The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

My new Zoji

Oaktree's picture

My new Zoji

I have been making my own bread for years mostly from KA flour website and have had good success.  I was happy with my Panasonic but two of them walked off the counter and shattered. Due to increasing arthritis in  my hands, I was gifted with a new Zojirushi. Today I followed the basic white bread  recipe to a T.

1. Very frustrating to use the course, especially since my machine is in the dark.

2. The bread tasted awful and that's the first time I made a loaf, however ugly that wasn't at least tasty. Perhaps it's because I'm on a limited diet lately and am off sugar and other things. The bread was way too sweet, kind of dry, and the crust kind of rough.

Need suggestions.



mariana's picture

Hi Joyce!

I had the same experience with my new Zoji as well. Absolutely the same, identical. I was so disappointed, I thought it would be the first and the last bread I baked in a bread machine ever. 

I am happy to report that it wasn't the last. It took time for me to learn that I needed to use more water in the recipe for my flour and then I got breads to die for, simply unbelievable, so beautiful, tasty and good. Since then I got three more Zoji machines and I love them. I have both the small and the large models, the previous and the most current generation. 

They are very different from Panasonic brand, like the total opposite. I don't know if it is worth it for you to switch to another brand and relearn everything from scratch. I am so used to Zoji, I would never switch to a Panasonic bread machine: it feels alien to me, very uncomfortable. But for you it might be the opposite. 

Try using more water in the recipe the next time. "Dry bread, too sweet bread and rough crust" are all indicators of not enough water in the bread dough and as a result not enough yeast activity. If it doesn't help, then we would have to see in detail which recipe you used (the basic white you said, but from where?), which flour, which yeast, etc. Seeing the picture of your loaf and its crumb would help as well.

My bread flour in Canada is nearly identical to KAF All-purpose and KAF bread flour, so it would work, I could compare my notes with yours and together figure out how to bake bread in your Zoji.

It is the best bread machine in the world right now, so it was a good gift, honestly. But it would take a couple of test bakes for you to learn to use it and to change your habits, since it is so different from Panasonic machines. 

best wishes, 


Oaktree's picture

I am late posting this reply. I have been ill and off my feet for a while. I just mostly gave up baking the bread in the machine and have been only using it to knead and rise.  It works well for me but I will experiment with other recipes. Right now I am trying to perfect my baguettes.


troglodyte's picture

Joyce - First and foremost, I hope you are on the mend and feeling better.

I am not an expert bread maker, but I have owned and used Zojirushi dual paddle bread machines for a long time. I also bake bread in the oven with traditional methods. In my opinion, the Zojirushi bread machine is a tool of convenience. It can make a satisfactory loaf of sandwich-ready bread with minimal effort on my part. It is not great bread; it is "good enough" bread. 

I recently posted recipes for the current versions of my rye and sourdough breads for those dual paddle Zojirushi bread machines. You may want to give them a try:

I have learned a few tricks along the way. Here are a quick tips that I can share:

  • In general, moist doughs seem to do better for me. 
  • The heating element is in the bottom. Crusts do not always brown well on top. 
    • The heating element in the lid of the Virtuoso Plus helps, but is not the end-all, be-all fix.
    • I have found that coating the top of the loaf just before the bake cycle starts can help to darken the crust on top. I have used milk, egg wash, and water. Here is a convenient recipe that I use often: 1/4 teaspoon powdered dry milk mixed with 1/2 teaspoon water. Brush on top just before the baking cycle starts.
  • Small adjustments in salt can make a big difference in rise and crumb.