Imagine being able to just pop your ingredients in the oven and have a fresh loaf of bread waiting for you in a few hours. That's what this bread-maker can do, and more. You don't even have to knead the ingredients; this A4-sized machine will do it for you.

We test this machine for its ease of use and the quality of the baked results. Does this bread-maker bake bread as well as cake too?

The Zojirushi Home Bakery Breadmaker
 

WHY WE LOVE IT
1. It’s incredibly easy to use. For white bread, I just had to put flour, water, powdered milk, yeast, sugar and salt into the loaf pan. The machine mixed, kneaded and baked, and voila! The loaf was ready in three and a half hours.

2. It’s nice to wake up to the aroma of freshly baked bread. I filled the machine with the ingredients before I went to bed, and set the delayed start timer for the bread to be ready by 6am the next day.

3. Washing up is a breeze. The bread comes out of the loaf pan easily. When I tried baking chocolate cake, however, it left bits in the pan but they were easily rinsed off.

4. It’s good for making jam and dough for cookies, pretzels, pizza and pasta. There are 48 bread recipes and five cake recipes included in the manual.

BUT...
The bread and cakes are made into a standard size – about two-thirds the size of a regular off-the-shelf loaf. For a family of four, it’s just enough for one breakfast.

THE RESULTS

White bread: Soft, light and fluffy – heavenly with a bit of butter. 
Wholemeal bread: Dense and chewy with a crust that’s not too hard. Nice!
Cornmeal bread: More cake-like than bread, with a crisp crust. However, the interior baked unevenly; the top turned out less baked than the sides and bottom.
Chocolate cake: Everyone loved the crunchy crust, with its smoky flavour. The cake was moist and dense and not cloyingly sweet, but it was let down by bits of uncooked dough in it. Even sifting the flour (upon the advice of the Zojirushi sales manager) did not solve the problem.
  • White bread: Soft, light and fluffy – heavenly with a bit of butter. Wholemeal bread: Dense and chewy with a crust that’s not too hard. Nice!
  • Cornmeal bread: More cake-like than bread, with a crisp crust. However, the interior baked unevenly; the top turned out less baked than the sides and bottom.
  • Chocolate cake: Everyone loved the crunchy crust, with its smoky flavour. The cake was moist and dense and not cloyingly sweet, but it was let down by bits of uncooked dough in it. Even sifting the flour (upon the advice of the Zojirushi sales manager) did not solve the problem.

 

VERDICT: Even the non-cooks among us are inspired to bake bread with this machine – it works better for bread than for cakes though.

The Zojirushi Home Bakery Breadmaker retails at $428 at major department stores. All product and pricing information was correct at the time of the magazine's publication. We advise readers to check with the store for the latest availability and pricing information.

This article was originally published in SimplyHer March 2011.