Hello, how are you this morning? We are waiting to see how Hurricane Irma is going to affect us here in South Carolina. I'm just sitting here drinking a huge cup of coffee and wishing I had a fresh baked loaf of bread. Today is as good as any to do a review on this little number. God bless all in the path of this monster storm.
Using a bread machine is new to me because I've always made my bread by hand and do truthfully find that is the best way for me. I do after all have a bread proof in my oven that I love. I thought I should add that because of the reviews done on our kitchen appliances recently. There are good as well as bad features in most every item.
Homemade anything seems to be the best way. Having said that, when Chuck and I do venture out to eat I find that he really enjoys the breads they serve. I thought I'd give it a try just to see if we would like it. (hopefully this will be one gadget that won't end up in storage.)
I gathered up my flour, yeast and other needed items to make my first loaf of bread in this little baby. My first thought was well it is tiny but that is good it might not bother me sitting on the counter for awhile. I glanced at the booklet with the recipes included for a short while but then chose to make a recipe I'd seen on King Arthur's Website. I chose to make the Sandwich Bread.
The Zo Mini instructions are quite easy to read and use, it takes no time to set the type bread, the crust you would like and it presets the time for rest, mixing, rising, and baking for you. That is a good thing.
Pic not that great and ignore the flashlight I shined in to get a view lol...
I confess it is fun to watch the process, it really is. The first step is resting, then mixing, this step is the beginning of rising.
The picture above shows the second rising. The machine punches/mixes down and then the bread rises again.
Notice the settings
I like that it is self running. Basically if you are not adding any extra ingredients such as nuts or fruits the thing will be fine left on it's own. The timer will allow you to go about other things if you wish.
A little warning though and it is even in the booklet, Do Not Leave the Bread in the machine after it finishes baking if at all possible. It may fall. Which boggles my mind because why have the keep warm setting on the machine and then advise that you don't use it? Scratching my head with this one. Guess it is a chance you take leaving it in after baking. Oh and it may possibly be hard to remove from pan if you do so.
Another pic of the rise
Almost finished baking
It is pretty
Bread is done and I am now removing it
Removed from pan
There will be a hole in the bottom due to the kneading blade (the bread bakes around it.)
You can see I have a little crack on the bottom of this loaf. I knew if this bread was any good that we'd be eating it before it had the chance to dry out. I was right the King Arthur recipe is pretty good. I would say if you want a bread recipe to replace a store bought loaf (half a loaf.) of bread this one will do.
Pretty little loaf
You may compare the size to well the bananas in the background
It is what it says basically a 1 pound loaf or half a standard size loaf of bread
Hot loaf of bread with softened butter
First slice of bread
Check out the beautiful texture
Look at this!
FIRST LOAF OUT OF ZO MINI BREAD MAKER
KING ARTHUR SANDWICH BREAD RECIPE
This recipe is what it states Sandwich Bread. A wonderful sandwich bread, but if you are looking for a fresh home baked out of the oven loaf of bread taste, this isn't quite that. It is good and put a little softened Irish butter on top and you will have eaten the loaf in no time at all. It makes wonderful toast regular and garlic as well! I have to say it makes a wonderful deli type sandwich bread. Alright I do like this recipe very much! You can find it here: King Arthur Sandwich Bread Recipe. PRODUCT REVIEW this recipe is EXCELLENT! Thanks King Arthur!
Oh yeah, my first sandwich had to be a fresh tomato with Dukes Mayo.
ZOJIRUSHI MINI BASIC WHITE BREAD RECIPE
This recipe wasn't good and I don't intend to make it again. The loaf was hard as a brick even baking it on light crust. Cutting was next to impossible. The texture was that of a rock with a little spongy spot in the center that would pull the bonding off of any tooth! No I do not recommend at all! THUMB DOWN!
Raisin Bread Zojirushi Recipe
ZOJIRUSHI MINI RAISIN BREAD RECIPE
I am undecided on this one, meaning if I would ever try to make it again without major tweaks to the recipe. The bread had a dry tough texture that no amount of butter could help and that is saying a lot from me. I mean Paula Deen and I love butter! However it makes a passable slice of raisin toast with butter of course. I will say that for what it's worth it was considerable better than their Basic White Bread recipe. Still I may not ever make it again. THUMB UP ~ THUMB DOWN!
ZOJIRUSHI MINI BANANA BREAD
I had those bananas on the counter and decided to of course bake some banana bread. Again, I was disappointed. Yes, sadly the chickens ended up with this bread. Thick, tough texture. The taste was alright not wonderful but not awful. The texture made it very uninviting so needless to say this is not a good recipe either. You can see the review results above. THUMB DOWN!
HIBISCUS HOUSE PRODUCT REVIEW
ZOJIRUSHI MINI HOME BAKERY ~ PRODUCT REVIEW
I really enjoyed my first bread baking with this machine. It is fun and a convenience to have around for those busy times. It is a given that I will be finding more good recipes or making my own to make this product useful to me.
I do not recommend the recipes tried and will be trying some of the others just to see if any pass our taste test.
I did purchase mine at Amazon because the price was $13 cheaper than I could find elsewhere. Let's just say I'm not sad with purchase but also not extremely joyful at this point.
Updates will be posted as to new recipes and how they rate.
Pros & Cons Combined:
- Easy to program, in fact easy to use
- Small in size, which is also a good thing for space saving on counter.
- Great viewing window for monitoring
- You can make jam, cookie and pasta dough in this thing! Will update when trying.
- It has a Keep Warm Feature but actually advises against using it or leaving bread in machine after baking has finished? I have no idea as to why this feature is added especially when they advise not use it.
- Easy to place baking pan in and pull out. Instructions are given, but only a slight turn will do it.
- I do recommend using the light crust method of baking
- The recipes baked above that come with this product are not good at all. Sorry, but brutally honest with my reviews. I would want to know should I, (which I did purchase my own) purchase the product.
- You do need to check your times and if adding other ingredients stand by for the machine to beep for adding.
- You will also if you leave the room need to keep the baking time in your mind and be alert to taking the bread out of the machine. I spoke earlier about the reason why.
Another closer view of a tomato sandwich made with the ZO Mini Bread Maker and
King Arthur Sandwich Bread Recipe.
King Arthur Sandwich Bread Recipe.
Are you ready for some fresh baked bread?
I am as a matter of fact, doing this post makes me want some.
Chuck is standing behind me wanting me to bake more.
Guess it is a winner after all!
Stay safe my friends!
I'm off to bake a loaf of bread before the storm hits!
***Disclosure: We purchased this product and as always post honest reviews no matter the results. The results are My/our own personal opinions.