ChrisRand.com Product Reviews

UPDATE MAY 2012: Sadly, Panasonic's SD-254, SD-255, SD-256 and SD-257 models have all been discontinued but the good news is that the current model, the Panasonic SD-2501WXC Automatic Breadmaker with Nut & Raisin Dispenser & Gluten Free Program continues Panasonic's fine record of products in this area. This old review may still be interesting, however!

Watch the video! »

Check out the new Panasonic SD-2501WXC model »

May 2010:
The Panasonic SD-255 breadmaker has swept all before it, winning almost every comparative review going, and selling by the thousand. Not surprisingly, its 2010 replacement, the Panasonic SD-257 breadmaker (or to give the machine its full title, the Panasonic SD257WXC breadmaker), is only an incremental upgrade. Bearing in mind the superb design of the existing model, it's been hard to predict how Panasonic could have made the SD-257 breadmaker a significant improvement over its predecessor.

However, there are some small changes. The main one, as far as Panasonic is concerned, is a tough new coating on the pan and the kneading blade, called 'diamond fluoro coating'. Now, after three years of regular use of our SD-255 (full review), we've not had problems with scratching on the pan or blade, but maybe some people make their breadmaker work even harder, and will appreciate this improvement.

Panasonic SD255 bread maker out of the box In addition, there's a setting for brioche baking, and some small changes to the recipes. Panasonic are pushing the gluten-free program quite hard too. We're working on a full review of the new model, but it's quite clearly every bit as good (and indeed slightly better) than its best-selling predecessor. You might like to take a look at the 4-minute video (above) which we made on the day our SD-257 arrived here in the ChrisRand.com kitchen.

Panasonic SD257 Breadmaker Programmes Whether or not you opt for the new SD257, or pick up a classic SD255 while stocks last, is up to you. The SD-257 breadmaker is available in a selection of stores, but it's hard to know which, so most people seem to be buying theirs online; Amazon appear to have both the old and new models available, and delivered ours in 48 hours (via HughesDirect) for around £115. I'd say that as long as you're happy with the retailer and the price is under £120, you can buy with confidence.

UPDATE: Reviews on the SD-2501 at Amazon:

Panasonic SD-2501WXC Automatic Breadmaker with Nut & Raisin Dispenser & Gluten Free Program