The Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso can make a 2-pound bread loaf in its rectangular nonstick bread pan. It has a heating element in its baking chamber and a smaller heating element in its lid to make sure that the bread loaf is evenly baked and browned.
The Zojirushi BB-PAC20 is newer than the Zojirushi BB-CEC20 Home Bakery Supreme (read review). The BB-PAC20 has been updated with a separate gluten free course, timer up and down buttons, a cancel button and a lid heater. Its biggest drawback is its high price, but you get a bread maker that is at the top of the pile.
Our review explores the features, advantages and disadvantages of the Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso bread machine.
Zojirushi BB-PAC20: List of Features
- 30-second audible signal for adding fruit, raisins or nuts.
- Baking pan produces a traditional rectangular 2-pound bread loaf.
- Bread maker switches to a keep warm cycle after baking is completed.
- Cancel button: press once to cancel a setting, press and hold to cancel current process.
- Crust control button for selecting light, medium or dark crust.
- Cycle button cycles between the cycles of the home made course during editing.
- Gluten free course for baking gluten free bread using active dry yeast.
- Home made button for selecting and editing the 3 home made memory courses.
- Included accessories: measuring cup, spoon, bread maker manual with recipes.
- LCD display shows clock, settings and time left until finish.
- Lid has a large viewing window.
- Lid heater for browning the top crust and reducing uneven baking.
- Made for use with a 120-volt, 60Hz, AC electrical current.
- Rest cycle can be turned off if ingredients do not need to be warmed up.
- Select course button for choosing bread or dough program.
- Start button for starting a course or the delay timer countdown.
- Time setting button for changing clock, timer and home made cycle times.
- Timer button for setting the 13-hour delay timer.
- Dual kneading blades for rigorous kneading of the dough.
Select Your Course
Press the select course button to choose between the following preprogrammed courses for making bread, jam, cake or dough:
1. Regular Basic
2. Quick Basic
3. Regular Wheat
4. Quick Wheat
5. Gluten Free
6. Regular Dough
7. Quick Dough
10. Sourdough Starter
The regular courses are for bread or dough recipes using active dry yeast. The quick courses are for making bread or dough recipes quickly by using rapid rise yeast.
Gluten Free Course
The BB-PAC20 is the only Zojirushi bread maker that has a gluten free course. It has a powerful motor, dual paddles and a heavy construction. It can handle gluten free dough.
Its instruction manual has ten gluten free bread recipes that use active dry yeast. You can find a few other gluten free recipes among the many bread maker recipes at zojirushi.com.
The gluten free course has the following steps:
- Rest (33 minutes)
- Knead (17 minutes)
- Add signal beeps at 45-minute mark.
- Rise 1 (5 minutes)
- Rise 2 (punch down and rise for 5 minutes)
- Rise 3 (punch down and rise for 25 minutes)
- Bake (60 minutes)
- Completion signal beeps at 2 hours and 25 minutes.
- Keep warm (60 minutes)
The Zojirushi BB-PAC20 goes into a keep warm step for one hour after the baking step has finished. It is better to press the cancel button and remove the bread loaf. The crust of the bread loaf might become harder and darker if it stays inside for the whole keep warm step. Remember to use oven mitts when removing the baking pan because it will be very hot.
How To Add Fruit and Nuts
The Zojirushi BB-PAC20 does not have an automatic dispenser, which is unfortunate. What it does have is an audible signal alert for adding raisins and nuts. It beeps about 5 minutes before the end of the kneading step for a duration of 30 seconds. The display shows the word “ADD”. Open the lid and add the fruit, nuts or raisins to the dough. Avoid adding large or hard ingredients. Chop the fruit and nuts into small pieces so it does not obstruct the kneading blades.
Most owners do not miss the automatic dispenser, except for those owners who like to bake raisin or nut bread overnight with the delay timer. If you are used to baking raisin bread with the delay timer for breakfast, then you might consider buying a bread machine that has an automatic fruit and nut dispenser. You may read our review of bread machines with an automatic dispenser and make your choice from among them.
Can it only make 2-lb loaves?
Two pounds is the maximum bread loaf size it can make. It can also make 1.5-pound loaves. For example, the manual has the following 1.5-pound recipes:
- Basic white bread (1.5-lbs)
- Raisin bread (1.5-lbs)
- 100% whole wheat bread (1.5-lbs)
- 100% whole wheat apple bread (1.5-lbs)
- Crusty French bread (1.5-lbs)
Zojirushi BB-PAC20 vs. Zojirushi BB-CEC20
The basic design is similar, but the BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso has been updated with a lid heater, cancel button, gluten free course, time up and time down buttons. Owners say that the small heating element in the lid makes crust control much better. The completed bread loaf looks evenly browned, top and bottom.
These small improvements come at a price: the BB-PAC20 can cost up to $50 more (see prices at Amazon.com). The Zojirushi BB-PAC20 beats the BB-CEC20 Home Bakery Supreme by a few steps and might be worth the extra money you need to pay.
- It has a gluten free bread making program.
- Baking pan has two handles for easier handling.
- Horizontal baking pan makes a traditional shape 2-lb bread loaf.
- Heating element in the lid for even browning of the top crust.
- The two kneading blades do a good job with mixing and kneading.
- The rest cycle warms up ingredients, but it can be turned off if not wanted.
- Home made course with programmable rest, knead, shape, rise, bake and warm steps.
- It has big dimensions and it needs a lot of counter space.
- Two paddle holes in the bottom of the finished bread loaf.
- Dough might sometimes rise unevenly causing the top crust to be slightly higher on one side.
- No automatic ingredient dispenser, only an audible signal for adding fruit and nuts.
The instruction manual is good and it elaborates on topics such as parts, control panel buttons, how to measure ingredients, baking tips, setting the clock, using the timer, how to turn the rest cycle off, troubleshooting, cleaning and storage as well a few questions and answers. It contains a number of recipes for each of the different courses.
It can handle 100% whole wheat bread without walking off the counter due to its strong motor, two kneading blades and its weight of 22 pounds. When it comes to quality and reliability, you do get what you pay for. This is a bread machine that might last for years of frequent baking. It is a medium to long term investment instead of a short term solution.
However, it is not completely perfect. Due to the pan shape and the interaction of the two kneading paddles, the dough might rise slightly higher on one side. This might cause the loaf to bake slightly lopsided. It does not affect the taste in any way, so it is only a small problem.
|The Zojirushi BB-PAC20 might be the best automatic bread maker that money can buy. It is a well constructed bread machine, which is what you would expect from a bread machine that costs more than $250 (buy from Amazon.com). The problem with the uneven browning of the crust (in the BB-CEC20 bread machine) has been solved by adding a small heating element under the lid.|