The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Is this typical of the Zojirushi BBCEC20?

shastaflour's picture

Is this typical of the Zojirushi BBCEC20?

We recently purchased a Zojirushi BBCEC20, and I'm on my fourth loaf. It seems that on the standard settings (I've used both the wheat and basic settings), the Zo is overbaking by quite a bit. Even when I shortened the baking cycle by 20 minutes (!) on the wheat setting, the internal loaf temperature measured at nearly 205 degrees! The resulting bread is a bit dry and the sides and bottom are much more brown than we would like.

Is there something wrong with my machine, or is this typical? I know I can program my own settings on the home made cycle, so that might be the solution. However, if there is something wrong with our particular machine, I'd like to know so I can exchange it.

If the overbaking is par for the course, how could they have programmed the machine so off? I realize that varying altitude and humidity could account for some difference, but that much?

We've been very pleased with everything else concerning the Zo.

Thanks so much for any insight you might have -- any and all wisdom is greatly appreciated! :)





jcking's picture

I've never tempted my loaves yet the loaf will not be soft and squishy like wonder bread. One tip I picked up is to wrap your loaf in a clean dry dish towel for 20 mins after depanning.


shastaflour's picture

Thanks, Jim --

I wouldn't have thought of wrapping it. We'll try that. I must admit that my husband likes his bread a bit on the underdone side -- though not doughy! I've since found that around 45 min of baking time is close to perfect, though the top doesn't get as brown as one might like that way. If wrapping doesn't do it it, I just might use the machine mainly for dough and start using the oven again.... :)

I appreciate your suggestion!

- Marguerite

jcking's picture

I've turned to using mine to mix the really wet doughs like Ciabatta and a plain loaf, or simple raisin bread, for my son who lives nearby. I like the way it doesn't heat up the whole house in the summer.


johnsankey's picture

I keep mine on light crust to avoid the overbaking - I like the results that way fine without reducing the time.



AnnaInNC's picture

even though the color of the crust is not as dark as I would want it even though I put on the correct setting, but the machine is great when I am in a hurry.



shastaflour's picture

Hi Suzanne,

You will probably have a lot more success if you put all the liquid ingredients into the pan first (including honey), then the dry ones on the top.  If you use butter, cut it into small pieces and put it in each end of the pan along with the liquids. The salt is supposed to go into the corners on top of the flour to keep it separate from the yeast until the machine actually starts mixing (otherwise it will stop the yeast from working correctly.)

I've never had a problem with things getting mixed correctly with this method. In fact, it also works when using a stand mixer to knead bread: liquids first, then all the rest.

Also, if over time you find yourself adjusting your recipes so much that they won't bake correctly in the Zo, try using it on the dough setting, pop your finished dough into bread pans and bake in the oven. The Zo makes a good mixer!

This site is a terrific resource. Have fun! (I also discovered it when trying to figure out how to make our Zojirushi work better.)



RayH's picture

I have a new Zo, I have baked maybe 10 loaves in it along with a loaf of a loaf of banana bread. No problems whatsoever. I do use the light crust setting. My previous machine was a Sunbeam. The loaves always collapsed on me.  They were good in terms of taste but...

I'm happy with my Zo, but am wanting to start baking the old fashioned way. mix it, knead it by hand and bake it in the oven.

joyfulbaker's picture

Hate to be smug about it, but we've been using an old (at least 10 or more years) Panasonic SD-YD 205 model (pfoo! pfoo! for good luck) that we bought at closeout for $60, and it bakes beautiful loaves. We use it every week for a w/w-bread flour mix, with honey for sweetener, and it's great every time. Today I'm trying a gluten-free mix from BRM (the "hearty" kind), and we'll see how that comes out. I think the new Panasonics have more capacity than ours, and I hope they're as good as this old one.


shastaflour's picture

What a surprise to see you on this thread! (It's a happy surprise, of course.)  From everything I've read, those Panasonics are champs, and I'm so glad yours is living up to that reputation.

:) Marguerite

whoops's picture

I have a used Zojorishi BBCC V20 that we bough off craigslist. I am not sure about your model, but mine has the two paddles, and I have had no issues with it, even when strictly halving my regular recipe for whole wheat sandwich bread and pouring things in. So Simple that even my hubby is starting to use it!

I have only used it a few times to mix dough, though I think with the holidays coming up I might use it more often, as I am developing some major issues with my arms , and as much as I enjoy the hand kneading, it hurts too bad for me to do it effectively. I still make my sour dough in my KA mixer. I am thinking of trading up to a new model now that I know we will use it regularly. I no longer buy any bread, other than hot dog and hamburger buns, as I have not found a recipe I like yet for those two items.

I did look at some of the less expensive models, but I really did not like the idea of the vertical loaves, and wanted the larger horizontal loaf.

Good luck, hope you have resolved your problems!



Jn6-35's picture

Hi, everyone---I am brand new to this site, but wanted to join the conversation about the problems some are having with the Zo.    I am a complete novice at baking bread, although I do have a sophisticated palate (as far as appreciating good bread).

I just bought the Zo BB-PAC20 and I LOVE it.   I am unable to mix/knead bread by hand because of arthritis, and since I am so new to baking, I thought that a bread machine would be a wonderful way to begin my love affair with this amazing and wonderful hobby.

I have had the machine for about 2 weeks and have made, so far, about 8 loaves---and each one has turned out beautifully.   I have not had the problems with the machine that so many seem to have had.

Perhaps it's "beginners' luck," but I'm inclined to believe that there are several factors at play here.

1.  Expectations:   Although I have an artisanal palate, I knew not to expect truly artisanal level bread from the machine.   Actually, though, the breads I have made have exceeded my expectations.

2. Recipes:  Prior to even receiving the machine, I bought and studied from cover to cover, Beth Hensberger's book, The Bread Lovers' Bread Machine Cookbook.  All of the recipes I have used so far are from that book, although I have even gotten bold enough to slightly modify her recipes to include a larger portion of Whole Wheat flour (without modifying any other ingredient).   Only 1 loaf had problems,  and I believe that they may have been related to the recipe or possibly to the extra whole grain substitution.   The one loaf seemed to be rising overly high and then (as would be predicted) it partially collapsed.  However, despite the "crater loaf" appearance, the actual taste and texture of the bread was wonderful.    There was a high proportion of fat (cheese) called for.    Hensberger is a big fan of Vital Wheat Gluten for the bread machine (as opposed to fully hand-baked bread) and so I have been following that "rule."

3.  Technical:  After one loaf turned out a bit overly pale (although that was somewhat expected due to the lack of sugar and fat in it), I used the Wheat Course the next time I made that loaf.   Although it was still pale, the crust seemed to have a bit more color.

4.  Small details:   After studying and learning more, I started attending to small details like grinding up my Kosher salt (I used a mortar and pestle) to achieve the best distribution.

I encourage anyone having problems to contact customer service at Zojirushi.   I called them with a hundred questions about making sour-dough starter (which I'im working up the nerve to attempt) and the representative was very helpful, very pleasant, and very patient with my "newbie" questions.  I got the impression that the Zoji people really care about people enjoying baking/learning to bake, etc., and that they are enthusiastic about their product.  She had a lot of other small, but helpful hints about adding ingredients.

I will soon try some recipes from other bread machine books, including a beautiful one from England, The Bread and Bread Machine Bible (by Christine Ingram)---a beautiful book with a nice history of bread and bread making as well as exceptional photographs of mouth-watering loaves.  Ingram seems to use lemon juice as a dough enhancer.   I guess I'll see how that turns out in the Zo.

I do strongly recommend Hensberger's book for any newcomers, however.  Even more advanced bakers might enjoy it as it has many recipes for "dough only" and the Zo is well equipped to allow for one's own recipe, using either the "Homemade" cycle or the "Dough" cycle.   Those remain over my head, still. 

The main thing is that the Zo has given me entree to the utter delight and beauty of baking freshly made bread.   I am completely overwhelmed with joy to be able to begin learning this ancient and complex art.

I look forward to being part of this web-site (this is my first day, first post).