Cuisinart CBK-200 21b Convection bread maker has been in the market for over 8 years. It is one of Conair’s best bread maker machines, featuring over 16 preset menu options including low-carb cycle, gluten-free cycle, jam cycle, artisan dough among others. The unit has various loaf sizes suitable for customers choice. The horizontal loaf paddle accomodates mini-loafs, standard and the large 2-pound loaf for the whole family. With three additional crust colors, makers of bread enjoy numerous bread mixes alongside dough combinations, sweet cake and jam options.
Coming in an automatic 680-watt appliance, the machine features a highly controlled speed and timing front. The perfect-timing tone alerts the user on when to add mix-ins e.g. fruits, nuts and cereals while the beep-to-remove property allows one to remove the paddle before baking or in the last rising. A 15-minute pause button and 12-hour delay timer conveniently give the baker the liberty of operation while the power backup system ensures that baking continues even when there is power failure.
This bread maker machine features a unique built-in convection fan, the device that gives its name. The convection fan is efficiently built and designed to operate quietly, circulating cool air during the baking process. The superiority of the crust colors and texture achieved in Cuisinart is as a result of this amazing fan idea. It is a quality that sets the machine apart from the others by giving users the ultimate baking experience: the smell of bread everywhere.
Linked with the special Artisan Dough menu option, the dough undergoes several rises that are long and cool as controlled by the convection fan. The results are amazing; rustic crusts with unique appetizing textures. Crust color quality is doubly improved and is more naturally reflective of the combitions in the bread. One can use the three color presets on the menu (medium, light, dark) for more striking colors to the liking.
Pros and Cons
It is advisable to carry out a simple preliminary baking test for new machines. This helps to check on kneading capability and steadiness. With Cuisinart CBK-200, the knead is relatively sturdy and of better quality but the paddle can be very noisy. It is easier when you mix the dough by hand then place it on the paddle for baking otherwise you will always have cleaning to be done.
In case you are not an expert baker and want to bake anyway, there is an informative cookbook attached with it. With this you can gain useful information on baking and dough-mix recipes.
One major aspect of the machine is that it does not allow mid-cycle operations. This means that once you have programmed it to a cycle, you remain committed until it is complete. Now if you are used to other bread maker machines that could allow such synchronizations, yours is a toll order. While this may be regarded as a major flaw, it only serves to encourage expertise in bread-making. It is simple, just make sure your choice of cycle is the right one for you and commit to it.
The crust may darken further if not checked and removed from the paddle as soon as the last beep indicating the last rise sounds. This is not one of the machines that is left to do the baking while one sleeps away, it needs close attention for excellent results. If the crusts still retain their darkness, check the preset menu and use ‘light’ or ‘medium’ options. (With the 12-hour delay timer, you can leave the machine to bake overnight) The machine if used continuously may not last long as expected. Some buttons may stop working and and it may not complete kneading process. Part of its design is to blame for this; Conair has not improved the features for a long time. But the bread quality cannot be compared with other machines or the bread from stores.
It is difficult to find one perfect bread maker machine that perfectly works the magic for you. The closest there is to one is that which does all the ‘dirty’ work (kneading), jam combinations (cranberry sauce can be a nuisance), personal preferences (low-carb and gluten-free standards) all in a controlled process that is aromatic right from the start to the end. Many bread maker machines are able to offer such service and therefore the decision to pick one over the other is completely individually-compelled. However, Cuisinart CBK-200 Convection bread maker is at least worth a try. Remember its amazing main feature convection fan that gives absolutely delicious bread with a chewy texture and deep crust colors. It seems that is exactly what it was made for.