3 Comments on “Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso Breadmaker with Gluten Free Menu setting Review
  1. 544 of 556 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Worth Every Penny!, February 3, 2012
    By 
    ‘Zannah (Baltimore, MD) –

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso Breadmaker with Gluten Free Menu setting (Kitchen)
    Our trusty, 18-year-old Zo was still going strong when the non-stick coating began to peel. When no replacement parts could be found, we faced the inevitable and began to look for a worthy successor. After much research, other brands seemed to have serious issues we hadn’t had with our old workhorse, despite its age (it was a hard act to follow!). Plunking down mega-bucks for the Virtuoso took much soul-searching, especially after so many negative reviews of its predecessor, but we checked Amazon’s price daily and took the plunge when it went on sale, since it could be returned if it was a dud.

    Surprisingly, this machine actually has exceeded our expectations; even 100% whole wheat bread, which in the ancestor Zo could be iffy, is perfect. In both 2 lb. and 1.5 lb. loaves, the crust is just right – not tough or hard; the top is golden and even; every loaf/cake, complex or simple, has been almost freakishly flawless (true, you are paying for those double paddles and top heater, but do they ever make a difference!). In true Zo form, it’s simple to use, very quiet and stable, and finished goodies slip right out with minimal holes and cleanup. Paddles remain in the pan, not the bread, and separate easily after briefly soaking the cooled pan in warm water. A “Shape” stage can be used to remove the dough to specially form it or remove the paddles before baking (the splines will remain, but the resulting holes will be much smaller without the paddles), and raising the lid will stop the machine temporarily without interfering with the program. Like older models, the initial “Rest” period warms ingredients as needed before mixing so no need to bring them to room temp first, but a cool new feature is the ability to bypass this stage if you don’t need it, which shortens the overall time considerably. The “Add” signal also beeps for a longer period so you have less chance of missing it, which is easy to do if you’re not nearby since it isn’t very loud. Although the DVD manual provided is unintentionally comical and prim, and mind-numbingly redundant, it does have some useful info not included in the written manual.

    One consideration before buying would be your available space: since it bakes a horizontal loaf, this is a hefty machine with a footprint 18″w, 11″d, and with the lid raised, 20″h, plus space needed behind and at sides for vents. An extension cord will probably be needed unless parked directly in front of an outlet.

    Although we’ve only begun to tap its many talents, after over a month of frequent use (2 – 3 times/wk. for whole-grain breads w/nuts/fruit/seeds, banana bread, cakes, and pizza dough so far, and hopefully noodles soon), we’re delighted with our new Zo and recommend it without reservation; we also appreciate Amazon’s free shipping and right-on-time arrival before Christmas.

    Just an added note if you’re new to bread makers (and to set straight some previous detractors’ comments) – for best results with any machine, take the time to measure ingredients by weight rather than volume and add them in the order recommended in your machine’s manual, since order can vary by manufacturer and doesn’t necessarily match that listed in cookbook recipes. And if you need more reasons to think Zo, check out the King Arthur Flour website blog where they used one to cook almost every dish last Thanksgiving (except the turkey)!

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  2. 272 of 283 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Great machine. High price but 100% worth it., December 16, 2011
    By 
    POKER4FUN (Glenview, IL. USA) –

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso Breadmaker with Gluten Free Menu setting (Kitchen)
    I have owned bread machines ever since about 1987 at a cost then of close to $600! Since then I have had just about every brand at one time or another. My favorites have been made by Panasonic and Zojirushi. In short you really do get what you pay for in quality and durability. This new “Zo” is heavy duty and makes a truly excellent and normal shaped loaf. I say normal as most make slightly odd shapes that are a little too wide or too tall. The added top heater solves the small flaw the previous Zo had and that was the top would have less color than the rest of the crust. I have had this machine about 2 weeks and have already made 10 loaves. All have come out perfectly including 100% whole wheat.
    Our favorite is a rich egg bread also know as Challah and here is my personal recipe:

    2 Beaten Eggs with water to equal 10 oz
    - or 10 oz water and 0.90 oz of powered whole eggs
    14.85 oz BY WEIGHT bread flour (I highly suggest King Arthur!)
    1.5 t Salt
    2 T Sugar
    1/3 stick of butter (2.66 T or just cut a stick in 3 parts)
    1.5 t Yeast (buy it in bulk here or at Costco as grocery store prices are insane)
    Optional: 2 drops of egg yellow food color (I suggest AmeriColor available here)

    Set the machine to the quick or normal cycle, light crust, and hit start. DO NOT use the timer as eggs are perishable.

    Enjoy :-)

    UPDATE: 04-10-2012
    The machine is still going strong and has now produced well over 100 loaves of delicious bread. The pan has held up nicely and shows virtually no wear. In short this is a winner.

    Update 03-24-15
    Can you believe the machine is still working well!?!!
    A few observations after many hundreds of loafs and years of use: The pan has aged as expected and should probably be replaced and the motor is making a little tiny squeak not. I may replace the machine but will just buy the same once again. I have more than gotten my money’s worth on this Zo! You get what you pay for :-)

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  3. 254 of 268 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Zojirushi Brings BREAD & PASTRIES Back into Gluten Free Home!, January 29, 2012
    This review is from: Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso Breadmaker with Gluten Free Menu setting (Kitchen)
    I LOVE my new Zojirushi VIRTUOSO Bread Maker! It has my ‘GLUTEN FREE’ setting and is so quiet I have to get up close to it to make sure its mixing or kneading! (I read posts on bread makers in general that said they are extremely loud! Not so with the Zojirushi!) I’ve had it less than 48 hours and have made 2 perfect loaves of bread! The texture, flavor, crust, etc. has been perfect, so perfect in fact that you can’t tell its GLUTEN FREE! Zojirushi has definitely brought ‘breads & pastries” BACK into this Gluten Free household! I heartily recommend the ‘Virtuoso’ model to everyone – but especially those of us that must be GF! I am totally new to bread machines – and reading all the ‘How-To’s’ about programming bread machines that didn’t have a GF Cycle really turned me off as too complicated, too much hassel, why bother. I knew I wouldn’t fool with all that; or, get so exasperated that I wouldn’t bother to use it if it didn’t have a pre-programmed GF cycle. The first loaf of bread I made was out of a GF recipe book and it was Cinnamon, Raisin, Walnut bread. I followed the recipe to a ‘T’ – placed the ingredients in the baking unit in the proper order as directed – and out came the most beautifully smelling, tasting and formed bread I have had since I became GF! Next, I grabbed one of those pre-packaged bread mixes with all the stuff in the bag; mixed up the wet ingredients, slapped everything in the banking pan in the prescribed order – and wondered if this would be as great as the first….OMG! It was! Now my husband has rushed out to get cheese and tomatoes so we can use it to make Grilled Cheese and Tomatoe sandwiches for dinner! Thank you Ziojirushi for
    bringing breads back into my house! (My husband thanks you the most, because he doesn’t have to be GF but has been forced into it since I banned any & all gluten from this house!) He has many, many GF bread recipes marked in several GF Bread Recipe books I have! I recommend this bread machine for the novice as well as the pro!

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