Registrations Are Due Next Week!

This is a quick reminder to current students that if you wish to take additional courses over the summer, your applications are due December 19 at 23:59. You can submit them either online via your student account at La Pomme Home’s intranet or in person at the registrations office by 5:00 in the afternoon.

This is also a reminder to students that you must make sure you are eligible for the courses you choose. Some classes have prerequisites and if you don’t meet the requirements, you risk losing your spot in the class. Students who will be on apprenticeship this summer are not eligible to take summer classes, even when they fit your schedule. Students are required to complete their apprenticeship free from any classwork.

La Pomme Home’s Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Bread Machine Review

Bread machines were invented in the 1980s and millions of households around the world have been baking bread at home ever since. One of the earliest brands to start manufacturing bread machines is Zojirushi. Until this day, the Japanese company Zojirushi remains one of the top bread machine makers. Earlier this month, we invited Bread Machine Pros to come to our school to share their bread machine reviews with us and they brought over some models to demonstrate how each of the perform differently. A machine that impressed us the most was in fact a Zojirushi.

It is a beautifully designed machine. It comes with many settings like regular bread or some of the more special ones like wheat, gluten-free, or sourdough. And it can also handle some specialty doughs like pizza, cookie, and doughnut. Like many other bread machines, it has a 13-hour delay timer which is ideal for setting your own baking schedule.

The machine that we’re reviewing is the Zojirushi BB-PAC20. The most impressive feature about this bread machine is the extra heater on the lid. This innovative feature helps the bread brown up nicely at the top instead of only at the sides and bottom where the other heaters are. Usually lids don’t have this function but Zojirushi was able to add that. You could really see the difference when the bread comes out.

But the very first time we saw the Zojirushi BB-PAC20, we immediately thought it was a bit bulky. For instance, it is a bit wide as the machine stands vertically so we think it takes a lot of counter space. Besides, it seems to be nicely built and really feels “heavy duty”. It weighs about 22 pounds and measures about 18 x 10 x 13 inches. So if you have a really small kitchen counter, you’ll have you find some space to place the machine. Still, the advantage of that is that you will get a traditional horizontal loaf out of this machine.

We personally found that the Zojirushi BB-PAC20 bread machine performed the best among all the others during the demonstration. The baking pan has two kneading handles included. Kneading is a very important step in the bread making process so we think the bread turned out nice because of this feature. The kneading blades and size of pan allow it to make bigger loaves of bread. There are plenty of other advantages with this machine.

  • Perfectly browned crust on all sides
  • 10 simple, easy to read menu settings and LCD control panel
  • The removable nonstick bread pan makes cleaning fast
  • You can bake a full size 2-pound loaf in just under 2 hours
  • The machine comes with an instructional DVD, manual, and recipe booklet, measuring spoon, and measuring cup

During the demonstration, careful steps were taken to ensure that the ingredients were added according to the instructions in the manual of the Zojirushi BB-PAC20. Usually, bread machines are really picky about the order of the ingredients – like yeast, water, flour – added. If it’s added in the wrong order the bread usually turns out bad. This is a stark contrast to what our students may be used to because they don’t normally bake bread in a machine. However, our students commented that they understood why the machine indicates a certain order because they understand the ingredients well. Bread machine manufacturers need to combine technology and good baking knowledge. Interesting isn’t it?!

If we had to choose between all the bread machines that were in the demonstration, we would definitely pick the Zojirushi BB-PAC20 to add to our kitchens. We liked its design and performance and would give it a 5/5 rating. When used properly, it bakes bread as good as what you get at the local bakeries. All the equipment in our kitchens can be used by any student so even if you’re not enrolled in any course involved with baking, you can experiment with it too.

Which pressure cooker should you buy for class?

For students whose course requirements involve cooking with a pressure cooker, you should be getting one to complete your course training. La Pomme Home has pressure cookers available in our kitchens for students to use while at school, but they are not permitted off grounds and students will be required to purchase their own pressure cookers.

Our teachers recommend getting a cooker that is similar if not the same as the one you use in school for training purposes. Please read pressure cooker reviews carefully before making your final choice and consult with your teachers. All our schools use Kuhn Rikon and All American pressure cookers.

Where you can buy one

La Pomme Home’s administration department is able to help students order one from the manufacturers that supply our school’s kitchen with pressure cookers. We’re able to give our students a 10% discount off the manufacturer’s price. Forms can be found online or at the office. Download and fill it out, then bring a cheque with the purchase price written to “La Pomme Home” to our office to place an order. If you want to purchase one from other sources, past students have noted that they were able to find deep discounts online and at retail stores. Where you buy one is up to you, but your teachers may have a specific model that they would like you to use, so make sure to check with your teachers at the beginning of the term.

For international students, we recommend buying one after you come to Quebec so that you will have less baggage to ship over. Another option is to purchase one off the students classifieds site. Many students who are moving back to their homes choose to sell their used pressure cookers on the site. The selection tends to be quite limited so most students end up buying a new one. That said, you can try your luck on the site.

What’s a good choice

According to Cook With Pressure, some of the best pressure cookers to get are the All American, Presto, or Kuhn Rikon brands. If your teachers don’t have any specific requests, you should get a pressure cooker that you see yourself using for years. Pressure cookers are supposed to last you a lifetime with minimal maintenance and cleaning. To clean a pressure cooker, you simply have to wipe it down with some soap and warm water. Don’t scrub too hard because the abrasiveness isn’t good for the body.

Here are some things you would want to look for when purchasing a pressure cooker:

  • Adjustment between high/low pressure settings (8 psi and 15 psi)
  • Durable, dishwasher-safe stainless steel and aluminum quality
  • Around 4- or 6-quart capacity (minimum)
  • Priced at least $100 (this is a good rule of thumb for a quality cooker)
  • Spring valve pressure regulator (although other ones work just as fine, the spring valve is quiet which is good for using in class)

If you still have questions about which pressure cooker to buy, please discuss with your instructors since they will be training you. They may also have some extra tips to share with you.