Holey moley! Bread machine update

Continuing the saga of our bread machine.

Hopefully the Kenwood/DeLonghi apparatus with its sticky non-stick paddle has now reached Amazon. I shall miss it. Ornamentally it was a fine embellishment to the kitchen surface. A reminder of its beauty:

And a reminder of the hole it made in the loaf.

Anyway, the reason we bought it was to replace the previous machine that had started producing bricks instead of loaves after nearly two years of faithful service and delicious breads.  No matter what combination of yeast/sugar/salt/water, I just couldn’t get a risen loaf out of it, but at least the paddle came out. The dough had recently become stodgy despite careful measuring. It is a very humble machine, and cost £24.99 from Sainsbury’s. We phoned Sainsbury’s to see what they had to say. Their Customer Service were polite, helpful and keen to please a customer. They apologised that they could not supply a replacement as the machine was no longer available, but kindly offered us a gift voucher for £25 in compensation.

Now there is a twist to this story. While weighing out half a kilo of rice from a one-kilo bag, I noticed that by the time the digital scales registered the half-kilo mark, the bag was two-thirds empty. That’s not right. It should have been only half-empty. Testing the scales  showed that they were wildly inaccurate, giving different readings all the time for the same weight.

So I bought a mechanical set. Then I dug out the old bread machine which had been destined for the dump, and baked a loaf. Which rose perfectly. And came out of the pan perfectly. Leaving a small hole. And the paddle came out of the pan. So all was well, and the Sainsbury’s bread machine is back on the surface.

Now, here is the hole left in the Sainsbury’s loaf – can you spot the difference?

Which leaves one mystery, and one small matter to clear up.

Why did the Kenwood/DeLongi machine produce good loaves – there was nothing wrong with the bread per se. Maybe it was less fastidious regarding the quantities, or maybe the scales were in one of their less-erratic periods. Maybe, with the right measurement of flour, it would have produced an even better loaf to stick to the non-stick paddle.

As far as Sainsbury’s is concerned, we had received £25 in compensation for a faulty machine that turned out to be not faulty. This  morning we telephoned to ask them what we should do. I had already given the voucher to one of our granddaughters, but we would have been happy to send a cheque to Sainsbury’s.

However, their Customer Service were once again brilliant, said they were delighted to hear that their machine was giving satisfaction, and we were welcome to keep and enjoy the voucher. Result: Satisfied customers. Perhaps Kenwood/DeLonghi should take a leaf out of their book.


It happens fairly frequently that something I bake doesn’t turn out as it should, and I’ve always put it down to either our oven which can be erratic, or a general lack of baking skills. But now I’m suspecting that those digital scales may have been the culprit. From now on, it’s mechanical all the way.

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8 thoughts on “Holey moley! Bread machine update

  1. Lovely response from Sainsbury…worth its weight in golden flour for good publicity too!
    I’ve gone back to my old fashioned scales too. I had a digital set and only noticed that it was up the creek when making a cake that I’de made for years wihich turned out foul twice running.

  2. Sainsburys’s seem to do very well on the customer service front – perhaps another reason why they are doing so well with customer market share at the moment as opposed to some of their competitors who are not so understanding. I’ve given up baking bread as still not managed to work out French flour and yeast properties to my satisfaction! Anyway I def can’t do better than the lovely bread lady who comes everyday whatever the weather in her van filled with baguettes! pip pip!

  3. What a pleasant change to read of good customer service – in this case outstanding.

    After 20 odd years of having to use Tesco we had a brand new Sainsbugs open at Easter. I have barely been through Tesco’s doors since. The quality of veg, fruit, meat and fish is in another class compared to Tesco. In most cases they also beat Waitrose which was our only other choice – at a price!

    Not only price and quality but the staff smile a lot and the whole of the store underneath is a car park so you never get wet going from car park to store.

  4. To be very honest, when we lived in England I almost never shopped at Sainsbury’s. There wasn’t one near us. It was either Asda or Tesco, Waitrose for when we were feeling wildly extravagant. But when I was in London for quite a while earlier this year we did shop there and the quality of their food was very good. As, indeed, is their service. From Kenwood’s response, I wondered if they were going down the pan. They seemed so disinterested.

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