FOODS     TOOLS     ABOUT        

Review: Andrew James Bread Maker

Andrew James Breadmaker
Andrew James breadmaker, available through Amazon here

The Andrew James bread maker has all the features you'd expect in a modern bread machine, such as a wide range of bread and dough programmes to choose from, three crust settings, delay start timer, quick bake option, gluten free programme, viewing window, keep warm function and two loaf size options. But it also boasts one heavily undermarketed, yet potentially very interesting feature: the custom programme, which allows you to customise the time of each phase of a programme cycle to your own requirements. Below, we review the key features of this all-singing bread maker in detail and take a look at how it compares or contrasts with other top bread makers sold in the UK and Ireland, both in terms of features and price.

Key Features

Pre-programmed cycles

The Andrew James bread maker has altogether 11 pre-programmed cycles, including bread, dough, cake and homemade jam modes. Note that it does not have a special programme for baking rye bread – a feature that has been in high demand in recent years. If you are looking for a model that has a special pre-programmed mode for rye bread, check out Panasonic's SD-ZB2502-BXC bread maker. Here's an overview of the 11 standard programmes you will be getting if you decide to get the Andrew James bread maker:

  1. Basic
  2. French
  3. Whole Wheat
  4. Quick
  5. Sweet
  6. Ultra Fast
  7. Gluten Free
  8. Dough
  9. Jam
  10. Cake
  11. Bake Only (no kneading or rising)

Custom programme

Also know known as the Home-Made Cycle, the Custom function allows you to set your own timings to produce a loaf of bread tailored to your specific preferences. This function allows you to reset the times for kneading, rising, baking and keep warm function, plus it will memorise the settings for your next use. The time ranges for the different stages are as follows:

  • Knead 1: 6-14 minutes
  • Rise 1: 20-60 minutes
  • Knead 2: 5-20 minutes
  • Rise 2: 5-120 minutes
  • Rise 3: 0-120 minutes
  • Bake: 0-80 minutes
  • Keep warm: 0-60 minutes

Sleek design available in silver, red or blue

The classy black and silver design means this workhorse will fit nicely into most kitchens. And, for those looking for something more colorful, this Andrew James bread maker is also available on Amazon.co.uk in stunning red as well as in blue (get the red model here or get the blue model here).

Delay timer

The Andrew James bread maker comes equipped with a programmable timer which allows for delaying the end of the baking cycle by up to 13 hours. This nice little feature makes it possible to wake up to the smell of freshly baked, home-made bread in the morning or to come home to a warm loaf of bread at the end of a long day at work. Keep in mind, though, that you shouldn't use the delay timer when using perishable ingredients such as cheese, eggs, cream or milk.

Automatic nut and raisin dispenser

Do you hate the hassle of mixing in nuts, raisins and other ingredients throughout the baking process? The Andrew James bread maker makes light work of this with its nut and raisin dispenser, which has been designed to automatically release add-ins into the dough exactly at the right moment.

Complaints / Problems

The Andrew James Bread Maker Manual is rather limited, and many reviewers on Amazon complain that the recipes in the booklet don't work. Some of the reviewers wish they had gone for a Panasonic bread maker or another well-known high-end bread maker. Others had found a way around the lack/seemingly poor quality of the recipes in the manual by scouring the internet for bread machine recipes, or by using recipes from other manuals or books. One reviewer wrote that she had had very good results with the recipes from the book Bread Machine Easy using her Andrew James Bread Maker AJ-BM102XJ (see her comment here). To view all reviews of the Andrew James bread maker available on Amazon's UK website, click here.

Comparison: Andrew James vs. Other Similar Breadmakers

Andrew James BreadmakerVonShef BreadmakerPanasonic SD-ZB2502-BXCKenwood BM450
  • One of the cheapest feature-rich breadmakers
  • Customisable programme
  • One of the cheapest feature-rich breadmakers
  • Customisable programme
  • Recipe book included in the price
  • Top user rating on Amazon UK
  • Extra tough and scratch proof coating on pan and blade
  • Plenty of recipes included in the manual
  • Allows you to create and store up 5 of your own programmes
At least 10 bread/dough programmesYesYesYesYes
Rapid bake / Eco setting*YesYesYesYes
Bake only optionYesYesYesYes
Jam/compote programmeYesYesYesYes
Gluten-free programmeYesYesYesYes
100% rye programmeNoNoYesNo
Customisable programmeYesYesNoYes (up to 5)
Crust settings*Light, medium, darkLight, medium, darkLight, medium, darkLight, medium, dark
No. of loaf size options*2233
Viewing windowYesYesNoYes
Delay timer*Up to 13 hoursUp to 13 hoursUp to 13 hoursUp to 15 hours
Keep warm function*Up to 1 hourUp to 1 hourUp to 1 hourYes
Raisin and nut dispenser*YesYesYesYes
Find lowest price on Amazon.co.ukClick hereClick hereClick hereClick here

*May be available on select cycles/programs only (see user manuals for details)