Baking Sourdough in Zojirushi BB-CEC20

soulfood baker

I am a new baker and would like to bake sourdough bread in my new Zojirushi BB-CEC20. I am intimidated and afraid to use a starter, but wonder if anyone has use KAF french sourdough starter in their bread machine. ALL RESPONSES are welcome! I am excited about my new bread machine and what I think are endless possibilities!

If you have a recipe for making sourdough bread in a machine, bless you!

Soulfood Baker

badge posted by: soulfood baker on August 09, 2011 at 6:46 pm in Baking, sourdough
share on: Twitter, Facebook
Replies to this discussion
Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save" to activate your changes.
reply by: brink10 on August 09, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Though I am far from a master in the world of sourdough, I have heard that you can't use a true sourdough starter in the bread machine. You can, however, make your own "imitation" starter using yeast, and make a passable sourdough dough in your Zo. I know there's a recipe at the Betty Crocker site, and no doubt elsewhere on the internet by now. I just looked: Bread Machine Crusty Sourdough Bread is Betty's unwieldy title. A bad omen maybe, but hey, why not try it? Good luck! (I'd also be interested to know if anyone has a differing opinion, if there is any way to use a real starter to make dough in the bread machine).

reply by: soulfood baker on August 11, 2011 at 4:59 pm
soulfood baker

Thanks so much for your feedback. I will locate the recipe and try it and let you know how it works!

reply by: placebo on August 11, 2011 at 7:00 pm

With a traditional sourdough starter, the time needed for the dough to rise and ferment can be quite long and quite variable. This makes it hard to use a bread machine for anything more than mixing and kneading the dough.

The KAF French sourdough starter, however, doesn't appear to be a traditional starter, so it may very well work out. In the comments on the store page, at least one person mentioned successfully baking bread in her bread machine with the French sourdough starter. Try it out!

reply by: soulfood baker on August 17, 2011 at 12:48 pm
soulfood baker

Thanks for your feedback. I think I will try the KA sourdough starter!

reply by: Antilope on May 06, 2012 at 12:41 am


I use the King Arthur Flour recipe, but I leave out their recommended instant yeast. They add yeast so the sourdough can be made using the bread machine French Bread cycle.

My starter is Carl's 1847 Oregon Trail sourdough starter, quite vigorous, and I use separate DOUGH and BAKE cycles on my Bread Machine. This allows the sourdough to rise at its own rate without using any yeast.

I take the sourdough starter out of the fridge, add a cup of starter to a mixing bowl, add 2 cups of all-purpose flour and 1 cup of bottled water. I use bottled water because chlorine in my tap water seems to slow the starter down. Add a little more water, if needed, so the mixture can be stirred with a wooden spoon. Mix well. Cover bowl and place in an OFF oven with the oven light on for warmth. Let it sit until it is bubbly and vigorous (maybe 4 hours). Stir it down and measure out 2 cups for the recipe below.


For 1 1/2-lb. loaf

2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose or Unbleached Bread Flour.
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (to add a little texture to the bread)
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
2 cups active sourdough starter
1/2 cup lukewarm water (I use bottled water)

Place ingredients in bread machine in order given above.

Start bread machine on DOUGH cycle.

I use a rubber spatula to help the bread maker, if needed, for the first couple of minutes of mixing by pushing any dry lumps into the mixing blade. Adjust dough to proper consistency with more flour or water as needed to make a firm, non-sticky dough that could be kneaded by hand.

Let the machine bread machine complete its DOUGH cycle kneading (about 1/2 hour) and rise (about 1 hour more).

Immediately after the kneading stops, I remove the kneading paddle and press the dough evenly into the bottom of the bread machine mixing pan.

I now monitor the dough and allow it to rise to the top of the mixing pan (It takes about 2 or 3 hours).

When the dough has risen to the top of the bread pan, I start the manual BAKE cycle. My machine bakes the bread for 1 hour.

Remove from machine immediately, slice off fresh baked pieces, spread with butter and enjoy.

Makes one 1 1/2 lb loaf.


You can get free dried Carl's 1847 Oregon Trail sourdough starter for a self-addressed stamped envelope. An older gentleman, now passed away, maintained this sourdough starter that was handed down through several generations in his family. He would send out free samples. After he died in 2000, some of his friends continue to send out free samples if you send them a self-addressed stamped envelope. They also have an instruction sheet with recipes and how to revive the dried starter. The details are at CARLSFRIENDS.NET. Sourdough starter is also for sale from here at King Arthur's and several businesses on the internet. Just do a Google search for "sourdough starter for sale".

reply by: Rick Dickinson on May 08, 2012 at 10:43 am
Rick Dickinson

I make actual sourdough bread in my Zojirushi breadmaker on a regular basis. NO yeast is added -- EVER! Commercial yeasts are engineered to rise quickly and consistently; flavor isn't even a consideration. The wild yeast strains living in symbiosis with lacto-bacteria in sourdough starters have MUCH better flavor, but take longer to rise. IT'S WORTH THE WAIT!

(Whatever you do, don't make a commercial-yeast-based bread with some sort of vinegar addition, and try to pass it off as sourdough. If it has regular yeast in it, it's NOT a sourdough, and you will never get the complex sourdough flavor you're looking for.)

I have two starters that I purchased through Sourdoughs International ( their Russian sourdough, and their San Francisco sourdough. Both work fine in the Zoji, using a custom cycle I programmed that takes 11 hours and 15 minutes in total.

I think I prefer the Russian over the San Francisco, but the flavors are both excellent, and my preference might just be because I live in California, and I've had lots of San Francisco sourdough over the years, and it's nice to have something a little different.

I worked out the recipe through trial and error, and the resulting loaf has a great sourdough flavor and crust, with a nice smooth inside texture. I'll usually start making a loaf at about 6:00 PM. As long as I have everything in the pan and start the cycle by about 6:30 PM, it'll be all finished and "keeping warm" for me to have a couple of slices of fresh sourdough bread by 6:00 AM when I'm getting ready to go to work.

KAF Bread Flour works great, both for feeding my cultures, and for baking the actual bread. For variety, I've sometimes substituted a cup of whole wheat flour for an equal amount of the bread flour in the recipe without any problems; it gives it a little "nuttier" flavor. I also bought some of the KAF Perfect Rye, but I haven't tried substituting any of it into the recipe yet.

Updated: Here's the recipe I developed, and the cycle times I use:

Sourdough in the Zojirushi Breadmaker
Recipe by: Rick Dickinson

Your sourdough starter should have been fed the day before, and still have some active bubbles, and a layer of "hooch" on top, indicating active fermentation. Stir it up to mix it all together, and to collapse the bubbles for consistent measuring. After you remove the cup of starter needed for this recipe, you should feed your starter culture to replenish it.

Wet ingredients on the bottom of the pan, as usual:
1 cup starter (about the consistency of pancake batter)
3/4 cup water
1 tbsp. oil (I use extra virgin olive oil)

Dry ingredients on top of the wet ones:
3 cups bread flour (KAF Bread Flour works great)
1 1/2 tsp. dry milk powder (aka 1/2 tbsp.)
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. sugar

Use a custom cycle, set up as follows:
Preheat: 15 min.
Knead: 28 min.
Rise #1: 6 hours
Rise #2: 2 hours
Rise #3: 1 hour 30 minutes
Bake: 62 minutes
Total time is: 11 hours, 15 minutes.

The first time you make this, check it after about 3-5 minutes of kneading. You may need to adjust the recipe slightly, depending on how wet you keep your starter. The mixed/kneaded batter should be a bit wetter than your usual bread dough, since it's going to lose some water to evaporation over 11 hours, but it should still come together to make a (somewhat sticky and looser than usual) dough ball.

My starter is the consistency of pancake batter, but everyone who makes sourdough keeps theirs slightly different. If your starter is more runny than mine (more water), you may need to add a tablespoon or two more flour to the dough to get it to all come together and knead properly. If your starter is more of a sponge than a batter consistency, you'll need to add a tablespoon or two of water to the dough. Whichever you do, make a note of it, and simply adjust the amount of water you add next time you make the bread.

reply by: omaria on May 08, 2012 at 10:50 am

I want this on my page.

reply by: KateL1 on December 19, 2013 at 12:20 am

I made this recipe in my bb-cec20 today. This was the best looking loaf of bread I have ever baked in an ABM! We loved the taste, even the 18-month-old granddaughter kept reaching for more, more, more!

reply by: CHADBOURNE on April 30, 2014 at 9:33 am

I am going to try this today. Thanks Rick. rch

reply by: CHADBOURNE on May 02, 2014 at 7:01 am

I substituted powdered buttermilk for powdered milk. I followed all the rest as written. My bread is very sour. Good chew, not a lot of "oven spring" (I was awake and checked the final rise verses the baked outcome. Advantages, put it all in the zo and walk off. Disadvantages: I really miss the browned final product from a cloche at 450 deg. The recipe is valid and produced real sour dough (no yeast) from a ZO bread machine.

thanks to all. rch

reply by: frick on May 07, 2014 at 11:45 am

Saving this.

reply by: muimui on May 14, 2014 at 9:49 pm

I haven t made sourdough in my bread machine yet , but I have turned a fluffy and soft white bread recipe into a sourdough textured bread . After much frustration with repeated failed attempts using the Same recipe , I have delve into compulsive research into the art and science of bread making by hand and using bread machine . Learning about ingredients , temperature and hydration and how it affects a basic dough .

The key to making sourdough in your bread machine is the hydration of the dough .. And how long the dough is allowed to rest and develop the desired flavor .

Never blindly follow any recipes even when it says it is for bread machine . Always use less water , then slowly add more by using your eyes and hands to gauge the hydration of the dough . This you need experience .. A few trial and error , will help you arrive at the perfect dough consistency and texture .. From there , you can consistently produce the types of bread you would like . Hydration is the most important factor you need to control to make successful bread consistently .

Learn about baker 's ratio , and also get a thermometer to test dough temperature . Temperature is the second most important factor that you need to monitor to come out with bread you want ..

reply by: CHADBOURNE on May 25, 2014 at 12:05 pm

I used the recipe from Rick including the custom time settings. It worked well and produced sourdough bread. I did use KA buttermilk powder instead of milk powder but won't again. Too sour for my taste. I really wish I knew how to save Ricks Recipe because it works.... Set it all up and go to bed. Sourdough in the morning with breakfast. thanks rch

reply by: frick on May 25, 2014 at 5:35 pm

The best, as as far as I know, the ONLY way to save recipes that appear in a thread is to copy and paste it to either a file on your own computer, or C & P, then open an "Add a Recipe" and save it in your own recipe file here on this website. If you do this with someone else recipe, be sure to attribute it to the originator of the recipe.