The Swan SB1041N QuickBake is an affordable breadmaker offering three loaf sizes, three crust settings and 14 programs including wholewheat, gluten-free and fast bake. There is a timer delay option of up to 13 hours, meaning you can wake up to fresh bread after a night’s sleep, and a 6o-minute keep-warm function.
In use the QuickBake’s results were fairly varied – while it makes a decent plain white or wholewheat loaf, recipes that include more sugar require manual tweaking. Still, for the money, it gets the basics right.
Swan SB1041N QuickBake Breadmaker – Design and features
Reminiscent of a large rice cooker, the smooth, curved outline of Swan SB1041N QuickBake is inoffensive. Measuring 29cm wide and 41.5cm deep, you’ll need a decent amount of room on your worktop. Alongside 55cm in height to open the lid and a socket close for the 50cm power cable.
A straightforward control panel with clearly marked buttons makes Swan SB1041N QuickBake a pleasure to use, even if you’re a breadmaking novice. Meanwhile, a decent-sized viewing window in the lid enables you to admire your rising bread in full glory.
The manual includes a selection of 18 basic recipes, as well as a troubleshooting section. Although written/translated by somebody with a good sense of humour – including some tongue-in-cheek upselling of other Swan products – certain instructions are questionably phrased or remain unclear.
When adding solid ingredients, such as raisins into sweet bread, the manual instructs you to add them “at the beeps”, without giving an estimate when the beeps occur. That left me nervously hovering, raisins in hand.
Accessories include a measuring cup, a measuring spoon and a hook for removing the paddle, should it get stuck in your freshly made loaf. In my experience, the paddle stayed in the pan when removing the bread. The 1tsp measuring spoon, however, proved more of a problem – you’ll occasionally need to add ½ or ¼ tsp of ingredients, and as such I ended up using my own.
Most loaves take around 3 hours to bake, with the exception of the 58-minute fast-bake option. French bread takes 3hrs 50mins, and wholewheat 3hrs 40mins. Crust settings come in Light, Medium and Dark, although in my experience Medium often proved plenty dark.
The Swan SB1041N QuickBake also has a handy 10-minute memory function. If the breadmaker’s power supply is temporarily interrupted – whether by accident or by a brief power cut – the machine can continue where it left off.
Swan SB1041N QuickBake Breadmaker – What’s it like to use?
I tested the Swan SB1041N QuickBake with a variety of loaves, starting with a 900g medium crust, plain white loaf. The machine kneaded the dough with a gentle purr that wasn’t loud enough to disturb anyone sitting nearby.
The result tasted good and the crust was hefty and golden brown. It was uneven, however, with some dark-brown corners and a small patch of unmixed dough on the side. The loaf was consistent on the inside and strong enough not to be torn apart using a cold buttery knife, yet not too tough to eat . It also made for tasty toast.
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At 2hrs 50mins, a basic sponge cake came out moreish – although the crust was too thick and burnt at the bottom and had to be discarded. The manual’s troubleshooting section explains this is caused by sugar and suggests that you stop the bake sooner than the suggested time, which means some trial and error is needed to achieve a presentable finish.
A fast-bake white loaf proved problematic, coming out pale on top and nearly burnt at the bottom. Although still a good size and shape – the manual says to expect a smaller and denser loaf at this setting – the texture was undercooked and doughy, with a strong smell of yeast. With experimentation, perhaps reducing the yeast or sugar content, this program could work. However, I’d only recommend the existing recipe if you’re desperate.
The wholewheat sweet bread was more encouraging. Ready in 2hrs 55mins, it came out with a nice crust, if a little on the dark side. The loaf was consistent on the inside, with an even spread of dried cranberries (added “at the beeps”) that still retained some chewiness.
Considering the affordability of this breadmaker, the results are more than adequate. It covers the basics – and with a little extra care it would be possible to accomplish more ambitious recipes.
Why buy the Swan SB1041N QuickBake Breadmaker?
If you’re on a budget and are looking for a basic breadmaker, the Swan SB1041N QuickBake makes tasty loaves relatively quickly. It’s simple enough to use for basic bread programs, and if you don’t mind putting in some effort, you may be able master the perfect cake – or even an edible fast-bake loaf.