My New Bread Maker (Do Models Eat Bread?)

CBK250U Bread MakerI have finally taken the plunge and bought a bread maker. Or bread machine, people seem to call them both things – I prefer ‘maker’ because it sounds more friendly. And there he is, my friendly little bread maker, sat on the kitchen worktop next to the kettle. You might be wondering how I went about choosing my bread maker from the hundreds available out there, and I’ll tell you: I was extremely shallow and almost entirely based my choice on appearances.

Yes I know that appearances aren’t everything, but you must understand that Mr AMR is ridiculously picky about the appliances that are left on show in the kitchen. They all have to match and they all have to blend into the background. Which means that almost everything we own is stainless steel with a black trim – the kettle, the toaster, the knife-block, the oil-drizzler, and now the bread maker. The slow cooker and the George Foreman are also matching, but they live in the bottom cupboards because they don’t get used on a daily basis. George only gets let out about once a fortnight when we have a full English!

So back to the bread maker and its “looks” – I’m semi-joking when I said I chose on appearances alone. I actually did quite a lot of research on this. The best machines seemed to be the Panasonics, but they all looked like great big plastic ice buckets or something and I don’t do plastic in the kitchen. They did have a stainless version, but it was still that weird bulky shape, so I had to find a machine that worked just as well but that looked good. Step forward Monsieur Cuisinart and his square, sleek lines. He takes up less room than the chunky round machines and can fit flush against the wall.

The photo shows our first loaf of bread – preparation time, 48 seconds (Mr AMR and I did the measuring and pouring together) and then machine time, three hours. How magnificent! I didn’t think magic like this existed! We poured in the water, added salt and a tablespoon of oil, then covered the water with flour and put the yeast in on top. That was it! Closed the lid, and three hours later a lovely loaf popped out. The kitchen smelt like a bakery and we had fresh bread, yet there was no mess whatsoever. This bread maker is literally my new love.

You might have been mumbling away to yourself throughout all of this, thinking what the hell’s she doing eating bread? Doesn’t she know that bread is the work of the devil? What’s a model doing eating bread? Well yes I do know that we shouldn’t all be stuffing our faces with bread every single minute of the day, especially people who may/may not be called upon at short notice to bare all in some kind of torturously embarrassing lingerie ensemble, but that brings me neatly through to the reason for buying the machine in the first place: I wanted the bread that I eat to be fresh, healthy and pure. No preservatives, no additives, no sweeteners and enhancers, no weird processes with the ingredients that sap every nutrient out of the final product, no flavourings, no excess added sugar, no strange chemicals. Have you ever looked at the ingredients list on the back of a pre-packed loaf of white sliced? I rest my case.

Good bread is not bad for you when eaten in moderation. You’re better off eating a couple of slices of homemade bread with good, pure butter and some nice marmalade than eating one of those Special K bars or a bowl of crunchy nut cornflakes! A slice of bread topped with a poached egg? Even better. The problem comes when we pile bread with crap, or our diet is generally poor and also happens to be carb-laden. The biggest problem with our diets today is excessive sugar consumption and the people going on about how much fat there is in an avocado are totally barking up the wrong tree. I must write more about my feelings on all of this, but for now, I’ll say one thing: eat fresh food, eat unprocessed food, and you’ll be going a long, long way towards having a healthy diet.

When I speak to other models about their diets and eating habits, most are quite adamant about eating well-sourced, unprocessed foods. I don’t want to get into a long-winded discussion about thin people and not-thin people, but when I think about the people I know who have lean, fit bodies, they are definitely not the same people who regularly eat ready meals and snack on party packs of M&Ms in front of the telly. Of course models (and athletes, and dancers, insert your own examples!) eat junk – just very, very occasionally. Fresh bread with no additives isn’t junk – it’s food. The sooner we start to focus on eating good quality unprocessed foods rather than silly fad diets, the better!

I bought my Cuisinart from Lakeland Plastics (are they still called that!) but they have them slightly cheaper on Amazon:

Cuisinart CBK250U Brushed Breadmaker, Stainless Steel

You can get much cheaper machines if you don’t want or need stainless steel – I have no idea how good they are, but I have seen Panasonic ones for around £80 that get very good reviews. The bread, by the way, tasted amazing. Very light and fluffy with a good crisp crust!

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  1. Clair
    April 14, 2012 / 7:58 am

    I love my bread maker too, although can’t stop hacking off slices of warm bread to eat….doesn’t last long in my house, I can tell you! I can’t agree with you more about healthy eating, I would love you to do a piece on it – we have lost the importance of good, wholesome food in the quest to have tiny hips by fad diets. The irony being that as a society, we have all got bigger and unhealthier.

    • Ruth
      April 14, 2012 / 11:06 am

      @Clair I think it is something I’ll talk more and more about! x

      • April 15, 2012 / 6:09 am

        So pleased you’ll do more on this! Absolutely agree with you on all. Really love the avocado example as well as the butter and marmalade on bread or bread with egg on top! But it’s easy to get me rilled up about processed food…

  2. Ella
    April 14, 2012 / 8:57 am

    Ruth, some of my friends have bread makers and they couldn’t eat their bread (if they had done it in the morning) it would be hard like stone in the evening.
    I don’t know if that have happened to your one, but just so you know.

    • Ruth
      April 14, 2012 / 11:06 am

      @Ella no, have just eaten a loaf made a week ago and still OK! Maybe they didn’t store it right? This seems fine! x

  3. Romina Elorrieta
    April 14, 2012 / 9:27 am

    Really loving this post. I found it quite interesting, and I also think that you should write more about how you feel about this topic. I absolutely agree with you, and even though I am one of those who take a bag of chips to snack in front of the TV, afterwards, I feel quite bad about it, but as long as I don’t do it anymore, I know I’ll be okay. That, and my fencing training which helps A LOT. Ruth, do you practice any sports?


    • Ruth
      April 14, 2012 / 11:05 am

      @Romina no, I’m not terribly sporty at all, but I do a LOT of walking (very fast) around London, up and down escalators, up and down the hill to the tube from my house… I think I just have a general level of good activity that seems to keep me trim! x

  4. Siobhan
    April 14, 2012 / 11:41 am

    Ruth, I totally agree about eating healthy, unprocessed food. I find the more gym work I do and the more healthier I eat, the more I crave unprocessed food and the less I crave junk. I love making my own bread too but personally, I like making it by hand (even if it does take forever!) because I find it quite therapeutic. You get a creative freedom in terms of flavours that you don’t get by buying it from the supermarket – green olive, sundried tomato and fresh rosemary is the current fave!

  5. April 14, 2012 / 11:48 am

    Love the post and your new bread maker! Now I want one too although I’m not eating that much of it. That’s why I usually waist more than I eat. But having a freshly home made one just when you need it, that would be quite nice.
    I can’t agree with you more on the healthy eating habits. I used to work as a model too and both me and my friends used to eat home made healthy food and I think that’s the biggest secret of feeling good and looking good.
    Eva x

  6. Jan
    April 14, 2012 / 12:03 pm

    I love my plastic bucket in the corner ;) or should I say loved, that is so beautiful. I am in a deep depression, I have breadmaker envy, (as well as the usual Ruth-continues-to-look-younger-whilst-I-just-get-older depression). Slinks off into the corner. xx

    • Ruth
      April 14, 2012 / 12:39 pm

      @Jan hahaha!!!!!!!! Oh no!!! Go and show that plastic bucket some love – it’s the performance that counts! ; )

  7. April 14, 2012 / 12:11 pm

    A big *High Five* to you Mrs. Crilly. The body needs healthy fats, and calories. How do people tend to go on with their day with no fuel to energize their body? Good on you Ruth, good idea to write more about this. I love avocados. And healthy bread is food!

    Stine x

  8. April 14, 2012 / 12:13 pm

    mmm that looks delish. my mum used to make bread, i might have to nudge her in the right direction again.. or better, make it myself! this has reminded me that , for a dancer, i really do eat alot of Crap. i’d Love it if you made a post on what you eat, that keeps you FULL and energized for longer. all that seems to work for me is chocolate! ha

  9. Love in a mist
    April 14, 2012 / 1:24 pm

    OMG! Ive just had a special k bar with a cuppa

    • Ruth
      April 14, 2012 / 1:47 pm

      @Love hahahaha!!!!! Doomed, doomed I tell you! x

  10. Chantal
    April 14, 2012 / 2:11 pm

    the bread maker is fantastic;just look also at the fruits and vegetables juice extractor.
    Fantastic for the skin.
    Amazing for the vitamines.
    A morning boost: 1 courgette,1 big apple,both with skins,bio preferably…. ,1/2 lemon(with out the pulp)
    it’s very green,taste good,
    SO good for everything……!!!

    Chantal XXX

    • Ruth
      April 14, 2012 / 8:02 pm

      @Chantal yes, I think that may be the next acquisition! Love a good juice! x

  11. April 14, 2012 / 2:24 pm

    For the longest time I never realized why, when I brought my kids home from school, my middle child would head for the kitchen full speed ahead and sometimes had a defeated look on his face. Months later, one of the other two happened to mention, in passing, the reason: N. would check the bread machine to see if I’d made bread (saffron bread especially) and would be so disappointed when I hadn’t, though never mentioning it. For years, my kids’ classmates would ask if I’d made or would make pepperoni rolls (not machine) for them, even as young adults. Bread: some of the best memories. And our house was always the house everyone would hang around. More than once I was told, Mrs. R, your house smells just like a house should smell…huh??? It was the bread! Give the saffron bread a try and pepperoni rolls…but all the breads are fine! Now if I could only master the art of making scones…I’d have a proper English tea just about every day!

    • Ruth
      April 14, 2012 / 8:02 pm

      @Upa master that art! I have never been a massive scone fan, but getting more so as I get older. Bit of clotted cream and jam? How can one resist? xx

  12. April 14, 2012 / 3:02 pm

    I love bread, I cook without a bread maker though. My favorite is French bread and Georgian Khachapuri (cheese bread). Ruth, your posts are so interesting always. <3

    • Ruth
      April 14, 2012 / 8:01 pm

      @Mira oh, by hand is even better! I just bore easily, hence the machine. I envy those who can stick with the kneading and proving, it’s quite an achievement! x

  13. April 14, 2012 / 3:08 pm

    I love my break maker, although its black plastic. I have been telling everyone to make their own bread instead of buying it in the shop for a few years now. Sometimes i bring a loaf when i visit people, very random present but everyone has always appreciated it! You can make your own jam in the bread maker too! :-)

    • Ruth
      April 14, 2012 / 7:59 pm

      @Jenny YES! I am excited to make jam. Or “compote” as Cuisinart call it. Just need some fruit that doesn’t cost the earth. Roll on summer! x

  14. Sheila
    April 14, 2012 / 3:43 pm

    I too love homemade bread but I’m in Ireland and so I make soda bread with buttermilk – probably not as healthy! I tried making yeast bread by hand a few times but whereas my soda bread is perfect every time, I can’t say the same for my yeast bread unfortunately. I agree with you 100% on eating fresh unprocessed foods Ruth, but I don’t think that it will necessarily result in a trim body as we never have processed food and yet I’m a size 16! However I have a completely sedentary job and when not at my desk I’m catching up on housework, so while I eat healthily, I know that lack of exercise is my downfall no matter what I eat. That said, my skin and hair are very healthy and i’d put that down to my diet. Have fun with your new gadget!

    • Ruth
      April 14, 2012 / 7:59 pm

      @Sheila I adore soda bread! All kinds of bread, really. Also potato farls. Are they bread? Hopefully buttermilk pancakes count too… hahaha….. x

  15. Louise Boothe
    April 14, 2012 / 5:13 pm

    Would really love more posts on healthy eating!

  16. April 14, 2012 / 6:21 pm

    I {heart} my breadmaker…but I am also experiencing a little breadmaker envy…even though mine is also stainless steel with black trim (it’s a dinky little Russell Hobbs one) I also have to have everything matching! I only use it at the weekends…but it’s lovely to come home from work Saturday lunchtime to a flat that smells of freshly baked bread! :0)
    I love experimenting with different flavours…my current favourite is garlic & rosemary – yum! But I also like making fruit breads – they’re delicious toasted!
    Helen x

    • Ruth
      April 14, 2012 / 7:56 pm

      @Helen YUM. Oh God, we are still on breadmaker honeymoon. Loaf a day. Experimentation, we can’t stop ourselves! x

      • April 15, 2012 / 6:18 am

        It freezes well, Ruth! One year a member of our now defunct book club made a bread for each of us as we were getting away from the Christmas cookie exchange. She made a bread that tailored each personality or nationality…great fun!!! I was surprised to know she just froze the loaves as she went along!

  17. poorani
    April 14, 2012 / 6:28 pm

    At home we are not big on bread. But we eat chappatis that have the same ingredients as bread minus the yeast. And it uses whole wheat flour. Made like tortillas. Dieters’ food. Staple in North India.

    • Ruth
      April 14, 2012 / 7:55 pm

      @Poorani yep, LOVE chappatis. I have homemade curry about twice a week! All fresh, made from scratch. LOVE. xx

  18. Dee
    April 14, 2012 / 7:41 pm

    I agree with your point of healthy food, but what is a full English? Is it like a full Monty? lol

    • Ruth
      April 14, 2012 / 7:54 pm

      @Dee hahahaha! Yes, EXACTLY like a full monty. But with bacon, eggs, sausages, beans, toast… x

  19. Helen
    April 14, 2012 / 9:14 pm

    Ah, love this post!! I think this bread maker is also a godsend for those who can’t eat gluten-filled bread! All they need to do is to buy the ingredients and gluten-free flour and then VIOLA! Bread is edible again!

    Speaking of processed food, I’m completely guilty of this! I had a ready meal today (SHOCK! HORROR!) and it was delicious, however, I don’t do it often and I only bought it today because I’m feeling lazy. But, I do pride myself in being able to make lasagne and shepherd’s pie from scratch! I don’t use premade sauce or anything like that; the only “processed” bit is the Wocester sauce, wine and some stock cube, and everything else is natural. A friend of mine cooked the best lasgane ever and I was so surprised how unprocessed her recipe is! It puts those supermarket ones into SHAME! I also make my own sandwich filling too, why pay for it when all I need are the raw ingredients and a dallop of mayonnaise?! Anyway, I’ll stop talking now! Thanks for this lovely post, I love bread but ALACK, must eat in moderation as it’s not great for IBS sufferers :( xx

    • Ruth
      April 14, 2012 / 9:21 pm

      @Helen ah, I nearly had a ready meal from Waitrose, was feeling the same! Made myself quite a nice stir-fry in the end. Not that satisfying though! A little bit of something never hurt anyone.. x

  20. Kristina
    April 15, 2012 / 7:15 am

    We’re the same in my house – the kitchen appliances must match! (Also stainless steel/black). If you happen to find a very good juicer like that, let me know, as that needs to be my next purchase.

    I totally agree about eating unprocessed foods too. I recently gave up sugar and yeast, and not only has the weight dropped off (I was not overweight to start, but am a better weight now), I don’t get as moody.

  21. Ida
    April 15, 2012 / 7:25 am

    I have always wondered about bread makers. I don’t think they’re very popular in Denmark because a lot of people bake their own bread. In the oven, that is. :D

    • Kristina
      April 15, 2012 / 7:34 pm

      I used to bake my own bread (by hand / oven) when I lived in Denmark too :-)

  22. Rachel
    April 15, 2012 / 8:07 pm

    Totally agree with your attitude to food Ruth – its a healthy one to have! As you say carbs aren’t something to be feared, it’s what gets added to them that makes them unhealthy.

    Perhaps you could do a ‘what’s in your fridge’ video?!

  23. Love in a mist
    April 16, 2012 / 4:06 pm

    Just thought you guys would like know, there is an interesting article in this months RED magazine (may 2012) about attitudes to food, calorie counting etc, it’s certainly ‘food for thought’ xx

    • Ruth
      April 17, 2012 / 8:56 am

      I shall take a look! x

  24. Aimee
    April 16, 2012 / 8:55 pm

    I was thinking “wow that’s a cute breadmaker” straight away. One of the main reasons I don’t use a breadmaker is that they’re generally ugly and take up a lot of space!
    Once a week I make a really nice loaf of bread (at most 50% white flour) that takes about 10 minutes of actual work and is a real treat, preferable to any sweet baked things. I’d rather go without than eat horrible sliced bagged “bread”, most of the “fresh” stuff in supermarkets isn’t even close to bread. I tried a branded bagged crusty loaf once and all they’d done was poke holes in the bag so the outside of it was stale. Stale does not equal crusty! Bread-rage…

    • Ruth
      April 17, 2012 / 8:50 am

      @Aimee apparently they buy the bread half-cooked in the in-store bakery and then just finish baking it! Bread Rage 2

  25. Kevin
    April 18, 2012 / 11:36 am

    Great post, Ruth.
    @Siobhan I agree with you on both points. I love making bread by hand (but I also appreciate the speed and (especially!) the cleanliness of breadmakers). Re cravings: my cravings completely changed around after reducing junk from my diet. It may sound bizarre to some but I genuinely have cravings for fruit/raw veg/etc and not chips, sugary stuff, or whatever. In fact, a lot of junk food turns me off now. Getting to that point though took time and perseverance – almost like my body had to reprogram itself.

    • Ruth
      April 19, 2012 / 2:12 pm

      Me too Kevin – when I can’t eat fresh veg for a while I start feeling really ill! It’s just a vicious cycle with the sugar and the junk. x

  26. izzy
    April 18, 2012 / 1:01 pm

    I love your attitude to food, Ruth, its so healthy and down-to-earth. Make sure you’re using stone-ground flour, it makes all the difference! Stone-ground is so important because unlike processed flour, it still contains the wheatgerm oil which as you probably know is vital for healthy skin, hair and nails, and of course makes for a delicious loaf of bread! And make sure to experiment with spelt flour, and lots of nuts and seeds! Pumpkin and sunflower seeds and walnuts are my favourite! x

    • Ruth
      April 19, 2012 / 2:11 pm

      Thanks Izzy, yes I will look this out! xx

  27. Jools
    April 18, 2012 / 2:20 pm

    We have an antiquated old Kenwood Chef with a dough hook, which probably dates back to the 1970s. It’s a LOUD tangerine colour so we keep it hidden in a cupboard when it’s not being used. Despite it being a museum piece we use it at least once a week to make all sorts of loaves – multigrain is my favourite and we also make our own pizzas – so much tastier and healthier than the shop-bought versions. Foccacia with rosemary, garlic and olive oil is another favourite. We have a huge granite slab which we use to bake the loaves on – it gives them a lovely crusty base. I joke that it’ll probably become my gravestone one day!!! You can’t beat homemade – I can’t look a white sliced loaf in the eye any more.

  28. bhy
    May 25, 2012 / 2:20 pm

    I totally agree with you! I have the panisonic plastic one.aha! And I mix some nuts and raisin too.I love your article!
    Wish you could share some daily workout routin with you fans :)

    • bhy
      May 25, 2012 / 2:21 pm

      your fans,sorry

  29. October 15, 2012 / 9:50 am

    Thank you for this – I was just waffling over which breadmaker to buy. This one was top of the list but I wanted to be sure it was worth the extra money. My last breadmaker was a plastic Panasonic and this time I wanted something a little more stylish, but it’s lovely to know it performs well too.

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