Defective bread machine instruction booklet!

publickmanJuly 7, 2013

I finally found out why I was having such trouble following the instructions that came with my Panasonic bread machine - they are defective! The booklet says to press the "select" button when it should say "menu" button. I do not know if the machine was made wrong or the instructions were written incorrectly, but they definitely do not match. It took several experiments to confirm this, and for the last use I made pizza dough, having Kevin read the instructions while I tried to follow them. It was then that I realized that I couldn't get there from here, and so I started pressing other buttons to see what they would do. Before I was afraid to press too many buttons - until I learned how to cancel everything by pressing the "start" button and holding it down, although I have not yet tried that.

Anyway, I made pizza dough using my own recipe, which I converted to 2/3, as I was afraid that a whole recipe would not fit, and I measure the yeast anyway and never used packets or premeasured yeast. Today we are going to cook the pizzas (I made enough for two pizzas) on the Big Green Egg, as Kevin wants to see how the pizza stone it came with will work, and I'm interested to see how hot we can get it. Thursday we smoked a turkey breast and eight chicken thighs, and so we have a lot of leftover meat, which I generally use for making sandwiches, salads, or casserole dishes. Yesterday we cleared out the shelves that hold all of my spices, plus plates and measuring utensils, and I still have to put everything back that I will not discard. I have lots of ingredients for making Indian and Japanese curries, and so I will have to remember to make those more often. I think I am going to store some spices in tool boxes so that I can organize them (one for Indian, one for Japanese) and store them separately. Then we will tackle the refrigerator - or at least one or two shelves and a drawer.

My bread machine is Panasonic SD-YD250, and is white. I moved it from the portable butcher block to the counter where I previously had my Cool Daddy, and it looks hideous in that spot, since nothing near it is white. So I have decided to make a silver lame cover for it to make it blend in more with the stainless steel applicances. I only use it once a week, and so it really should have a cover on it.

Has anyone else noticed discrepancies in their instruction booklets?


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Lars, go to their WEB site and down load the .pdf version and see if there is a difference.

You can buy stainless steel-look self adhesive (Contact Paper) to clad your bread machine so it can blend with the general look.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 9:20PM
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The on-line PDF manual is identical to the one I have.

Since the sides of the bread machine are curved, a self adhesive would have wrinkles in it, and so I will not be using that. A fabric cover is easier to make, and I already have the fabric - plus it is easy to change. I might make an alternate black cover for it, and I might make an applique pattern for it with black and silver diagonal stripes. I have a lot of black Lycra (from when I was thin) that I might use for the cover. I used to make T-shirts and bathing suits with Lycra, and so I have a lot of it, including some that has iridescent polka dots.


    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 1:29AM
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Lars, I have been following your bread machine adventures because I've got the same machine. I ran into the same problem you describe. On page page 6, there's a diagram & overview of the display panel showing two buttons, MENU & SELECT, along with descriptions of what each is used for. Then on pages 7 & 8 are general instructions for using the machine. Step # 7 says "press select to choose the type of bread indicated on the right of display." Unfortunately, step 8 says "Press SELECT to choose BAKE RAPID..." But according to the display overview on page 6, the MENU button selects the type of bread. Someone got confused somewhere during the manual's preparation, and it wasn't caught before printing. It is frustrating.

If you ever use the STOP button function successfully, please post about it. I once made a similar mistake to one you reported earlier. I accidentally selected basic when I really wanted whole wheat. I realized my error immediately after pressing the START/STOP button. I tried my darnedest to stop the function, so I could start over again. I pressed the STOP button several times, counting out loud to make sure I held it down long enough.I unplugged the machine too, but nothing worked. Eventually, I had to let the machine run its course because I couldn't start again.

One thing I really like about my Zojirushi is that I can stop the machine whenever I want. If I'm kneading too much dough for the machine to handle rising, I just turn it off after the dough has kneaded sufficiently and place the dough in a container to rise. Or if I think the dough needs some extra time kneading, I can stop it, bypass the rest/preheat function & go directly back to kneading. Another 5-7 minutes, and I can turn it off and let the dough rise in a plastic container.

I use my Panasonic mainly in the summer because it browns the top crust better than my Zojirushi. However, during the cooler months, I make a lot of sandwich/hamburger buns, dinner rolls, & bagels, and the Zojirushi does a great job kneading recipes that call for 6 cups of flour.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 4:38PM
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Shambo, from what I can tell, it is not possible to reset once the Start button has been pressed, and so one must be very careful before pressing that button - and I have delayed pressing it many times because I wanted to change the configuration to something that was not an option. I may make my own chart at some point to document the correct directions and options. I do like the crust it makes when choosing white bread and dark crust, but crust options are not available for WW or sandwich bread, as far as I can tell.

The leftover pizza is the best leftover pizza I have ever had, but I attribute that partly to the BGE, but also to the recipe that the Pizza Making Forum helped me develop. I need to thank them again for that, and also for tips using the BGE as a pizza oven. The dough recipe I am using with their help is very sticky, and if I were to adjust it based on how it feels, I would add too much flour, whereas it needs to remain a sticky dough. To keep it from sticking, I used olive oil instead of flour, and it made a perfect crust.

The next time I use the machine, I will set it properly, press the start button, and then see if I can reset it. That way, if I cannot reset it, it will still be okay.


    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 8:38PM
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Lars, I think you're right about the START/STOP button. But then why would the manual say you could stop the machine with it? " Press this pad to stop operation or cancel the timer setting. To stop operation,the pad must be pressed and held for 1 second." Confusing, to say the least. Please let me know how your experiment turns out.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 12:29AM
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Lars, have you e-mailed Panasonic to make them aware of the problem?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 8:59AM
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No, I haven't, Ruthanna, but that is a good idea, and I will try to do that later today. Perhaps they can give me the correct instructions somehow.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 10:52AM
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Lars and Shambo,

I struggled with the dumb instructions as well, which I why I warned Lars it wasn't easy. I don't remember the steps I went through, and now I start it without much thinking. I use "menu" to get to the options I want which are usually wheat bread, or dough. Then I use "start" to begin the selected cycle.

But I recall having the same problem trying to "stop" a cycle I didn't want. I think pulling the plug on it, and waiting for a couple of minutes will zero anything out of the machine. Then I just begin all over again. It can be maddening, especially if you're already a half hour into a cycle, but it will work.

Shambo - I use the machine to make bagel dough regularly. My recipe calls for 7.5 cups of flour. Every time I do a batch, I'm sure the machine will die but it keeps chugging along. It makes a mess with flour everywhere, under the mixing bowl, stuck to the lid, but I'd rather do it this way than risk my kitchenaid. I got the Panasonic specifically because I didn't want to have my KA die on me.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 12:20PM
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Cheryl, I know what to do now regarding the confusing select & menu choices. And, like Lars, I'm very careful now to make sure everything is correct before pressing the start button. I thought I did what you suggested -- Unplugged the machine for 30 minutes and plugged it in again. But I think the cycle was in its power outage memory and I wasn't able to start afresh. It's a minor inconvenience, though.

My recipe for bagels calls for 6 cups of flour, and the Zojirushi kneads the dough really well. I prefer baking bready type things in the oven (I'm not a fan of bread machine crusts). But during the summer, I just can't take the additional heat. So that's when I use the Panasonic. It does a better job browning the top crust, and I can make small loaves.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 7:52PM
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I don't normally read instructions.

There is advantage in not reading instructions when I have to put together one of those "Some Assembly Required" items. I always end up with extra parts and screws. LOL!

Anyway, help me out. I have the same bread maker, Panasonic SD-YD250. I just went thru all the functions and the buttons. I don't seem to have problems of stopping any selection and start over again. The Start/Stop button seems to be able to kill all previous selections after the "Start" button is activated and allows me to make new ones. I must be doing something wrong.

Cheryl, I made a plastic cut out for a cover which fits the basket. That prevents splashing and flour spills.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 8:46PM
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dcarch - you have a machine that functions as it's supposed to? There's definitely something wrong. You probably also don't have the weird menu/start directions.

Thanks for the tip about the cover. That should cut down on a lot of the mess.


    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 9:06AM
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I would think you could put foil over the basket to prevent flour spills, but then I only make the smallest recipes possible and have not had a problem with flour spilling.

I emailed Panasonic yesterday through their web site but have not checked my own email to see if they have responded. Often I do not check my personal email more frequently than once or twice a week, since I get most of my email through my work address.

I always read all instructions as soon as I get them - I find them interesting, if nothing else. Also, I like to check them for accuracy. At work I write instructions for installing the light fixtures that I design, and I often include instructions for changing light bulbs, which can be tricky when using halogen. I sometimes wonder whether people read the instructions that I write, but architects have told me that they appreciate them, as I illustrate them profusely. I have also written installation instructions for other companies. I still have problems with my camera instructions, and I've had it for four years!


    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 11:36AM
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DC, that's amazing! I'm not kidding. The one time I tried the STOP function, I got absolutely nowhere. I was trying to change from the whole wheat cycle to the basic bread cycle. Or vice versa. I tried the change after I had pressed START, and the machine seemed absolutely locked into continuing with the originally selected cycle.

Did you change the selections during the setup portion or after the machine actually got started? That's what I was trying to do, and I think that was what Lars was trying to do too. For me, once I pressed START and the machine was locked into the "rest" cycle, I was unable to stop the process and go back to correct the type of bread I wanted to bake.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 2:20PM
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Something is strange here!?

I tried my machine again. Pushed all the buttons, tried all the options. Large loaf, Xlarge loaf, small loaf, Dark, Light, bake, rapid bake, French, wheat, basic, --------

After I push "Start", the red light went on and the machine worked on the cycle I selected.

Then I push "Stop", Everything stopped and the display panel went blank.

I then can select another option all over again.

I did not experience what you guys described.

Than I went to Amazon user reviews and read a few complains, I didn't find complains about situation similar to yours.



Here is the plastic cover I made:

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 7:19PM
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I tried the START/STOP function again, just as an experiment, and it actually worked this time. I used the Whole Wheat Yogurt recipe from the Panasonic's manual, page 24.

I set up the machine for basic bake and medium size & crust. I used KAF white whole wheat flour, so I figured if I couldn't change the settings, basic bake would still work fine.

I pressed the START/STOP button, and the rest cycle began. I waited one (1) minute before pressing it again to stop the cycle. I held it down until the red light went off. As promised in the manual, the screen went blank.

So I started the setting all over again, this time setting it up for the whole wheat bake and a medium size. However, I was not happy about the fact that whole wheat loaf would take five (5) hours. Once I pressed the START/STOP button, I waited three (3) minutes this time before pressing it again to stop the whole procedure.

The screen went blank again, and I re-set the original settings for basic bake, medium size & crust. Once again, success. The cycle is in rest mode, and I'm not going to fool around with the machine any more today.

I'm happy that this function works, but I'm hesitant about trying it in the middle of an important function like kneading. However, it's good to know that if I am using the dough function and want to let the dough rise outside the machine. I can stop the machine now and just take the doughball out.

I had forgotten how much longer the Panasonic took to machine-bake a loaf. The Zojirushi only takes three (3) hours for a basic loaf while the Panasonic takes four (4) hours.

Anyhow, thanks, DC, for the nudge. I have no idea what I did differently today, but I'm glad you gave it a try and reported back.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 3:17PM
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You can do a quick bake with the Panasonic in three hours, but I have never chosen this option.

I did get an email back from Panasonic regarding the defective instructions regarding the functions of the "menu" and "select" buttons, but it merely told me to call 1-800-211-7262, which I have not done yet. I really do not like making service calls and would have preferred a written solution.


    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 3:24PM
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Lars, I understand your hesitation with service calls. When I first realized the top crusts weren't browning as well as the sides & bottoms on my Zojirushi, I called their service dept. I was told to use about 1 tbsp. less water & make sure it was cold. The rep also suggested using rapid rise yeast instead of active dry. I tried those things but they made no difference, just as I had assumed.

I made an error regarding timing: For the Zojirushi basic, it takes 3 hrs. 30 mins.; for whole wheat it's 3 hrs. 40 mins. Quick basic is 2 hrs., while quick WW is 2 hrs. 8 mins. Regular dough is 1 hr. 50 mins. and quick dough is 45 mins. The Zojirushi also has the option of turning off the pre-heat/rest cycle which saves an addition 20 minutes.

Have you played around with the Panasonic bake-only function at all? I'm not so much interested in quick breads and cakes as trying it for batter yeast breads.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 5:43PM
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" ----Have you played around with the Panasonic bake-only function at all? I'm not so much interested in quick breads and cakes as trying it for batter yeast breads."

I have. Worked fine.

In addition, I have use bake to make soup, rice and risotto.


    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 6:20PM
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I made bread (pumpernickel) again yesterday and tried the reset function, and it worked this time. I'm not sure what I did wrong before, but I got it right this time. Also, I have stopped looking at the instructions when I use the machine, as it is much easier to do it intuitively at this point, since the instructions are incorrect. I now instinctively push the select button when I should and the menu button which I should, although it is opposite of what the instruction booklet says to do.

One thing I learned is that if you want to have options and more control, you have to select "Basic" for the method, and then other options are available, but if you select "Whole Wheat" or other methods, then the options of crust and size are not available. Well, size might be available, but I have decided to use only the "Basic" method so I can choose what kind of crust I want.

The last loaf came out with a misshapen top, like the first loaf I made, and I am not sure why this happened. All of the rest have had perfectly domed tops. The only difference I can notice at this point is that I used oil instead of butter. Maybe it was the molasses. I'll try it with butter next time and see if that makes a difference.

I have not yet used the bake-only function but will look into that later. I think I would be interested in using it for making jam, however. It might be nice for making a pound cake, if that is one of the options.


    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 3:26PM
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