6 Bread Machine Secrets for Beginners

sweet milk bread_squared on black reduced

Sweet Milk White Bread mixed and kneaded in a bread machine (but baked in a conventional oven).

Now what do I do

If Santa brought you a bread machine, you may be wondering where to start.

You could read the manual. (Just kidding! Who has time for that?)

Once you unpack and wash all the parts, here are a few recommendations you may or may not find in the manual.


  • (If you are already an experienced bread-maker, skip this one.) If you have never ever made bread before, use a bread machine mix from the grocery store and observe the consistency of the dough in various stages.
  • Start with a simple recipe like  pizza dough. This is my favorite recipe and it’s almost fool-proof. Try focaccia using the same recipe.
pizza and foccacia

Foccacia and Pizza–A very good place to start

  • Make a simple dinner roll or loaf of white bread as seen in the first picture above. Whole grain flours can be a little tricky so I suggest saving those until you’ve had a few successes with white flour.
My Favorite Rolls

My Favorite Dinner Rolls


In the beginning, try to follow the ingredient list as closely as possible for the greatest chance of success.

  • Substituting whole wheat flour for white or even all-purpose flour for bread flour is not necessarily a 1-to-1 proposition. They each absorb different amounts of moisture and have different amounts of gluten.
  • All yeast is not the same. I  use bread machine yeast which is a close relative of instant yeast. Most recipes recommend dissolving regular yeast before adding to the other ingredients. It’s an extra step I can skip by using bread machine yeast.


5-10 minutes into the mixing process, take a peek. I cannot stress this enough to avoid inedible surprises!!!

  • If nothing is happening the blade may not be present or engaged. Many times I have had to plunge my freshly washed index finger through the unmixed ingredients to push the blade down into the proper position so it could do its job. I’ve even forgotten to install the blade before adding ingredients to the pan.
  • If dough is too moist, it will level out like thick soup. Add flour one tablespoon at a time until it makes a tacky ball that touches the wall of the pan and then pulls away.
  • If dough is too dry, it will form a ball that doesn’t touch the sides or may slap loudly against the sides of the pan. (If it’s really dry it won’t even form a ball.) Add water one tablespoon at a time till you get a tacky ball.

Top left–too wet; Top right–too dry; Lower–Just right

When you learn how to gauge the consistency of the dough and can add water or flour as needed, the bread machine world will be your oyster. This is best learned through experience but I’m hoping you’ll have beginner’s luck and your bread will turn out perfect the first time.


In case you haven’t read my blog before, I rarely–as in almost never–actually bake bread in my machine. I use the dough cycle to mix the ingredients and remove the dough to shape and then bake in a conventional oven.  This method gives me more control, more shaping options and a better crust on the finished product. If I’m going to ingest luxury calories, they better be worth it and bread actually baked in a bread machine rarely makes the cut in my book.

dough cycle

My favorite button on my bread machine


If you want a nice crust on your bread, purchase good pans.  Here’s my personal list to get you started. The last 3 items listed are  nice to have if you plan to bake much bread.

  • 2 heavy-duty pizza pans with a dark finish.
  • 2 (8 or 9-inch with 2-inch high sides) heavy-duty cake pans with dark interior finish.
  • 4×8-inch loaf pan for recipes containing approximately 3 cups of flour.
  • Instant-read thermometer to take the guess-work out of knowing when the bread is done.
  • Dough scraper.
  • Freebie shower caps–perfect for covering pans of formed dough for second rising.
bakeware for bread

Heavy, dark-colored pans, instant-read thermometer and a dough scraper


If your house is cool, the dough in your machine may not rise to double in the time allotted by the dough cycle. If necessary, leave it in the machine to continue rising. If the ambient temperature is really cool, consider moving your machine to a warmer spot in the house. Even though bread machines contain a heating element, the room temperature can make a huge difference in how fast the dough rises.

If you have a question or things aren’t working out like you hoped, leave me a comment and I will get back to you ASAP.

Happy bread baking from your friendly bread machine fanatic,



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{ 91 comments… read them below or add one }

Brooke January 28, 2013 at 11:21 am


I just got a bread machine for Christmas and I like the idea of making bread in it but, it seems so heavy. I was wondering if you had any tips on how to make it more like the stores. Also, the best storing tips for homemade bread would be greatly helpful too.

Thanks so much,


Paula January 28, 2013 at 11:51 am

Try my recipes. Most of them are formulated for the bread machine and well-tested. And remember, I DO NOT bake my bread in the bread machine. It will not be like the bread you buy at the store if you do. Try this recipe for Sweet Milk White Bread. It is a winner!

Regarding storage: Remember that homemade bread has no preservatives like store bought bread. I recommend you only make what you can eat in a day or two or be prepared to freeze it. Recipes with potatoes in them seem to stay fresh a bit longer. Like this one or this one.


Mary Ann April 27, 2017 at 9:59 am

I added a little more water (1/8 of cup) and it became less dense.


Patti January 23, 2013 at 8:49 pm

Hi Paula,
I have thoroughly read all your information for bread machine beginners and happen to have been given the Zojirushi machine you mention as one of your faves. I was attemtping my first loaf from a boxed bread mix and intended to only use the dough function. At one point, however, I realized the machine had moved on to the baking phase. I have scrutinized the machine’s manual and cannot find a way to prevent this from happening. Remembering that you mentioned setting it before you leave for church leads me to believe I am missing something. Any idea? Thanks so much!


KerryAnn May January 18, 2013 at 5:23 pm

I just picked up a breadman tr441 on freecycle. Thanks for the visuals! Helped a lot!


Danyel January 11, 2013 at 1:12 pm

I received my bread machine for Christmas and am trying it for the first time! But for some unknown reason it’s not mixing?! Not sure what I did wrong?! Any suggestions for this desperate Stay at home mom!! Much appreciated!


Paula January 11, 2013 at 3:08 pm

Check to make sure the blade or blades are firmly pushed down on top of the little post. It they are not engaged, you will hear the motor running but see nothing happening. Happens to me all the time. If the motor is not running, I would call the 800 number listed in the manual.


Bonnie January 5, 2013 at 11:20 pm

Hi, I just made my first loaf of bread using your recipe (sweet milk white bread). I made the dough in the bread machine, then baked it in the oven. The bread tastes delicious, but the loaf was WAY too big for the pan – it practically overflowed. I put it in a pan that says 8 1/2 x 4 1/2. Your recipe says it makes 1 8×4″ loaf correct?


Paula January 6, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Hi Bonnie,

Glad it tasted good. The size of the pan listed is what I use. I like my bread to have a nice dome on top–think it looks more like it came from a bakery. I wonder if you let it rise a little too long. No matter, just use a larger pan next time and see if you like it better. Regards, paula


Farzana January 3, 2013 at 10:04 pm

Thanks for the tips !! One question: How long should one wait before removing the bread from the loaf pan after its finished baking? I’m so upset right now. I just baked 100% whole wheat bread and I think finally I did a great job . . . it rose nice and high and everything !! . . . EXCEPT while removing it from the pan, it slightly ripped on the side
🙁 I did use spray on the bottom of the pan prior to placing my dough in there, so I dont know what happened. Maybe the dough was already moist enough? I dont know . . .


Paula January 5, 2013 at 9:55 am


I’m sure it tasted wonderful even if the side wasn’t perfect. I use Baker’s Joy–even on nonstick pans so the bread will slip out easier. Also, a plastic knife/spatula like the one seen here works perfectly to loosen the loaf in the pan before you try to remove it.

I try to remove the loaf within 5-10 minutes, carefully, and then allow to cool on a rack.


Elizabeth January 3, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Hi, thank you for the guidance! I am trying to make a dough in my hand-me-down bread machine. I have never used one, but there is no dough button. I can’t find the user-manual online, but it does say dough:10 on the front. So I went to 10 (which I guess means 10 hours to the machine) and now it is counting down. I tried opening the lid, made sure the hook is working by starting and stopping it, but now at 7 hours left the hook is still not running. How long does your dough cycle take? I can’t find any reference on length of time. Thanks!


Jenny December 29, 2012 at 11:42 am

can you cut the recipe ingredients in half and still get good bread machine bread?


Paula December 29, 2012 at 12:53 pm

It depends on the size of your bread machine and the way it kneads bread. If there is not enough flour/dough for the blade to knead it properly, it won’t be so good. If your have recipes in your bread machine manual that call for as little as 1 1/2 cups of flour, then it will probably work.


Jenny July 8, 2017 at 4:02 am

Thank you for your response.
I have the mini bread machine by zojiroshi and I’m concerned your dough recipes may overflow – I’ll try them and just watch real well


Paula July 8, 2017 at 11:23 am

Since my bread machine recipes don’t involve baking in the machine, only the mixing and kneading, you will probably be fine. Definitely cut them down to 2 cups of flour and everything else accordingly if you must bake in your mini machine.


jenny July 9, 2017 at 9:56 pm

Thank you so much for your quick response. I will try this with the rolls recipe that everyone has been raving about and let you know how it comes out with the mini zojiroshi.

alejandro December 25, 2012 at 7:24 pm

hola como le doy forma al pan despues de amasarlo la maquina se puede parar


Paula December 26, 2012 at 5:48 pm

I translated your comment into English but it didn’t make much sense. Maybe somebody reading this who knows both Spanish and English can help me out.


Johnnie December 23, 2012 at 10:48 am

Well I got a Kenmore breadmachine and I have been using it often trying to perfect the shape. Being in Utah at high altitude makes it difficult to perfect the dough but I’m trying. I have not used the oven method yet. Has anyone ever made bread in a machine that looks like it was baked in the oven??????????


Katherine Willis December 17, 2012 at 5:15 pm

I’ve got two bread machine recipes to use for Christmas. One is savoury, ( a garlic bread ) one is sweet ( cinnamon cream) . How long do I bake each loaf in my regular oven. I really want these loaves to be pretty and not have the kneading paddle baked into the bottom.


Jill December 3, 2012 at 8:07 am

Just got a bread maker and want to try your recommendation of baking the bread in the oven. Is it better to just use the dough program even if making whole wheat bread? Or would it be better to use the whole wheat bread program and just cancel it before it gets to baking?


Paula December 3, 2012 at 8:42 am

It it was me, I would go with the dough cycle, even with whole wheat. Quite possibly, the dough won’t double by the time the dough cycle ends (because whole wheat dough tends to be a slow poke) so just leave it sitting in the bread machine until it does. Enjoy your new machine.


Jill December 3, 2012 at 10:55 am

Thanks much, Paula! Now I’m going to betray what a beginner I am to bread making by my next question :)… Then do I simply transfer the raised dough to a greased baking pan and bake ….will it lose some of it’s “gas” in the transfer?


Paula December 3, 2012 at 11:46 am

If you use one of my recipes, it will tell you to gently depress the dough to get the gas out when the dough cycle is complete, after you remove the dough from the machine. Then you shape it and place it in your bread pan. Cover and let rise again until dough is almost doubled. Now bake in preheated oven.

I would encourage you to try one of my recipes first before you try to modify a regular recipe. Just for the record, whole wheat bread can be difficult for beginners and has discouraged many a newbie right out of the gate when they end up with something resembling a brick. I would try this one first and then this whole wheat loaf.


Jill December 3, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Thanks so much, Paula, for these helpful recommendations. I’ll start there!


Florence Samuel June 19, 2016 at 8:59 am

I made some Focaccia Bread dough using my bread machine. Minutes later, I wanted to make dough for sweet dinner rolls in the machine, but the machine had to rest for about 2 hours interval before starting to work the dough. Why is that? Why can’t I make two different dough in succession? Waiting impatiently for you reply. Many thanks in advance.


Marianne November 19, 2012 at 3:04 pm

I, like many others didn’t like the holes in the bread, so, After the last kneading
and before the last rise I too the paddles out and no more holes. It comes out just like in a bread pan.


Paula November 19, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Don’t you still get small holes where the posts are? (My machine had two.) Also, I don’t like the thick crust you usually get when baking breAd in a bread machine. Have you found a way around that other than baking in a regular oven?


Mark November 14, 2012 at 1:05 pm


I’ve done the add water/flour trick before and it works well. My machine does a 5 min knead or mix, a seven min rest, and a 12 min knead followed by a 40 min rise. then you dump the dough and let it rise 30-40 min. The recipes then say to punch it down and go from there with forming the loaf, baguette, etc. What does punching it down mean? I made a pumperknickle and just plopped it out, floured it a bit as it was sticky, and then let it rise to about 2x’s and baked at 400 for about 1/2 hr. Used an eggwhite glaze. Came out good, but got a bit crumbly the second day. Most bakery loaves a usually a bit less crumbly. What gives?


Paula November 14, 2012 at 6:37 pm

My best guess is the bakery is adding some kind of gluten similar to vital wheat gluten. It will make the bread dough a little more elastic and cause it to rise higher. You might want to experiment a bit. I am no expert on pumpernickel since I don’t much care for it, so probably shouldn’t even speak about it.


Linda October 6, 2012 at 11:27 pm

I just got a new bread machine, made 2 loaves and they both came out terrible, flour on the bottom of the pan,doughy, only half risen, I followed the directions and recipe that came with the manual, don’t you usually add the water first and then the dry ingredients? This one says to add the liquids last, wonder if that can be the problem. any ideas? This recipe also calls for only 18 oz of flour thats only a little over 2 cups, which does not sound right.


Paula October 7, 2012 at 9:47 pm

Hi Linda,
I don’t know if you have read through many of my posts about bread machines but my first rule is, “Don’t bake in a bread machine.” Use it to mix, knead, and raise your dough, then remove it and bake in a conventional oven. This allows you much more control and results in a product as good or better than bread from a bakery. I would also recommend you try some of my recipes for a bread machine, like the Sweet Milk White Bread.


Morgan September 29, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Hi Paula,
I love your site! I am interested in bread-making but have never done it. The reason I want to begin is to try and control sodium levels in our bread at home. How can I alter recipes to have less salt? I know I probably cannot just omit the salt, but do you have any suggestions? Thank you!


Paula September 29, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Hi Morgan,
Hmmm. That’s a tough one. I have forgotten to add salt to my bread before and it was not good at all. Not only was the taste bland, but the dough didn’t rise the way it should. Perhaps somebody else will see your comment and have an idea.


Anne Russell October 19, 2014 at 1:02 pm

I just discover your site. I make our bread because my husband is on a strict sodium restricted diet. In fact that’s why I bought my machine. I have a wonderful low sodium cookbook that gives bread machine recipes. From what I’ve gleened from the from the book is that salt is used in bread to retard the rise of the yeast. The suggestion is to half the amount of yeast to compensate for the lack of salt. I make bread or rolls from this book weekly and have never had a problem with the rise, taste or texture. One recipe that I use for Amish white bread suggests when the machine beeps to let you know to remove the paddle, to turn turn the machine off and run it through another cycle, giving it another rise. This makes a very soft loaf, but if the bread is removed and shaped, and let Ross again, this wouldn’t be required, only if the machine is to bake the bread.


Ashley Schulz September 13, 2012 at 9:39 am

Hi. I’m wondering if you can tell me what I can do to my bread recipe I make it more moist when it is finished. Mine is coming out a bit drug and dense.


Paula September 13, 2012 at 10:38 am

Ashley, are you letting it bake in the bread machine? If so, I don’t recommend it. What recipe are you using? I would love to help but need more info.


Rose Gander August 24, 2012 at 2:39 pm

this morning instead of lovely baked bread I came down to a very hot mix of dry ingredients. I had forgotten to put in the liquid the night before!
I tried to manually add water and kneed, rest and then shape and bake but got a doorstop.
The flour was baking hot of course. Had the yeast been killed?
Could I have saved the mix somehow?? Could I have made soem sort of flatbread?


BLYN LAYCO August 24, 2012 at 4:27 am

What is the difference between bread machine yeast and instant yeast? I cant find any bread machine yeast here in the Philippines. Any suggestion?

Thank you.


Paula August 24, 2012 at 10:21 am

Hi Blyn,
Bread machine yeast and instant yeast are interchangeable. They are both formulated to dissolve easily. Regular dry yeast will also work in a bread machine if you know what you are doing.


Marge August 8, 2012 at 4:57 pm

I just got a bread machine. Used it three times. Made dense, not so good bread. Found your site and tried your recipe….LOVE it! The biggest help was the pics of how my dough should NOT look and how it SHOULD look! Thank you so much, I was about to give up!


Paula August 11, 2012 at 8:56 am

Hi Marge,
I’m so glad you found my site. The fabulousness of bread machines is a well-kept secret–to those who don’t know that it’s better not to bake in them. Wishing you much success with bread-baking.


Christina May 4, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Paula, just found your website via pinterest, and i’m so glad I did! I found a bread machine at a garage sale today for $7, and I am super excited to get baking! Your tips are so very helpful. I will be sure to oven bake my bread after I mix it up! My family will be enjoying some of your recipes VERY SOON!
Thanks Again!


Paula May 6, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Congratulations on your new purchase, Christina,
Write back if you run into any trouble. pr


Christina March 25, 2012 at 8:24 pm

I’ve been looking for help with using my bread machine. Your tips and photos are great! I was given a really basic bread machine (just has a stop/start button) by a friend who wasn’t using it. Up till now I’ve been baking in the machine. The dough rarely rises as high as it should, but the bread tastes good. I’m going to try just making the dough in the machine and baking in the conventional oven, as you suggest. The pan only holds 2 cups of flour. Can your recipes by adjusted for that small of a machine? How long would you suggest baking a smaller loaf?


Paula March 25, 2012 at 9:43 pm

Christina, Yes, my recipes can be adjusted but may take some experimenting and tweaking. How long you need to bake your loaf depends on so many different things, it’s hard to recommend a certain time. I suggest you get a quick-read cooking thermometer (digital) and test your bread. It should reach 190 degrees F in the middle. Even though I’ve been making bread for many years, it’s a foolproof way for me to know when my bread has been in the oven long enough.
Meanwhile, I would be on the lookout for a better bread machine. I see them all the time in thrift stores and garage sales. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize what kind of treasure they have if they would just quit trying to bake in it. pr


Barbara March 14, 2012 at 5:27 pm

I have baked bread for years, i used to do 12 loaves a week , but not in a MACHINE , then family grew up, and i got a Bread Machine, i knew the different kinds of flower made a big difference when i made 12 loaves at a time, the cheaper flour was heavier , so i used less , i also did that with my Bread Machine also , but didn’t like the finished product, then i used BREAD MACHINE flour and what a difference. Also if you let the bread finish in the Bread Machine , it dries out faster, if your not eating right away . i did not know the Bread Machine had to be on the warmer side , if it was cooler in the house. Thanks so much


Paula March 14, 2012 at 10:15 pm

Hi Barbara,
Thanks for writing. Sounds like you making bread as much as I do. pr


Diana February 5, 2012 at 6:42 pm

I just stumbled onto your blog, and I am so glad I did! Thank you for providing such great information on bread machines. I just inherited a beautiful machine a few weeks ago. I was so excited to start using it, but soon realized I didn’t know where to start! This post is just what I needed. Thank you!


Paula February 6, 2012 at 9:58 am

You’re welcome Diana. May you have many successes!


Christine January 12, 2012 at 1:57 pm

I’m trying this today. My question is….if I am making a recipe for a 2lb loaf, would that go in one pan or would/should I separate it into two loaves?

I have two bread machines. I’ve over used the one apparently b/c it is a bit diva-ish and won’t turn on for me if I’ve made a loaf of bread the day before. Up until this point I have just let the bread go through the entire cycle of mix, raise, bake. But, since I am using the square loaf pan today I wanted to pull it out and shape my own bread.

Thanks for all the useful information


Paula January 12, 2012 at 5:35 pm

It depends on the size of your pans. Most do best with 3 to 3-1/2 cups of flour. Some can handle 4. Beyond that, I would split the loaf. Owning two machines is good if you make a lot of bread. Paula


Paula January 8, 2012 at 10:37 am

I made your sweet milk white bread and it came out fantastic the very first time. Can’t wait to try more of your receipes. Thanks!


Paula January 9, 2012 at 10:23 am

Glad to hear a good report on that bread. It’s a huge favorite in our family.


Carol November 14, 2011 at 10:25 am

Hello, I just stumbled upon your blog (oh happy day!) and am wondering if you have ever tried gluten free bread in your bread maker? I tried this weekend and it was a hot mess!


leslie October 2, 2011 at 1:41 pm

hi paula, just wanted to let you know that i decided to keep the toastmaster because it keeps the dough warm after the cycle which really helps the dough rise esp during winter when the kitchen is a bit cold. I’m a student and don’t entertain much so I really need just one 🙂 Thanks for the help!


leslie October 1, 2011 at 12:35 pm

thanks so much. Paula I’m going to do that right now 🙂


leslie September 29, 2011 at 5:58 pm

ahh typo… *there are also bad ones… sorry about that


leslie September 29, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Hi! So I just bought 2 used breadmakers and I’m not sure which one to keep. Can you help me decide?

One is a little newer and has a timer and 9 settings (3 basic, 3 whole wheat, sweet, dough, french). Its a BMR 200 by Mr. Coffee. It has a timer that also works on dough setting. It has 2 lb capacity. The bread pan is on the tall side. Takes up a lot of counter space.

The other one is a little older, a Toastmaster 1148x. Its got 8 settings (3 basic, whole wheat, sweet, fast bake, french, dough). the timer doesn’t work on the dough setting but you can add ingredients while baking (it beeps when its time). The bread pan is squarish. Very compact.

I’ve tried looking at reviews but the BMR 200 isn’t sold anymore and the toastmaster does have good reviews but they are also bad ones…

I’d appreciate getting your expert advice. I’m a newbie at baking so I don’t really know how to decide…


Paula September 29, 2011 at 6:31 pm

Hi Leslie, Here is what I would do. Make the same dough recipe in each one since they’re already used. If it was me, I would use my favorite dinner roll recipe on my blog. http://www.salad-in-a-jar.com/family-recipes/favorite-dinner-rolls I would look at which machine mixes and kneads the dough best without leaving flour or other ingredients unmixed in the corner. Which machine makes the silkiest, smoothest dough? Since I don’t cook in mine, I don’t care about about the shape of the pan or how evenly it bakes. Take it into consideration if you care. I personally like a timer on the dough cycle. Sometimes I like to have the pizza dough ready to bake when I walk in the door from work or dinner rolls ready to roll out when I get home from church.

Honestly, I use two machines for holidays and parties since people eat a lot more dinner rolls when they are homemade and hot out of the oven. Keep both of them if you like to entertain. If I had to choose, it would probably be the Mr. Coffee.


Patti April 9, 2011 at 11:33 am

After three failed attempts at baking bread, i finally realized my kitchen is too cool and so was my bread machine, so now while i’m collecting all my ingredients I put a small amt. of hot tap water in the bread machine pan (to warm everything up) and close the lid, pour it out when ready and dry the inside because of all the moisture it makes and add the ingredients and I have had success every time since. Happy baking.


Paula April 9, 2011 at 9:21 pm

So glad you shared your experience here. Maybe it will help someone else who is less than thrilled with their bread machine. They really are fabulous.


Cindy January 30, 2011 at 7:12 pm

I just scored myself a used bread machine for $10. I’m psyched to try it out!


Paula January 30, 2011 at 8:22 pm

That’s great. Hope it makes good bread for you Cindy.


gold hoop earrings January 10, 2011 at 6:59 am

Superb post breads are my favorite thanks for sharing this with hope you share more about this


mike January 9, 2011 at 10:08 pm

I’ve loved the breads I’ve made in the last few years, and would probably love them more with a machine….. what a wonderful post! You need to write a book/cookbook on this subject – you are so knowledgeable!


zwanger worden January 6, 2011 at 3:53 am

Great blog I enjoyed reading it hope you share more of this kind


St. Pete January 4, 2011 at 10:00 am

I love making bread. What a comprehensive blog entry. Thanks!


naomi January 3, 2011 at 11:26 am

Great tips in here, Paula! Happy New Years and cheers to another year in blogging.


Peggy Helmick January 2, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Paula, Didn’t see how to leave a comment on your FB page. I tried share but just as I suspected it went on my FB page, which is ok but I wanted it on your FB page. There was no where to leave a comment that I could see. Peggy


Susie January 2, 2011 at 4:22 pm

great tips! the last comment about the cold house i’ll have to keep in mind. 🙂


Karen January 1, 2011 at 11:30 am

I love your bread posts, Paula! Always so mouthwatering. I think I know what I’m putting on next year’s Christmas wish list… 🙂 Happy New Year!


Ann Long December 30, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Great post, thanks for sharing!!
For a TOTAL newbie, can anyone suggest a blog/website that will walk me through the steps after I’ve done the dough phase? Do I have to knead the bread again? Do I have to form it into a certain shape when I place it in the pan? Do i grease the pan? I am a total newbie, but really want to try my hand at doing this… I’ve made 2 in my breadmaker so far and agree, dont’ like how it bakes.


Paula December 30, 2010 at 8:32 pm

Ann, I suggest you pick one of the easy recipes I suggested. It will give you the steps you are asking about.

But quickly, no you do not knead the bread again after the dough phase. It is ready to be shaped at that point. Yes, grease the pan lightly. Pam works great. If you are making a loaf, roll the dough out into a rectangle and then roll it up into a cylinder shape. Put the roll in the pan, seam side down. Push the ends under and cover to let rise one more time. Bake. Try the recipe linked to the top picture. I think you will like it. Let me know how it goes. paula


Lori December 30, 2010 at 6:13 pm

Oh I love this blog!! I wish I still had my bread machine. I got rid of it over a year ago. I wasn’t happy at all with the bread it made. Now that I know these secrets, I may have to get me another one and start baking my own bread.


Paula December 31, 2010 at 10:06 am

Lori, Most of the new ones are better than most of the old ones anyway so you may be in luck.


Daphne December 30, 2010 at 4:26 pm

Thank you so much for your encouragement & bread making tips, so far i’ve launched out and have made the wonderful brioche rolls (wo caps) 🙂 Now i’ve tried the honey wheat yeast bread, both fantastic w/simple to follow instructions. I think my family has decided we wont buy rolls or loaf bread ever again! Again thanks for taking the fear out of bread making & working w/yeast


Paula December 31, 2010 at 10:08 am

You’re welcome Daphne. It is so much fun to hear about your bread-baking adventures.


Christine December 30, 2010 at 1:32 pm

I have the exact same bread machine and love making bread, but it doesn’t always come out as beautiful as yours. I always weigh my ingredients before mixing for a more accurate measurment in hopes of producing a more professional looking loaf. Do you know where one would find bread machine yeast? Also, what should the internal temp of my bread be and o you find the golden crust to be an accurate indicator that your bread is complete? Thanks!


Paula December 30, 2010 at 8:42 pm

Christine, A golden crust is not a reliable indicator. Many breads, especially the ones with more sugar brown quickly and in fact, need to be shielded half-way through to keep from burning. That is why a thermometer is so handy. Takes the guess work out of the whole matter. I sometimes see where people recommend taking the loaf out of the pan and thumping to see if it’s done. That works about as well for me as thumping watermelons at the store. NOT VERY.

Measuring your ingredients, especially the flour is a great idea. However, learning to judge the correct consistency of the dough so you can add the appropriate amount of water or flour if needed is even more helpful. Bread baking is NOT an exact science and small adjustments may be necessary to get the perfect loaf.


Marilee December 30, 2010 at 1:13 pm

I love my thermometer for everything else I bake, but I never even thought about using it for bread. What temp should a finished loaf of bread be?


Paula December 30, 2010 at 8:36 pm

Marilee, 190 degrees F.


Kristi Rimkus December 30, 2010 at 10:07 am

Great idea to use the dough cycle and then bake in the oven. I’ll do that from now on. I don’t like the square shape of the bread machine. I use my machine to make my own whole wheat pizza dough, since it can be hard to find.

Happy New Year!



Paula December 31, 2010 at 10:04 am

I totally agree about the weird shape. Then there is the hole(s) in the bottom from the blades. Not nice!


Irene February 11, 2013 at 10:55 am

I take the blade out after the last turn which is about one hour and forty minutes. The bread is left only with a very little hole.
I am making bread for 12 years and I enjoy every minute of it.


Nina December 29, 2010 at 10:33 pm

Fantastic post, Paula! So true about the home temperature. Drooling over your dinner rolls…they look amazing.


Paula December 31, 2010 at 10:08 am

Took me awhile to figure that one out. It’s one of the most common reasons for failure when somebody also uses the machine to bake their bread. Their house temperature may have been too low to allow proper rising but the machine can’t make the adjustment.


ldh December 29, 2010 at 9:51 pm

I never could understand why people leave their bread machines unused or even sell them at garage sales. I think mine has lasted so long because I very seldom bake in it. I think I will invest in a thermometer though. Never used one for baked items.

Looking forward to the wonderful posts you will have for us in 2011. Best wishes for a Happy New Year!


Betty @ scrambled hen fruit December 29, 2010 at 9:43 pm

Thanks for the bread machine tips- I don’t use mine nearly often enough. It’s good to get some inspiration to pull the old girl out and give her a space on the counter top. 🙂 Like you, I only use mine to mix and proof- what a time saver!


Paula June 23, 2016 at 1:32 pm

So sorry this answer is delayed. We have been on vacation. I make dough in succession just as you described in my Zojurishi. All of my various machines reset if you unplug them for a bit. What brand are you using?


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