Could I get a little advice on my next bread machine purchase. I want to extend the rise time when using sourdough starter. Are there machines available that allow for extended rises?
The Zojirushi is programmable with up the 3 rise periods separated by brief kneading action. The first rise can be 1 minute - 24 hours, the second rise can be 1 minute - 2 hours, the third rise can be 1 minute - 2 hours.
Two things it does NOT have are a USB interface so you can program from a laptop or PDA, and any sort of pause, rest, or autolyze option.
IMHO there are only two types of breadmakers: Zo, and everything else. Built like tanks and they do sell both replacement paddles and buckets. I bought a Zo ricemaker about 6 months ago and it is doing a great job too with rice, oatmeal, wheat cereal, etc.
Look at the Cuisinart Bread Machine. It costs less than the Zoji, the replacement paddles and buckets are far less expensive and last just as long (look for replacement parts on the Cuisinart web site). They have ready made cycles for artisan bread which are quite long. Check here: http://www.cuisinart.com/products/countertop/cbk-200.html You can download the manual to see how long the cycles are.
I've owned a Zoji and the replacement parts were expensive and should have lasted much longer for the money. I use the Cuisinart daily with good results. I just bought a second one for a little more than $50, it was refurbished with a 90 day warranty, my old machine came with a 3 year warranty many years ago and it still works every day.
Where did you find that Cuisinart machine that was the refurb? I didn't even know they made a bread machine!! Does it have an Artisan cycle?? If you prefer, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I found the refurbished machine at Big Lots but you can order online from www.overstock.com. Yes, it has artisan settings, see their web site and you can download the manual.
Thanks for the help, I guess I'll go with the Zo. I'm curious about the USB interface - is there a machine that I can hook to the computer. I might be able to reprogram it. Mike