Abby Sher
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Bread Maker Baking Tips

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Is it a toaster? No maybe it is a pizza maker. But why is it shaped like a toaster? This is how a friend of ours spent time guessing what his birthday gift was. We gave him a bread maker because he loves sandwiches. Problem was, it was the first time he ever heard of a bread maker so we wondered if that is the case with others. If you are new to the wonders of homemade bread from a bread maker then this if the perfect post to start with. Or you could spend hundreds of dollars, buy a decent bread maker and try reading the manual!

After unpacking the machine and washing all the components, here are a few things you can do.

Go Easy

For experienced bakers, this point is worthless. For all others who haven’t ever tried a bread machine, go easy!

Take your time learning about the machine, watch as the dough goes through the various stages and find out how your particular machine works. You could start with a simple recipe such as a pizza dough. This is actually one of the easiest of recipes to try out. Another simple recipe to test is focaccia. Just remember that you should not start out working with whole grain flours as it is a bit tricky to get the consistency just right. Once you have had enough success with white flour you can progress to trickier bases.

Be Cautious With Substitutes

Always try and stick with the ingredients mentioned in your manual or chosen cookbook. Try not to substitute anything until you are comfortable with a bread maker. Changing white bread flour to whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour is not easy. It doesn’t work on a 1 to 1 ratio. Different flour types use varying amount of moisture and have varying degrees of gluten. Similarly, yeast isn’t uniform. Bread machine yeast is what you should be using or else instant yeast. Otherwise, remember to soak the yeast in water before adding it to the ingredients.

Open The Lid If You Have To

Most new owners tend to be wary of the bread machine or else too trusting. You should open the bread machine lid once or twice and check to see that things are progressing as they should. Otherwise, you may end up with a surprise after a couple of hours

If you find the dough is not mixing properly then the mixing blade or paddle might not be engaged properly or isn’t present. There are times when you will have to get your hands dirty to get the blade back into position. Wash your index finger and then plunge it deep into the unmixed ingredients to get the blade engaged. And always remember to seat the blade in the bread maker before adding ingredients. (Believe us, this has happened quite a few times!)

If you find the dough to be too moist then add one tablespoon of flour at a time until the required consistency is reached. But if the dough is dry then add one tablespoon of water at a time till you get that perfect tacky ball.

Use The Dough Cycle

Since you are a first time baker, it is best to ensure that your dough is exactly as you need it to be. So, use the dough cycle to prepare the dough then take it out and shape it or knead it a bit by hand until the required consistency is reached. Add it back to the bread machine and let it bake. Bread machines don’t actually bake the perfect bread unless you take care and devotion to make it so. Remember that the effort you give initially to perfect your bread will help you automate the process later on.

Use Quality Material And Accessories

If you want good bread then invest in quality accessories and materials. Here is a list of things that you will be best served purchasing along with a bread maker.

  • Heavy duty pizza pans having a darker finish.
  • Heavy duty cake pans with a blacker interior.
  • Loaf pan for any recipe that uses 3 cups of flour.
  • Instant read thermometer.
  • Dough scraper.
  • Shower caps to cover formed dough until second rising.

Some Final Things To Remember

  1. If you live in a cool environment then the dough in the bread machine might not rise as required. Give it more time to rise by changing the dough cycle. Or else leave it as it is in the machine until it rises properly. For really cold temperatures, move the bread machine to the warmest spot in your house. Room temperature does make a lot of difference in the way bread dough rises even though there are heating elements in the bread machine.
  2. Baking with a bread machine is not difficult but making artisan quality bread is easier said than done. Even with the right machine, all the ingredients and a couple of trial runs you can end up making a mockery of it all.

About the Author Abby

Hey there, my name is Abby and I am the creator and editor of this website. I have always loved cooking and kitchen gadgets. I hope my website helps you pick out the right products for your kitchen. Thanks for reading!

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