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.
the floor display for the GOPAN.
there used to be a red model, but only the white is available now.
the buttons have no english at all. good thing the genius husband was up for translating what he could, using the kana he already knows and going online for the kanji.
we also had to order a step-down transformer to make the GOPAN compatible with north american voltage.
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.
the crib sheet, with the required steps translated from japanese to english.
the full instructions. they’re very similar to those of standard bread machines available here in north america.
we’ve been using kokuho rose brand sushi rice for years, and it’s available in most grocery stores.
the necessary ingredients for the basic rice bread recipe: rice, water, gluten, sugar, salt, yeast, shortening.
the all-important machinery and measuring bits. the little basket holds the gluten and yeast and releases automatically at just the right time.
the rice goes in first. measuring of the rice and water requires a kitchen scale, as they are done by weight.
the main case with the rice, water, shortening, salt, and sugar.
the little basket with the gluten and yeast.
like standard bread machines, the case just drops into the main compartment. the little basket fits into a slot in the door.
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.
it’s a smaller sized loaf than the wheat bread our standard bread machine makes. i think it’s a half pound loaf.
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!