Frequently Asked Questions About Bread Machines

Share with your friends!


Do the recipes in Gluten-Free Baking Classics for the Bread Machine work with the Zojirushi Home Supreme Breadmaker BB-CEC20 and the Virtuoso BB-PAC20?

Gluten-Free Baking Classics for the Bread Machine was written for the Zojirushi Home Supreme Breadmaker BBCC-X20; it was the only Zojirushi model sold at time (in 2008). The recipes I developed also worked on an older model, the V20 (which worked exactly the same way as the BBCC-X20). The BBCC-X20 machine makes a beautiful two pound loaf. Here is a picture-

Bread machine loaf

Although my publisher requested that I develop and test recipes for only this one machine, I had more than ten field testers and several of them used other machines, including Breadman, Oster, and Cuisinart. In fact, many people have written to me or posted reviews on Amazon to say they have successfully used the recipes in my book with other machines.

Two years after my book was published, the Zojirushi Home Supreme Breadmaker BB-CEC20 replaced my model, but it is the exact same machine as the one I used in the book with a few cosmetic changes.

The Virtuoso Breadmaker BB-PAC20 came out several years later. However, it works in a slightly different way then the three machines mentioned above. (Agate Publishing, my publisher for this cookbook, has no current plans to release an updated edition.)

Unlike the other three models (my model, the V20, and the BB-CEC20), the Virtuoso BB-PAC20 heats up from the top and bottom. The people at Zojirushi tested it with my recipes and said it worked with both the GLUTEN-FREE and the HOMEMADE setting. However, I’ve heard from several people who said they had issues with their breads sinking slightly in the middle and/or rising and then falling slightly.

If you want to use the Zojirushi Virtuoso with the recipes in my book, I can offer the following suggestions based on correspondence I’ve had with people who have written to me. You can follow the recipe as written first. Or throw caution to the wind and try some of the suggestions right away.

1. I recommend trying the HOMEMADE setting first (before the GLUTEN-FREE setting). But because the Virtuoso heats up from the top and bottom at the same time, you might need to reduce the Rise 3 time to 25 – 30 minutes (instead of 45); otherwise your bread can rise too fast and/or too much. If your home is cold, you might only need to reduce it to 30 – 35 minutes. You might also need to reduce the Bake time to 55 – 60 minutes (instead of 70), but first try it with just the reduced RISE 3 time.

2. If you find that your bread rises too fast and then sinks, you might also try using cooler liquids (under the 65º – 75º F temperature called for in my recipes). In fact, you could try liquids directly from the refrigerator.

3. If the bread sinks a little, you might also find that you need to add one extra tablespoon of bread flour mix. Breads rise faster in the Virtuoso than in the BBCC-X20 and CEC20. A fast rise can cause the loaf to sink.  As a result, the bread might need that little bit of extra flour so that it will be a bit heavier. But take note: you may find that you don’t need the extra flour if your bread is too dry and dense.

Also, make sure that you aren’t spooning the flour into the measuring cup too lightly when you make the flour mix and when you measure for the recipe. Dump it – don’t sprinkle it in. You might be inadvertently using a bit less flour than you need because the flour is so aerated. In other words, you might need to add a second tablespoon of flour—– if you were spooning it into the measuring cup too lightly.

4. Ultimately, if you find your bread is still rising too fast, reduce the amount of yeast a bit to 1  3/4 – 2 teaspoons.

Also, what kind of yeast are you using? My testers and I all had the best results with Red Star. None of us were able to get a well-shaped loaf with SAF. Moreover, Fleischmann’s yeast used to work as well as Red Star in my recipes, but in the last four years when I try it, I’ve had some problems with the rise.

Can you make some suggestions for troubleshooting problems when using a non-Zojirushi bread machine with the recipes in Gluten-Free Baking Classics for the Bread Machine?

Most of the problems people have seem to concern the rise – either the loaf sinks a bit in the middle, or it rises too fast and then falls a little.  I  typically suggest that both of these issues can be addressed by trying Steps 2 thru 4 above.

Share with your friends!


23 thoughts on “Frequently Asked Questions About Bread Machines”

  1. I have Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso Breadmaker with Gluten Free Menu setting. It is one of the best bread machine in the market.I Like this bread machine very much. My daughter was diagnosed with celiac disease this year and needed away to make bread at home. The machine is easy to program and sturdy. I did my research on this before I purchased this and this one had the highest ratings. It exceeds my expectation. I would recommend this to anyone even if your not a person who knows how to make bread. All you do is measure correctly, set the machine, and you have delicious bread. I also purchased the three year warranty with this, hopefully I won’t need it.

    1. Hi!
      I’m happy to hear you like their new machine. I have very high regard for Zojirushi and all their products. I think they put a lot of time and thought into them. I do wish my publisher would allow me to do an updated version of my bread machine book so that I could include this newer machine. But oh well….

      Lucky you that you have had such success using it to make bread!

      Very best regards,

    2. I bought the Virtuoso to make gluten free bread for my daughter who has Celiac disease. I had a one pound Zojirushi, however I wasn’t happy with the GF bread it would produce.

      I have successfully made some of the boxes mixes with my BB-BAC20 however cannot get the recipe’s from AnnaLise’s book to turn out. I tried with the homemade setting following the instructions perfectly and it sunk terribly in the middle. Tried again using the same ingredients using the gluten free setting, same thing, it sunk and actually looked undercooked. I tried a third time adding one more tbls of flour and reduced the rise time to 25 minutes, finally the bread didn’t sink but was horribly dry and a little dense. 4th attempt was another failure. I followed the recipe without adding the extra flour, increased the rise to 30 minutes and decreased cooking time to 60 minutes. Again the bread sunk! I’m at my wits end and would appreciate any help I can get.

      1. Hi Mileana,

        You do seem to be having a hard time using my recipe with the BB-BAC20. I’m so very sorry- and I will do what I can to help you.
        A few quick questions- What kind of milk are you using? What kind of xanthan gum? And what kind of yeast? Are you weighing your ingredients or spooning them into the measuring cup?

        Very best,

        1. I am using 1% fat milk. Duinkerken xanthan gum. I’m from Canada. This is what was available to me, although, I can find Bob’s Red Mill Xanthan gum at Whole Foods.

          I really want this recipe to work because I like the taste, it’s the most wheat tasting bread we have tried yet.

          I tried again tonight and used the ingredients straight from the fridge without bringing it to room temperature, reduced the rise time to 25 minutes and used 2 1/8 teaspoons of yeast instead of 2 1/4 and baked for 60 minutes. The bread didn’t fall but it hardly rose, no dome at all. The texture was pretty good and not too heavy. Still not anything like the picture of your loaf of bread.

          What I have figured out, is the bake time should be 60 minutes. It comes to a perfect 210 F at that temperature.

          1. hi!
            You are an amazing tester! I admire your curiosity, perseverance and stamina. I might ask you to test recipes for me at some point! 😉

            The 1% milk is fine out of the fridge is fine – but I try this with the regular/longer rise time.

            The Xanthan gum should be fine, although I have never tried that brand before, just so long as it isn’t too old or out of date (after years of baking with GF flours, I’ve found that this matters).

            And I’m glad you tried the reduction in yeast, however, I’ve found that when I do this, I need the whole rise time. You reduced the yeast and the rise time at the same time, my bet is that this, and the cold milk – contributed to it not rising well.

            In other words, you went “all in” with all the fixes at the same time– which is totally understandable after much disappointment. So now the good part is that we know they slowed the rise– albeit too much. Now we just need to adjust it back a bit. If it were me, I’d go with the warmer milk and the smaller amount of yeast. And then go with the a slightly reduced rise time and regular bake time.

            What kind of yeast are you using? I think we are very, very close.

            Very best,

  2. I tried again last night with ingredients straight from the fridge, reduced rise to 25 minutes and decreased yeast to 1 1/8 and it did not sink but barely rose. The texture was not to bad. Cooking time was 60 minutes and registered at 210F.

    1. I am definitely close and I was thinking the same thing, I went all in and should have tried one or two steps at a time. I am using fleischmann’s yeast (not fast acting). I will try again tonight with your suggestions. Will keep you posted.

      1. hi!

        I’ve used Fleischman’s many times, but just so you know, I’ve have better results with Red Star for the last six or seven years. When I first started baking gluten-free bread in 2003, the two yeasts gave me pretty similar results. But then around 2009, something changed. Not sure what. But just to make sure I wasn’t crazy, I asked several of my bread recipe testers to compare the two; they each found had the same results. Perhaps…….

        I’m looking forward to hearing back from you after your next round!

  3. This is a great blog. I love eating and making bread myself. I have been looking for different bread recipes like this one. Thanks for sharing . I’m so excited to try this. Certainly it will be great. I love using my bread machine. After try this one , I will try your other bread recipes for my bread machine. I am looking forward to your other recipes:)

  4. Thank you Annalise for all of your conscientious and hard work. I have both your Bread Machine and Classics books. I have 3 questions:
    1.I bought the Zojirushi Home Bakery Maestro that makes one lb loafs. Will I be adjusting the times that you list: 20 min. mix, 1 hr rise and 1 hr bake?
    2.I will be using Authentic Foods Classical Blend for your Classics recipes. Can I apply the AF Steve’s Bread Flour Blend to the machine recipes?
    3. Will I run into problems if I am dividing the recipes in half for the 1 lb. For instance do I use the same amount of yeast? Thank you for your help.

  5. I’m interested in purchasing your Gluten-Free Baking Classics for the Bread Machine book but first want to know if your recipes use weight or cup measurements. Thank you.

    1. Hi Debbie,

      Sorry no, it does not. This book was written in 2008 and published in 2009 when home bakers in the United States were still, for the most part, using cup measurement. My publisher has not allowed for an updated/revised edition. I do have weight measurements here on this site for the flour mixes, which might help you. But if you are looking for a book that relies strictly on weight, it isn’t the book for you.

      Very best regards,

  6. I have an Oster Bread Machine that does not have a gluten free setting, but does have a Quick, Dough and Bake setting. I have read that gluten-free bread only needs one mix and rise. So, if possible, can you recommend which of the two options Quick and Dough would be best? I also wonder if using the Dough setting is better than using the stand mixer? My son has to eat gluten, dairy, egg and soy free, so I have not yet found a recipe that makes a good loaf of bread in the bread machine. I have had very little success with using the stand mixer and baking in the oven. I have tried so many gluten free flour blends. I just found your website so haven’t tried your bread flour blend as yet. Do I just need to give up on my current bread machine and buy one with a Gluten Free Setting. Thank you for any help you can provide.

    1. Hi Ivie,

      You absolutely do not need a gluten-free setting to make gf bread in a bread machine. You do need a flour mix that you like. You also need a recipe that gives you the texture you’re looking for in a finished, fully baked loaf of bread.

      Because I don’t know what flour mix you’re using, which recipe you are trying to make, and what model bread machine you have, it’s impossible for me to give you good advice, but flying in the dark here- I’d go with whichever setting mixes the ingredients, allows it to rise, and then bakes it for the amount of time you need – based on the recipe you’re using. Depending on which model you have, that could be the quick setting. But not sure that gives it time to rise. The dough setting might give it time to rise but not bake it. As I said, I can’t know without being able to see your recipe and the manual for your bread machine.

      If you’re looking for a good, simple to use packaged bread mix -one that you can use in a bread machine- I can recommend Pamela’s Bread Mix. You can find it in a lot of grocery stores and online. It has full instructions for using the mix in a bread machine. And it is surprisingly a lot better than other bread mixes I’ve tasted. It is the only one I ever recommend to people.

      Let me know if you have any other questions!

      Very best,

  7. Hi Annalise,
    Was wondering if you knew of anyone who has tried your gluten-free bread recipes with a Breville BBM800XL bread maker. While I am very interested in the Zojirushi BB-CEC20 I found out that they no longer manufacture replacement parts for this model, which makes me a bit nervous to purchase, and the others are a bit too expensive. However, I really want to be able to use your book to make gluten-free bread but don’t want to have a headache working with a bread maker that has never been used successfully with your recipes.

    1. Hi Donna,

      I just read the whole Manuel for the Breville model you noted and it appears – on page 35 – that you can modify any setting and time. That means you can use the specific settings and times I list in my book and “modify” the gluten-free setting on the Breville. I will say, in my opinion, the GF setting on the Breville will not work well with my recipes unless you modify it because they designed it for a heavy GF flour blend (rice etc).

      If you find your breads sinking in the middle too much, you can always add 2 teaspoons of baking powder to the recipe — a cheaters hack that might make your life better.

      As for butter, yes you can melt it and use. And just like the olive oil, it will change the character a bit, and the taste of the butter will shine through more than in a wheat bread- but it will be probably be delicious!

      Please let me know how you make out! And I’m here if you have any other questions.

      Very best,

  8. Hi Annalise,
    Was wondering if you knew of anyone who has tried your gluten-free bread recipes with a Breville BBM800XL bread maker? While I am very interested in the Zojirushi BB-CEC20 I found out that they no longer manufacture replacement parts for this model, which makes me a bit nervous to purchase, and the others are a bit too expensive. However, I really want to be able to use your book to make gluten-free bread but don’t want to have a headache working with a bread maker that has never been used successfully with your recipes.

    Also, I cannot eat any type of oil, unless it’s olive oil, do the recipes in your Gluten-Free Baking Classics for the Bread Machine, contain vegetable oil (asking because many gluten free recipes I’ve seen do contain vegetable oil)?


  9. I have the BB-CEC20 Zojirushi model. It has no gluten-free setting. The one time I tried to make GF bread, it turned out to be a disaster. Do you have any tips for me? Is it possible at all to make GF bread in this model of machine? Thanks.

    1. Hi Joanne,

      The model you have is really like the model I used back in 2008 to write my bread machine cookbook (and unfortunately, my publisher hasn’t allowed me to update and revise it), so yes it should work well for gf breads with the correct recipe and flour mix. You didn’t mention what recipe and flour mix you used. But if you aren’t inclined to “do-it-yourself”, then I can tell you that Pamela’s Gluten-Free Products Bread Mix works well in bread machines – if you follow the directions for bread machine.

      Let me know if you have any other questions. I’d be happy to help.

      Very best,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Scroll to Top