A few years back, before I went gluten free, I started baking bread. It was a cherished ritual and I loved the satisfaction of serving homemade bread to my family. However, as I became more and more busy writing, the amount of time I had in the kitchen dwindled. Then I went gluten free and I had even less motivation to spend hours each week baking fresh, homemade bread.

Baking bread went by the wayside for a few years. Then I discovered the Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso. What really stood out to me is that it has a gluten free setting. That is a very rare feature in a breadmaker. The fact that they took the time to understand the nuances of baking gluten free bread really impressed me. If you haven’t baked gluten free bread before, it’s truly an art.

" It kneads. It times the rising. And it bakes. When it’s done, it beeps and lets you know that you are ready to enjoy fresh, homemade baked bread."

However, what our Zojiruishi Home Bakery Virtuoso is used most often for is baking sandwich bread for the rest of the family. We have been able to adapt one of the recipes in the included recipe guide to work perfectly at our high altitude (adding one egg and a bit more milk allows it to rise perfectly at 7,000 feet).

Baking bread couldn’t be easier with the Zojiruishi Home Bakery Virtuoso. All you have to do is put the ingredients into the pan. There is a certain order to follow – liquids, powders then yeasts – to ensure the best results. Then you just choose your settings and click start. That’s it!

The Zojiruishi Home Bakery Virtuoso does everything else for you. It kneads. It times the rising. And it bakes. All with no interaction from you. When it’s done, it beeps and lets you know that you are ready to enjoy fresh, homemade baked bread.

The pan is very easy to handle. It has two large handles on either side, which make it very easy to get out of the breadmaker. The lid lifts up completely as well, so you have all of the clearance you need to remove your loaf. Be careful though, the pan will be hot if you don’t allow it to cool completely before removing it from the breadmaker.

Be prepared. The loaf that comes out of the Zojiruishi Home Bakery Virtuoso is large. It produces a rectangular 2-pound loaf. I typically cut the loaf in half, then use it as two loafs of bread. It works perfectly for my daughters since they won’t eat a large sandwich.

If you’ve thought about purchasing a breadmaker, the Zojiruishi Home Bakery Virtuoso is the one to splurge on. It makes breadmaking effortless. This means you’ll actually use it and it won’t collect dust on a shelf somewhere! That’s one of the most important features of any kitchen gadget.