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Eight Tips for Using a Bread Machine

Updated on February 27, 2016
Loaves of White and Brown Bread
Loaves of White and Brown Bread | Source

Too busy to bake? Use a bread machine.

Using a bread machine is a great time saver and much easier than baking bread manually. Following these tips will help to ensure you get the best results from your bread machine.

There's something so wonderfully satisfying about the feel of bread dough in your bare hands. The kneading, punching and patting down seems to satisfy some primal urge we have to produce food.

Unfortunately, with today's busy life, many of us just don't have time to spend the better part of a day baking bread by hand. Baking bread with a bread machine offers a partial solution. It doesn't give us quite the same "I did it all myself" feeling but it does allow us to produce a fragrant, home made loaf that tastes divine and requires minimal effort.

Poll: Choosing a Breadmaker

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Bread Machines at Amazon

Panasonic SD-RD250 Bread Maker with Automatic Fruit & Nut Dispenser
Panasonic SD-RD250 Bread Maker with Automatic Fruit & Nut Dispenser

In my view, this is the Cadillac of bread machines. For a serious home cook or foodie, this piece of equipment is well worth the price.

Freshly Baked Bread in a Bread Maker
Freshly Baked Bread in a Bread Maker | Source

Eight Tips for Using a Bread Machine

  1. As a rule of thumb, you add the liquids first to the bread machine, then the dry ingredients and lastly, the yeast. However, it is always a good idea to check the manual that came with your machine. Certain brands may have different requirements.
  2. When measuring liquid ingredients, place the measuring cup on a level surface such as your counter-top. View the amount at eye level to be sure its accurate.
  3. It is important to measure all ingredients concisely.
  4. When measuring your dry ingredients, especially your flour, be sure to use dry measuring cups, not liquid measuring cups. When its time to measure the flour, first stir it and then place it in a dry measuring cup, using a spoon to transfer. Add flour until the flour reaches the top of the cup and is a little above the rim. Then, using a knife, level the top of the flour. Please avoid shaking or tapping the cup. This will cause the flour to settle and you will have more than needed -- giving you a heavy dough.
  5. Guard against accidentally omitting an ingredient by lining them all up along your tabletop before you start adding to the bread machine.
  6. Know the difference between dry measures and liquid measures. Liquid measures usually have various measuring lines, and the top line does not come to the top of the cup. Dry measures are usually stackable. They allow you to fill them right to the top with your flour, so you can then level the flour away using a flat object such as a knife.
  7. Your dough should be a little softer than it is if you are making it by hand. You may have to add additional liquid or flour if it is not. To test, allow the bread maker cycle to run for a short. It should form a soft dough around the blade. If it does not, you will need to add more flour or more liquid, depending on whether it is too sticky or too dry. Add these ingredients carefully, one teaspoon at a time.
  8. Measuring spoons are usually made for dry measures. Handle them the same way you handle the dry measuring cups -- that is, fill carefully and level off with a knife.

Bread Machine Video

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    • profile image

      Jackie 3 months ago

      I recently got the Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso and am very happy with it. It makes a 2 lb loaf (most of the smaller machines are max 1.5 lb). The loaves are the shape of handmade loaves (long rectangle, not tall square like smaller machines).

      It is very easy to use. So far, I've made 100% Whole wheat, Multigrain, Apple cinnamon oatmeal, Gluten Free bread and Jam, with GREAT results!

      Gluten free requires different settings than regular bread, the Zojirushi has auto settings for: white bread, wheat bread, gluten free bread, dough, cake and JAM (yes, fresh jam with very little work)!

      You can also program 3 configurations into memory, if you need to shorten or lengthen the settings for your favorite recipe.

      It is rated the best, in several locations on the internet.

      I got mine on Amazon.

    • nightcats profile image

      June Campbell 3 years ago from North Vancouver

      That is a consideration. When it comes to baking multiple loaves, or even large loaves, the old fashioned oven way is sometimes best.

    • profile image

      mumsgather 3 years ago

      I've been shopping around for a bread machine but the ones I've seen so far can make such small loafs, I'm worried the whole loaf will be eaten before they cool down completely. How do I make enough when it takes so long to bake one and it gets eaten so quickly is one of the things that have been holding me back at the moment.

    • nightcats profile image

      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver

      Sorry, but I don't know the answer to your question, Marlette. Perhaps someone else knows how to do this? If so, please leave a comment with your solution.

    • profile image

      Marlette vanderMerwe 7 years ago

      The cake recipe for my Mellerware breadmaker calls for 1 cup caster sugar. As my husband is a Type 2 diabetic, how do I get around this, seeing that the recipes are meant to be exact? Do I use sugar substitute (looks like sugar, but then it's not caster sugar substitute and the texture would be coarser), or how can I use less sugar without upsetting the mix?

    • Party Girl profile image

      Party Girl 9 years ago

      Another great hub!

    • nightcats profile image

      June Campbell 9 years ago from North Vancouver

      Good idea. Would you like to tell us how you do it? It is a special recipe or have you modified a regular pizza dough recipe for the macine?

    • Cindy Lietz profile image

      Cindy Lietz 9 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

      I make pizza dough in my bread machine every weekend. They whole family loves it!