Zojirushi is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2018, so what better way to celebrate than to release a new bread machine? Following the recent release of the Zojirushi BB-SSC10 “Home Bakery Maestro”, which is their new bread machine for smaller households, we’re excited to take a look now at the new Zojirushi BB-PDC20 “Virtuoso Plus” bread machine.
After many years of using and reviewing bread machines, we can certainly say that it’s hard to find a bread machine outside of Asia that makes better bread than the Zojirushi BB-PAC20 “Virtuoso” bread maker. So you can imagine how excited we were when we heard about Zojirushi making an upgrade to this machine.
At the same time, we were hoping that they don’t change many things about the machine because there are many good things going for it – namely, it consistently bakes a delicious loaf of bread.
At first glance, the Zojirushi BB-PDC20 “Virtuoso Plus” looks strikingly similar to its predecessor, except that the control panel/button area is now black and looks more attractive in our opinion. And new to this machine, all the pre-programmed course numbers are now conveniently printed on the lid so you can easily select the courses without having to go back to your manual. Like the old model, this bread maker has a large viewing window, double heaters (bottom and lid) for even baking, and double kneading blades to knead the dough thoroughly, so we were happy to see that.
Our Zojirushi BB-PDC20 Review
On that note, we now understand why Zojirushi calls the new bread machine the Zojirushi Virtuoso “Plus”. It’s basically the same bread machine as the previous model, “plus” a few new features.
The first thing we noticed is that it’s much easier to select the pre-programmed courses because they’re all printed on the lid. The second thing we noticed is that this bread maker tries to accommodate people with special dietary needs. One of the best things about the Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Virtuoso was its ability to make delicious gluten-free bread. It’s hard to bake gluten-free bread to taste as good as regular bread, but the Virtuoso made it effortless. It made gluten-free bread that tastes even better than what you get at the store.
And now, the Virtuoso Plus takes baking for people with special dietary needs (and wants) a step further. With the Virtuoso Plus, there are settings to make salt-free bread, sugar-free bread, multigrain bread, and vegan bread. We saw this first with the Zojirushi BB-SSC10 “Home Bakery Maestro”, which we mentioned earlier is a smaller bread machine (1-lb capacity) that’s intended to be an upgrade to the BB-HAC10. So we had a hunch that Zojirushi would be including these settings to this bread maker as well.
The new setting that we love the most is the vegan bread course. Instead of milk you can use unsweetened almond milk which works really well. And instead of butter we recommend using olive oil. This should be a popular feature for people who want the option to make delicious vegan bread easily. The other new setting that is pre-programmed into this machine that we want to mention is the “European” course. This is the setting to use if you want to bake savory breads like cheese bread or herb breads like basil and tomato or rosemary. Yum!
All in all, the upgrades to this machine are minimal. You don’t lose any of the things that make the Virtuoso amazing – such as the lid heater and double kneading blades – and you get some additional pre-programmed courses and recipes to make a larger variety of breads. However, we still don’t see an automatic fruit and nut dispenser with this machine, whereas the upgraded version for the “mini” model now has an automatic fruit and nut dispenser. If they included a dispenser it would have been the perfect bread machine. For now you’ll have to add the ingredients yourself at the “beep”. But besides this absent feature there are no real complaints with this machine because it truly bakes amazing bread.
Zojirushi BB-PDC20 Rating
Quality of Bread
An automatic fruit and nut dispenser would have been nice. But overall, the Zojirushi BB-PDC20 is a well-made, versatile bread machine that turns anyone into a professional baker. We think this bread machine will be perfect for those looking to bake special breads such as gluten-free, vegan, multigrain, or salt/sugar-free.
Zojirushi BB-PDC20 Features At A Glance
- Makes a traditional horizontal 2-pound loaf
- Bakes bread in 2 hours and 25 minutes with the rapid courses and has a 13-hour delay timer
- Has an extra heater on the lid which helps bake bread evenly and beautifully
- Has a dual kneading blade design
- Has a stainless steel design
- Has a large viewing window
- Has 15 pre-programmed courses: white bread, whole wheat bread, European bread, multigrain bread, gluten-free bread, salt-free bread, sugar-free bread, vegan bread, rapid white bread, rapid whole wheat bread, dough, sourdough starter, cake, jam, homemade (3 programmable memories)
- Comes with instruction manual, recipe book, removable nonstick pan, measuring spoon, nested measuring cups, and liquid measuring cup
What can we say? The best bread machine in North America just got better. With the Zojirushi BB-PDC20 “Virtuoso Plus” you can make delicious loaves of regular bread, whole wheat bread, gluten-free bread, vegan bread, multigrain bread, sugar-free bread, and more, and get consistent results each and every time. This is a sturdy, quiet bread machine for serious bakers who will accept nothing but the perfect loaf of homemade bread. No matter what you throw at it (as long as you follow the instructions!), it’ll come out perfect.
Read other reviews of the Zojirushi BB-PDC20 on Amazon