A couple of years ago, I wrote a post where I shared my all-time favorite gluten-free bread recipe. At the time, I was making this bread fairly regularly for my son Kell who has celiac disease.
But making homemade bread is a time-consuming process, even if you’re not doing it every day! I started opting to just buy gluten free bread at the store to save myself some time and effort.
But not only is store-bought gluten free bread nowhere near as good as the homemade stuff, it’s also expensive! So a couple of months ago, I decided I wouldn’t rest until I figured out a way to make our favorite gluten free bread at home without the time-consuming process I was used to.
Enter My New Favorite Bread Maker!
After doing some research online, I came across the Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus Breadmaker. While I was a bit apprehensive about the cost at first, it did have a gluten free bread program built right in!
The thought of being able to enjoy homemade gluten free bread without spending all that time making it by hand was too enticing to resist! So I bought the bread maker, and once it arrived, I eagerly set about making my recipe using the method for the Gluten Free course from the recipe book that came with the machine.
And just over 2 hours later, we were digging into gluten free bread that was every bit as good as I had hoped it would be! Since then, I’ve made dozens of amazing loaves of bread (both conventional and gluten free) that have made me incredibly glad I decided to take a chance on this machine!
I wanted to share some of my favorite things about this bread maker with you today, in case you’ve been thinking about getting one for your own kitchen!
5 Things I Love About This Bread Maker
1. Large Loaf Size
A lot of bread makers produce one-pound loaves of bread. When you have a lot of hungry mouths to feed like I do, a loaf of that size can disappear in minutes!
But this bread maker produces a much more substantial two-pound loaf. These loaves last longer than their smaller counterparts, which saves me time and effort in the kitchen.
2. Even Cooking & Browning
Whenever I make bread in my oven, I can never get the loaves to turn out as evenly as I’d like them to be. The bottom will be dark while the top is still pale, or vice versa!
With this bread maker’s dual heating elements, I don’t have to worry! They cook the bread from both the top and bottom, so the loaves come out evenly cooked and consistent in color.
3. Easy To Use
If you want a bread maker that does nearly all the work for you, this one is perfect! The process can be as simple as adding the ingredients to the pan, selecting one of the programs, and hitting “Start.”
The recipe book that comes with this bread maker contains a recipe for each program the machine offers. It doesn’t get much easier than that!
4. Very Customizable
But even if you’re the type who likes to have more control over the bread making process, this model is still an excellent option! Between the built-in programs and the adjustable settings, you can customize things as much or as little as you’d like.
For instance, the machine has a Rest cycle that allows the ingredients to come to temperature before it starts kneading them. The recipe I wanted to use calls for bloomed yeast, so I just turned the Rest cycle off. (More details on that below!)
There are many other ways to turn certain functions on or off as needed for your recipe. You can even create your own custom program so that the machine remembers your specific method!
5. It’s Not Just A Bread Maker!
While I bought this machine primarily to make bread, I was also intrigued by the number of ways you could use it! It features a jam program you can use to make homemade jams and jellies, a cake program for pound cakes and other loaf-type cakes, and more!
You can also use this machine to make dough for rolls, pizza, and homemade pasta, and you can even make meatloaf with it! I haven’t used all of these functions yet, but I’m looking forward to trying them out!
BONUS: Bread Maker Recipe For White Bread
Since I’ve already shared the recipe for my favorite gluten free bread, I thought I’d share the recipe I’ve been using for conventional white bread! This recipe turns out perfect every time in the Zojirushi bread maker!
1 cup warm water
3 Tbsp white sugar
2 tsp instant yeast
1/4 cup olive oil (or butter)
3 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
Add the warm water, sugar, and yeast to the pan inside the bread maker. Let the yeast bloom for 10 minutes, then add the oil (or butter), flour, and salt to the pan.
Select the “White Bread” program (Course 1), then press both the up and down Time Setting buttons for 3 seconds to turn off the Rest cycle. Hit the Start button, and in just about 3 hours, you’ll end up with a delicious loaf of warm homemade white bread!
For uniform slices, you can use something like this bamboo bread slicer. Or you can just go for it, because it’s not a beauty contest! 😉
Do you have a bread maker at home?