Best Breadmaker for Sourdough: Zojirushi BB-PDC20 Review

In this fast-paced modern world of convenience, the longing for authentic food is more alive than ever and since long before the Romans, there is one particular element that makes a meal a meal – bread.

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Nowadays we take bread for granted, many of us buy readily sliced bread from the shop, convenient and fast, and reasonably priced too.

But then once in a blue moon, we taste a slice of real authentic homemade sourdough bread like our great grandmothers used to make. We are transposed back into a different time and realize just how cheated we have been eating the store bought stuff we thought was bread.

I think that Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus Breadmaker BB-PDC20 is the best breadmaker for sourdough bread. 

If you don’t have enough time to read the entire article here is a link (to Amazon US) where you can check the current price and see more pictures.

Shop bought bread is 99% of the time something our grandparents wouldn’t find fit for eating – and for good reason – this stuff is not what bread has been for the past few thousands of years, it’s too fluffy in an unnatural way, too sweet, it lasts longer than is natural, and your sandwiches seem like cardboard boxes more than food.

Bread only needs 2 ingredients – flour and water, obviously technique matters too, but this is all you need to make this magnificent product, just read the ingredients off the store bought bread for a comparison, this is something you eat too frequently not

So how is the natural bread so different you ask?

Natural bread – or sourdough as it is most commonly known – is a type of bread that basically uses the lactobacilli and yeast that is naturally occurring on the grain of wheat in order to make the bubbles that make the bread grow.

The sourdough style of bread is the original bread because back in ancient times nobody was selling yeast in convenient packets.

As convenient as ready-made yeast is, you should be aware that it is not really the same as the natural yeast, the commercial stuff originated in a lab and in some individuals can cause unpleasant allergic-like reactions that can even manifest through so-called “gluten intolerance” incorrectly diagnosed.

The truth is that the only reason to use commercial yeast is if you’re in a hurry aka making dough related products as a business.

In sourdough, apart from the yeast being 100% natural, the lactobacilli is very beneficial for your stomach gut, which saves you the need to take probiotics.

And some studies even show that stomach gut might be linked to longevity.

In fairness bread never needed any change in recipe, and this recipe is not new, the convenience of using commercial yeast was replacing the hassle of making the starter (the wild yeast) yourself.

Obviously we need to get a few things right before we make the bread, cultivating the wild yeast that grows on the wheat grain, for it to be used later on to make the bread grow in size, then we need to knead it and then to bake it, nothing crazy complicated, but in today’s modern world, that might be a deal breaker for many busy people.

If you’re like me, then the solution is a breadmaker.

This is where a breadmaker really makes life easier- with a sourdough starter programme, all you need is to add the ingredients – yes still flour and water – and the rest will be done for you.

Zojirushi BB-PDC20BA Bread Machine Features

Capacity 2-lb. loaf of bread
Dimensions (W x D x H) 18 x 10-1/2 x 12-7/8 inches
Electrical Rating 120 volts / 700 watts
Blades for Kneading 2
Clock Format 12-hour
Course Selection Numeric key code
Double Heaters Bottom and lid
Viewing Window YES
Number of Courses 15
European Course YES
Special Diet Courses Gluten Free, Vegan, Salt Free, Sugar Free
Homemade Course 3 memories

Do yourself a favor and get a proper machine for the job, this will be a true investment in your health and quality of life.

A cheap breadmaker is as cheap as $50 but due to its many limitations you might just try it a few times and lose interest.

This is what happened to me – I had a cheap breadmaker, it was fine, but the capacity was too small, I’d be constantly running out of bread and having to get it from the shop, so I stopped using it.

After my stomach started acting up I rekindled my love affair with sourdough making larger handmade loaves and then I discovered the value of getting a proper machine.


Zojirushi Virtuoso Plus is the breadmaker I now use and like, and trust me, it doesn’t get better than this.

This is the flagship breadmaker. It is a fully automatic machine, and it can handle every stage of the breadmaking process.

Fast Bread Making

This machine will make a traditional shaped 2 lbs loaf – which is exactly what you need.

A bread will be ready in less than 4 hours (3.5h) and there is even a quick course of 2.5 hours, and with the fully automatic settings, all you need to remember is to put in all the ingredients and relax.

Fully Automatic

The smell of fresh bread will wake you up in the morning, and what a lovely morning fragrance that is, because this machine can easily be programmed to do it’s thing while you carry on with your time in the sack.

It’s fully automatic and comes with 14 pre-programmed courses like multigrain, gluten-free, vegan, whole wheat and settings that handle the kneading, rising and baking functions.

The best thing about it is it handles the making of the sourdough starter, and can even make cake and jam.


It comes in the box with a recipe book, measuring cup and nested measuring cups.

Kneading is a very important part of making bread, not enough and your bread will be dense and not fluffy and gluten won’t form properly so it will be crumbly as well.

One of the best things about this machine is the double kneading blades that do double the kneading of most breadmakers allowing for a more fluffy loaf.

It has dual heaters on top and bottom for an evenly baked and browned bread.

Other bread makers out there might do similar things, but the details make a huge difference, like the shape of the bread ending up like a cube in many cheaper models, or the crust not being evenly browned, the kneading blade getting stuck in the small bread effectively ruining the bread, and I’ve even had trouble with the smell of the pan in which the bread cooked, giving the bread an unpleasant smell.

Manual handmade bread would be superior but let’s face it, it’s too much trouble to make consistently.

Instruction Manual

You can always take a look on Zojirushi BB-PDC20 instruction manual if you need more help or you want to find out more in-depth information about this awesome bread machine.

The bottom line is – this bread maker will produce a loaf that looks professional with zero work.

It will have the same shape as the one you buy in the shop with the added bonus of tasting a lot better and being actually really healthy.

This thing is a long-term investment – it’s built like a tank, and will withstand anything you throw at it.

Most customers who bought this particular machine seem to agree, this machine is like no other, loaves will come out absolutely perfect every time, this is a machine that will be worth every penny in the long run.

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