

  11. wow! i want this.. Thanks for sharing this useful information regarding bread maker:)