The Toastmaster Bread Box plus Bread Maker (1148X) is a moderately priced bread machine that is not only easy to use; it does a very fine job too. There are not a lot of bells and whistles, but the basics are often all one needs.
The 1148X makes 1, 1.5 and 2-pound size loafs. It is a vertical panned machine with a single kneading blade. It has eight cycles, including Basic Medium, Basic Dark, Basic Light, Whole Wheat, Sweet, Fast Bake, French, and Dough. The control panel is the model of simplicity and because it has a membrane type, keypad it is easy to keep clean.
The 1148X is one of the few machines on the market that has a Fast Bake cycle that can make a loaf of bread from start to finish in less than 1 hour. There is of course a trade off for this ability. You have to use quick or rapid rise yeast, you have to use more of it, and your bread will be denser. However, if you need bread fast it can be a handy cycle to have. While the bread is denser, it is still quite good.
The other cycles range from 3 hours for the basic up to 3 hours and 40 minutes for the French. On the plus side for this machine it doesn’t have a preheat cycle. Once you press start the mixing and kneading begins right away. In addition, it is one of the few machines on the market that has two kneading cycles and I am talking about two real kneading cycles. This helps develop the gluten in the bread, which makes for lighter, higher rising loaves of bread.
Like with all bread machines sold these days, the 1148X comes complete with a 13-hour timer so you can have fresh bread when you get up in the morning or when you get home from work at night. Nothing makes a meal like fresh baked warm bread. The timer makes this an easy thing to do. Just one word of warning! Your family may come to expect it all the time. The timer requires that you calculate the number of hours and minutes from the time, you program the machine to the time you want the bread finished. For example, if you want bread for 6:30am and it is 9:00pm you would set the timer for 9 hours and 30 minutes.
The unit does have an add ingredients beep, it just sounds during all cycles and it is not something you have to worry about turning on or off, it is automatic. On the down side, the unit doesn’t have a power failure backup feature. What this means is if the unit looses power and then later the power comes on, the machine will be reset and the bread will not be finished. Unless the power failure occurred during the baking cycle, you might still be able to save the bread. This however only applies to recipes that do not have perishable foodstuffs in them like eggs, milk, etc. Those should be discarded for safety reasons.
The manual that comes with the 1148X is very well done. It has program timing charts and tons of recipes. It is easy to follow and really does a good job of getting you acquainted to the machine.
For the price of this machine, I think it is a very nice machine and would have no trouble giving it as a gift or buying it for my first bread machine. It is a simple to use bread machine with a good range of features. It makes nice light loaves of bread and top quality dough.