The Lakeland Compact Bread Maker is an affordable miniature breadmaker that makes miniature loaves. It's therefore well suited to a small kitchen and singles or couples who don't eat much bread – a family would demolish more than one of its 320g loaves in a single sitting.
It's small, white and plastic. It looks neat but cheap in comparison to high-end stainless steel models. While it only makes one size of loaf, it has a respectable 11 programs for breads, cakes and doughs.
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The Lakeland is small, white and plastic. Its footprint is smaller than a sheet of A4 and it's shorter than most breadmakers, too. Unusually, it only offers a single size of loaf. Most breadmakers offer three loaf sizes, ranging from 500g to 1kg, so the Lakeland's offering can only be described as "extra small" by comparison. It's smaller than most small loaves you'd get from the baker's.
The controls are straightforward. There's no loaf size to select, so you simply pick from the 11 programs – for breads, cakes and doughs, but not jams – and choose light, medium or dark crust. You can also delay the start time of the programs, so that your loaf is ready in up to 13 hours' time.
There are no fancy features such as a seed dispenser. And even the basic features are a bit disappointing – for example, the short power cable. This is one appliance that needs to be near the socket, which limits your options in a small kitchen.
The Lakeland's controls are pleasantly simple. There are only 11 programs to choose from and a single loaf size, so it's easy to use it on autopilot without losing track of the quantities of each ingredient. We tested it using the only wholemeal recipe from the enclosed book, which disappointingly uses only 50% wholemeal flour and 50% white. The program took 3 hours and 40 minutes for a very small 320g loaf. There was no rest time; it started kneading straight away – this wasn't too loud.
The resulting loaf of bread was small, as expected, dense and doughy with a crumbly crumb. It was dense enough that the kneading blade got stuck in the loaf on its very first use and needed retrieving – it comes with a tool for this. The bread made for tasty toast, and we got 12 thin slices from the loaf. Slices were the size you'd expect from a sandwich loaf, but slightly shorter.
We also noted that the Lakeland isn't as energy efficient as some breadmakers. It's rated at using 530W of power, yet we've tested breadmakers that make 1kg loaves – triple the size – using less than 500W of power. (A kWh of electricity costs around 10p, so you might spend 15p in electricity baking a loaf with either machine. So the larger loaf represents better value.)
Maybe. If you have a small kitchen, you always buy small loaves at the bakers and you're on a budget then the Lakeland turns out good, small loaves. But for the same price you could get the Russell Hobbs 18036 or for a little bit more money the Kenwood BM260 – they offer more programs and a range of loaf sizes. Buy one of those and you can always choose to bake a bigger loaf if you're expecting guests.
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Live alone? The Lakeland Compact Bread Maker is an affordable miniature breadmaker that makes miniature loaves.