we got wind of this new japanese bread machine, the GOPAN, last year. it still makes basic wheat bread, along with all the doughs, etc, if you’re just wanting a standard bread machine. but what makes the GOPAN great is that it will also take RAW rice, grind it for you, and make it into rice bread.
soooo, yeah. it sounded amazing! needless to say, we really wanted it. but because it’s only available in japan (or ebay, if you don’t mind the insane mark up, plus shipping on top of that), it wasn’t until this past summer when we visited japan that we got to pick one up ourselves.
we got ours at the giant yodobashi in akihabara, a building with six floors dedicated to electronic goodness (though my favourite floor is the seventh, which houses not only tower records but also the yurindo bookstore; the entire eighth is made up of restaurants). what proved super handy was the shipping centre in the basement floor! though be warned there is no boat service, only air, which meant shipping–while quick–was far from cheap.
there used to be a red model, but only the white is available now.
it comes with over 200 recipes–not only for different types of bread depending on the type of rice being used, but by adding additional ingredients, you can make green tea bread, chocolate bread, coffee bread, etc. oh, and salami bread.
we’ve been using kokuho rose brand sushi rice for years, and it’s available in most grocery stores.
it takes four hours to make a loaf of rice bread. the grinding of the raw grains definitely gets a bit loud, but nothing you can’t sleep through, as we’ve used the timer option for fresh bread in the morning.
rice bread! it’s supposed to be a bit sweeter than wheat bread, but apparently i have no taste buds because i can’t tell the difference. but having given up wheat last year, i loooove the GOPAN. it also has a gluten-free recipe, makes fresh mochi (we’ve tried, we ate, it’s awesome!), and fresh udon noodles, as well!