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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on June 12, 2011
I purchased this machine given the number of internet reviews specifically for gluten free break baking, so this review will be specific to this, as I haven't used it for anything else.

The double paddle design is perfect for gluten free bread dough, as, for those of us who have done it by hand, you know how much mixing is required, and how gluey the dough can get. Despite the double paddle (which reverses direction every so often to avoid piling the dough up on one side) you do still need to give it a little push mid way through mixing to ensure all the flour and starch is incorporated into the dough...not a big deal, at all. Something to consider if you expect to throw everything in and use the timer function. Although if you use fresh eggs in your recipes, you can't do this anyway, or the eggs will likely spoil.

I love the horizontal loaf pan! I used to use another bread machine that made those torpedo loaves, but it didn't really cut it for gluten free breads. I've been using recipes from a gluten free bread recipe book that includes bread maker instructions for my main recipes. I find the gluten free recipes included in the manual are too rice flour based for good bread, and are too gritty, like rice flour bread generally is. I just follow the machine instructions for the order for putting in the ingredients, and use the recipe book measurements. Works perfectly! This is the recipe book I've been using --> The Gluten-Free Gourmet Bakes Bread: More Than 200 Wheat-Free Recipes

Given that gluten free dough doesn't need a second rise like wheat dough does, there is a program function that will allow you to turn off the second and third rise, and program the amount of time the machine prewarms, mixes, and bakes. The crust selection is also handy, although I find I typically use the medium selection all the time...but it gives you the option for darker or lighter crusts, depending on your tastes. That being said, the quick wheat selection does well for my recipes...all I do is remove the paddles using teflon coated tongs once the mixing cycle is complete (plus it also keeps the big paddle holes from forming in your finished loaf). It also beeps during the mixing setting to alert you to when you can add seeds, nuts, fruit, etc to your bread, should you want to. You can't turn it off, though...

The only drawback is that it is more expensive than most other bread makers on the market. Personally, I think it was a great investment for me. Gluten free breads are notoriously expensive to buy, and I love the fact that I don't have to heat up the house, especially in the summer, to bake a loaf of bread in the oven. Once the mixing is done, I can just leave it to do its thing for the rest of the time it's baking. It's fairly quiet while it's mixing...I think my microwave is louder when it's on. I love this breadmaker, and have been incredibly happy with how the gluten free loaves have turned out.
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on June 12, 2011
I bought mine (Zojirushi BB-CEC20WB Home Bakery Supreme, White) three weeks ago. Before that, I had a few other bread makers (vertical Philips Deluxe, Horizontal Philips, Tefal home bread
baguette bread maker) and had a close look at pretty much every model available at Sears, Canadian Tire, Walmart, Costco and Zellers (Cuisinart, B&D, West Bend and so on). Most bread maker models had a remarkably low quality with poor design, disgusting appearance, cheap knobs falling out or in, poor coating, sharp edges, aluminum or plastic transmissions and even plastic kneading blades (!). Before Tefal, I also bought the famous Kitchen Aid mixer, quite advanced, expensive and powerful (600 Wt) model, but, surprisingly, it could not prepare whole wheat dough properly, the process was quite messy, aluminum hook etc., so I returned it back to the store. In between, I was making bread manually. Thus, my impression is that for making bread and moderate amounts of dough, a good bread maker seems to be the best choice.

To my experience, the main problem with more or less decent bread makers, like Horizontal Philips or Tefal baguette, is that even though the bread maker itself still works fine, the companies are no longer supplying spare parts, particularly bread pans and paddles. So after a while, usually when the bread pan starts leaking in a year or two, the whole machine becomes almost useless.

Thus, having spare parts was a big plus for considering Zojirushi. Yet another was composing custom programs. The price... Well, Tefal cost $199 ($149 on sale) when I bought it, Horizontal Philips was $149. Zojirushi cost $214, now it costs $189. There is some difference indeed, but Zojirushi design is far superiour.

Now some of my impressions.

First of all, the Zojirushi unit is very well balanced and is NOT moving during kneading. Most other bread makers I tried, except Tefal baguette, tended to move (which means a good chance of falling off the shelf or table, running into something, falling into the kitchen sink filled with water and dishes, plugging themselves out and so on).

The Zojirushi is quiet. In fact, this is probably the least noisy bread maker I have used.

The unit is decently designed. It fits nicely under the kitchen shelves. The lead does NOT tend to fall onto your fingers when you open the bread maker. By the way, Tefal baguette rack fits well into Zojirushi, too.

Zojirushi remembers not only the last program used, but also its modifications, like preheat on or off, which is convenient. In other bread makers, browsing through beeping menus every time the unit is on seems a bit annoying.

Quality of dough and bread is good even for standard programs and an average "Selection" or "Compliments" flour from Food Basic or Price Chopper. The crust is NOT too dark if "light" is chosen. The loaf is NOT too heavy. I think the problems other folks have reported (the crust was too dark or uneven, bread much higher on one side, too hard etc.) were mostly due to their recipes or measuring errors, - if their units are not lemons, of course. Mine is apparently not. That custom programming allows to bake beautiful loafs, perfect, absolutely fantastic.

To illustrate what can be achieved by using the breadmaker's custom programming, I have added some images to the "Customer Images" section. They clearly show a good performance of the machine even in preparing some of the healthiest and best tasting (but also most demanding) types of bread, including old Russian style rye sour dough bread and whole wheat sore dough bread.

Recipe book and the instructional DVD are nice to have, even though I am mostly using my own recipes.

The paddles are made in such a way that they do not stick inside the loaf - a really nice feature that I have not seen in any other bread maker.

Cleaning the pan is exceptionally easy comparing to the other brands. Just soak for half an hour or so in warm water, the blades are going off easily.

Now some potentially weak points. The bread pan will probably need a replacement in a year or two - but this is true for any bread maker I have seen. A stainless steel pan and paddles, by the way, would make the breadmaker even more attractive. There are no additional side supports for the bread pan (thus the bottom mount experiences higher loads), - but, on the other hand, it makes the pan insertion and removal more convenient.

Nice looking, well designed, convenient, reliable, fool-proof. In summary, this is the best bread maker I have ever had.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ After a while ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

December 2, 2012, more than a year after my happy purchase. As I expected, the bread pan and the paddles proved to be the weakest point of the bread maker. After I paid a ridiculously high cost of the replacement pan and paddles (around $110), I found that the replacement blades themselves, like the original ones, are also being heavily worn during mixing, especially at their upper part, from inside the hole. Since they are made of aluminum, it results in releasing of toxic aluminum into the food, which is not acceptable.

I could only wish both the pan and the paddles were made of a less toxic material. In the meantime, I simply took off the blades. Now I am mixing the dough manually in a ceramic bowl (it takes about 5 minutes), then I put the dough in the pan with the blades removed and launch a simple custom program (say, 20 min preheat, 2 hrs to 2 hrs 30 min rise and 1 hr 10 min bake). Thus, no mixing, no toxic metal release in my food and no wearing of the precious bread pan. By the way, it seems that release of aluminum into the food is a common problem for all bread makers, since the pan and paddles are made of aluminum and are wearing out while mixing the dough. Since aluminum is heavily used in food industry, commercially available bread is probably contaminated with aluminum, too. Fortunately, the design and programming of the Zojirushi bread maker was flexible enough, so I could circumvent the aluminum problem. For that custom program, the machine also allows to set the crust control. I noticed that after the brief manual mixing, the bread rises less than after the machine mixing, which may sometimes be even advantageous. The texture and taste are also different, but very good, too.
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on March 21, 2011
I've bought this bread machine roughly two months ago, and this is my first one. I've read many reviews on this bread-maker both positive and negative and after playing with it for about a couple of months I can state that this machine can bake bread of very good quality. Unless you are very unlucky and got a defective machine most negative reviews I read are result of basic misunderstanding of how to use this machine.

In very few words: each brand of a bread flour has different ability to bind (consume) water. All recipes coming with this bread-maker are developed for flour sold in US which differs significantly from Canadian flour; so that all recipes have to be adjusted accordingly. In my case when I precisely follow the recipe for whole-wheat bread I get a very wet (looking like a swamp) dough. To bring this swampy dough to normal consistency I have to add more than 100 gram of flour during the kneading phase. Besides, one cup can contain from 100 to 150 gram of flour depending on how you fill that cup with flour (scooping with that cup or spoon-by-spoon) and on how humid your flour is. I strongly suggest using of electronic scales for flour (and even water) measuring.

First, start from the recipe that comes with machine and 5 minutes after machine begins kneading open the lid and check dough consistency. If it's too wet add flour teaspoon-by-teaspoon until dough gets desired consistency. If it's too dry add water teaspoon-by-teaspoon until dough gets desired consistency. Remember amount of flour (or water) you added and update this recipe. Next time use updated recipe.

Because Canadian white bread flour is much better (richer) than US one you may end up with loaf that has risen too high and touched the lid from inside during baking, causing some time consuming to clean mess (it happened to me couple of times). Top of the loaf that came in touch with lid is uncooked and must be cut off, but rest of the loaf should be fine. If that happened - just reduce all ingredients by roughly 20%.

I suggest you to visit WEB site called "Bread Machine Digest" (just Google for it) to get some very useful knowledge on bread making with bread-machine (that is what I did). Besides, if you are new to bread-machine bread making, you can search on YouTube videos of how actually dough should look like while bread-maker is kneading it, just search for "kneading dough breadmaker" pattern on YouTube.

Also, many recipes coming with this machine include ingredient called "Vital Wheat Gluten". Most likely you won't find it in major food store chains (at least in Ontario). This "Vital Wheat Gluten" is sold in Canada under different name "Gluten Flour" and can be found in special store chain called "Bulk Barn" (just Google for that name).
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on November 3, 2010
Just got my new bread maker and tried it out for the last couple of days. This bread maker is exceptional compared to the other two I had. This is the most expensive on the market but it is worth the extra money. The loafs of bread are well formed and the paddles usually do not stay in the bread when removed from the pan. The pan snaps into the mounts easily and is very secure. It is easy to clean and all the different functions are simple to use. I would recommend this bread maker over the cheaper lines.
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on November 17, 2010
I've been using bread machines for more than 10 years, and have gone through several models in that time. This is by far the best of the lot. Much more expensive, but you get what you pay for. The others have usually lasted about a year and some of them didn't make a good loaf, no matter how much I tweaked the recipe.
One of the best features is the shape of the loaf, similar to traditional type pans, which makes it much better to slice for sandwiches. Easy to use, my first loaf turned out the closest I've ever had to handmade bread. Good texture and flavour. I've tried several different recipes and they all were excellent. The one feature I would have liked is a stop/pause button, hopefully this will be included in the next model. All in all, the best machine I've ever used.
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on February 1, 2011
I have been a professional baker, I really love making bread by hand. It fulfills a very primal need within me. No pun intended. So now I joke with my daughter that we have two bread makers in the house. One you just have to plug in, the other you have to coax away from a good book or other house building project he's working on. The one we plug in hasn't failed yet.It bakes good bread consistently

The Zojirushi is everything it was advertised to be. I only use Kamut, sometimes Spelt or Rice flours. Non of these flours has very much if any gluten. That's the stuff that makes the bread most people know, bind together. It's also the ingredient in wheat to which a lot of people are alergic.

After modifying the ratio of dry & wet ingredients a bit from the many recipes supplied with the bread maker we enjoy fresh bread everyday. And the double paddles ensure the motor is not overworked with the heavier doughs. So if you don't have the time, hands don't work as well as they once used to work, or love eating fresh bread but don't like to bake.... this machine is your answer. Worth the extra cost, a quality machine I suspect will last for years.
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on February 7, 2011
I recently converted to the breadmaker when my favourite Italian deli closed. First I purchased a Cuisinart Convection Breadmaker, and loved the concept but had problems with 3 different machines. Then I decided to purchase a Zojirushi because I liked the double paddles. So far the Zo has proved to be a much more reliable machine than the Cuisinart but I wish there were a way you could easily add a few more minutes on bake time. Perhaps I can figure out a way of doing this on the Home Made course?

The only problem I have had with this machine is that one of the paddles (always the same one) will lift up and no longer spin. Sometimes I have to push it back down.

I have used this machine every day for the last month and am constantly amazed that I can make such perfect bread by myself at home! While there are a few features that I would like to add or change, this machine does produce excellent results. I love the fact that I can make a wider variety of breads than I can purchase locally.

Every day I try a new recipe (today's bread is garlic with feta cheese and spinach, yesterday's was the best focaccia I have ever tasted.) The only recipe I keep going back to is for sourdough. I make the dough in the machine, transfer it to a silicone pan, and bake in the oven. This way I get a nice round shape.

For anyone who appreciates freshly baked bread but does not have the time or patience to make it the traditional way, I recommend this machine. It is powerful enough to handle a lot of specialty flours that you cannot use in other machines.
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on December 8, 2010
Zojirushi BB-CEC20BA Home Bakery Supreme, Black/Stainless

Was very excited to be buying my first breadmaker and decided to read as many reviews as possible, settling finally on the Zojirushi Home Bakery Supreme. First Impressions were that it was well packaged to avoid the rough handling of the local delivery company. The machine is very smart and matches my Black/stainless themed kitchen and its footprint is not so huge that I have to put it in a cupboard between uses.

Although I ordered a home baking bred book The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook: A Master Baker's 300 Favorite Recipes for Perfect-Every-Time Bread From Every Kind of Machine
I decided to first try the simple white loaf recipe in the Zojirushi start guide. The DVD that came with the machine was useful although the background music reminded me of a different type of video entirely. Follwing the instructions, I placed the ingredients into the pan and turned on. 3 hours 45 minutes later, the loaf was ready, with only my impatience making it seem like it took a whole day.

The viewing window made it easy to see the different cycles that the loaf went through, so it was a simple job to see if I needed to add a little water or flour to the mix. As it happened, the recipe did look a little moist, with some dough sticking to the sides of the pan. This was simplicity itself to rectify by opening the large lid and adding a spoonful of flour.

When the timer indicated the loaf was ready I checked the window and saw that the side of the loaf furthest from the control panel was browner than the other side. I wasn't sure if this was supposed to be the case, but suspected that it wasn't. Tipping the loaf out, I made the mistake of tipping it head first onto the cooling try, this left a cooling tray impression on the top of the loaf.

After impatiently letting the loaf cool, I sliced into it and tasted it with butter. It really was tasty, light and fluffy but with some body. White bread has never been my favourite, but as a first attempt I wanted to keep things simple. Once the bread had cooled, the fact that one side of the loaf was cooked more than the other was even more apparent. Checking the Zojirushi FAQ I thought that perhaps because I hadn't placed the paddles facing the same direction at the beginning may have had an effect on the way the bread had cooked. Something to note for my next loaf.

Next loaf was the Maple and Buttermilk loaf, from the Hensburger book. I noted that even though she gives recipes for each loaf in 2 sizes, the amount of ingredients for her 2lb white loaf was slightly more than the equivalent Zojirushi recipe, and the first loaf had risen all the way to the top of the pan, so I decided that for safety sake, I'd use the 1 1/2 lb recipes. I really didn't want the loaf over spilling the pan, or it would land straight on top of the heating element and make a horrible mess.

Adding the ingredients was simplicity itself, and feeling that this was an ideal loaf for breakfast I set the timer for 8 hours ahead. Setting the timer was very simple, you just set how many hours ahead you want the loaf to be finished, it automatically calculates the baking time within that, so you don't have to work out anything complicated.

In the night the machine started up, and although not *very* loud, it was loud enough with its beeps and kneading to be heard up stairs in a bedroom with a closed door. It would have been nice if you could set the machine to silent mode to prevent beeps to add ingredients, etc when you know you don't want to add anything.

The loaf in the morning had the same look as the first loaf, cooked more one side than the other. This didn't affect its taste though, only the texture of the crust. I must say that this loaf surpassed my expectations and is the nicest breakfast bread I've ever had. Perfect for marmalade!

I phoned the Zojirushi customer support number and the rep advised me to use 2 tablespoons less flour to sort out the uneven baking. Unconvinced, I tried this on my 3 loaf, making the same Hensburger recipe for comparison. I made extra sure to spread the ingredients evenly across the pan, and even made several little pockets for the yeast so it would be evenly incorporated into the dough. The result was sadly the same. An even height loaf, but cooked more one side than the other.

I was about to return it as faulty when I decided to look again at the Zojirushi website for photos of their loaves. In the 'Fun Fun Fun' section I found some recipes with photos of the loaves that had ACTUALLY been cooked in the device, and not just added from stock photos. I noticed the same unevenly cooked crust that had plagued my 3 loaves!

On closer inspection of the inside of the device I noticed that the heating element is does not go equally around the inside of the baking area. Presumably this is the reason for the uneven baking.

I'm afraid I have no experience of other bread machines, so I'm unable to offer a comparison. Would I recommend this machine to a friend? Yes I would, but just beware that the loaves won't look as perfect as they do in the marketing photos.
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on January 30, 2011
I bake bread. A lot of bread, an average of two loaves a week. When I don't have time to make bread the old fashioned way I've been relying on the Zojirushi for all my easy baking. I've worn out an Oster in a couple of years and a Cuisinart in a year after that. The Zoji has been going strong for the last three years. I use it at least three times a month to a maximum of six times a month. The non stick surfaces are still superb and unscathed (a problem with the other bread makers I've used). The crumb and crust produced is excellent. Even the quick two hour bake cycle produces a lovely bread if you're in a rush (works best if you add 1/8 cup more water to your recipe). The dough cycle is almost on par with a good kneading by hand, by virtue of the double paddles.
My only complaint (minor) is that there is no signal after the final punch down going into the final rise in order to allow you to take the paddles out to allow for easier removal from the pan after baking. This minor quibble however is not enough to reduce my 5 star rating.
Simply the best there is.
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on January 1, 2013
I started out hating this breadmaker because I tried several different times with different recipes and couldn't get any of them to work out the way I expected them to. Then I found m_k's 5 star review on this site explaining that the manufacturer's instructions were geared to US users, and describing how to adjust them to handle Canadian flour. This does work, and the breadmaker is now performing well, so what I should have done was to give this machine a 4 star rating (a bit too expensive, and a bit too fiddly, for the quality of bread produced). In the end, however, I decided to give it only 2 stars, not just for the initial frustration that this machine caused, but also because, if you are like me, you read the critical comments first and, if you buy this machine, you need to be aware of m_k's advice (thank you m_k).
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