Making delicious bread isn’t just for pro bakers, thanks to the array of brilliant modern bread makers, whipping up a homemade loaf of bread has become ridiculously easy. If you are on the hunt for a bread maker that will help you create delicious, bakery-quality bread from the comfort of your own home, then look no further than a Japanese brand called Zojirushi.
Zojirushi is consistently one of the top bread makers out there, and although their machines sit a little on the pricey side of the bread machine spectrum, these handy appliances come with a bunch of features I think make them worth their weight in gold.
Haven’t got a Zojirushi yet? Here are a few of my favorite deals on Zojirushi bread machines!
The most popular bread machines in the Zojirushi line are the Virtuoso Plus and the Supreme. They also have 2 smaller machines, the Mini and the Maestro. Despite the size difference and capacity of each machine, they all work in similar ways and have the same final product: delicious homemade bread.
So whether you are thinking about investing in a Zojirushi, or have just bought one and need a crash course in how to use it, here I will talk you through the steps of using that Zojirushi bread maker so that you can start baking like a pro!
How to use a Zojirushi bread maker: Step by Step
Making bread in a bread machine is a relatively simple process regardless of which machine you have. But, it is important to get to know your machine by reading the manual and by understanding the different settings and what each button does.
Here’s a quick breakdown of all functions of the control panel. Depending on which model you are looking at, the layout might change slightly.
There is a few things to keep in mind before you begin making your bread. Make sure that the water you use is lukewarm between 95F-113F (35C-45C). If it is too hot it will kill the yeast and the bread will not rise. If it’s too cold, the yeast will not activate at all.
Speaking of yeast, use rapid yeast or bread maker yeast. This type of yeast is fast-acting and does not been to be activated and bloomed in water, like active dry yeast.
Although this doesn’t matter so much with rapid yeast or bread maker yeast, if you do use active dry yeast, try and keep the yeast away from the salt until the mixing begins. The longer the yeast is exposed to salt it could make it ineffective and kill the yeast.
Now that you know all of the tips and tricks for using your Zojirushi bread maker, let’s get started on making some bread!
If you can’t wait to get a loaf of bread going, then watch this two-minute video which explains everything you need to know to get that first loaf of bread ready.
If you want a full breakdown of the bread-making process, here are the step-by-step actions you will need to take.
Step 1: Take the pan out of the machine and place it on digital scales. If you are using measuring cups instead, have them ready.
Step 2: Attach the kneading blades to the rotating shafts. If you have a horizontal pan, make sure that both blades are facing the same way as this can affect the shape of the loaf.
Step 3: Add the lukewarm water first and any other liquids like oil, then add the dry ingredients. Starting with the flour first, then the sugar and salt. Make a well in the middle of the flour with your finger and add the yeast in there so it’s protected from the salt and wet ingredients.
Step 4: Latch the bread pan back into the bread machine and shut the lid.
Step 5: Plug the machine into the wall.
Step 6: Press the course button and choose the desired course. Once you choose, the LCD screen will show you how long the bread will take to bake. You can also select the crust color at this stage.
Step 7: Press the start button.
Step 8: When the cycle ends, press and hold the cancel button to end the operation.
Step 9: Open the lid and remove the bread pan. Make sure you remove the bread pan from the handles and wear oven mitts. During this time, turn your bread machine off from the wall.
Step 10: Flip the bread pan around and begin to shake it until the bread comes out. If the bread won’t budge, it might be stuck in the paddles. Under the pan, there are two coupling wing nuts. If you jiggle them back and forth a few times, it should help remove the bread.
Step 11: Place the loaf of bread on a wire rack as this will help the loaf to cool down faster.
Step 12: After around an hour or when it has cooled down but is still warm, slice into it and enjoy!
If you follow these easy steps, you’ll be making delicious bread in your machine in no time.
Other Great Features
The Delayed Timer
Other great features include the delayed timer. The delayed timer is great because you can add your ingredients at night and have the bread machine bake it in the morning so you wake up to the smell of fresh bread. You can set the completion time for up to 13 hours ahead in 10-minute increments.
Using the delayed timer is very easy. Make sure you don’t use any perishable ingredients like milk or eggs.
Step 1: Place all your ingredients in your bread pan like above.
Step 2: Select the desired course and crust color. Note that you can’t use the timer for all the cycles. It is available for white, whole wheat, European, salt-free, sugar-free, and homemade settings.
Step 3: Press the ‘Timer’ button. The minimum time required will be displayed.
Step 4: By using the arrows, you can pick the time at which you want the baking to complete.
Step 5: Once you have set the timer, press the ‘Start’ button.
Example: If you set your bread machine to bake bread in 10 hours time at 9pm, your loaf of bread will be ready at 7am the next day.
The delayed timer is a fantastic feature and I’m sure it’ll become your most used!
The Homemade Course
Have you ever wished the dough had longer to rise? Well, the Zojirushi also gives you the option to take complete control of the settings and adjust them to your preference. This setting is available for all the Zojirushi bread makers apart from the Mini.
The homemade course allows you to set the kneading, rising, and baking time separately. This means that you can let the dough rise for as long as you want it to. This setting is ideal for bread like sourdough bread as it requires a longer rise.
The Zojirushi allows you to set up to 3 homemade settings in its memory so you don’t have to go through the process of setting it each time.
To use this function, select ‘Homemade Course’ and set the desired time for each stage of the bread-making process. I would recommend recreating the basic white loaf cycle to get a feel for how the homemade course works. But, it is very simple to use, just adjust the times for each stage before pressing the start button to begin baking.
The Zojirushi bread maker manual has extensive guides on how to use the different cycles, including how to bake at high altitudes.
Why Get a Zojirushi Bread Maker?
There are many reasons why a Zojirushi bread maker is worth the investment. Some people want to make their own bread because they’re interested in eating healthier and having more control over the ingredients that go into their food.
Baking your own bread is also more economical than buying it at the store. A loaf of store-bought bread can cost anywhere from $1.50 to $6 and even more for artisan loaves of bread.
Flour costs around $1 and you can easily make around 2 to 3 loaves of bread per 1.5kg. Yes, the upfront cost for a bread machine is a lot, but in the long run, your Zojirushi will certainly save you some precious bucks.
The Zojirushi bread maker is also one of the best on the market, so you know that you’re getting a quality product that will last you for years to come. These bread makers are fully automatic and very easy to use. They come with a wide variety of settings so you can make any type of bread that you want, from sourdough to gluten-free. They also have a number of great features like the delayed timer and the homemade course which gives you complete control over the bread-making process.
Bread machines are worth the investment and the Zojirushi’s are some of the best on the market, so you know that you’re getting a quality product that will last you for years to come.
If you want to know where to buy a Zojirushi, make sure you take a look at my favorite retailers to bag the best price!