In response to Vida Jakabhazy's query, we have had very good luck with the
TRILLIUM bread machine which was top-rated by Consumers Reports in its March,
1993 review. It meets all of her criteria with the possible exceptio of
'noise'. We can hear it in the next room. Its list price is still $200, but
we had to call numerous stores to find one that handled the brand. The
department store chain, J.B. White, carries the unit.
The machine does have a one-hour cool-down cycle which kicks in automatically
if you don't remove the bread at the signal, but the manufacturer advises
that it is best to remove the bread and cool it on a rack. We have used the
machine extensively and have had very few failures. We weigh the flour rather
than measuring it, using the King Arthur Flour Co.'s standard of 4 ozs. per
cup. Per recommendation of The Ultimate Bread Machine Cookbook (Tom
Lacalamita, Simon & Schuster, 1993), we often substitute 1 tsp. of fresh
lemon juice for an equal quantity of water as it allegedly enhances the
gluten without changing the flavor.
While the manufacturer provides a sampling of recipes with his machine, we
have found the above-cited cookboook as well as Donna Rathnell German's
paperback, "The Bread Machine Cookbook" (Bristol Publishing, Box 1737, San
Leandro, CA 94577) to be two good sources of reliable recipes.
Hope this will be of help.