Panasonic SD-YR2540 review: the smartest bread maker I’ve ever tried

The Panasonic SD-YR2540 is Panasonic’s newest bread maker launch. Here is how it held up when reviewed by our small appliances editor
  • We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
  • The Panasonic SD-YR2540 launched this year, making it the most up-to-date bread maker from Panasonic you can buy. It’s got an automatic nut and yeast dispenser, modes for 32 different types of bread, and countless recipes for you to enjoy. 

    See the best bread makers for more reviews

    I got to try the SD-YR2540 for a few weeks to write this Panasonic SD-YR2540 review, baking wholemeal, white, and seeded bread, as well as bread dough for focaccia. Here is how it went. 

    Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Reasons to buy:

    • It’s incredibly quiet 
    • The yeast and nut dispenser are convenient
    • You can schedule in advance 
    • A completely hands-free machine
    • Makes delicious and well-risen bread

    Reasons to avoid: 

    • Large footprint
    • Not the fastest bread maker
    • The display is still quite basic

    Panasonic SD-YR2540

    Specs

    • Size: 45.6 x 40.8 x 31.6 cm
    • Weight: ‎8.58 kg
    • Modes: 32
    • Colour: Gunmetal
    • Gluten-free programs: 4
    • Kneading blades: 2, one for regular bread and one for rye
    • Sizes: M, L, XL
    • Brownness settings: 3

    What’s in the box? 

    The Panasonic SD-YR2540 arrived in a neat box, all but fully assembled. It has one non-stick bread pan and a kneading blade for both regular bread and rye. 

    Included is a comprehensive instruction manual with countless recipes. I was impressed with the range of recipes and also the explanation of how to operate a manual mode. Included in the recipes is a setting for pre-bought bread mixes, as well as four gluten free modes, and even cake, jam and sourdough recipes.

    Cooking white bread in the Panasonic SD-YR2540

    The first recipe I tackled was the regular white loaf. The recipe book has simple grids that explain how to add your ingredients. In the top box of the grid you’ll find the ingredients that go in either the yeast compartment or the nut dispenser. The second box down includes all of the flour, water and other additional ingredients such as sugar and salt. You add these in order, with flour going at the bottom and water on top. Underneath, in the bottom box, you’ll find any ingredients or instructions for hand-working after the mode is done. 

    White bread is one of the easiest things to make in a bread maker, so to justify a price of over £200, it would need to be exceptional. Luckily, it really was. The dough had been perfectly kneaded and formed a fluffy and well-risen loaf with absolutely no supervision. 

    Cooking brown bread in the Panasonic SD-YR2540

    I love a wholemeal loaf, so it was important that I gave this a go in the Panasonic SD-YR2540. It did take five hours in total, but this was the best wholemeal loaf I’ve made in a bread maker. Some come out dense and doughy, such as the Judge Electricals Bread Maker, but this was fluffy and light, with well-rested and risen dough that rose surprisingly well given that I used 100% wholemeal flour. 

    Making bread dough in the Panasonic SD-YR2540

    The Panasonic SD-YR2540 has numerous settings for dough-only recipes. I made the focaccia recipe, which surprisingly only took 45 minutes. When I’ve made focaccia in the past, it has taken multiple rises and a lot of rest, and while the recipe did call for some more resting when I had taken it out of the machine, it still didn’t take as long as normal. 

    Overall this was the recipe I was the most disappointed in. The dough I made would have been better for use as pizza dough, but it was a bit too bready for focaccia, and didn’t rise enough outside of the bread maker. 

    Other thoughts

    The controls on the Panasonic SD-YR2540 are simple enough to manage, but they did remind me of a much cheaper machine. I also found that the alert for when the bread maker has finished cooking was a little annoying, because it keeps sounding until you switch off the machine.

    Other features include a preset timer for up to 13 hours ahead, which is great because it allows you to schedule your bread in advance for coming home to a fresh loaf or waking up to homemade bread. 

    One of the smartest elements of the Panasonic SD-YR2540 is its dual-sensor design. This automatically adjusts the resting and rise time depending on the surrounding and internal temperatures. 

    Should you buy the Panasonic SD-YR2540?

    The Panasonic SD-YR2540 is the best bread maker I’ve ever tested, but then, it’s also the most expensive. If you have over £200 to spend on a flashy bread maker, this is the one I would suggest. The yeast and nut dispenser is also great for experimenting, and while scheduling in advance is possible with many machines, it’s far better in this machine because of the fact that your yeast won’t make contact until exactly the right moment.

    Kneading is so quiet it is almost silent. The noisiest part of the process is the beeper that sounds when the machine is finished, but in close second is the loud knocking noise that sounds when the nut and yeast dispensers are emptied. 

    About this review, and the reviewer

    Millie Fender is small appliances editor at Ideal Home. She reviews everything from stand mixers to bread makers from her own kitchen, which means she is never short on snacks and her kitchen counters are always full. 

    Millie lives in South London and is constantly squeezing more appliances into her modest kitchen. If it makes it onto the kitchen counters full time, you know an appliance is worth the hype.

    All the latest from Ideal Home