I too just bought an Hitachi (model HB-B101) at the local warehouse
store for $179. The reason they are showing up for this price may be
that Hitachi has brought out a new model (HB-B201?). I saw it in a
cooking store for $289. I think the only difference is that the new
model has two extra settings: steamed rice and jam. The jam idea was
intriguing but not worth the extra $110 to me.
I have tried my new toy only once because our kitchen is in the
demolition phase of a remodel project and even finding the flour was a
major accomplishment. The bread was wonderful.
The positive comments I read on this list about the Hitachi helped me
decide on it. The only negative about the Hitachi (so far) is that
the selection of baking cycles does not include one with an extra long
rise (called French on some of the other machines I think). I decided
I could get along without this by using the dough cycle and
controlling the length of the second rise myself when I wanted to make
this kind of bread. Not perfect but an ok compromise.
A minor annoyance is the rather uneven manual. Some of the stuff was
not edited by an accomplished user of the English language. It can
also be hard to find specific information that you want. However
there is a great table listing problems with bread and probable
causes/solutions. (Sorry - no mention of gooey centers).
The manuals do not include many recipes but instead encourage you to
experiment. They suggest weighing ingredients for more accuracy and
give suggested dry to wet ingredient ratios for best results when
adapting other recipes. This seems like a very reasonable approach
since the marginal time and money cost of a failed experimental loaf
of bread is minimal. (BTW does anyone have a good guess as to the cost
for the electricity to make a loaf?)
Before I ran across the Hitachi on sale I had been gathering info from
the net and other sources on which machine to buy. The following is
for others who are still trying to decide.
These are the reasons I didn't choose the other machines:
Problems with Welbilt/DAK making consistent bread (described on this
The window on the Welbilt/DAK effecting the browning of the crust
mentioned here and in Consumer Reports).
Pan which must be in machine when filled
(Note that I am not sure that all of these comments apply to all machines
made by Welbilt/DAK)
Price ($350+ at kitchen stores)
Panasonic/National 1 and 1.5 lb sizes
No cool down cycle. I thought this was important because I didn't want to
have to be there exactly when it finishes (see Consumer Reports
Never saw it offered for sale (I saw it referred to on the net only).
Is it the same thing as the Maxima Accu-bakery?
Here is a description of the Hitachi. Maybe others would be willing
to post a similar description of their machines? There seems to be a
lot of interest out there about the differences between the machines. It
might also be interesting to do a survey of the mailing list about how
the bread actually comes out.
Has very small glass window in lid. This shouldn't cause browning problems
like in the Welbilt/DAK but it also pretty much requires a
flashlight to see in.
Has lid which can be removed
Pan can be filled outside of the machine.
Does not have yeast compartment.
Pan must be washed by hand. (I assume that this is because it includes some
moving parts on the underside which have lubricant)
Rest of machine looks pretty cleanable with a damp cloth.
3 different sizes of loaves (7.1 oz, 14 oz, 1.3 lb (1,2, and 3 cup)).
I have no idea how it does this. You do not tell the machine what
size loaf you are making.
Baking options -
Table entries are in minutes. The manual says the times vary depending
on the temperature.
| | Knead
| | | First rise
| | | | Punch down
| | | | | Second rise
| | | | | | Bake
| | | | | | | Finish
| | | | | | | |
bread 7 5 16-24 60-70 0.3 70 53-60 20-31
rapid bread 7 5 16-24 15 0.3 45 55 20-28
Dough 7 5 16-24 64-72 --------------------
mix bread same as bread
The mix bread is only different in that the machine beeps 3 times
approx. 25 minites after starting to tell you that it is time to
add things like raisins and nuts.
3 browning choices (light, med, dark). I don't know if these vary the
baking time or the temp or something else.
Timer for delayed bake up to 13 hours.
has lock button which keeps you from reprogramming it when it is in the
middle of making bread (you can "unlock" it at any time)
Gives error codes for power interrupts of more than 10 min (How does
it know?) or if you try to start the machine when the baking
chamber is too cold or too hot.
Mary Lindstrom email@example.com