Product Inspirations –
Home Bakery Virtuoso® Plus Breadmaker (BB-PDC20)

It is the perfect season for baking, and we’d like to share our flagship breadmaker, the Home Bakery Virtuoso® Plus Breadmaker (BB-PDC20) with you this month.

2-lb automatic breadmaker bakes a horizontal loaf

The Home Bakery Virtuoso® Plus has a smart mix of the best features traditionally found in our breadmakers along with new, healthy menu settings. It makes traditional, rectangular, 2-lb loaves and also has settings to mix dough, create sourdough starter and make cakes and jam. It features 14 pre-programmed course settings along with a Homemade setting that allows you to store up to three custom settings.

Easy-to-read key code on lid for course selection

The course settings work by altering the time the breadmaker kneads the ingredients, allows them to rise, and bakes them to the desired crust. Each course setting sets a different time for each function based on the type of bread to be made, ranging from classic White, Wheat and European breads to health-conscious options like Gluten Free, Salt Free and Vegan breads. A rapid course setting allows you to bake a loaf of White or Whole Wheat bread in just two hours and 25 minutes!

Easy-to-use control panel

Along with the pre-programmed course settings, the Home Bakery Virtuoso® Plus comes with a special Homemade course, which allows you to input up to three of your own custom recipes and store your own knead, rise, and bake times.

Cakes, jam and sourdough starter is just as easy to make as bread and dough. Simply add in the ingredients, select the appropriate course setting and let the breadmaker work. Detailed instructions can be found in the easy-to-read instruction manual that comes with the machine.

The easy-to-use LCD control panel and convenient key-code make it easy to choose the course setting, select the crust color – from light to dark – and set the optional 13-hour delay timer. Our website features seven videos with how-to tutorials for using the breadmaker to its fullest. Learn about How to Measure Ingredients, How to Make Bread, How to Set the Clock and Timer and How to Clean and Store among other great tips.

Homemade loaf of bread

In order to make these delicious foods, the Home Bakery Virtuoso® Plus utilizes heating elements in the lid and bottom of the machine, promoting even baking and browning. It has dual kneading blades that rest inside the baking pan and do a great job of mixing all of the ingredients. The baking pan is removable and nonstick coated which makes it easy to remove your delicious creations from the pan.

Both the pan and blades are easy to clean, and all surfaces that come into contact with food are BPA-free. Accessories include a full-color recipe booklet with 50 delicious recipes, nested measuring cups for dry ingredients, a liquid measuring cup and a measuring spoon.

Baking pan with dual kneading blades

All of these smart features are nothing compared to the food the Home Bakery Virtuoso® Plus makes! You can find many recipes on our website in the Breadmakers section but we wanted to share our favorites from the recipe booklet. The Multigrain Raisin Bread is to die for, as is the Italian Herb Bread. We love the Breadsticks and the traditional Pizza Dough. And no one can go wrong with Pound Cake! The truly amazing surprises are our suggestions for the Homemade course. You have to try the Meatloaf Miracle and the Tomato Pasta. And when you do, be sure to come back to our website or our Instagram page and share your creation with us!

Happy Holidays and good baking to you all! See you in 2020!

Foreign Foods in Japan –
Piroshiki!

So many of our Foreign Foods in Japan have come from Europe, the US and China, so this month we’re finally focusing on Japan’s neighbor to the north…Russia!

Piroshiki are hand-held dough pockets filled with various types of fillings. The original dish from Russia is spelled as pirozhki, piroshki or when plural, pirogi or pierogi. In Russia, pirozhki can be found all over the place, made at home, in restaurants and at street food stalls. The Russian version is commonly filled with meat, vegetables, cheese and infrequently fish, when savory, or with fruit and jam when sweet. The dough is typically a yeast dough, leavened and brushed with egg wash, and the entire pocket is baked in a hot oven…perfect for the cold Russian climate!

Pierogi

In Japan, pirozhki were adapted to Japanese taste and cooking methods. One account states that this dish was introduced to Japan after WWII, and the original Japanese piroshiki were filled with minced onions, boiled eggs and ground beef and deep-fried, instead of baked. Another states that Miyo Nagaya, a Japanese chef from Tokyo, became interested in the cuisine of Russia and Central Asia, and opened a restaurant in Tokyo in 1951, where she modified the Russian dish to Japanese tastes.

Piroshiki

Today, piroshiki can be found at bakeries and restaurants in Japan and frying is still the most common way of preparing the dish. Typical fillings range from ground meat, fish and vegetables such as onions, carrots and shiitake mushrooms. One delicious and unique Japanese-centric filling is cooked and chopped up harusame glass noodles, which add incredible texture and umami to the piroshiki. Some believe that piroshiki were the inspiration for kare-pan or curry pan, which is a beloved Japanese deep-fried dough pocket filled with curry flavored ingredients.

Kare-pan

No matter where you get your piroshiki in Japan, you’re sure to enjoy this hot pocket. Have you had it? Have you made it? Share your favorite recipe with us below!

Product Inspirations –
Premium Thermal Carafe Ichimatsu Collection (AFFB-10)

Our vacuum insulated mugs, bottles and carafes come with three different types of innovative inner linings…our nonstick coating, our SlickSteel® electro-polished stainless steel, and our gorgeous glass liners.

Zojirushi Glass Liner

Our glass liner is part of our new Premium Thermal Carafe Ichimatsu Collection (AFFB-10). This carafe extends our line of glass lined carafes, including the Glass Vacuum Carafe (AH-EAE10) designed by British designer David Tong of The Division, the Euro Carafe (AG-KB10) and the Premium Thermal Carafe (AFFB-10S/19S).

Ichimatsu Collection

The Ichimatsu Collection carafe comes in white or black finishes and holds 34 oz. or 1.0 L of liquid. It features a one-touch pour, an easy-to-press side push open/close button and a comfortable handle for quick and easy serving. It also accommodates most brewing attachments for added convenience.

The truly unique and smart design of this carafe stems from the vacuum insulated glass liner that makes up the easy-to-clean interior, and the Ichimatsu pattern on the exterior.

The Ichimatsu pattern hold great historical and cultural significance in Japan. The pattern is a traditional Japanese two-toned checkerboard design that originated during the Edo Period (1603-1868) when a famous Kabuki actor, Sanogawa Ichimatsu, wore pants with the checkerboard pattern on stage. His style became so popular that the pattern was named after him. The pattern and finish of the Premium Thermal Carafe pays homage to this iconic design.

Glass Liner

Along with the stylish exterior, the glass lined interior offers an odor and stain resistant surface so beverages stay fresh. The glass liner is made of two layers of strong, durable and hygenic borosilicate glass, molded into the perfect shape at our factory in Osaka, Japan. The air between the two layers of glass is removed to create powerful vacuum insulation and the interior cavity between the two layers of glass is coated with silver plating to give it heat reflecting properties. We even have a cool video showing you how it’s done!

This new carafe is a great addition to your home or office table, and can be used for cold or hot beverages, including water, tea, coffee and so on. Learn more about it on our website or through our product video at https://youtu.be/VuG3K0Uyao8.

Foreign Foods in Japan –
Doria!

Dorias are so quintessentially Japanese that we sometimes forget they were once a foreign food introduced into Japanese cuisine!

Many foreign foods were introduced to Japan during the Meiji Era, from 1868-1912, as Japan began its journey towards global modernization. After the First World War, even more foreign influence permeated the country, and foreign-born and trained chefs began introducing new dishes inspired by their homelands yet catering to Japanese tastes. One such dish is the doria. It is said that Saly Weil, a Swiss master chef at the New Grand Hotel in Yokohama, developed the dish in the 1930s. The dish was inspired by classic French gratins and baked Italian casseroles, with signature components including a creamy béchamel sauce and melted cheese.

Instead of being made with potatoes, similar to pommes de terre gratinees, the Japanese doria was made with the local staple: rice. And while European gratins often featured beef or ham, the Japanese version most commonly used seafood. Today, numerous variations exist among Japanese dorias, including ones with vegetables, chicken, mushrooms and a host of other ingredients!

The classic Japanese doria starts with cooked white rice. The rice is typically buttered, and depending on taste seasoned with aromatics such as garlic or herbs such as parsley. To the buttered rice is added seafood such as shrimp, scallops or fish, or chicken or vegetables, such as broccoli and mushrooms. And the entire mixture is then folded into a classic French béchamel sauce, made of butter, flour and milk. The combined ingredients are layered into a baking dish and topped with meltable, creamy cheese, such as parmesan or gruyere. The dish is then baked until the cheese is golden on top.

Dorias are served at Yoshoku restaurants throughout Japan but are also frequently prepared at home for lunch or dinner. Our classic recipe is the Green Peas and Asparagus Doria, which is made using rice cooked in our rice cookers.

Have you made this comforting dish? Try it out…it’ll be great for the coming winter months!

Product Inspirations –
Automatic Rice Cooker & Warmer (NS-RPC10/18)

You know about our microcomputer-controlled rice cookers, but did you also know that we have a great line of conventional rice cookers, too?

Our new Automatic Rice Cooker & Warmer (NS-RPC10/18) adds style, ease and function to any kitchen – with great features and amazing ease of use.

This rice cooker comes in two capacities, either 5.5 cups or 10 cups, which are ideal for making small to large batches of rice. It also comes in two lovely finishes – Tulip and Metallic Gray – that coordinate with almost any kitchen decor.

The rice cooker is simple to use. It features a one-touch operation that starts cooking rice immediately. Simply wash the rice and presoak it for the desired amount of time, and then push on the switch to activate the rice cooker.

The triple heater is built into the bottom, side and lid of the rice cooker, and generates uniform heat all around the nonstick inner cooking pan, cooking the rice at an ideal temperature so that it’s fluffy when done. Once the water in the inner cooking pan is absorbed by the rice, the rice cooker switches to Keep Warm mode, indicated with an illuminated light, keeping the hot rice tasting fresh.

The best white rice is easy to make in this rice cooker. And that white rice can be used to make delicious dishes like Crisp Grilled Yaki-Onigiri and Hawaiian Loco Moco.

Along with its simplicity, this Automatic Rice Cooker features a convenient body style. The lid comes with a streamlined handle and can be opened with the push of a button. The hinge on the lid allows for convenient serving, and when closed, the lid snaps tight. The rice cooker features a dew collector, which traps condensation that collects when the lid is opened.

As with all of our products, cleaning and maintenance are simple. The inner lid and dew collector, as well as the nonstick coated inner cooking pan, can be removed and washed with mild detergent and warm water.

The unit comes with a detachable power cord, and accessories including a rice measuring cup, spatula and spatula holder. And these accessories make preparing rice super easy! Check out the steps to making great Japanese rice on our rice cooking tip page, and don’t forget to share how you make your rice at home. Just leave a comment below with your favorite tips!