Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso Breadmaker Review

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The Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso Breadmaker is the king of serious bread makers.

Alongside the Breville BBM800XL, this is one of the top bread makers currently available. It’s built using only the highest quality materials and it’s packed with fabulous features to produce high quality loaves.

As you’d expect from a premium brand, it’s priced high — considerably more than the middle and budget markets at any rate.

Before you shell out the dollars for this kitchen wizard, you need to know whether the bake of the Zojirushi BB-PAC20 bread machine is worth the buck.

zojirushi bb-pac20 home bakery

Fear not, we’ve compiled this Zojirushi BB-PAC20 review to clue you in on all you need to know about this machine — both good and bad.

See you on the other side…

Zojirushi BB-PAC20: In a Nutshell

  • Weight: 22.08 lbs
  • Dimensions: 10.5 x 18 x 13 inches
  • Loaf Capacity: 2 lbs
  • Settings: 10 plus 3 crust shades
  • Timer: 13 hour time delay preset
  • Stand-Out Feature: Additional lid heater for even baking and coloring

Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Bread Machine: Features

As you’d expect for a bread maker at this price point, the Zojirushi BB-PAC20 has a boat load of features that has assisted it in becoming one of the best products for home baking right now.

Dual Kneading Blades

zojiruhsi bb-pac20 home bakery virtuoso breadmaker

The Zojirushi has not one but two blades to rigorously knead and pummel dough faster and more thoroughly than single blade machines.

The dual blades also help during the rising cycle to give a higher rise, and they’re tough enough to handle even the most dense of doughs.

Loaf Size

Unlike many other bread machines which allow you to select a loaf size, the Zojirushi BB-PAC20 just has the one size for its regular bake settings: 2 lbs.

For most people, this will be plenty big enough — although large families may prefer the 2.5 lb maximum capacity of the Breville BBM800XL.

Convenient Baking Pan

Equipped with twin stainless steel handles for easy handling, the non-stick baking pan bakes a traditionally shaped (rectangular) loaf of 1.5 – 2 pounds in weight.

The long, low loaf shape looks great, and is super easy to slice and toast.

Clean-up is easy as the blades and pan are simple to remove and wash.

Revolutionary Lid Design

zojirushi bb-pac20 bread machine

The lid of the Zojirushi BB-PAC20 home bakery is no ordinary lid.

It features a unique heating element incorporated into the lid itself, which works as an excellent top browning mechanism, creating a uniform browning over the top of the entire loaf and adds an extra crunch to your crust.

This lid-cum-heater is especially important as the large viewing window — excellent for watching your bread as it bakes — could lose heat easily without it. This is one area in which the Zojirushi BB-PAC20 bread maker wins out over the Breville BBM800XL, which doesn’t create as evenly colored loaves.

Choice of Programs

You can choose from ten pre-programmed settings and three crust shades.

The Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso breadmaker can bake everything from basic to artisanal breads, not forgetting pizza doughs, cakes, jams and even meatloaf.

Here’s a list of the settings available:

  • Quick, quick wheat and quick dough: This prepares breads in about 2 hours – ideal when you’re pushed for time.
  • Homemade: This allows you to customize the rest, knead, shape, rise, bake and warm steps. Not many machines feature this level of customization, and this is a great option for the more adventurous baker. This function includes 3 memory settings to store your personalized choices for another time.
  • Gluten free: This is a crucial difference between the Zojirushi BB-PAC20 and other Zojirushi bread making machines. The dedicated gluten-free cycle uses the powerful twin blades to give the extra mixing necessary for great gluten-free bread using active dry yeast, giving delicious results.
  • Shape: If you want to create pretty loaf shapes like braids, this setting allows you to do just that. The machine pauses at the optimum moment to allow you to form your dough before replacing it in the machine for the remaining rising and baking cycles.
  • Basic
  • Basic wheat: The kneading time is extended for whole wheat settings
  • Basic dough: Prepares dough for you to shape and bake in the oven
  • Jam
  • Cake: Thoroughly mixes all ingredients and automatically bakes the cake to perfection
  • Sour Dough starter

LCD Control Panel and Timer

The user friendly, easy to read digital control panel makes it easy to navigate the menu and monitor completion time, plus it includes a clock with timer to delay the baking of your bread for up to 13 hours in advance. This is perfect for baking bread overnight or when you are away at work.

The Zojirushi BB-PAC20 bread maker also has built-in 6-minute power failure backup in case of an electrical problem. As long as the electricity’s back in 6 minutes, you’ll be able to continue your bake cycle as normal.

Recipe Book

Not usually a strong point for most home bread makers, the comprehensive recipe booklet for the BB-PAC20 outdoes itself with over 100 recipes with easy to follow instructions.

Also included is a helpful instructional DVD and manual.

Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Review

zojirushi bb-pac20 bread maker

There’s no doubt that the Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Virtuoso is a marvel of Japanese engineering, and it receives consistently high customer ratings, but we did notice a few small niggles that you should be aware of before you decide whether to buy it or not.

The Positives

High Quality Bread

Although this should be a given with such a high performance bread maker, it bears saying: the Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery makes some damn fine loaves.

Thanks to the lid heater, you can expect perfectly formed, evenly baked and uniformly browned loaves with this machine, every single time you use it.

Having two kneading blades ensures that the dough is perfectly risen and combined prior to baking, and this premium feature clearly contributes to the quality of the bread it produces.

Unlike some popular bread makers (we’re looking at you, Panasonic SD-YD250), the Zojirushi produces perfectly shaped loaves that are easy to slice, toast and make into sandwiches.

Great for Gluten Free

Regardless of whether it’s just another diet fad or for a genuine medical need, there’s no doubt that more and more people are choosing to go gluten free every year.

One of the foods most affected by this dietary shift is undoubtedly bread, and so gluten free loaves have been popping up on supermarket shelves for the past few years, varying enormously in their taste.

By whipping up gluten free bread in our bread makers, we’re able to produce loaves at a much lower cost than we’d typically spend at the store, and baked to our tastes to boot.

The Zojirushi BB-PAC20 is one of the best bread makers for gluten free baking on the market right now, with its own dedicated setting.

Good for all Baking Skill Levels

Another great thing about the Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery is that you definitely don’t need to be a skilled baker to create delicious bread with it.

As long as you follow the instructions, it’s pretty hard to go wrong with it, in fact.

But that’s not to say that more experienced bakers won’t get anything from it — quite the opposite.

The ‘homemade’ setting also you to program your own instructions for kneading, rising and baking so you can really experiment with new recipes and creations.

Plus, the instruction manual that comes with the bread maker is packed full of over 100 recipes to really test out your skills with.

It Makes Much More than Just Bread

If you’re only making standard loaves with your Zojirushi BB-PAC20, then you’re missing out.

You can really whip up a feast in this machine — we’ve tried jams, cakes, meatloaf and more pizza bases than you could imagine one family ever needing.

If you prefer to bake your creations in the oven but could use some help with kneading, the basic and quick dough settings can knock something up for you to shape and bake on your own terms too.

The Design

It’s clear from just a quick glance at the Zojirushi BB-Pac20 bread maker that this is a premium machine.

While reasonably big, it’s sleek and modern in design with a clear, easy to read LCD screen and a large window to view the development of your baking creation.

It also feels like a luxury product — resilient and durable — and, by all accounts, it is.

Other Things We Love

  • It runs really quietly
  • It can easily handle organic ingredients and unusual flours
  • Three crust colors to choose from
  • 13 hour delay timer

The Negatives

zojirushi bb-pac20

Negatives are truly few and far between with this supreme bread maker — but we have spotted a couple of niggles that may give you pause.

It’s Big

With a machine that looks and feels sturdy and resilient, comes a size issue.

The Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso Breadmaker doesn’t only have a big name — it’s big. Period.

Measuring 18 inches wide, this bad boy takes up a fair amount of space on your counter. That won’t be an issue if you have a big kitchen, but if you’re baking in a smaller space you might want to double check that you’ve got suitable storage space (and that you’ll be able to lug a 20 lb+ weight around with you).

No Option to Choose Loaf Size

One way that the Breville BBM800XL is superior to the Zojirushi BB-PAC20 is that it offers users the option of 4 different loaf sizes.

With the Zojirushi, you’re making a 2 lb loaf or you’re not making a loaf. We tried to do a smaller one and it turned out a little misshapen.

Other Areas for Improvement:

  • No automatic fruit and nut dispenser. It does beep at the optimal point to add mix-ins but the Breville will add these in automatically for you
  • Bread pan and blades are not dishwasher safe so require hand washing

Overall Verdict

This impressive machine is an overall winner. It’s ideal for families, those with special dietary needs and creative bakers.

Yes, it’s expensive, but this top of the line bread maker oozes quality and reliability and will stand up to years of regular use.

In our view if you’ve got the budget it’s well worth the investment for the Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery.

Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Bread Maker Tutorials

Here’s a couple of our favorite video tutorials on the Zojirushi BB-PAC20:

Where to Buy the Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Bread Machine

Thanks to the Zojirushi’s popularity with bakers across the world — it’s actually made in Japan — you can find the bread maker in plenty of online stores, including:

And, of course, you can also buy it on Amazon.

zojirushi bb-pac20 bread maker

And that’s everything you need to know about the Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso Breadmaker!

Will you be buying one?

Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Rated

MBAH Verdict

The Zojirushi BB-PAC20 is deservedly one of the best bread makers on the market right now — with the price tag to match.

Very popular with gluten free diets and a range of baking abilities, it’s hard to go wrong with this machine. There’s also plenty of opportunity for experimentation if you’re feeling creative.

Minor niggles include the fact that you can only bake 2 lb loaves and there’s no automatic fruit and nut dispenser. Plus, it’s big. But we love it anyway and highly recommend it.

>>> Check price on Amazon

  • Loaf Quality
  • Variety of Settings
  • Ease of Use
  • Design
  • Value for Money

1 thought on “Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso Breadmaker Review”

  1. Re: Your comment on mishapen loaves for 1 1/2 lb:
    It took me 12 tries but I just came up with a 1.5 lb perfectly shaped loaf that almost touches the top glass when finished, lasts at least 4 days un-refrigerated (not crumbly), is the best tasting perfrctly textured sandwich bread I have ever eaten, and has a beautiful crust with no collapsing. You must follow the recipe exactly and it involves programming your BB-Pac20 machine. But isn’t it about time you learn how to do that? If you like sandwich bread I guarantee you will be making this again and again.

    Paul’s Wheatberry Oat and Rye (1 ½ lb loaf)

    add ingredients to bread machine (sitting on scale) in this order:
    zero out scale after each addition

    1 1/4 cup lemon juice (1/8 cup) + water to equal 1 1/4 cup
    190g Reds unbleached all purpose flour
    7g dry milk
    28g glutten
    28g butter (salt free)
    40g wheatberry (weigh then grind)
    20g flaked oats (weigh then grind)
    40g rye flour
    145g Reds unbleached all purpose flour (again)
    5.0g dry yeast
    in middle of knead cycle (23 minutes after start button is pressed) add:
    35g brown sugar
    at bread machine additions beep (13 minutes after brown sugar) add:
    5.5g salt

    program this home made course for the (Zojirushi BB-PAC20) bread machine:
    rest 15 minutes
    knead 27 minutes
    rise 1 35 minutes
    rise 2 20 minutes
    rise 3 34 minutes
    bake 64 minutes
    total 3 hours 15 minutes


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