For Christmas this year, I asked for and was given a Cuisinart Convection Bread Maker, model CBK-200C. If your idea of a bread maker is, "I'll set this up and have fresh bread when I get home from work," or "when I get up in the morning," then the CBK-200C is probably not the one for you.
I have only had it for three months, and have only used it on weekends, but I have encountered a number of problems.
More an aggravation than a problem, I don't see any indication whether the recipes are for United States or Canada. Canadian flour tends to be higher in protein than its southern counterpart so we need to use less of it to get the same rise. Since the product label on the machine and the manual both say Cuisinart Canada, I would have expected the recipes to be suited to Canadian ingredients. Maybe not!
The first time I used my new bread maker, I tried the recipe for a 2 pound loaf of "Basic White Bread-Machine Bread." It is a good thing I was there to watch over things. Not just once but twice I had to reach in by hand and tear out chunks of wet dough during the baking cycle as the bread rose until it touched the underside of the window in the lid. OK, I'm used to correcting recipes for bread makers, but in the end the largest loaf I can make uses a mere 2 2/3 cups of flour. That is even less flour than is given in the 1 1/2 pound recipe in the book that came with it.
Another aggravation, and admittedly this is partially a matter of taste, is that I find the cooking time to get a perfect crust on the basic white bread recipe is half way between the light and medium crust settings. At the light setting, I find the crust dull and flavorless, but at the medium setting it is over cooked and so dry that it tears the roof of my mouth.
I have noticed that if I leave the machine alone to do its stuff for the entire cycle, some of the damp flour collects in two corners of the pan and doesn't get mixed in during kneading. If I'm lucky, it may stick to the dough during the first rising, but it may also just stay there creating unpleasant lumps in the corners of the bread. To be sure of a proper loaf, with no caked flour corners, I need to stop the machine and reach in with a scraper to get the flour out of the corners.
The second time I used the machine, the pan jumped its guides and twisted around in the machine. To hold the pan in place, there are two metal springs attached to the inside of the oven. On the narrow sides of the pan there are corresponding metal tabs that are supposed to catch either side of each spring to hold the pan in place. These tabs are quite small and don't appear to be adequate to hold the pan as it gets jostled about by the kneading of the dough.
Equally as poor is the design of the drive. Both the plate in the base of the oven which engages the crossbar on the shaft holding the paddle and the crossbar itself are made from stamped metal. This means that the sides are not perfectly perpendicular. If the pan lifts up even a slight amount, as it seems to do during kneading, then the plate and crossbar slip. The plate is then free to turn a half turn before slamming into the crossbar again, making a loud banging noise. Again, it is a good thing I was around to hear the ruckus. It wouldn't take long with it running like that for something to break.
Twice now I have had the paddle lift completely off of the drive shaft. The first time, I didn't know, but found out when I went to take the paddle out before final rise. The second time, today, I happened to be in the kitchen and heard the motor free wheeling during the initial knead.
Something like half of the times I have used this machine, something has gone wrong. The pan has shifted, the drive mechanism has slipped due to the pan moving up, or the paddle has come off during kneading. This is definitely not a machine I feel I can trust to do the job right when I'm not around to watch over it.
My rating for the Cuisinart Convection Bread Maker -- several slices short of a full loaf.