The Panasonic SD-YD250 Automatic Bread Maker holds a unique place in the market. This unit has been on the market for nearly 10 years and is still a hot selling item. This bread maker is not designed to impress you with the latest gadgetry and cute ideas. Instead it is designed to make delicious bread easily and consistently.
The SD-YD250 has managed to stay on the market as a strong contender for this many years due to outstanding features, quality, and reliability. Let us dig a little deeper into the features which make a high percentage of buyers give rave reviews.
- Baking Options to Match Your Family
- Speed and Convenience
- Multiple Uses from One Kitchen Machine
- Easy Use and Clean-Up
- Dimension, Weight, and Physical Characteristics
- Additional Features of the Panasonic Bread Maker
- Included Accessories
- Optional Items
- The Pros and Cons of the SD-YD250
- Consumer Ratings
- Conclusion and Recommendation
Baking Options to Match Your Family
What size loaf of bread do you need for your family? That is a question many bread maker manufacturers choose to ignore. Panasonic designed this automatic bread maker to provide 3 different loaf sizes.
If you live alone or it is just the two of you, then the medium loaf is perfect. The large loaf is just the right size for most families to enjoy. The option to make an extra large 2 ½ pound loaf makes the bread maker ideal for large families or those times when you will be entertaining guests.
Along with being able to choose the size of your loaf you can choose the brownness level, too. Some of us like a deep brown crust which provides extra crunch and texture to the edge of our bread. Many people like a medium golden brown crust with just a little crunch. Other people like the softer brown crust which mimics the crusts on store bought loafs of bread, but with a much better taste. You get the option to bake your bread to meet your own personal taste.
Speed and Convenience
The main reasons you want a bread maker is to make fresh delicious homemade bread quickly and easily. Panasonic’s SD-YD250 has stood the test of time on the market because it provides those features incredibly well.
You can choose to bake your bread in the standard time schedule as follows:
- Basic Dough Breads – 2 hours 20 minutes.
- Whole Grain Breads (Including whole wheat and multi-grain breads.) – 3 hours 15 minutes.
- French Dough Breads – 3 hours 35 minutes.
Panasonic added in a clever feature which allows you to reduce your baking times called Rapid Bake. This feature can help you knock 20 to 30 minutes off of the time to bake your bread. This can be a real life-saver when you are trying to bake multiple loaves preparing for a family gathering or holiday.
On the convenience side, the SD-YD250 is designed to make baking your bread extremely simple. You just add your ingredients, excluding the yeast, into the baking bowl and let the machine take over. It mixes, kneads, and bakes the bread with no intervention. The yeast goes into the yeast dispenser located on the top of the bread maker. This allows the yeast to be added at the perfect time in the preparation process.
The yeast dispenser doubles as a raisin, nut, or dried fruit dispenser, too. You can have your raisins added to the mixing process at the perfect time to get them kneaded through the bread without over mixing and damaging the raisins. This makes baking your favorite specialty breads simple and easy.
Multiple Uses from One Kitchen Machine
Panasonic designed this bread machine to solve multiple kitchen problems. It can be used to bake bread, quick breads, cake, or to mix up pizza dough or pasta. You will find yourself pulling out the bread maker on a regular basis for all kinds of uses. You can make a loaf of banana bread without heating up the entire house using your large oven. You can make perfect pizza dough without all the work of stirring and kneading.
You may not want to use your bread machine to make cake on a regular basis due to the loaf shape but it does work great for making a fast dessert for your family. You can even set the bread maker to start baking your cake while you are at work and come home to a home which smells sensational.
Easy Use and Clean-Up
You bought a bread maker to simplify the process of baking bread, not to have a clean-up nightmare. The Panasonic SD-YD250 makes sure you do not waste time in the kitchen before, during, and after the bread is baked.
When you first unpack your Panasonic bread maker you will notice it has very few parts. It consists primarily of the cooking unit, bread pan, kneading blade, and a few useful accessories. It takes only seconds to setup the bread maker and be ready to start making your first loaf of bread.
Once you are setup you add ingredients directly to the baking pan while it is mounted in the bread oven. Since the top opens fully and provides easy access there is almost zero chance of spilling ingredients or missing the pan. Once you add your ingredients you just turn on the bread maker and walk away.
Clean-up after the bread is baked is just as easy. The non-stick surface makes sure the bread slides out easily. The pan design is smooth and easy to clean. With just a little soapy water and a sponge you will have the pan and kneading blade clean in minutes. The oven can be cleaned quickly with a damp cloth.
Once the pan is clean and dry you put it back in the oven and put the entire unit away. Your kitchen will be back to normal minutes after your bread is finished and the oven has cooled.
Dimension, Weight, and Physical Characteristics
A few important factor to consider in choosing a bread machine is size, how easy it is to move, and if it looks good in your kitchen. Following are the physical traits of the Panasonic SD-YD250.
- Height – 14”
- Width – 13.5”
- Depth – 9”
- Shipping Weight – 19 pounds.
- Unit Weight (including bread pan) – 15 pounds.
The bread machine is only available in white. Luckily white is a universal color which works in almost any kitchen décor.
The size and weight of the bread maker will make it one of your largest kitchen tools. If you have plenty of counter space you may wish to leave it on your countertop for easy access and fast baking. If you are planning to store your bread maker in a cupboard it would be advisable to measure your space before ordering this Panasonic unit to insure it fits.
Additional Features of the Panasonic Bread Maker
One of the best additional features you will find with the SD-YD250 is hidden in the box. Panasonic includes over 40 different bread recipes for you to try out. You will probably find yourself sticking with traditional white and whole wheat breads most of the time, but having an entire series of recipes which have been tested in the bread maker is a very nice bonus. You should try the carrot spice bread or the delicious pepperoni cheese bread. The recipes include breads which are perfect for normal family eating and for baking when you have special guests coming to your home.
Another feature you will easily overlook concerns design. Panasonic has built a tightly sealed bread oven which does not leak excessive heat leading to unevenly baked loafs of bread. The design keeps the heat reflecting throughout the cooking area providing for a nice evenly browned crust.
Panasonic includes a 1 year warranty for the product.
Panasonic has tossed a few small extras into the box which come in very handy. You will find these items packed in the box along with the oven and bread pan.
- Measuring Cup
- Measuring Spoon
- Recipe/Instruction Manual
You probably already have plenty of measuring cups and spoons in your kitchen but you can choose to keep these extra ones right with your bread oven. After you finish cleaning the oven, cup and spoon just drop them inside before you close the lid. Whenever you get the oven out to bake you will have everything you need right there and ready.
As I mentioned before, the recipe/instruction manual is one of the great bonuses in the box. The manual covers all the basics of how to use the oven and how to make a variety of different breads, pastas, and other dough. Make sure you take a few minutes to read the manual before you do too much baking.
This is an area which can be extensive for some products, but not with this bread maker. Panasonic currently offers no optional items except for replacement parts. You may want to add the following items if you plan to do extensive baking:
- Additional Baking Pan
- Second Kneading Blade
Adding those two items will allow you to get a second loaf of bread baking while the first one is still cooling.
The Pros and Cons of the SD-YD250
Every product has its strong and weak points and the Panasonic unit is not an exception. Let’s take a quick look at the pluses and minuses of the bread maker.
- Easy Cleanup
- Simple Operation
- Multiple Loaves
- Variable Darkness Settings
- Time-Tested Design
- Superior User Manual with Recipes
- Simple Controls which Allow Complete Control
- No Viewing Window
- Minor Leaking Around Kneading Blade
We need to discuss those two negative points briefly. Viewing panels on bread makers are both a blessing and curse. Being able to see your loaf rising and baking is fun. It gives you confidence your bread is baking properly. On the other hand, viewing windows allow more heat escape causing the heating element to be on longer and can result in uneven baking patterns. Panasonic elected to leave off the viewing window to aid in baking the finest loaves of bread possible.
As your bread maker gets a little older you will notice it starts to lead slightly around the kneading blade. This is a common issue with most brands of bread makers. Panasonic’s design allows you to order a replacement kneader mounting shaft unit to correct this issue if it becomes excessive. This ability is a real bonus since it allows you to keep your bread maker in operation years longer.
This is one section which we could almost eliminate with this bread machine. Any product which has stayed on the market for nearly ten years has received a strong vote of confidence from users. This fact is proven by amazing consumer rankings by buyers of this bread maker.
You can find thousands of reviews online for this unit with consistently high ratings. This bread maker may not have all the latest style points or gadgetry of newer models but the consumer ratings do not lie. It has received votes of confidence for all the years it has been offered for sale.
Conclusion and Recommendation
Do you have a few treasured items in your kitchen you would never give up? You probably have a favorite pot, pan, or a few utensils you use consistently. The Panasonic SD-YD250 will become one of those items in your kitchen. The solid construction, ease of use, and high quality bread it produces will have you baking on a regular basis.
The design has stood the test of time for a good reason. The design works.
This bread machine is ideal for families of all sizes. You can make small loaves of bread if you live alone or the huge extra large loaves for your entire family. The bread maker is not rated for commercial use. With a reasonable price, ease of use, and fantastic capabilities, this bread maker should be on your short list of bread machines to consider. Do not forget, when you pick up your Panasonic bread maker you must try the pepperoni and cheese bread recipe, it is that good.