- Food and Cooking
The Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso Breadmaker
The Zojirushi Virtuoso
Our Decision To Go With The Zojirushi
We were looking at our expenses the other day and realised that our weekly bread bill was getting out of hand. We have a superb local bakery that makes home style organic breads with all the best ingredients, but a 600 gram loaf (1 and 1/3 lbs) costs us $4.69. Thinking logically, as we use over 4 loaves a week, we felt that making our own would be way cheaper and just as good (maybe better?)
So it was over to the trusty laptop, and a check on Amazon, Canadian Tire, Sears etc. to see what the offerings were, and what the customers had to say about them in actual usage. It made sense to us to know what the options were.
There are all sorts of bread machines out there and like many things the reviews were really mixed. Most of the makes had more negative reviews than positive notably Black and Decker, Breadman and Sunbeam. The mixing paddles would often break off in the loaves. The machine could not handle stiffer doughs, and would just pack up the ghost. The non stick coating would peal off in the loaves, the metal was so flimsy that the pan became distorted. The machines leaked around the paddle gaskets etc. etc.
On our trip to Canadian Tire to see the quality of the machines we even saw that one machine had suffered damage just from the customers looking at the display model. The design was flawed and the cooking container was so thin that customers had dented it just trying it to see how easy it was to get in and out of the machine. It was not easy, and someone must have dented it just trying to get it back into place!
I must admit that some of the issues were users that did not read the instructions, or that were in such a rush to try the new machine that they installed the paddles upside down.
We did find that there was one brand that had over 90% positive reviews, even though the paddles did not automatically withdraw. The machine made perfect bread every time, as long as the recipe followed was a good one. The bread did not stick to the paddles, and the hole left did not take up so much room that the loaf was unsightly. These machines were also long lasting well made strong and durable, and did not leak. Customers that had issues reported that the company was supportive and quick to respond when issues did arise.
The star performer from all these reviews was a company I had never heard of, Zojirushi, and the star maker was also their most expensive model; the Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso Breadmaker. The reviews were clear, despite costing twice the price of other machines, this was the only one that would work continuously, and consistently, and that also had a warranty that stood up. Keeping it short this is the machine that we have bought. It arrived on Monday having shipped from Galtak Houseware in Ontario on Thursday last week. I am currently baking up an organic whole wheat and flax seed loaf from the 300 Best Canadian Bread machine recipe book by Donna Wasburn and Heather Butt Mmmm!
I had some chilli that I had made up over the weekend and we ate a big bowl each with a couple of slices of the still warm bread, and I can now report that it was absolutely delicious and filling. We will certainly be getting a lot of use and value out of our machine.
In use it was quiet and stable although the heavy dough was enough to make it wobble a little it stayed put, and I now know why it weighs in at around 20 lbs. much heavier and more substantial than many of the other machines on the market. Cleaning it was a breeze a wipe over with a damp paper towel and you fill the bake tray with warm soapy water and let it stand for around 15 minutes or so then empty it out, remove the blades that are now no longer kept in place by bread dough that may have stuck around the spindle, then just wipe it clean with another damp paper towel.
Top Rated Bread Machines And Recipes
These Bread makers and the recipe books are the top rated by the customers over all the reviews that we read. The secret appears to be to follow the instruction manuals and to use a recipe book that is designed specifically for bread machine.
Apparently flour in the USA and Canada is different, so US recipes do not work for Canadians and vice versa! There is a specific Bread making recipe book for Canadian Flour and Machines listed below so use that if you are in Canada.
A Cheaper Machine But Still Good
Bread machines were actually first created by Panasonic and they still make fairly sophisticated models that are worth a look. Not quite in the league of the Zojirushi, but close!
Panasonic was the first company ever to make a bread machine and this is their best selling model. It is a little cheaper than the Zojirushi, but not quite as well received by those who have experienced it in use.
Bread Machine Recipes For Americans
The flour in the USA and Canada is different so you need to but the correct recipe book for your country. This is the top rated recipe book for the USA.
Americas Best Selling Bread Recipe Book
This is the best rated recipe book for the USA, when considering the opinions of customers who have used it.
Bread Machine Recipes For Canadians
As I stated earlier above the flour in the USA and Canada is different so a recipe has to found that is relevant to your country. This is the best Bread Machine recipe book on the market for Canadians it is the one that I bought.
This is the best rated recipe book for Canada based on all the different reviews. It is the one that we are going to buy along with our machine. I will add further comments once I have tried it.
This is a video made by a lady that has this machine and it is about 10 minutes long. It is very thorough and shows the finished product and also has some good tips from an experienced baker. Near the end she shows how easy it is to clean this particular machine.