Chocolate and orange bread

If there was one product I really wanted to try out of the Panasonic kitchen range it was the Panasonic breadmaker and on the understanding I wrote a guest post for The Ideas Kitchen they sent me one to have fun with and boy do I love it.

The first recipe I tried was my guest post and I chose Chocolate and orange bread. It worked fabulously and was a hit with all the family – dad included! This recipe is ideal for a tastier toast in the morning or an afternoon snack with butter on top.

Chocolate and Orange Bread

chocolate and orange breadIngredients
400g strong white bread flour
2 tbsp cocoa
1 tsp ground mixed spice
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp light muscovado sugar
50g mixed peel
50g chocolate/chocolate chips
125 ml warm water
50 ml orange juice
30g butter
1 1/2 tsp easy bake yeast


1. Sift together the flour, cocoa and spice in a bowl.

2. Add all the dry ingredients to the bread pan, add the mixed peel and the chocolate pieces. Pour over the water and the orange juice. If your breadmaker recommends wet ingredients first, simply reverse the order.

3. Add the yeast to the top compartment and set the breadmaker to medium (small) loaf and medium crust. Using the Panasonic SD-ZB2502 the setting was for 4 hours.

4. Once the cycle is completed remove from the pan.

5. Serve sliced and buttered too if you’re feeling really naughty.


Having had such success I decided to start using the recipes out of the book and started with a white loaf. That too came out perfectly and was gone in about two days, my only concern was dad’s huge doorstep slices for his sandwiches! The first photo has an Instagram filter on it ;)

making bread

Next I tried the rapid white loaf and although it did produce a good loaf of bread, we noted it was a denser loaf and not as good as the white loaf that takes 4 hours. On speaking to the Panasonic kitchen this is normal and is because the gluten hasn’t had more time to work. However, it was still very edible and if you need a loaf in a hurry this is made in just over 1 hour.

Then I decided to try a brown loaf as personally I prefer brown or wholemeal as opposed to white.

Oh dear! What a disaster

brown bread

let’s look inside – how disappointing

brown bread

not very good at all – is it the machine? Or am I doing something wrong?

I decided to chat with the Panasonic kitchen testers again and when they heard that I had had a few successful loaves from the Panasonic breadmaker they ruled out any problem with the machine but suggested I make a white loaf just to put my mind at rest.

They asked me if I’d used dry yeast – I had.

They asked me if I had weighed out all the ingredients properly and used the right amount of water – I had

They then asked which type of flour I had used, apparently Britain suffered a terrible flour crop last year due to the miserable summer conditions and this has had an enormous effect on the flour available on the supermarket shelves, sadly my Sainsbury’s brown flour just didn’t have a good enough gluten content to produce a nice fluffy light loaf. Waitrose brown and organic is currently the best flour out there. AT THE MOMENT.

Tip for poor flour

A good tip they offered so as not to have to throw the half bag of flour away was the addition of 2 teaspoons of lemon juice to the ingredients and using rapid selection. I shall let you know how I get on with that.

So peeps it’s back to the drawing board and off to Waitrose to buy some of their flour to see if I can produce a good brown loaf.

Moral of the story – don’t give up on your machine, use it more often so it becomes an addition to your kitchen rather than a burden clogging up your cupboards. When in doubt check out The Ideas Kitchen for plenty of good advice and support.

I can’t wait to try the recipes for focaccia and ciabatta – watch this space


  1. May 8, 2013 / 7:29 AM

    I have a panasonic breadmaker too and I use it almost daily. we LOVE it, and I don’t think I’ll ever buy a standard loaf again as when I eat shop bought bread I feel bloated and sleepy – not so with home made bread.

    Did you get recipes in your manual? If so, look for the apricot and almond loaf, it’s absolutely wonderful!

    • Mari
      May 8, 2013 / 5:40 PM

      Ooh nice tip! I did get the manual and can’t wait to try out the foccacia recipes. The girls will love the almond loaf though ;)

  2. Downs Side Up
    May 8, 2013 / 11:28 AM

    Choc orange bread, wow! Hubby is the master bread baker in this house and he won’t hear of a bread machine. (He thinks he’s that Hollywood chap on the telly!) Enjoy x

    • Mari
      May 8, 2013 / 5:41 PM

      Ha ha good for him, I don’t have the time to invest in making the real stuff but I’m very impressed with this machine, when you use the correct flour you get a fabulous loaf

  3. May 8, 2013 / 7:24 PM

    Did it not rise at all?! Is that how tall it got? Wow! We’ve got a breadmaker and I do like the freshness.

    • Mari
      May 8, 2013 / 8:52 PM

      Nope no rise :( But apparently it’s the flour that’s not good this year thanks to the dreadful summer we had last year – all very technical stuff however I will not be beaten. I continue on my bread making learning process tomorrow

  4. Ursula Van Lelyveld
    May 30, 2013 / 5:09 PM

    I believe the panasonic is the best breadmaker. I have a Russell Hobbs and I love it. There are so many other recipes which the dough cycle can be used for such as cinnabons, hot cross buns, naan bread and pizza dough

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