Alas, I have to report that my much loved bread machine seems to be on its last legs. I thought it had died last week, when it got partway through and then turned off, forcing me to finish the loaf in the oven. However, it seemed to revive and I’ve been able to use it several times since.
Last night, it did the same trick of dying partway through a loaf. Again I finished it in the oven (managing to get this one properly cooked inside – delicious!) but I think the machine has had its day. The timer function hasn’t worked for ages but I’ve been able to do without waking up to fresh bread first thing in the morning. Not being able to rely on it to even finish what it starts is more serious.
With the price of bread machines being so low, I don’t think there is much mileage in trying to get it repaired. It is a shame I don’t have the expertise to wire up an alternative control mechanism as I think the key components (mixer and heating element) are still fine. At least I can try freecycling it rather than feeding the dump.
Meanwhile, I’ll be casting another eye over what’s on the market at the moment. The old machine has done good service, probably turning out 700 or more batches of excellent bread and dough; at least the experience of owning it has sharpened my eye for what I want in a replacement.