Bread Machine 101

I am in love with my bread machine. If you have one but don’t use it, I hope I can inspire you to dust it off and give it another try.

Before we go any farther, let me explain my basic philosophy about using a bread machine. I don’t normally use it to bake bread. I only use it to mix and knead the dough. From there, I pull it out of the machine and do the rest manually. Want to know more? See the bread machine tutorials listed below.





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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Debi February 14, 2016 at 9:23 pm

Hi Paula, I discovered this site about a year and a half ago, and I am so appreciative of the information you shared here in Bread machine 101 and the bread recipes. I used many of them before I ventured into making my own recipe for a whole grain bread. Now, one of my cousins just asked me about how to use a bread machine and I referred him to your site. It’s time I jumped on here and told you what a difference finding your site made in my life! I have been baking bread weekly since I discovered your site. I had let my Breadman Plus TR 700 sit idle for years because I didn’t like the loaves it turned out. Thank you, thank you so much!


katarzyna October 8, 2014 at 3:23 am

Hi Paula, Love your ways of using the bread maker and the recipes. I live in the UK and have a Panasonic B/M.
Tip: I always fill my stainless steel bread pan with hot water, tip out and dry with kitchen roll before adding the ingredients. (warning do NOT immerse the pan into hot water – only fill it).
Question: why do you always add your yeast last? My instructions say always add it to the pan first. Is it because it goes onto the bottom of a cold pan or some other reason?


Paula October 9, 2014 at 11:45 am

Great tip about warming your pan.

I know some bread machines specify yeast first. I don’t think it really matters when you turn the machine on right away. It probably makes more of a difference when you use the “delay start” button. In your case, I would do as your manual instructs.


Nancy September 16, 2014 at 5:47 pm

So have a question, I’ve just recently started using my bread machine again, but am not happy with how the bread is coming out, so do I just use the dough only cycle or just pull it out before the baking starts


Paula September 16, 2014 at 7:03 pm

Hi Nancy,
Use the dough cycle only. See this post.


Patty Anderson July 7, 2014 at 6:14 pm

Thanks so much for teaching me how to use my bread machine!!! I can hardly wait to try the great recipes!!!


Sandi April 29, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Hi Paula, I am inspired to start making my own pizza dough in a bread machine! We have been making pizza on a grill stone and love it, but cannot find that bakery fresh dough flavor we get in quality pizza restaurants. My question to you is, is there a way to make extra pizza dough (say 4 pizzas worth) for entertaining a larger crowd? Can it be refrigerated after it comes out of the bread machine, and if so, for how long? Or can it only be used right away?

Thank you!


Paula April 30, 2014 at 6:16 am

Yes, you can chill the dough. Some think it makes it taste even better. I wouldn’t store longer than 3-4 days.


Gloria March 14, 2014 at 7:06 am

Hi Paula,

I have really enjoy this website, it has been a great motivation and inspiration. I have been making my yogurt and recently bought a bread machine. I have a question, I used to make bread when I first got married, but after the children have not made any. My boys love bread and now that they are all in school I want to make some fresh bread for them. I noticed that in your bread recipe only put water, but do not mention anything about the temperature of the water. Is it ok to use regular tap water temperature or do I need to heat it up first? And if so to what temperature? Thank you very much, and keep up the good work!


Paula March 14, 2014 at 8:10 am

I always warm up my tap water a bit. You could use room temperature but your bread will rise better if a little warmer–lukewarm to the touch or around 80 degrees F. For me, 30-60 sec in the microwave makes it just right. Always put warm liquid in the pan first. The rest of the ingredients will cool it down some before you add the yeast which I always do last.

Some cookbooks recommend you use spring water if your tap water is hard. I haven’t tried that myself. Happy bread-making.


Paula March 17, 2014 at 7:20 am

Gloria, I gave you the wrong temp for water. I like it to be more like 105-110. But your bread will still be good if it isn’t warm, it just takes longer to rise.


Myself December 18, 2013 at 10:33 am

Hi Paula,
I tried my bread machine once but the bread dint proof at all,what am I doing wrong?


Paula December 20, 2013 at 11:29 am

Did you remember to add the yeast? What kind of yeast were you using? Was it out of date?


Heather December 1, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Why don’t u bake bread in ur machine? I’m doing a little research before I buy one!


Paula December 1, 2013 at 4:53 pm

Hi Heather,
See this post.


Susan October 8, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Hi Paula,

A breadmaker I’ve found pretty good is the Oster Expressbake. I haven’t tried anything other than basic recipes yet, but the loaves it turns out look like bread, not tubes, and the texture is great.

I’m a vegetarian and always looking out for easy, tasty recipes. Will definitely try some of yours including the asparagus with poached egg and toast crumbles. Also keen to see if your method of poaching eggs works for me.

All the best,


Angel Binta August 26, 2013 at 11:10 am

I just bought a new Russell Hobbs bread maker, I put all Ingredients exact it start counting down from 3:30 then it does nothing until 0:00 when it starts baking without kneading, what am I doing wrong????
Please Help
Thank you


Kathleen Johnston October 6, 2012 at 10:12 am

Hello, I have made your Crusty Loaf with my bread machine. Raves all around. It was the best bread ever. You are right however, do not bake in the machine.

Thanks for the recipes. I am trying another one today and will let you know how it comes out.


Paula October 7, 2012 at 9:39 pm

Hi Kathleen,
The Crusty Loaf is a favorite of mine, too. So easy—and foolproof.


Elaine May 2, 2012 at 8:07 pm

Lucky me! Got a Welbilt Bread Machine in great condition with a load of bread recipes tucked inside at the local thrift shop for $10. Can’t wait to get started with the recipes and use all of your helpful hints.


Leslie A March 8, 2012 at 8:03 pm

I am so excited to find this page of bread machine recipes! I have recently re-discovered my bread machine and am enjoying making fresh bread for my family in the easiest way possible!


Marilyn March 8, 2012 at 11:25 am

Oh my goodness! I may have found my new, favorite web page! I’ve been feeling like my bread machine could handle more, and now I have a way to test it. Thanks!


Paula March 10, 2012 at 10:58 am

Happy Bread-baking!! pr


Sis January 15, 2012 at 11:52 am

Ah, there it is. Thank you.


Sis January 14, 2012 at 11:32 pm

Thanks. I’ll start looking. I’ve never been interested in them until I saw how you used it.

I wonder if there might be a way to add a search box on your website? I’d love to be able to search just within your website for things I “know I saw” but can’t find. I think I saw something about vacuum packing meat in jars to freeze?


Sis January 14, 2012 at 5:00 pm

I found you when I was searching for trouble-shooting homemade yogurt and I’m glad I did! Dh and I are trying to eat more salads but we shop once a week and it’s “feast or famine” when it comes to lettuces. While looking around I am finding more and more wonderful ideas to use to improve our daily eating. Our schedule is strange and our eating habits vary. These ideas will help both of us eat healthier any time of day (or night!). I’m looking forward to looking learning more.

I know you mentioned the brand of vacuum-sealer you use but now I can’t find it. Which ones do you recommend staying AWAY from? They’re rather spendy and I’d like to learn from *others* mistakes. 😉


Paula January 14, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Hi Sis,

I started out with a full-size FoodSaver. Works great but it’s an investment. You can also use the handheld FoodSaver that costs only about 20$ but you still must purchase the large mouth adapter (available on-line). Recently, I ran across the Reynolds hand-held vacuum sealer. It costs 3$ and runs on batteries. It’s small so I can easily stick it in a drawer. I think they may be out of production but there are plenty of them at most Big Lots. You will need the large mouth adapter for this one too. I plan to do a post soon about these options. pr


lynne kauffman January 5, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Happy New Year, Paula!
I just got my new bread machine for Christmas per your recommendations and can’t wait to make pizza later this weekend. We have begun the new year with salad in a jar lunches for all three ladies living in the house and yogurt is next on the list to begin…later in the month. I still don’t have my strainer yet! Anyway, just wanted you to know what an inspiration you have been to our family and health. I’ll let you know how things go! Blessings, Lynne


Paula January 6, 2012 at 8:35 am

How exciting! Nice to have friends who do it with you. Can’t wait to hear how the yogurt turns out for you. Thanks for writing.


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