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Seeking Bread Machine Recommendations
Old 06-08-2010, 04:18 PM   #1
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Seeking Bread Machine Recommendations

DW and I eat a lot of bread. I used to make my own bread by hand every couple of days but it got to be too much work and now we buy our bread at the grocery store. We probably spend about $3+ a day on (mostly) specialty breads. So there is the potential for substantial savings by making home bread again. Plus I want to control the ingredients that go into my bread.

I can't find decent bread machines at any of my local stores (I tried Target, Sears, BBB, etc... and the selection is pitiful). It looks like bread machines are not as popular as they once were. Anyways, I was wondering if you guys had any recommendations for a good machine. I would like it to be heavy duty and durable, and I want the loaf to be horizontal.

So far, this is the one I favor:

Amazon.com: Zojirushi BBCCX20 Home Bakery Supreme Bread Machine: Home & Garden

I don't know anything about this brand, but people seem to like it.
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Old 06-08-2010, 04:30 PM   #2
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I know Zojirushi makes a wonderful rice steamer but did not know they also had a bread machine. I used to have a Panasonic bread machine, and it was great. I gave it away several years ago as I wasn't using it much . I pick up bread from a local health food store, a nearby Italian store, and also Panera's(I love their French baguette).
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Old 06-08-2010, 04:35 PM   #3
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I have an Oster machine that works very well. One thing about bread makers - lots of people get them then don't use them as much as they thought they would. Kinda like excercise equipment. I'd recommend finding a few brands that would work OK for you then checking Craigs list, Ebay and local yard sales. I bet you could get a screaming deal.
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Old 06-08-2010, 04:42 PM   #4
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You might try RonBoyd. He makes bread every morning! I'm still in amazement over that one myself...
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Old 06-08-2010, 04:52 PM   #5
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Here's a used Zojirushi on e-bay for under $90. New is over $200. That's a lot of bread

Zojirushi BBCCX20 Home Bakery Supreme Bread Machine - eBay (item 250646565959 end time Jun-13-10 19:57:01 PDT)
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Old 06-08-2010, 05:14 PM   #6
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I sorta like the one DW bought about 20 years ago and is stashed in a closet somewhere.
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Old 06-08-2010, 05:31 PM   #7
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Re: actually using the machine...

I know I will use it regularly. For years, I made bread every other day, mixing ingredients when coming home from work, kneading the dough by hand for 20 minutes, letting the dough rise for a while, shaping the dough and letting it rise again before baking the bread. By the time I was done it was past midnight sometimes. So I am motivated! It's just that I can't spend several hours every other day making bread by hand anymore (at least not as long as I am still working). But I would still prefer eating homemade bread.
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Old 06-08-2010, 07:28 PM   #8
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Oh! What a timely thread. Yesterday, my Breadman Pro gave up after the Brass Bushing in the pan wore out. I was extremely disappointed. I had gone through a trying several week struggle on which machine to purchase before deciding on that one.My overriding rule had been that "it would be the last bread machine I would ever buy." Not that I expected an early personal demise but that I was tired of going through cheap bread machines (three times previously). The $120 was way more than I wanted to spend but eventually succumbed.

Anyway, as my anger reached a boiling point I looked it up and found that I had bought it five years ago next month. Somewhat (but not quite) calmed down, I figured I would simply purchase a new Bread Pan for the machine. Well, it turns out that Breadman went out of business and Black & Decker took over... but they are not supporting the product. No new Bread Pan for me. <Grrrrr> I was already experienced with B&D's bread machine and knew that they could not hold up to my kind of use.

Biting the bullet, I started all over. The most useful information came from this Bread Machine Review Website. Bottom line: I reached the same conclusion that you did -- the Zojirushi BBCCX20 is the only model that fits my specs. Interestingly, it was my second choice five years ago; losing out for pricing reasons. Now, I find, that the Breadman, during that time, earned a reputation for low quality and the Zojirushi proved to be very reliable.

(The Amazon price -- $214.94 -- is the lowest available -- matched by only one other source.)
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Old 06-08-2010, 07:42 PM   #9
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I usually go with the King Arthur Flour recommendations. They do a lot of research. Of course they favor higher end bread machines because their clients are serious home bakers.

Looks like they are recommending two bread machines, and one is the Zojirushi BBCC-X20 Home Bakery Supreme Bread Machine you list. Zojirushi BBCC-X20 Home Bakery Supreme Bread Machine - White

And this other one (SS version of same?) Zojirushi BB-CEC20 Home Bakery Supreme Bread Machine - Stainless Steel

I would say you are good to go with the BBCCX20 because King Arthur won't recommend one unless they consider it capable of supporting a serious home baker.

BTW - when I had a bread machine, I always did the final baking in the oven because I liked to have more traditional (round or oval or baguette) shapes. I relied on the bread machine to do all the other work - and it was so good at mixing and rising the dough.

King Arthur has been recommending Zojirushi bread machines for years. Before that they recommended the Panasonic bread maker. I thought my Zojirushi was very good (I also liked the Panasonic). I don't have one now because I live in a motorhome and the truth is I don't eat nearly as much bread as I used to. But I still really enjoy baking it!

I used to make ciabatta! Learning to handle that super sticky dough is a trick, but the results - oh! I also used to make baguettes all the time.

Audrey
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Old 06-08-2010, 07:48 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=audreyh1;944965]BTW - when I had a bread machine, I always did the final baking in the oven because I liked to have more traditional (round or oval or baguette) shapes. I relied on the bread machine to do all the other work - and it was so good at mixing and rising the dough./QUOTE]

+1 for all the non-loaf of bread types -- Hamburger buns, for instance. I. too, use only KA flours.
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Old 06-08-2010, 08:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
I usually go with the King Arthur Flour recommendations. They do a lot of research. Of course they favor higher end bread machines because their clients are serious home bakers.

Looks like they are recommending two bread machines, and one is the Zojirushi BBCC-X20 Home Bakery Supreme Bread Machine you list. Zojirushi BBCC-X20 Home Bakery Supreme Bread Machine - White

And this other one (SS version of same?) Zojirushi BB-CEC20 Home Bakery Supreme Bread Machine - Stainless Steel

I would say you are good to go with the BBCCX20 because King Arthur won't recommend one unless they consider it capable of supporting a serious home baker.

BTW - when I had a bread machine, I always did the final baking in the oven because I liked to have more traditional (round or oval or baguette) shapes. I relied on the bread machine to do all the other work - and it was so good at mixing and rising the dough.

King Arthur has been recommending Zojirushi bread machines for years. Before that they recommended the Panasonic bread maker. I thought my Zojirushi was very good (I also liked the Panasonic). I don't have one now because I live in a motorhome and the truth is I don't eat nearly as much bread as I used to. But I still really enjoy baking it!

I used to make ciabatta! Learning to handle that super sticky dough is a trick, but the results - oh! I also used to make baguettes all the time.

Audrey
Except for specialty flours, I use King Arthur Flours exclusively too but I didn't know they had bread machine recommendations. That's another plus for the Zo!

I also like the option to have the machine do the hard work and then bake the bread in the oven. I will use that option for making pizza dough and baguettes. Actually, I suspect I will bake the bread in the oven more often than not.
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Old 06-08-2010, 08:54 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by RonBoyd View Post
Oh! What a timely thread. Yesterday, my Breadman Pro gave up after the Brass Bushing in the pan wore out. I was extremely disappointed. I had gone through a trying several week struggle on which machine to purchase before deciding on that one.My overriding rule had been that "it would be the last bread machine I would ever buy." Not that I expected an early personal demise but that I was tired of going through cheap bread machines (three times previously). The $120 was way more than I wanted to spend but eventually succumbed.

Anyway, as my anger reached a boiling point I looked it up and found that I had bought it five years ago next month. Somewhat (but not quite) calmed down, I figured I would simply purchase a new Bread Pan for the machine. Well, it turns out that Breadman went out of business and Black & Decker took over... but they are not supporting the product. No new Bread Pan for me. <Grrrrr> I was already experienced with B&D's bread machine and knew that they could not hold up to my kind of use.

Biting the bullet, I started all over. The most useful information came from this Bread Machine Review Website. Bottom line: I reached the same conclusion that you did -- the Zojirushi BBCCX20 is the only model that fits my specs. Interestingly, it was my second choice five years ago; losing out for pricing reasons. Now, I find, that the Breadman, during that time, earned a reputation for low quality and the Zojirushi proved to be very reliable.

(The Amazon price -- $214.94 -- is the lowest available -- matched by only one other source.)
I am glad to hear that the Zo gets yet another recommendation from an experienced baker like you. I know that you thoroughly research your purchases so I am particularly thankful for your chiming in.
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:12 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by FIREdreamer View Post
Except for specialty flours, I use King Arthur Flours exclusively too but I didn't know they had bread machine recommendations. That's another plus for the Zo!

I also like the option to have the machine do the hard work and then bake the bread in the oven. I will use that option for making pizza dough and baguettes. Actually, I suspect I will bake the bread in the oven more often than not.
Apparently they use them quite a bit in their own "test" kitchens, and that's why they have recommendations.

King Arthur has really good bread baking recipes too. I used several over the years.

They also have some interesting sponge starters worth trying. They give breads more interesting flavors and textures. Subtle, but yummy.

Audrey
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:48 PM   #14
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Apparently they use them quite a bit in their own "test" kitchens, and that's why they have recommendations.

King Arthur has really good bread baking recipes too. I used several over the years.

They also have some interesting sponge starters worth trying. They give breads more interesting flavors and textures. Subtle, but yummy.

Audrey
Wow, their website is a treasure trove of information! I have already found a few recipes I want to try. Thanks!
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:55 PM   #15
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After using bread machines for quite a few years my husband went to the no knead type of bread.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/081mrex.html
No Knead Bread Recipe | Steamy Kitchen Recipes
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Old 06-08-2010, 10:17 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Martha View Post
After using bread machines for quite a few years my husband went to the no knead type of bread.
Yep. I don't need bread either - but it sure is good!
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Old 06-08-2010, 10:29 PM   #17
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Thanks, Martha. I have experimented with no knead type doughs before and I did have some good results. But I think that kneading does improve the texture of the bread, at least for the kind of breads I usually make. It's a question of personal preference I think. Your link however shows a very intriguing way to bake bread (in a cast iron pot) which I will definitely investigate further.
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Old 06-08-2010, 11:06 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha View Post
After using bread machines for quite a few years my husband went to the no knead type of bread.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/081mrex.html
No Knead Bread Recipe | Steamy Kitchen Recipes
This was mentioned a couple months ago in this thread:

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Old 06-08-2010, 11:19 PM   #19
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Zojirushi is one of the top brands in small kitchen appliances in Japan. Don't have one of their bread makers, but nothing else I have ever bought from them has ever broken. Fwiw...

R
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Old 06-08-2010, 11:31 PM   #20
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Zojirushi is one of the top brands in small kitchen appliances in Japan. Don't have one of their bread makers, but nothing else I have ever bought from them has ever broken. Fwiw...

R
That's good to know, thanks. I had never heard of that brand until I started researching bread machines.
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