How to Use a Bread Machine: Tips & Tricks


Getting a bread machine is an exciting time. You think about all the delicious loaves of fresh bread you’ll be able to eat without any of the hard work typically associated with homemade bread. The first thing you need to learn, though, is how to properly use the machine.

Most bread machines have uses that go beyond making bread. They can make jam or cakes as well, and you can also use the machine just to make the dough, removing it to cook separately in the oven. Take some time to read the manual that came with the machine and familiarize yourself with how your machine works. Be sure to look up how big of a loaf it makes as well. Machines typically make anywhere from a one-pound to two-pound loaf of bread, and the size your machine makes determines how much of each ingredient you should use.

With that said, we’ve put together this comprehensive how-to guide to thoroughly explain how to use a bread machine. Many users will find that using the device is self-explanatory, and manufacturers have done a great job of clearly labeling the available settings and options.

Step 1: Gathering the Ingredients

Search for a recipe that suits your taste. In many cases, it’s best to start out with a basic recipe and then start experimenting once you’ve mastered that one. Accurate measurements are essential for a great loaf of bread, and you should note that if the recipe calls for a “packet” of yeast and you’re using a jar, a packet should equal two and a quarter teaspoons of yeast.

As it usually goes, typically the more expensive the ingredients, the better quality bread they will yield. Many home bakers opt for cheaper ingredients and often blame themselves when things go wrong. We always thoroughly recommend using the highest quality ingredients, and always opt for a brand that you know and trust. You can even experiment with different ingredients and see which delivers the best results for you.

Step 2: Adding the Ingredients

Most bread machines ask you to place the wet ingredients into the machine first, then cover those with the dry ingredients. If you’ll be setting the timer to bake the bread at a later time, it’s essential to keep the yeast separate from the water to avoid activation. If you’ll be starting the machine right away, though, you could start by adding the water, yeast and sugar first, in order to “proof” the yeast and make sure that it’s working. It should start bubbling and create a delightful smell.

Step 3: Choosing Your Setting

Your bread machine will have a variety of settings, such as the “basic” setting, a “quick bake” setting and the “dough” setting. The quick rise setting allows the loaf to rise only one time, and it requires that you use “rapid rise” yeast. In most cases, this will still create a great loaf of bread. The dough setting just makes the dough and usually has the timer set to allow it to rise in the machine. Use this setting if you want to make the dough, then take it out to bake in a different shape.

Step 4: Setting the Timer

One of the biggest benefits of having a bread machine is allowing the machine to bake the bread while you’re sleeping or out of the house. This requires setting the timer. The timer shows the total time it will take, including waiting and baking the bread. So when you set the timer, set it for the time that you want the bread to be done, not for the time you want it to start cooking. For example, if you’re setting up the machine at 9pm before you go to bed and you want it ready at 7am when you wake up, you’d set the timer for 10 hours. Push the “start” button to start the countdown.

Step 5: Letting the Machine Do Its Work

Once you push the start button. The machine will start its cycle, and it’s tempting to peek in to watch it do its work. Unfortunately, that can affect the temperature in the machine. Your bread machine will heat up slightly as it makes the dough, helping the dough to rise. It’s better to keep the lid closed. The exception to this is if you’re making a recipe that calls for you to add ingredients such as spices or raisins and nuts partway through the cycle. In this case, though, the machine should beep and tell you when to add those ingredients.

Step 6: Removing the Bread

Once the bread is finished, it’s smart to remove the loaf from the pan right away. This prevents it from overcooking, and also keeps moisture from ruining the crust. You’ll find that the bread slides out of the pan easily, though it may still have the kneading blade stuck inside. Once the bread cools down – about 30 minutes – you can cut into it and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Once you get the basics down, you’ll be able to try different recipes. At first, choose recipes that are intended for bread machines, but you’ll soon see how you can use the machine for a variety of purposes. Have fun with your new machine.

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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