The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Perfect Bread Machine Wishlist

Diane's picture

Perfect Bread Machine Wishlist

My oldest daughter, the non-baker, has decided that she wants to bake bread in a bread machine for her family.  Forget the fact that she lives around the corner from us and I could teach her how to bake bread from scratch, forget that I have a 5 year old sourdough starter to share, forget that I could show her how to make designs with a sharp razor, etc. etc.  I am just happy she shows an interest.

I've spent hours reading about bread machines. I called Breville USA, waited on the phone line for 45 minutes and hung up.  I called Zo, and based on what I learned, I was discouraged.

So, I wonder if I share my wishlist, someone might suggest a model:

1. low 80's dough rise temperature

2. pause button (to take dough out, shape if desired) (Zo customer care said I could lift the lid to take out the dough, but the paddle would still be spinning)

3. bake only button

4. no oil capability (Zo customer care said I HAD to use oil/butter/ or apple sauce)

5. 2.5 lb capacity

6. great for whole grain breads




proth5's picture

with how Zojirushi customer care responded.

Although I do not have their breadmaker, I use other Zo appliances and they are the best designed and most luxurious home grade appliances that I have.

So I did a quick search on and found that you can mix lean doughs in the Zo, it has a mix only cycle, and a special sourdough cycle (Although 2 pounds seems to be its limit).

Try the site itself - you can download user manuals for their products and read for yourself.

Hope this helps.


Diane's picture

well, that's interesting.  Thanks

604 Center Street's picture
604 Center Street

I love my Oster. Only it doesn't do two pounds. I admit it, I use it for mixing and raising. I bake it in my oven though. A girls gotta set some standards.

Diane's picture

Very funny!

What I like about bread baking is it's mostly forgiving.....


HerBoudoir's picture

I have a Zo and while it's not perfect ( any kitchen appliance?), it does get me up and baking bread regularly, which  I haven't done before.    I've ended up using it primarily as a doughmaker, for which it is fantastic - lots of built in options, plus the option to program my own cycles and remember them.    I pull the dough out, shape and put in my own pan, proof again, then bake in my own oven.    I've had great results this way, from rolls to simple sandwich bread to using preferments to whole grains.   I'm far from an expert, but I'm confident enough that I'll rarely buy bread again.   I've avoided yeast baking for years because I couldn't be bothered with rising, kneading, blah blah...and now it's no problem whatsoever, because the machine does the bulk of the work.

A bread machine is just a tool, just like anything else, and you have to play around with it to get the results you like best.  

As far as being able to make a no-oil bread in a Zo....I make a french loaf with a preferment that has no fat added.   It's come out great, but then I guess I didn't ask customer service if it was ok to try that recipe (I got it online) first LOL

I usually do about a 2 lb dough size, and I could see that if you were trying to go larger AND bake in the Zo, it might not be a large enough capacity as the dough rises.   I would have no worries doing 2.5 lbs of dough in it though.

If there's anything I can help you with about using the actual machine, I'd be happy to try to help you out.  

Diane's picture

Yes, I've read good things about the Zo.  I think it is on par with the Brevile, mentioned below. Not sure that dual kneading paddles are necessary, but that is probably helps Zo market its product.

R_Muller's picture

Just bought a Breville BBM800XL, to replace my 23 year old non-programmable Panasonic, after a very thorough investigation of what's available.  I bake about 1 loaf a week, rarely use oil, and frequently use whole grain.  My routine is to put in the ingredients before I go to bed and wake up with a freshly baked loaf to enjoy with cream cheese and lox for breakfast.  I am very loose with my recipies, but I do open the machine to poke and prod the batter and adjust the amount of water or flour as it kneads.

I am very put off by the current instructions that "you MUST follow the instructions exactly!!".  I don't bake that way.  So I downloaded and read the instructions for all of the machines- Zo, Breadman, Cuisinart, Panasonic, T-Fal, DeLonghi, Breville- to see which ones I could override to do it my way.

The Breville can be programmed to do all of the things you want.  It appears to be the only currently available machine that allows you to set both time and temperature. I have created 2 programs for my Breville: the first to knead briefly, with no yeast, so I can check the consistency of the dough before I go to bed, and the second to set with a delayed start to finish the kneading with the yeast and bake the bread.  My first loaf, based on their standard whole wheat cycle, rose nicely, but the texture needs work.

Next step: reduce the rise temperature to 80 degrees, increase the rise time (right now I am going to try the maximum, 100 minutes for each rise), and see how I can improve the results.  Since I have all night the cycle can be more than 6 hours, as long as I don't have to wake up and do anything.

Williams Sonoma says I have 90 days to decide if I like it, and can return it if I don't.

My wish for future developments: being able to store and adjust the program on my laptop, and communicate it wirelessly to the bread machine.

Diane's picture

The Breville sounds excellent.  Too bad when I called Wiliams Sonoma to get details I was told to call Breville.  I called Breville, and after a 30 minute wait, I hung up.  I then sent an email with my questions and got a response a week later.  By then I had already purchased a Cuisinart Bread Machine Convection Bake.  While it doesn't have the whistles and bells your Breville has, it does an excellent job.  I'm going to review it for others in another posting.  Your wish for future developments is inspiring ;->


chris319's picture

At the top of my bread machine wish list is:

It bakes evenly, that is, the crust is a uniform color top, bottom and sides.

I got a bread machine and the bottom of the loaf came out much darker than the rest of it. The heating element encircled the baking pan but was located toward the bottom of the machine, thus, the bottom of the loaf came out much darker. It was returned to the store.