All about the Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Bread Machine
Zojirushi is a Japanese company that manufactures appliances ranging from bread machines to rice cookers. It’s one of the top-selling bread machine brands out there. For those looking to make traditional 2-pound loaves, you should go for this bread machine.
- A quick baking cycle of less than 2 hours
- Menu settings for gluten-free bread and more
- The heater on the lid helps bake the bread evenly
- Large viewing window
- There is a 13-hour delay timer
- Bakes your bread in 2 hours
- You can make a horizontal 2-pound loaf
- It comes with a wide range of pre-programmed bread-making settings
- There is an instruction manual, a recipe book, and a DVD in the package to help you kick-start your baking process.
Zojirushi bread machine is one of the largest bread machines, if not the largest. The dimensions are 10.5*18*12.88 inches, and it weighs 24 pounds. Before purchasing it, make up some good space on your kitchen counter to accommodate its large size.
The size makes it possible for the bread machine to make rectangular loaves. We found the baking pan large with two paddles for the kneading process, on top of it is a large transparent window. We found this window great for watching how the dough moved from one paddle to the other.
The bread pan itself is heavier than most pans in similar bread machines since the metal used is heavier. In addition to that, two large and looped heavy-duty handles make it easier to remove the pan and also push it back when adding the ingredients.
One feature we liked the most is its ability to stop the kneading process when we open the lid. We like touching our dough to ascertain its texture and this bread machine automatically stops the paddles, so we don’t have to worry about the paddles injuring our hands.
You’ll find 13 different programs on the Zojirushi bread machine, which enables you to make jam, dough, and bread. For those in a hurry to bake bread, you’ll be happy to know that this bread machine comes with two rapid settings for making white and wheat bread. These settings knock off an hour of the baking process.
For those users who like special settings like vegan bread and salt-free settings, you have to adjust the ingredients to accommodate those added variables as there are no special settings. Alternatively, towards the end of the kneading process, you’ll hear a beeping sound, and that’s when you can add the special ingredients.
You’ll find the setting descriptions and numbers largely printed in the front lid, it makes reference easy when you are in doubt.
The control panel is good and easy to use as it comes with an LCD Display.
One setback is that the LCD is not backlit, so if you place it on a dark kitchen corner, or if the room is dimly lit, there will be a problem when keying in the settings.
The delay timer is a great addition, especially if you want to step out of the kitchen for a while. Add your ingredients then schedule the exact time on the machine’s clock.
The shaping option is the other convenient feature; you can remove and shape the dough before baking when the machine beeps.
Another unique feature of the Zojirushi bread machine is its resting time. After adding the ingredients, you might think that the machine is resting and doing nothing. But, the machine is heating the ingredients to kick-start the kneading process.
The importance of this feature is to make all ingredients like refrigerated butter at room temperature before the actual baking. You can also choose different crust settings on the machine’s customizable settings.
Another convenient feature is that you don’t have to go fishing for the bread in the pan; the bread stays in the paddle at all times. In other bread makers, you have to shake the bread pan up and down.
The Zojirushi Bread Machine allows you to make everything ranging from pound cake, wheat bread, and pizza dough. For those who love trying out new recipes, you’ll be more than happy to learn that the machine comes with customizable settings for that purpose.
Those who like making the traditional loaf are not left out either, Zojirushi gives you the best standard-shaped loaves in the market.
The performance was impressive, we tried out the bread settings on the machine and the results were good. The settings come in handy for adventurous bakers, for example, we used the wheat setting to bake whole wheat bread and the results were as expected.
The basic white bread is easy to bake because of the included recipe in the cookbook, which is easy to follow.
Now, for the herb bread, you must use the European setting.
When adding the ingredients, strictly follow the order suggested in the bread machine’s manual like adding liquid ingredients first, then adding yeast last. This order helps the enzymatic action of the yeast for the best results.
The manufacturers thought about every detail and added some accessories for precise baking measurements. In the package, you’ll find;
- Dry measuring cups
- Dual measuring spoons
- Liquid measuring cups
- Instruction manual
The measuring cups are in millimeters and the measuring spoons have marks halfway when measuring half-spoons. We noted that the spoons are marked as L and S to denote teaspoon and tablespoon.
Things we liked
- The top is heated for even browning of the bread
- Easily customizable settings
- It gives you flawless baking results
- It heats the ingredients during its rest time for an even baking temperature
- Easy to remove bread from the pan as it stays on the paddle
Things we didn’t like
- The LCD Display is not backlit, making the selection of settings at night harder
- Compared to other models, it is much more expensive
We have no doubts when recommending this bread machine to adventurous bakers out there. The rapid settings give you a short baking time and the results are of high quality. Though the Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso 2-Pound Bread Machine is a bit pricier than similar models, we think the price is consistent with its quality.
Check out our articles for more bread machine reviews.