Zojirushi BB-CEC20 Home Bakery Supreme Bread Maker Review by Elsy Haschke
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I have a real dislike for bad product names. The name “Zojirushi BB-CEC20” bread maker has to rank right up there with the worst. The nickname of the BB-CEC20 – the Home Bakery Supreme – may not be much better in the name department but it certainly says what this unit does. Fortunately, the product is so fine I can easily overlook that horrible moniker.
One reason is this model’s size: 17″ wide x 12 1/4″ high x 8 1/2″ deep. For a bread maker, that’s on the large size. Many are about half that. But it can produce full-size 2-pound loaves of the sort you see in the supermarket.
For all that bulk this unit is relatively lightweight: 17 lbs. That’s light enough to move with relative ease to the kitchen then store away again if you don’t have permanent room on the counter. Yet, it’s plenty heavy enough to be stable while you’re adding ingredients, inserting or removing the pan, setting the time and temperature, and so forth.
I can’t say I’m crazy about the appearance of this appliance. It comes in White or Black and Gray. Either way, it looks kind of low-tech, yet it lacks having the nice retro feel that some kitchen products offer. Still, that’s just personal taste and you may have an entirely different reaction. Vive la difference!
I give Zojirushi credit for making this model very utilitarian, though. The large lid provides plenty of room to operate and the wide glass window offers a way to keep an eye on practically the whole loaf while baking.
The Home Bakery Supreme also includes an 8-ounce measuring cup and a double-ended teaspoon/tablespoon measuring tool. Those items won’t make or break any purchase decision but they’re nice little add-ons to an already very fine bread machine.
Strong Dual Kneading Blades
Looks aside, there’s no way I could reasonably complain about the way it works, nor would I want to. This bread maker is packed with helpful functions and controls that make producing loaves at home a dream job for home chefs.
The dual kneading blades on the base of the pan are first and foremost on that long list of nice features. They keep the longer-than-usual, commercial-size dough stirred exactly as it’s supposed to be. We’re lucky that Zojirushi didn’t try to cut corners or costs by offering only one, as some manufacturers might have.
Those paddles are plenty strong, too, courtesy of a well-made dual-belt pulley system. A double batch of whole wheat might stress a lesser machine. The BB-CEC20 blends everything well without bogging down. No worries about poorly mixed gluten here. Stretch the mixed but unbaked dough after a few minutes of kneading and you’ll see for yourself. It pulls wide without breaking.
I also appreciate that they’re made with a durable, non-stick material that’s easy to clean. It looks and feels like Teflon but the company rep says it’s actually PTFE. That’s the compound that makes up Teflon, but the latter is a brand name of DuPont, so presumably some other company made this.
13-hour Delay Timer
Despite its large size, the BB-CEC20 can produce a fully-baked loaf in about two hours using the Quick Baking Cycle setting. It doesn’t have to start right away, though, thanks to an easy-to-set 13-hour Delay Timer.
There’s also an Auto-Shutoff feature to ensure that nothing can go disastrously wrong as the bread maker operates while you’re away from home. One other safety-style touch is the rubber gasket between the pan and paddle-drive shaft bearing. It prevents crumbs getting inside the bearing. Good thinking, Zojirushi!
9 Pre-Programmed + 3 Custom Menu Settings
The control panel is not only easy to use but also easy to reach and operate; the angled design of the top makes the button pad ergonomic and the LCD display easy to read.
The Home Bakery Supreme lets you choose from a wide variety of bread and dessert styles without having to know the proper time for each one. That includes options for white or wheat bread, sourdough starter, cake, and several more.
The BB-CEC20 does a fine job if you want to make cinnamon rolls, croissant, and lots of other things not on the menu as well.
The menu system even lets you create three of your own pre-set baking options where you specify the pre-heat and baking times. In short, you can control every aspect of the bread making process, if desired.
However, with 9 pre-programmed settings and three different crust options you’re not likely to need to set things manually very often.
DVD, Manual and Recipe Booklet
To see all of the options you don’t have to read the entire manual if you prefer not. The unit comes with an Instructional DVD that guides users through not just using this product but home breadmaking in general.
That said, I found the manual easy to follow and filled with lots of useful baking tips for newbie chefs. It also features several basic bread recipes – Italian Herb, Gluten-Free Brown Rice, Cheese and Onion, and many more including (wow!) Russian Kulich. Ditto on the half-dozen cake recipes. It will even guide you step-by-step through making jam, which the BB-CEC20 does as well.
There’s also an 800 number for those who are truly stumped, or need to report a problem. And, test it yourself, the customer service reps on the other end actually know what they’re talking about! Well done, Zojirushi for hiring good people and training them well.
The Home Bakery Supreme (BB-CEC20) from Zojirushi may not be the most stylish bread maker machine around, nor have a memorable moniker, but it has several superior aspects. A sturdy motor/drive system, a large well-made baking pan, and a very easy-to-use and flexible menu system are some of the highlights.