The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Zojirushi BB-CEC20/Breville BBM800XL and home-milled flour

kusit's picture

Zojirushi BB-CEC20/Breville BBM800XL and home-milled flour

Hello everyone,

I've been lurking around this forum for a few weeks and this is my first post.

I am planning to replace most (if not all) of our store bought bread, mainly for improved nutrition. I have a baker friend who was kind enough to spend a morning with me and my wife, showing how bread is made by hand. We did it step-by-step, starting from milling the grain. He even explained some of the science of bread making. We also baked two types of bread, one with home-milled flour, and another with store-bought flour so that I could see the difference, from the feel and weight of the dough, to the way it rises.

I totally get why he wants to make it by hand and I actually want to try it, and I could see myself enjoying it too. However, I don't think I will have the time or discipline to do it by hand on a regular basis. So I would like to use a bread machine.

My friend does not use a bread machine so he could not give me any advice in this area. So I did my own research and, based on my budget, narrowed down my choices to the Zojirushi BB-CEC20 and Breville BBM800XL. I've seen a lot of posts about people happily using the Zo with up to 100% home milled flours but I have not seen posts about the Breville BBM800XL.

The main attraction of the Breville to me is the number of custom recipe slots (it has 9 vs 3 for the Zo). I'm thinking that this may come in handy since a lot of the posts about Zo and home milled flours used the custom settings.

My questions at this point:

- Can the Breville BBM800XL handle 100% home milled flour even at its maximum loaf size of 2.5 lbs?

If there are Breville BBM800XL users out there who are also using 100% home milled flour, I would love to hear your opinion



the hadster's picture
the hadster


I'm a lurker for the most part as well.  I'm also not nearly as accomplished a bread baker as many on this site, so...

When I started making bread, I thought about a bread machine, but declined getting one due to price.  I was making regular white bread in pans for the most part.  Then I received a bread machine as a gift and thought, "Finally!"  I had dreams of the smell of freshly baked bread when I woke up in the morning.

I did not have good luck with the machine.  I had yeast problems, the bread rose too much and popped the lid.  I had undercooked bread; bread with big clumps of flour in it... I bought bread machine mixes and had better luck, but I was then confined to the mixes....

This was about 20 years ago now, so the machines are much better.

But, why don't you start your bread baking journey without the machine?  You can always get one along the way.

For me, the book that turned on my bread baking light bulb was Peter Reinheart's "Crust & Crumb," but there are many books out there.

If you've already purchased a bread machine and are having problems, it is wonderful for making dough.  The machine will do most of the work, and you bake it in your own pan or as a free-form loaf.

Before you invest in a grain mill - and I'm researching them now - you can buy beautiful flours from - you'll see it mentioned on this site frequently.  Another place to buy flours from is  Bob's Red Mill has lovely flours, and you can find them in many markets.

There are so many videos out there illustrating the various steps in baking bread.

I wish you all the joys baking your own bread can give! It can be quite consuming.  Right now, I have my own flour blend recipe that I'm working on, 5 different kinds of rye flour as well as supermarket brands of bread and AP flours in my pantry and 2 wild yeast (sour dough) starters in my fridge.

Like I said, it can become an all consuming passion.


barryvabeach's picture

Kusit,  good luck on your journey.  While many look down on bread machines, some of them do a nice job of mixing, and I can't think of a reason why it would not work with home milled flour if it can handle 100% whole wheat.  The main downsides of a bread machine are you are locked into certain shapes and sizes, and certain programs.  If you decide you want to go that route, while I have heard good things about the Zojirushi,  and it is probably better than some competitors, you can usually find used bread machines for very little money, and I doubt the Zojirushi is worth in the increase in cost to buy new.  Near me, they have bread machines in the local good will usually around $25.    I just did a craigslist search in my area, they have a Zojirushi for $25 and a oster and a breadman for $10 each.   If you decide you really like the bread machine route, you can always buy a new one later.   BTW.  you won't find any such deals on a flour mill -  new they are pretty expensive, and even used, it is hard to find a good one much under $200. 

kusit's picture

Thanks for the replies, @the hadster and @barryvabeach. My original post was more than a month ago, and I already bought a Wondermill and a Zojirushi CEC20. I am very happy with both machines so far. I am fortunate enough to live in an area where there is a grain processing center nearby, so buying grains to mill is not a problem. Although there is a lot of learning and improvement that can be done in my breads, my family and I have been happy with the breads I've baked. So far, I have made 100% home milled whole wheat and Ezekiel bread. All of these were done using the custom cycles of the Zo.

the hadster's picture
the hadster

I'm glad you are having success with your purchases and are happy with them.

Bread baking is something of an obsession.  I haven't tried Ezekiel bread.  What is your recipe?