Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Bread Maker – Full Review
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Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Bread Maker – Full Review

Zojirushi BB-PAC20-bread-maker

Love the aroma and flavor of freshly baked bread but don’t have time to do the work it takes to make it? The Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso Bread maker lets you add ingredients, select a setting and walk away, returning to a delicious loaf that’s exactly what you are craving.

With numerous menu settings for a variety of baked goods, this bread machine features three different crust shades plus a delay timer that lets you wake up or come home to the welcoming aroma of warm bread. Best of all, when you make your own bread, you are in complete control of the ingredients. Most store-bought breads are loaded with preservatives, added sugar, and more salt than homemade loaves; making your own means you can use whole-grain flour, sprouts, and other specialty ingredients to suit your needs. With the Zojirushi Virtuoso, you can even make gluten-free breads using a special setting. This feature really does set it apart from many other models.

A removable inner liner with a durable nonstick coating makes cleanup quick and easy. Dual blades ensure thorough kneading for the best rise possible, and a viewing window lets you check your recipe’s progress. From basic rectangular loves to dough for creating artisanal braided, baguette, or round loaves, the Zojirushi Home Bakery delivers variety while adding convenience to your baking routine.

A wonderful choice even for the smallest kitchen, this bread maker has a modest footprint for easy storage in a cupboard or on a countertop. Its attractive black and stainless steel exterior complements a variety of popular kitchen appliances.

These are just a few highlights. Read on for more details about the pros and cons that come with owning the Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso Bread maker.

Removable Nonstick Baking Pan

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Like most bread makers, the Home Bakery Virtuoso has a removable baking pan that allows you to easily extract baked bread or finished dough. Some models I’ve tried have no handles, which makes for difficult removal. The Zojirushi BB-PAC20 is different, with handles at each end of the baking pan. The machine’s designers did a nice job with this feature; the handles are specifically designed to make removal easy. Once the pan has been removed from the bread maker, its nonstick lining makes it simple to remove the contents, and allows for easy cleanup as well. The mixing paddles detach from the pan for cleanup, removing any potential

Lid Heater

A separate heater inside the bread maker’s lid ensures even baking, similar to that which takes place inside a traditional oven. This innovative feature results in loaves that look like they’re fresh from the bakery.

 

Time Delay

One of the nicest features the Zojirushi Home Bakery has to offer, the time delay function lets you add ingredients as usual, and then set a timer for up to 13 hours in advance. This means that you can set your bread maker to start operating about two hours before you wake up, or a few hours before you come home from work. If you’re busy with planning an elaborate meal, set it to the desired time so that you don’t have to interrupt other preparations in order to start making fresh bread to serve alongside.

 

Automatic Keep Warm

Once the baking cycle has completed, bread stays warm for an hour. This feature adds even more convenience to the process; if your main course is not quite ready or you’re still waiting for some guests to arrive, you don’t have to worry about bread cooling before time to serve.

Multiple Menu Settings

Perhaps you’ve been around long enough to remember some of the first bread machines to hit the market. These were basic, for the most part – they mixed dough and baked bread using one setting. The Virtuoso bread maker offers an exciting upgrade, with ten menu settings that let you make a variety of recipes. Some, such as jam and meatloaf, are completely unexpected but welcome just the same! For vegetarians or vegans, use your favorite veggie loaf recipe and enjoy wonderful results. Menu options include:

  • Basic – good for making a tasty loaf of white bread
  • Gluten-Free – adjusts time, temperature, and other factors to handle gluten-free ingredients for outstanding results
  • Basic Wheat – has an extended kneading time and works with whole wheat, rye, and other heavy flours
  • Basic Dough – does not bake the loaf; simply preps the dough so you can shape loaves or rolls as you please.
  • Quick and Quick Wheat – Settings for making breads that take less time to proof and bake.
  • Quick Dough – Lets you make dough for rolls, pizza, or artisan breads; does the mixing and kneading for you.
  • Jam – Makes jam from fresh, frozen, or canned ingredients. Once jam is cooked, you can store it in the refrigerator or freeze it for later use.
  • Cake – No need to get a mixer and bowl dirty! Add your ingredients and let the bread maker do the mixing for you. Once the blending process is complete, just transfer your batter to the pan of your choice and bake it in the oven as recommended in your recipe. If you like, you can even let the bread maker bake your cake for you, resulting in a loaf-shaped cake that’s fun to serve. The cake course also lets you make yeast-free breads such as pumpkin, zucchini, and apple.
  • Sour Dough Starter – Make delicious sourdough bread using custom temperatures and kneading procedures designed especially for this type of bread.
  • Home Made – Set knead, rise, and bake time as desired; lets you customize and create three different memory settings you can use over and over to make your favorite recipes. Meatloaf, homemade pasta dough, and marble bread are just a few of the things you can make with this setting.

Three Crust Shade Options

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Choose from light, medium, or dark for crust that suits your taste. Some of the machines I’ve tried result in loaves with crusts that are overly thick, undone, or even burned. This one delivers a delightful loaf each time, no matter which setting you’re using.

FAQs

Is the instruction manual easy to follow?

Yes, it is very well designed, with loads of photos and diagrams that show you exactly what to do with each of the settings. The guide includes recipes to help you get started, and there are more recipes (including plenty of additional gluten free ones) on the Zojirushi site.

How do you make artisanal breads with this machine?

Plain, rectangular loaves can be made automatically, but you’ll need to take a little extra time to make artisanal loaves such as baguettes and braids. The advantage this machine gives is that it mixes the dough at the right temperature, proofs it, and prevents it from drying out while rising. You do not have to worry about keeping your kitchen at a certain temperature; this is something the Zojirushi does automatically. Once the dough is ready, you remove it from the bread maker and shape it as desired, then allow it to rise according to the recipe you’re using before putting it into the oven. Extras such as seeds or an egg wash can be applied before baking.

Can I add things other than basic ingredients, i.e. seeds, raisins, nuts, or sprouted grains?

Yes! You can add all kinds of things to your bread dough. There is a special alarm that goes off when it’s time to add extras.

Are replacement pans / paddles available?

Yes. It’s normal for the pan and / or paddles to become worn over time, although if you follow instructions and are very careful not to nick or scratch the finish, these will last much longer. You can get both items from the Zojirushi site. Some other reviewers who use the machine frequently mention that the moving parts do need to be replaced.

How long does this take to make basic bread?

It takes a little more than 2 hours to run through the entire basic bread cycle, which is about the same amount of time it would take you to mix dough and bake a loaf of bread without the machine. All you have to do is add ingredients as directed and come back when you’re ready to remove the bread.

Is the crust evenly baked when the bread comes out of the pan?

Yes, the crust has a nice, uniform look to it. You can even choose the crust color you prefer – light, medium, or dark.

Is the baking pan dishwasher safe for the top rack?

The baking pan and paddles should be hand-washed. Because it’s nonstick, it only takes a few seconds to rinse, wipe clean, and dry. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and do not submerge the bottom of the pan. Fill it with water instead, and use a soft cloth or sponge to wash debris away.

Does this bread maker work with gluten free bread mixes, or do I have to add ingredients one by one?

Yes, it works well with GF bread mixes. You can use any that call for a 1 ½-pound, 2-pound, or 2 ½-pound bread machine. With many of the mixes, you can just use the dough cycle and then shape and finish rolls or loaves yourself, if preferred.

Do the paddles leave holes in the finished bread?

Yes they leave small indentations. You can remove the paddles just before the baking cycle begins, if you like, and then you’ll have even smaller indentations from the shafts.

Conclusion

The Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso Bread maker costs more than some other bread machines on the market, however in this case the old maxim that states “You get what you pay for” holds true. Despite the higher cost, it delivers outstanding value, allowing you to make a wide variety of baked goods from scratch, and putting you in the drivers’ seat as far as ingredients are concerned. With a wide variety of settings that let you make everything from basic bread to elaborate braided challah or crunchy artisanal baguettes, it also offers the advantage of allowing you to create jam, meatloaf, and even cake, replacing a variety of other appliances while adding convenience to your kitchen. Sturdy, attractive, and easy to use, it consistently receives top marks from those who own it. You can find the Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso Bread maker for sale at online retailers including Amazon.

Anne Kennedy

Anne Kennedy

Hi! I’m Anne Kennedy, a nonfiction author, dedicated foodie, and contributor to Top 5 Reviews. I started contributing to this site in 2015 with the goal of helping others select quality home goods that help make busy lives easier. It’s interesting – and a lot of fun – to test things like bread machines, juicers, and of course coffee makers, learn what different models have to offer, and see how they compare with one another before passing my findings about the best ones on to you. Happy hunting!
Anne Kennedy
Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Bread Maker – Full Review
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