The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

What is going on with my Zojirushi?

Mjjakub's picture
Mjjakub

What is going on with my Zojirushi?

I have the supposedly highly rated Zojirushi BBCC-X20.  I used it for quite a while with ok success and then put it in storage for a few months.  Since then I have attempted to make 4 different breads, following the recipes in the manual exactly, and each time I have got the results seen below.  It looks like it is not mixing properly.  I don’t understand what is going on here.  I even used an instant read thermometer throughout the last cycle to see if it was getting too hot and killing the yeast.  I had someone else attmpt to make the third loaf following the recipe to remove user error.  I went and bought new yeast after the first failure.  Anyone have an idea? 

 

alex.bread's picture
alex.bread

Hi,

I was wandering if this ever got solved.

I recently bought a Zojirushi BB-CEC20. First bread was OK. A week later I tried to make another one and it resulted in something very similar to the picture above.

As the original poster did I changed yeast but had the same result. In all cases I used the device's manual for the simplest recipe.

Did this happen to others, or I am doing something wrong?

Should I get my unit replaced?

Alex

PS: From my observations, in my case, the dough never gets into a nice ball, but is just a collection of separate pieces. Looks like the "Stir down" step of the machine is malfunctioning. 

NoraCuspidora's picture
NoraCuspidora

Alex, did you watch the mixing and/or kneading process?  Are the paddles moving properly, or at all?  If not, the belt that runs the paddles may have slipped.  

alex.bread's picture
alex.bread

Hi,

I watched today the mixing/kneading process.

I chose the basic cycle from the manual of my machine:

     http://imgur.com/5SVvq (photo from manual)

I can say the following things:

  • kneading seems to works well and it seems to last about 18min as shown in picture
  • the "stir down" process is much too short (just 1-2min) insted of about 5min on the diagram
  • also during the "stir down" process the machine was ticking and changing direction very often, intervals of 4-5 second

I also made a short video of the stir down process:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYBRfOlP0HQ

From what I saw, my impression is that the "stir down" part is not spinning enough. But I might be wrong.

So does this stir-down (and ticking) look normal as in the vide? Or something is wrong?

Alex

NoraCuspidora's picture
NoraCuspidora

Alex, that stir down cycle looks  okay, or at least it looks exactly the same as the stir down on my original two Zoji machines.  The stir down cycles don't last long; all they do is deflate the dough a bit between the rise cycles. I don't think that's the problem.  

I'm no expert, believe me, but just from experience I would guess that your dough was far too dry to form a nice, soft, cohesive ball.  It also looks like it didn't rise but I think that could be attributed to the dough being too stiff, too.

I now have a West Bend machine and have finally made two perfect loaves, really perfect loaves with a huge rise and great texture. One thing I've learned through trial and error is that the dough should be soft, smooth and very slightly sticky when the kneading is done. I've learned to never trust the machine to make perfect bread on its own, so I monitor what the dough looks and feels like at every stage.  If I see that the dough is too dry I start to add water in increments of one teaspoon at a time, starting at about ten minutes into the kneading cycle. That has helped enormously. 

Wilhelm's picture
Wilhelm

I got a zojirushi for Xmas, and my first loaf turned out basically like the pic in this thread.  I knew right from the first knead cycle, from watching through the window, there was not enough water in the recipe.  My second loaf turned out better but still lumpy on top and did not rise enough.  I'm going to make a third loaf tonight and increase the water and yeast a bit more.  my sense is that the recipes in the zojirushi manual are not accurate and need a lot of tinkering to get a good result.  

Wilhelm's picture
Wilhelm

Just a follow up maybe this will help some folks in the future.  On my third attempt I adjusted the light rye recipe in the manual to 3.5 cups bread flour, 1 cup rye flour, 1.75 cups of water, 2.25 tsps yeast, left everything else the same as in the manual and this loaf looks good.  In the manual it calls for way more flour, less water, and a bit less yeast.  I thwith as with everything, you need to fine tune these recipes and make sure you write the measurements down each time you adjust So you don't forget.  

NoraCuspidora's picture
NoraCuspidora

I had trouble with the recipes that came with the Zoji, too.  They all seemed to have far too much flour (or perhaps not enough water).

Wilhelm's picture
Wilhelm

On my third attempt I have before me the most perfect loaf I've ever seen!  As I suspected and others mentioned, the recipes that come with this bread maker call for too much flour.  

alex.bread's picture
alex.bread

Hi,

I want to thank everyone who contributed to this thread. It will surely be helpful to others in the future.

In my case, the problem was the same: too much flour, and/or not enough water. But now, I am making great bread, and I am happy that the problem was not in the machine itself.

Alex

lazycat's picture
lazycat

I just bought a new Zo BB-CEC20 last week. Today I took it out and test it with my first loaf. Oh my! Nightmare. Before I started, I read all the instructions and watched videos on youtube. I followed all the steps and ingredients exactly as it said in the manual. Then I got exactly the same result. I watched the whole mixing/kneading process. At the end of kneading, I can tell the flour was not a smooth ball but just lumpy as the picture showed. I thought there might be another round of kneading but I was wrong. I am VERY disappointed. Such a waste!

Antilope's picture
Antilope

The picture above is because not enough liquid was added. I had that problem occasionally until I started weighing my ingredients. At the very least, weigh the flour. I aim for a hydration of about 60% to 65%.  It will make a great improvement. Also, monitor the first few minutes of mixing and adjust the dough, with more liquids or flour, so you could remove it from the machine and knead it by hand. Not too dry and not too sticky. It should be a smooth dough that holds its shape.

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

You don't get it. You supposed to be able to just dump all the ingredients, then set and forget.

Voila! Perfect loaf! LOL!

lazycat's picture
lazycat

Hi, Antilope, thanks so much for your quick response. I am doing my research at this site right now to see other issues people discussed here. I used basic cycle, total of 3h 45min long. I was doing sweet bread. The recipe from the manual says:

1-1/8 (270ml) Cups milk 
1 large egg
4-1/4 cups bread flour (I used Gold medal better for bread)
4 Tbsp sugar
2 Tsp salt
2-1/2 Tbsp butter (unsalted butter)
1 tsp orange peel (I didn't add this one)
2 tsp active dry yeast (Red star active dry yeast from Costco)

After it was done, it's not sweet at all. And some crumbs are very salty. It definitely not mixed well. For the liquid part, do you know if I still want sweet bread by using above recipe, how much milk should I measure? 

Thanks again.

Marimorimo's picture
Marimorimo

I find it strange that a few posters here mention how the Zojirushi recipes have too low hydration. My hunch is that the recipes are based on Japanese flours, which tend to have higher hydration than US flours. Zojirushi is a Japanese company, after all.

I've only baked bread with Japanese flours once, and I did have to add a bit more flour while kneading (I was using a KAF recipe).

Antilope's picture
Antilope

while calculating baker's percentages for a couple of the recipes from the Zo recipe book. But any recipe put in any bread machine, whether by volume or weight, always requires moisture adjustment during the first few minutes of mixing. Additional liquid or flour usually needs to be added for a properly hydrated dough. Just adding ingredients, closing the lid and walking away is a recipe for disaster, in my opinion. I never use the timer function for that reason.

Same goes for a stand mixer. Do you ever hit it exactly, without some little adjustment of the hydration? I don't.