6+ Bread Maker Tips You Need To Make Marvelous Bread

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Sneak Peek: This is a collection of 6 bread maker tips (+ 1 bonus tip about dense bread) for beginners and experienced bread machine users.

frustrated toddler probably thinking about a bread maker and needing some tips, tricks and secrets

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Are you just now unpacking a new machine or digging one out of the attic? If Santa brought you a bread maker or the shut-down has inspired you, you might be wondering where to start.

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

I’ve gathered more than six bread maker tips to build your confidence. At the end of this post, I’ll share with you the most popular bread recipe on this website. It’s beginner-friendly and an excellent place to start.

Why do I need tips and tricks? Isn’t a bread maker supposed to be easy?

When I first started using my bread machine, I was infatuated with the smell of fresh bread–especially when using a timer to make it overnight. What an enticing wake-up call!

But as I always say, “Even bad bread tastes good when it’s warm.” Don’t be fooled.

The reality of tighter-than-they-were-before jeans inspired me to be pickier. I decided that good-smelling bread didn’t justify the thick crusts, holes in the bottom, and awkwardly ugly loaves I was offering my family.

Even bad bread tastes good when it’s warm. So don’t settle for dense bread.

I threw out the bread maker manual and experimented with recipes I already loved. I questioned everything.

6 Bread Maker Tips for Beginners - Sweet Milk White Bread

Condensed Milk Bread is mixed and kneaded in a bread machine but baked in a conventional oven.

The result is a different way to use a bread machine, along with more than 50 bread-maker recipes published on this website. But don’t worry about all that right now.

Remember that any advanced skill (making high-quality yeast bread qualifies) will take practice and experience.

Adjust your early expectations while keeping your standards high. You don’t have to compromise.

6 Bread Machine Tips + 1 about Dense Bread

1. Start simple.

  • (If you are already an experienced bread-maker, skip this one.) If you have never made bread before, use a bread machine mix from the grocery store and observe the consistency of the dough in various stages.
  • Begin with a simple recipe like pizza dough. It’s my favorite, and it’s almost fool-proof.
pizza and foccacia made in a bread machine
Focaccia and Pizza–a perfect place to start

2. Be cautious about substitutions.

In the beginning, try to follow the ingredient list as carefully as possible to maximize your chances of success.

  • Substituting whole wheat flour for white or even all-purpose flour for bread flour is not necessarily a 1-to-1 proposition. Different flours absorb different amounts of moisture and have varying amounts of gluten.
  • All yeast is not the same. You can substitute active-dry yeast for instant or bread machine yeast. (Instant, bread machine, and rapid-rise yeast are interchangeable.)

    However, active dry yeast is slower on the uptake. Add 1/4 teaspoon extra yeast if you are substituting for instant yeast.

    Instant yeast saves time as it does not need to be dissolved. Traditionally, active-dry yeast needed to be dissolved. The modern formulation means that it can now be added directly to your flour.

    If it makes you feel better, go ahead and dissolve it according to the package directions. No worries!

3. Don’t be afraid to open the lid.

Take a peek 10-15 minutes into the mixing process. I cannot stress this tip enough to avoid inedible surprises!!!

  • If nothing is happening, the blade may not be present or engaged.

    Many times I have plunged a wooden spoon or spatula through the unmixed ingredients to push a paddle 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.
  • Another possibility is that the machine has entered a preheat phase. There will be no action until the machine has a chance to bring all the ingredients to the same temperature. Read more about the preheat feature and how to circumvent it if you want to.
  • If the dough is too moist, it will level out like a thick soup. Add flour one tablespoon at a time until it makes a tacky ball that sticks to the wall of the pan and then pulls away.
  • If the dough is too dry, it will form a ball that doesn’t touch the sides or may slap loudly against the side of the pan. (If it’s very dry it won’t even form a ball.) Add water one tablespoon at a time until you get a tacky ball.
illustration of my tip for getting  perfect dough in a bread maker

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

Although experience is helpful, I’m hoping you’ll have beginner’s luck and your bread will turn out superbly the first time.

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.

4. Stick with the “DOUGH” cycle on your bread maker.

If you haven’t read my blog before, I rarely bake bread in my machine. I use the dough cycle to mix the ingredients. Then, I remove the dough to a floured board to shape it. Finally, bake it 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 must be worth it. Bread baked in a bread machine rarely makes the cut.

bread machine with dough cycle highlighted
My favorite button on a bread machine is the DOUGH button.

What if you have no oven or are a fix-it-and-forget-it kind of baker?

If you prefer to use the bread machine for the entire process, keep reading.

How to get a better-looking loaf when you use the bread machine to bake your bread:

  • Determine when the final rise starts during the REGULAR cycle. Check your manual.
  • At the beginning of the last rise, remove the dough from the pan and take the dough blades out.
  • Reshape the dough. You could braid it, make large or small balls (see picture below), twist it, or flatten and roll it up to make a loaf that is evenly distributed in the pan.
  • Place the dough back into the bread machine pan and let the cycle continue uninterrupted. (I unplug my machine to stop the process. When I replug it, the cycle takes up where it left off. Your machine may be different.)

This extra step will give your loaf a nicer top, a uniform shape, and smaller holes in the bottom of the loaf after it is baked. Of course, the crust will still be thick and cardboard-like, but that’s the price one pays for convenience.

Before the last rise, this Herbed White Bread dough was removed from the bread machine and divided into four portions. Each portion was rolled into a ball and placed back into the machine without paddles. This loaf was baked in the bread maker.

bread machine crash course sign-up

5. Invest in quality bakeware and accessories.

If you decide you want to bake your bread-machine-mixed dough in a regular oven, you will want a nice crust on your bread. Purchase high-quality pans. 

A few suggestions:

I highly recommend the last three items if you aspire to be an excellent bread-baker. See some of my favorites in my Amazon store

  1. Two heavy-duty pizza pans (for pizza) with a dark finish (Check e-bay for these. Often sold off from defunct pizza restaurants.)
  2. Two (8 or 9-inch with 2-inch high sides) heavy-duty cake pans with dark interior or gold finish
  3. An 8 x 4-1/2-inch loaf pan and a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan for recipes containing approximately 2-1/2 to 3 cups of flour
  4. A heavy-duty half-sheet cookie sheet.
  5. Instant-read thermometer or this smaller one (paid links)–helps to gauge when the bread is fully baked
  6. Dough scraper
  7. Freebie shower caps–perfect for covering pans of formed dough for second rising
 best bakeware and tools for baking bread

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

6. Consider the ambient temperature.

(Ambient temperature refers to the area or room where your bread machine sits.) Even though bread machines contain a heating element, the room temperature can make a huge difference in how fast the dough rises.

If your house is chilly, the dough may not rise to double in the time allotted by the DOUGH cycle. Leave the bread dough inside the machine to continue proofing.

To do otherwise will keep the yeast from developing to its full potential resulting in less flavor and dense texture.

What to do when your house is too cold:

covering bread machine during cold temperature
  1. Consider moving your machine to a warmer spot in the house.
  2. Throw a blanket over it.

What to do when your house is too warm:

When your house is too warm or the humidity is high, your bread may overproof and turn out flat. You can read all about over-proofed dough in a bread machine and what to do about it here.

If you are using the DOUGH cycle:

  1. Transfer the dough out of the bread machine pan into another bowl. Cover it. Set it inside a slightly warm oven (85˚F) or on top of a water heater or any warm place.
  2. The dough may not rise to double in the time allotted by the DOUGH cycle due to the cooler temperature. Leave the bread dough inside the machine to continue proofing as long as necessary. Otherwise, the yeast won’t develop properly resulting in less flavor and a dense texture.

Bonus Tip: Why is my bread too dense?

This is the most common complaint I get from new bread makers. Your bread will be dense when it does not rise as it should in the time allowed by the bread machine timer. The possible causes are many. You can see an exhaustive list of 26 reasons your bread is dense including many bread machine-specific issues here.

Here’s a sampling:

  1. Did you measure the flour correctly? Because the percentage of flour is so high in a bread recipe, mistakes are magnified. Too much flour will make your bread dense and crumbly. If you intend to make very much bread, a digital scale is worth the money.
  2. Did you use whole grain flour? Don’t expect them to rise as high or as fast. Use the whole wheat setting or use the DOUGH cycle and take more control of the process.
  3. Did you drastically reduce or leave out the salt or add a lot of salty ingredients? This will mess with the yeast. Salt and yeast work together like brakes (the regulator) and the gas peddle (source of energy). Without salt, the yeast will wear itself out when you need it most. With too much salt, the yeast will be sluggish.
  4. Did you substitute all-purpose flour for bread flour? Since bread flour has more gluten, it will help your bread rise higher. This is not usually a big issue with dinner rolls, but it can be with loaves.
  5. Did you use active dry yeast instead of instant yeast? Active dry yeast is a bit slower. Add 1/4 teaspoon more.
  6. Were all of your ingredients at room temperature when you started the machine? This is very important when you use your machine to mix, knead, and BAKE your bread. How is your bread maker supposed to know that you used cold flour straight out of the freezer? Cold ingredients will slow down the action. Consequently, the dough won’t rise as fast.

The Final Analysis:

Using a bread machine or bread maker is like an automatic washer and dryer. If you insist on using them for ALL of your clothes because “that’s what it’s made for,” you’re going to have some disasters. Fading, shrinking, and complete unraveling come to mind. Using machines successfully usually requires human discretion.

Likewise with a bread machine. If you insist on using it to mix-knead-and-bake every bread recipe because “that’s why you bought it,” you may have some unappetizing and surprising results. A dense loaf, a thick crust, or the occasional crater-top are just a few examples. Using human discretion, the DOUGH cycle, and your oven will solve a lot of problems people complain about.

Don’t forget: Learn how to use a bread machine (in cooperation with your brain and your oven) to make marvelous bread. Sign up for my free bread-machine email course.

Before you go…

I hope you won’t settle for bad bread just because it smelled good while it was baking. You might start with the most popular recipe on this website: Crusty French Bread. It’s perfect for beginners. Then let me know how it turned out. I can’t wait to hear.

Would you like more tips and tricks for using a bread maker?

If you have questions or suggestions, email me privately to Paula at saladinajar.com. Hope to see you again soon! Paula

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339 Comments

  1. Betty @ scrambled hen fruit says:

    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!

  2. 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!

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

    1. 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.

  4. Kristi Rimkus says:

    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!

    Kristi

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

      1. Hi,
        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.

        1. I never thought about taking the blades out! Thanks for the tip.

  5. 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?

    1. Marilee, 190 degrees F.

  6. Christine says:

    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!

    1. 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.

  7. 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

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

  8. 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.

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

  9. 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.

    1. 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

  10. 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!

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

  12. Peggy Helmick says:

    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

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

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

  15. zwanger worden says:

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

  16. 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!

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

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

  18. 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.

    1. 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.

  19. 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…

    1. 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. https://saladinajar.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.

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

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

  22. 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!

  23. 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!

  24. 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!

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

  25. Christine says:

    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
    Christine

    1. Christine,
      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

  26. 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!

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

  27. 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

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

  28. Christina says:

    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?

    1. 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

  29. Christina says:

    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!
    Christina

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

  30. 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!

    1. 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.

  31. BLYN LAYCO says:

    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.

    1. 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.

  32. Rose Gander says:

    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?

  33. Ashley Schulz says:

    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.

    1. 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.

  34. 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!

    1. 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.

      1. Anne Russell says:

        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.

  35. 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.

    1. 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.

  36. Paula:

    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?

    1. Mark,
      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.

  37. 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.

    1. Marianne,
      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?

  38. 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?

    1. Jill,
      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.

      1. 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?

        1. Jill,
          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.

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

          1. Florence Samuel says:

            Hello!
            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.

            Florence

          2. Florence,
            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?

  39. Katherine Willis says:

    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.

  40. 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??????????

  41. alejandro says:

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

    1. Alejandro,
      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.

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

    1. Jenny,
      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.

      1. 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

        1. 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.

          1. 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.

  43. Elizabeth says:

    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!

  44. 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 . . .

    1. Farzana,

      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.

  45. 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?

    1. 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

  46. 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!

    1. Danyell,
      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.

  47. KerryAnn May says:

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

  48. 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!

  49. Paula,

    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,
    Brooke

    1. Brooke,
      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.

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

  50. Ann-Marie says:

    Help! I just put all ingredients in bread machine pan but can’t find the paddle. What do I do? I’ve looked everywhere. Can I make dough by hand using the bread machine prepped ingredients???

  51. Hi, I a very very newbie!! My loving Hubby got me a bread machine for xmas :-).
    Ok, I made sweet rolls and they turned out yummy, but when I try to make a bread dough (to pan in the oven) the dough doesn’t mix together right, it looks like it’s rising but when I take the dough out it’s running at the bottom, I have tried adding flour when it’s kneeding but I’m still having the same issue. Thanks for any help.

    Happy Baking,
    Tami

  52. Hi Paula
    I have a George Formam breadmaker which I have used many times this time it won’t start processing. Everything is showing up ok on he panel but it won’t start the process.Any ideas as to what is wrong

  53. I have made French bread the question I have is that do you actually take out the dough and shape the put dough back in the pot

  54. I apologize if this is a repeat question, but with 87 comments, I don’t have time to read them all right now. If I am using the dough cycle, can I shape the loaf, put it into my oven immediately or does it need to rise again? Also, what temp on the oven?

    Thank you!

  55. Bryn Santistevan says:

    Hi! I just tried making my first loaf of bread following the directions, everything was going fine, I had taken it out and kneaded it a few more times and shaped into a loaf, put it into a dark non stick pan and placed it in a preheated oven to 200 degrees for five minutes and then turned it back off. The directions gave that as a hint to be able to have the dough rise quicker. It was rising nicely, and I took it out of the oven to preheat the oven to 350 and I came to put it in, and it had fallen. Any ideas? I still tried baking it, the top browned well, but it is has dents in it. Thanks for any insights!

    Bryn

    1. Hi Bryn,
      I’m so sorry about your bread. Sounds as if it rose too much in the pan. I would think preheating the oven to 200 for 5 minutes is a bit too much but at any rate, you want your bread to rise a little less than double before you put it in your preheated oven. If you have a microwave, set a cup of water in there for 5 minutes on HIGH. Then set your loaf pan in the microwave to rise–along with the cup of water. It makes a nice, humid place to raise bread. Also, you won’t have to remove it to preheat your oven. Don’t be discouraged. The same thing has happened to me, more than once I’m afraid.

  56. Nicole A. says:

    I have been baking Whole wheat bread with 3 cups white whole wheat flour and 1 cup bread flour. The taste is perfect, but it keeps getting huge air bubbles in it. I have been using the dough cycle, then taking it out of the machine and kneading it and letting it rise in my loaf pan and then baking for 20 minutes at 350. Huge air bubbles. What am I doing wrong?

    1. Nicole,
      I can’t say for sure since I’m not watching you. However, I have two guesses. First, you don’t need to knead the bread after it goes through the dough cycle. It gets plenty of kneading in the machine. This could be introducing extra air. When you take it out of the machine, gently press the dough back to its original size so all the gas is squeezed out. Shape it and put in your pan to rise again.
      It’s also possible that you’re letting it rise too long before you put it into the oven. It should rise until it’s not quite double. Hope that helps.

      p.s. I also don’t know about your recipe. Maybe it calls for too much yeast, or not enough salt or something else. Are you using a recipe from a good source?

      1. Nicole A. says:

        http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2011/08/17/recipe-honey-whole-wheat-sandwich-bread-for-bread-machine/
        This is the recipe I’m using, except I’m replacing one cup for bread flour. I tried to add a bit more water and lessen the flour by 1/4 cup this time. It looked more like your picture of what it should be. I also didn’t knead it again, I just turned it over and reshaped it a little so that it wouldn’t have the hole from the beater in it. It’s cooling now so I will find out soon if those things helped:)

  57. Awesome tips!!! Thanks south! You just saved my too dry doughnut dough:)

  58. Hi I have just been given a bread machine Can’t wait to get started I am a bit nervous but after reading ur tips I will be making my first one on Sunday. Wish me luck lol

  59. Hi
    I have a question…
    If i put my bread machine on too late in the evening, can I leave the bread in it till the next morning? Or should I set my alarm and take it out right when done in the middle of the night?
    Thanks

    1. Hi Deborah,
      I don’t recommend baking bread in a bread machine. Not worth the calories in my opinion but you probably already know how I feel about that if you have read any of my posts about bread machines. I use them for kneading and rising only.

      However, if you want to bake in them, yes, you can leave the baked loaf in the machine all night. Just don’t expect a wonderful loaf of bread like you would get if you bake it in a conventional oven, then remove it from the pan to cool. At least, that is my experience. The crust tends to be a little too thick and chewy.

  60. Eric Harris says:

    I own many different bread machines all bought from a local thrift store excepting my original Hitachi SB 101. I have now moved onto only using their dough cycles (the 2lb Oster Express Bake is my favorite) but also wondering whether I should invest in a food mixer to do this. Online research shows that the new Kitchen Aid mixers do not stand up well to the heavy duty task of kneading yeast bread doughs. Bosch and Cuisinarts SM 55 mixers would be my top choice, but why spend so much if I only intend to make bread? Now that I am making baguettes and ciabatta loaves having bought a baking stone for my oven I have a new puzzle. What is the difference between “bread flour”, whole wheat flour that I grind myself from red and white hard wheat “berries”, and general purpose flour? How interchangeable are they? Does shop bought flour with a “best used by date” on its packet reduce the quality of a baked loaf as it probably is at least 3 months since King Arthur etc had milled it?

    1. Hi Eric,
      I use my bread machine for kneading only and it does a wonderful job. I don’t need a food mixer to knead most of my bread–only refrigerator type breads like these bran rolls.

      Bread flour is not a whole wheat flour. It just has a higher protein content than all-purpose flour. You can substitute all-purpose flour for bread flour but it will not develop quite as much gluten which is desirable in many yeast bread recipes. Any kind of whole wheat flour, whether freshly ground or not, will change the game. Of course, freshly ground flour will taste fresher and seems to be loved by people who use it. I do not grind my own flour so can’t give advice about it.

  61. Love you tips and recipes and so does my family! Can I double the sweet bread recipe in my bread machine so I can make two loafs at a time? Has any one tried this?

    1. Hi Laura,
      I have never seen a bread machine that would make a recipe with 6 cups of flour. Most of them have a limit of 3-4 cups, some up to 4-1/2. They aren’t designed to knead that much dough, not to mention what would happen when it rises to double.

      My suggestion? Find another cheap bread machine on Ebay or at a garage sale. (I have 3 of them myself–for when I entertain e.g. Christmas and Thanksgiving.) You have to wash two pans but otherwise, it’s no big deal.

  62. We like good bread! The cost of a good loaf of bread is close to $4, I counted the slices–15 slices. Most everyone I know has a bread machine and no one used them, I am on my third machine, I started using them back in the 80’s. I purchased my last one on Ebay, brand new and under $30 with shipping–a very good name brand as well. I can even stant the aroma of store bought bread in a plastic wrapper, look at the label and see what is in there. I purchase my bread flour at Sam’s club a huge bag for about $8 yeast there is about $4 for a double pound package. I know what we are eating and who had touched it. Good on both counts.

  63. I thought I had posted this earlier, but I can’t find my post so I must’ve goofed. First, thanks for your excellent tips! Second, for the salt & sugar in bread recipes, can I use large grain salt like Kosher salt (or should it be table salt), and can I use Splenda instead of sugar? Thanks, Paula! -Mickey

    1. Mickey,
      Not sure what happened to your comment but sometimes, it is inadvertently caught in my spam filter which catches way too many for me to sift through for mistakes–like many thousands every week. At any rate, glad you wrote again.
      First, salt. I use whatever salt I can find first, although I know they are somewhat different in nature. But it doesn’t seem to matter with my bread.
      Second, Splenda. Although I am a big user of Splenda, I have not even tried it with bread. I’m just not brave enough to use sugar substitutes in baking anything. If I’m going to have those kind of luxury calories, I want it to be worth it so I use real sugar. So my answer is….I don’t know.

      1. Thanks for your reply, Paula. Following your advice, I’m starting simple and have only used packaged bread machine mixes so far. All good. But before “experimenting” with salts and Splenda, I think I’ll also follow your advice and go with the “normal” stuff first. Once I know those work, I’ll try experimenting a bit. Thanks again for your helpful reply, and thanks especially for your reassuring tips! Gratefully, Mickey.

      2. Hi Paula,

        Quick follow-up on my original question about salt & sugar in yeast breads:
        Re: Salt – you are obviously correct b/c salt is salt. Some have reported that coarse grained salt (Kosher salt) doesn’t always dissolve completely (depends on moisture content), but if they grind it up first then it works fine.

        Re: Substitute Splenda for Sugar – you can’t just substitute Splenda for sugar b/c it won’t activate the yeast. However, you can add a couple of teaspoons of regular sugar with Splenda and that will work. Or you can just use the “sugar blend” version of Splenda.

        Hope that helps somebody. Thanks again for everything, Paula! Best regards, Mickey.

  64. Hi! I have had my breadmaker for about 2 months and I use it about twice a week on bread. I made jam in it once, but even though the jam tasted good I really did NOT like the mess it made. Anyway, I had the same problem of the crust being way too thick the first couple of times, then I put it on light crust instead of medium and that did the trick. I was wondering if the dough could be taken out though and baked conventionally, so I’m really glad to find out I can do that so I’ll definitely try it out. What I was hoping you could help me figure out though is that I am having a problem with the dough falling somewhat. This didn’t happen until I began putting in wheat germ. The package suggests substituting half a cup of flour with the WG and while the finished product is pretty tasty and the dough does rise, it falls a bit and so isn’t quite as tall as it’s been before I put in the WG. Do you have any suggestions to fix this? Thanks!

    1. Hi Lydia,
      I have used wheat germ in my bread before–just for variety. But remember that wheat germ doesn’t have the same gluten as flour so it is going to weigh your bread down a bit. You could add some Vital Wheat Gluten to compensate (follow directions on the package) or use less wheat germ.

  65. I too, am a bread machine FANATIC! I too haven’t had any success making the loaf in the machine. The loaves always come out dense, oddly shaped, overly tall and generally unloveable. I make fresh breads daily for my four hungry boys.

    I love the USA pullman pan, it makes sandwich bread. It requires no pam, it falls right out every time, only a slight rinse to wash. I’m uber cheap and it’s the best investment I’ve made in a time. Haven’t bought sandwich bread in a year. My boys require more than a whole loaf daily just in lunch sandwiches packed for school:) Here’s the link. http://www.amazon.com/USA-Pans-Pullman-Aluminized-Americoat/dp/B002UNMZPI

    here’s the only problem I have. Sometimes I’m running around all day like a chicken with my head cut off, and I don’t have time to make pizza dough, rolls, desert in the evening, or sometimes don’tfeel well. I don’t want to feed my kids hot pockets, or some other form of pseduo food. SOOO…can I freeze dough at any point in the process, sort of like the frozen rhodes dough? Can I freeze pie crust, pizza dough, bread dough, phillo dough? Maybe make stuff in mass bunches all at once, with less daily maintenance?

    1. Hi Jess,

      The pullman pan sounds amazing if you want to make sandwich bread. Thanks for adding the link.

      About freezing, much depends on the particular recipe. I freeze pie crust all the time, but some recipes don’t freeze as well as others. Same with the other doughs you mentioned. It rarely improves the product but some don’t seem to suffer much either. It’s more a process of trial and error to find what works. Good luck.

  66. janet provan says:

    Hi there, got myself a Bread maker, had a problem with it the first time
    I used. Everything was looking great then the bread collapsed. Can you
    give me some advise. Thanks Janet

    1. Janet,
      Are you trying to bake the bread in your bread machine? I don’t advise it. I know that’s how the manufacturer sells it but I rarely do that. Read through some of my posts on using a bread machine for more details. The answer to your specific question can be varied and since you didn’t give details I can only guess. But in a nutshell, your bread either was allowed to rise too long before baking, or it contained too much yeast. You might check your manual for troubleshooting tips. Furthermore, I would suggest that making good bread is an art that takes some practice. Keep trying and learning and you’ll be an expert in no time.

  67. Gave it a shot today with a whole wheat recipe and it seemed simple enough. Got all the ingredients and followed each direction just like it told me. My poor loaf came out awful looking…more like a wheat mound and not lookin like a loaf of bread at all! Disappointed for sure. What went wrong? It’s very dense and hard 🙁 am I supposed to form the loaf before the baking cycle? Am I supposed to remove the kneading blade before the baking cycle? It was baked into the bottom of the loaf and I had to cut it out lol. Thank you!

    1. Hi Sheena,
      Your comment is the perfect example of why I do not bake my bread in a bread machine. I use it only for the “dough” cycle. At the end of the dough cycle, I remove the dough and shape it–into rolls or place in a loaf pan. After the dough rises a second time, I bake it in the oven. I recommend you try one of my recipes such as this one for whole wheat bread or this one for delicious dinner rolls.

  68. Thx for the tips…I just bought the bread machine two days ago and so far I made 2 awesome loaf of rosemary bread…and in this moment I am trying a whole wheat loaf with sesame seeds, thyme, and chopped onions…So far so good…
    One question though: I really would like to make focaccia, but unfortunately my main oven is electric, will it fit anyways, or a fire oven is absolutely necessary?

    1. Hi Skye,
      That whole wheat loaf sounds delicious. Wish I were your neighbor.
      I make focaccia all the time in my electric oven. My recipe is here.

  69. I have one of the older bread machines and have not yet started a steady use of it. I have a hard time getting the bead flour around here. Can I use the all purpose flour instead? I do think i would liketo try and make it in the machine and then shape and bake it myself. I would love to be able to make cinnamon bread especially. Thanks for your articles. Keep them coming.

    Penny

    1. Yes, Penny. You can use all-purpose flour. The amount required may be slightly more. I would get the unbleached if possible. If not, go with the bleached. That’s what I used for years until I discovered better.

  70. When you mention the house being too cool….what temperature are you talking about? would that affect dough? Our house is always cool . The last two times I made dough,…it doesn’t seem to rise as much as it should…I am thinking it might be underproofed but am not really sure. My ciabatta today was a bit flat and too dense.

    1. Hi Julie,
      Yes, a cool temperature in the house will DEFINITELY affect the rising time needed for your dough. Are you using a bread machine? If so, it will warm a bit to help your bread rise but even so, a very cool house will cause it to take longer. If you are not using a bread machine, finding or creating a warmer place to proof your dough will help. My favorite thing way is to place a cup of water in my microwave and turn it on for 5 minutes. This will create a humid and warm environment in the microwave oven. Now just set your bowl of dough in there with it but of course, DO NOT TURN ON THE MICROWAVE OVEN WITH YOUR DOUGH IN THERE. Just close the store and let it sit and rise. Or, you could set covered dough bowl on top of your water heater, or in a slightly warm (80-85 degree F) oven. Hope that helps.

  71. Hi Paula,
    I want to thank you for the many suggestions, ideas and tips!
    I love your blog and love my breadmaker. My husband had a heart attack and had to have to control his sodium and fat. It was easy for me to control our sodium and fat by making all our bread in Bread Maker. It is so easy and works like a charm every time.

  72. Cheryl McGovern says:

    My bread crust on the side and bottom is too hard.

    1. Cheryl,
      Are you actually using the bread machine to bake your bread? I don’t recommend it. See this post.

  73. Hi Paula ~
    I am all new to this bread making thing. 🙂 I bought a bread maker and have been making my own bread now for the past two weeks. (So far, with success that I am happy with.) However, I do have a question: Do you let the bread dough rise in the machine, then roll it out, and let it rise again? Or do you pull the dough out right after it’s done kneading in the machine, roll it out, THEN then it rise?

    Thank you!

    (I’ve really enjoy reading your posts – I came across your page rather by accident, but it’s been a tremendous help!)

    1. Check out this post. It will explain what you need to know. Write back if you still have a question after reading.

  74. Ron & Nancy says:

    We purchased a Sunbeam bread maker about 2 yrs ago and didn’t have any luck with it…nothing came out right. We mill our own red and white wheat because its better on diabetics which I are one lol.

    Last week we decided to give it another try with a very basic recipe….flour, canola, water, sweetener, yeast and vital glutin. For some reason it worked like a charm the first loaf but flopped OM the next four.

    In searching for the answer, I ran across your article. As I was reading it I came across the pictures of the dough ball and….a picture is worth a thousand words…I suddenly knew what the problem was…too dry.

    We just put in a new batch and added water until it looked like the picture. We will see how it turns out.

    But thanks for taking the time to illustrate your article….it was really helpful.

    Ron

    1. Did it work? Do you bake your bread in the machine or in your conventional oven? You might find this post helpful.

      1. Ron & Nancy says:

        Hi Paula….

        Yes, it did work and I have successfully made several loafs since then. In fact, I’m getting ready to put one in right now.

        Thanks so much for the advice!
        Ron

  75. johni nelson says:

    I love my bread machine and my bread taste great but for some reason it always falls back in on the top of the loaf so my 1 1/2 pound loafs are 1/2 pound help please what am I doing rong

  76. The first couple of times I used my machine it mixed it all perfectly then cooked well, then one day it didn’t it’s so annoying!!

    I use wheat and gluten free flour, and I may try just kneading/proving in the machine, tomorrow. 🙂

    Have you ever used non wheat flour?

    1. Hi Becka,
      Sorry about the unpredictable results with your bread machine. That’s one reason I never bake in my machine.

      I have never tried to make bread with gluten-free flour. I have no issues with gluten and I’ve heard it’s not very tasty so I’m not motivated. 🙂 Good luck with your bread!

  77. After several attempts with my new bread machine, I had success with a beautiful loaf of bread. The very next baking, my bread had a dip the middle. The difference? I used water in the successful loaf and used water with 1/2 cup yogurt (because I used the 24 hour soak method) in the loaf with the dip. Milk was in my first few attempts before my successful loaf and, as I said, yogurt was in my last attempt after the successful loaf . No other ingredient or measure was different between the successful loaf and the loaf with the dip. Could the presence of milk/yogurt be the culprit for the dip in my unsuccessful loaves? If so, what can I use that isn’t dairy when I use the soak method?

    1. Kathy,
      Nice to hear from you. Unfortunately, I have never milled my own flour so I have no advice regarding the whole soaking process and what it does to your bread. My only question is, “Are you baking your bread in the bread machine?” If so, you have less control over how things go which can lead to the dip in the middle. I suggest you take the risen dough out of the machine and bake it in your oven for much nicer and more predictable results. See this post.

  78. I forgot to mention that I use wheat that I mill at home, so soaking is recommended for proper mineral absorption in the body…
    Thanks!

  79. I use my bread machine at least 3 times a week. I used to get very frustrated because the digital display window is very small (so the lettering is very small) and also it’s a light grey and the lettering is dark. I guess you get the idea that it’s difficult to see what I’m doing but the worst part is that it’s on the TOP of the machine. I’m only 5′ tall so when it’s on the countertop I have to stand on a footladder to try to read it then it’s still difficult.
    Then one day I had an epiphany. I put an unused LR end table in the kitchen next to an outlet. Now I can see the digital display and the dough-viewing window with no problem. I love it. It doesn’t take up valuable counter-space and I never have to put it away.

    1. Great idea Betty. Thanks for sharing.

  80. CaraMia Murry says:

    I am new at bread making & this machine is new to me. The last 3loafs only one half seems to rise…. Any way to make it more uniform?

    1. CaraMia,
      I suspect your dough may be too dry. Hold back 1/4 cup of the flour and only add if you need it. Your dough should look like this picture seen here.
      Personally, I do not ever bake bread in my bread machineso my finished product is guaranteed to be uniform and even.

  81. My bread machine is over 20 years old and it still works great. I would like to make pizza dough but do not have a “dough” cycle. How do I know when to take the dough out of the machine?

    1. Remove the dough after the kneading is done and let it rise. Deflate and form. OR let dough rise once in the machine and them remove and form.

  82. Cora Shields says:

    I just purchased a New Breadman Machine. Well, the first loaf is sitting in backyard as a lawn ornament. It turned out rock hard. I followed the receipe for Basic White bread to a T. I then made a second and this time not so bad, but good enough for the garage. Now I am on my third loaf. I will let you know later how that one turns out. I am not discouraged for someday I will conquer the Bread Machine.

    1. Have you seen this post? When you get tired of baking bricks, check it out. Also, you might want to try a different recipe. My Sweet Milk White Bread is tastier than any recipe I’ve ever seen in a bread machine manual.

  83. Charlotte Potgieter says:

    Hi Betty
    My daughter bought me a Russell Hobbs with the glutenfree and popcornfunction. Must the lid be allways ontop of the breadpan. Can I interrupt the functions because for example the glutnfree bread. Bake to dark.
    Thanks
    Charlotte Potgietep

    1. I am not familiar with a Russell Hobbs. All bread machines I know of will allow you to open the lid and make adjustments such as additional water and flour if needed. I have never made gluten-free bread so can’t offer you any assistance in that arena.

  84. Thank you for posting such a helpful article!! I just bought the bread mashine and really love it!! 🙂

  85. I just got a bread machine for Christmas and I love it. I have used it some for baking because sometimes I’m just lazy and it’s still far better than store bought sliced bread. I have also found that eating the bottom of the loaf first is better because it’s the most dense so it’s better when it’s fresh, the top of the loaf is fluffier so starting at the bottom seems to give it more uniformity as the top dries out while it sits for a few days. I have used the dough-only cycle and I was also very satisfied when I took it out and baked it myself too. I wouldn’t call myself an inexperienced baker but I do feel have a lot more to learn before I’ll feel comfortable changing up any recipes or making my own. But what I’m curious about is the fact that I have a kitchen aid stand mixer and a food processor that both have a dough hook and a dough “blade” and I’m surprised at the lack of recipes online that actually use them. Therefore, I’ve hardly used them. Do you have any experience with dough hooks or “blades” on a mixer or food processor? If so, would you say that using the dough hook or “blade” is similar to using the knead only cycle on the bread machine and it would be okay to knead most bread recipes with a dough hook for 10 or 15 minutes with intermittent rising and resting times just like the bread machine does?

    1. Chelsea,
      I have made wonderful bread with my Kitchen Aid, my Cuisinart food processor, and my bread machine. The difference is that you need to know when to stop or keep going with the kneading when using both the mixer and the food processor. You have to pay attention and stop the machines manually. Then you have to handle the dough and set it up to proof. The bread machine allows you to dump in the ingredients and pretty much walk away until the bread has doubled in size (finished the dough cycle). It’s so much easier to use the bread machine that I rarely use my mixer for bread and even more rare that I use the food processor (easy to overdo the kneading in a processor). THe answer to your last question is “yes” but why would you go to all that trouble if you have a bread machine? Thanks for writing and I hoped I’ve answered your questions.

  86. Anne Sweden says:

    Hi Paula,

    Great post, and I love your suggestion to bake in the oven not the machine. One question. Every time I use the express bread setting (and “rapid rise” yeast) in my machine, I consistently get good bread. But every time I try to make any of the “regular” breads (with active dry yeast), the dough ball NEVER rises enough. I’ve tried every suggestion in my bread machine book (more or less water, more or less flour, fresh yeast, fresh flour, room temp., etc.) and nothing works. Any suggestions? Is it possible to replace active dry with rapid rise in the same measurements?

    Thanks!
    Anne

    1. Hi Anne,
      Active dry yeast works best when it is dissolved in liquid first. Furthermore, it takes longer to rise. I recommend you use bread machine or instant yeast for all recipes you make in your bread machine. It’s the only kind of yeast I buy.

      1. Anne Sweden says:

        Thanks for the very helpful tip!

  87. I love making Pizza with my Bread machine..Just wondering can i use my pizza dough to make rolls..

    Thanks

    1. Hi Bryan,
      Pizza dough makes great bread sticks.

  88. Dear Paula,
    I use my Z bread machine that my husband got for me last year to bake bread , dinner rolls & pizza dough following your instructions. But of late the bread either falls down after baking, doesn’t bake through or is lumpy.
    Today I am trying again and after the dough cycle is complete it looks weird.It looks too soft and isn’t rising. ( am in Seattle). Help please,

    1. Sangeeta,
      Do you check your dough after the machine starts? Sounds like you may need to make some adjustments. See this post for more details. Some other possibilities are old yeast or killing the yeast you use with too high temperatures or perhaps the ambient temperature is too cool. You may need to move your machine to a warmer place in the house or remove the dough from the pan and let it rise in a warmer location.

  89. Paula, love your posts….I was wondering if you use reg tap water for your bread and if it is heated at all….some bread books say spring water is the best, but that seems troublesome. Please help….(new to the machine)! PS…is the butter in your recipe melted?

    1. Cheryl,
      Yes, I use regular tap water. I heat one cup for one minute on HIGH in the microwave. (This is not absolutely necessary, just shortens the first rising time a bit.) Adding a cold egg, and butter to the water cools it down and warms up the butter and egg. I don’t normally melt the butter. I just slice it up quickly and let the warm water soften it while I’m throwing all the ingredients in the pan. Good luck with your machine. Always glad to answer questions.

  90. Paula, My Zojirushi supreme just arrived today! I have a loaf baking in the oven now….but I have another question….Do you let your dough rise on both risings in the machine (the 1:50 setting) or do you take it out of the machine after the first rising?

  91. Buddy Bradbury says:

    I juice every day. My juicer separates the pulp… I have been adding it to my breadmichine… Can’t seem to find the correct amount of veggie pulp to use?

    1. Buddy,
      I would treat the pulp as a liquid. See this post for proportions you normally need to follow when making bread in a bread machine.

  92. Hi Paula!

    I just wanted to say thank you for the pictures showing too wet-too dry-just right. I couldn’t figure out why my dough was crumbly but was afraid to go against the recipes. It turns out that in my house, at least, I need to add an extra tablespoon or two of water to the dough to make it just right.

    I was on the verge of returning my bread machine until I found your site, and now I am going to town on bread. I’m going to try your cinnamon rolls next. Thank you so much!

  93. So i think my first attempt at bread baking is failing as we speak lol. Dont know what went wrong, it is baking inside the machine now but its not at all round. Its lumpy and has peaks. I thought maybe it would rise some while baking but its not, its baking into this really funky shape. !!!!!!!

  94. Hey!! I’ve made a few loaves in my bread machine and I can not get them right. I measure with military precision… I for know if it’s because I’m in the south and it’s so humid wear I live. Any suggestions?

  95. Elena Choularton says:

    My pizza dough looks good till it time to roll it out ,then the elasticity has goge out of it so it wont roll why its the same recipe i’ve always used and it was fine before,so have i wasted all my pizza dough thats already made or can i save it.

    1. Elena,
      You may have tried this before, but, do you let the dough rest for about 10 minutes after you punch it down before trying to roll it? I don’t personally roll mine. The texture seems better if I just stretch the dough with my hands. Good luck.

  96. I pulled out my bread maker today and decided to start a loaf ( on as I type ). It has been awhile since I used it but bread is getting so expensive. My husband likes the oatmeal and honey bread. Does anyone have any ideas of how much of each I should add or maybe you have a good recipe for it. Enjoying all of your awesome ideas Thanks in advance.

    1. Shirley, you might try this recipe.

      1. Thank you for the recipe Paula, it is wonderful. I baked it in the oven, what a difference. My bread maker has been up on a shelf for a couple of years but it is got a home on my counter. My next recipe is pizza dough, I have been buying frozen dough from a bread store but not anymore. I will be freezing my own for now on. Thanks again.

  97. If I want to bake my bread in the oven, WHEN do I remove it from the bread machine, what temp do I bake at, etc. So new to the bread making machine (got it at a yard sale & love it so far!), however, it always sinks in the middle & the crust is so crunchy it could kill someone! Any suggestions would be wonderful as we are a family of bread lovers. 🙂

    1. Jessica,
      First, I recommend you pick out one of my bread recipes and try it. I explain in detail when to remove the dough, what temperature to bake it, etc. If you want some general guidelines to use with your own recipes, read this post. Happy bread making.

  98. Hi, I am going to start a small scale bread manufacture. I need to know can cooling tower keep my products crispy and dry surface inside packing film.
    Because surface of my product is cookie style therefor its so important to keep my product dry in 3-4 days inside plastic package.
    Thanks

  99. I recently purchased a Oster bread machine like new! Can tell it has barely be used with all papers and recipe book! Only missing the box it came in! I have been wanting one for a while to learn to make our own bread! I came across this ridiculously amazing deal for it! $3.00 yes! I only paid $3.00 for it! So I was thinking I’m only out 3 bucks if it doesn’t work or i just decide I don’t like making bread! Well I know it works now only to see if I have the touch to make some yummy bread! I wanted to say Thanks for your beginners tips and advice! They have been very helpful for someone like me who is absolutely clueless and wants to learn! Thanks again!

    1. You’re welcome Erica. Happy bread-making.

  100. I made my first loaf , but it bubbled over very messy. My bread taste burnt? but its not ?

  101. Paula Ray says:

    Hi Paula
    Thank you for the tips!
    My question is this:
    Should the liquids be at room temp or a little bit on the warmer side when adding into machine when starting cycle?

    Thanks Paula, Paula 🙂

  102. Paula Ray says:

    Hi Paula
    Thank you for the tips!
    My question is this:
    Should the liquids be at room temp or a little bit on the warmer side when adding into machine when starting cycle?

    Thanks Paula,

    1. Paula, Room temp is OK but if liquids are a little bit warmer, the dough will rise a little faster. That’s why I normally heat the liquid in the microwave 1 minute per cup. If using less liquid, heat it for less time.

  103. I tried to make oat flour bread by substituting 4.5 cups of wheat flour called for in the bread maker recipe with 4.5 cups of oat flour. I also substituted 2 T of brown sugar with 2 T of agave nectar, and used 2 Tsp instead of 3 Tsp of oil.

    It did not rise properly at all, it’s partially super dense or just a blob of dough-like flour.

    any hints on how to make a recipe with only oat flour work?

    Thanks

    1. There is not enough gluten in oat flour by itself to make a good loaf of bread. Needs to be combined with something that has gluten. Are you going for no gluten? I have not delved into the gluten-free arena so I am not an expert on the subject and cannot advise you.

      With all the substitutions you made, it would have been a miracle if your loaf was successful, so don’t be too hard on yourself. A double miracle if you were also trying to bake that loaf in your bread machine. YIKES!

      May I humbly suggest you look for a good gluten-free recipe from a breadmaking expert and follow it to the letter until you make a successful loaf and then make substitutions carefully, one at a time until you like what you get. Good luck!

  104. I’ve been trying different bread doughs in my bread machine as my husband is on a severely sodium restricted diet. My kitchen tends to be a little cool so I’ve been preheating my pan along with the oven for about 5 min. I shut it off, take out the pan and cover it with a towel, to heat it. In a pinch, I microwave the towel for a min. and then cover the formed dough. Its been working gr8! Made cardamom bread for first time yesterday and it was amazing! My Swedish family will be thrilled!

  105. I have such a hard time getting the bread out of the pan once cooking cycle is complete. Any tips? The paddles often stick in the bread and have to be cut out, or they remain in the pan and rip large chunks out of the bottom of the loaf.

    We’re using a basic recipe from all recipes, we’ve had to make a few substitutions (such as extra water to get proper rising) but it tastes great.

    Thank you.

    1. Emma, I have found that if I grease the paddle with cooking spray or oil before placing it in the pan, the loaf comes out easier. Also, if the paddle does get stuck in your bread, the little metal hook that came with your machine will extract it easier than cutting it out and will leave less damage. I’ve also read in a few places online that some people will remove the paddle after the last kneading cycle by removing the dough ball, pull out the paddle, then put the dough back in to rise and bake.

  106. I have a question about bread texture. I’ve been baking bread on and off for many years however just recently bought my 1st bread machine. So far I think it’s working great. The loaves I’ve made in it taste great and the texture is pretty good too. However, my husband, who loves my homemade bread for making toast will not eat a sandwich made with it stating that it’s not soft enough like store-bought bread and still insists that I buy it for his lunches. Is it possible to make homemade bread that more closely resembles the soft texture of commercially made products? If so, what ingredient should I be adding to achieve this?
    Thanks!

    1. Sue,
      Have you tried my Sweet Milk White Bread? It has a wonderful, soft, tight texture more like commercial white loaves only much better tasting. If you follow the directions to bake in your oven instead of the bread machine (still mix and knead in the machine), the crust will be so much nicer. I predict your husband will love it!

      1. Thanks for the recipe! Yesterday I experimented with a whole wheat recipe and swapped some of the ingredients to achieve the soft texture I was after. I used buttermilk instead of water and olive oil instead of butter. I also added 1/2 cup of reconstituted potato flakes +1 T. of gluten flour to the dough and used molasses instead of sugar. I used the dough setting on my machine and then used the dough to make hamburger buns for my turkey burgers. The buns turned out great and the texture was very soft and chewy. Even my picky husband commented on how they were very close to the softness of grocery store bread. I think you are correct in that the bread machine dries out the bread too much during the bake cycle. Which is somewhat disappointing. 🙁 But I love the dough cycle! I can definitely work with that!

  107. Hi Paula, I am so HAPPY I found your website tonight. I have a bread machine that has been collecting dust for over a year or so. I LOVE bread and I thought for sure when I got a bread machine I’d be eating homemade bread daily, but after using it a few times I wasn’t very impressed with the bread crust and I too didn’t care for the weird hole in the bottom. The pizza crust came out well, but I thought it was just too much work to get it out just for pizza crust. After reading over your recipes I am once again excited to dig out my bread maker and try it out. Thank you for sharing your bread know how knowledge and recipes with us. It it wasn’t 1:30am I’d start digging it out and start making bread now. lol Thank you once again, Paula. I’ve pinned many of your recipes on Pinterest.

  108. Paula, thank you for the wonderful recipes and ideas. You got me started baking bread last summer and I am in love! The machine I am currently using has a 1 1/2 hour dough cycle. My question is: do I really need to wait out the last rise? My machine does a last 50 minute rise. Can I transfer my bread to the pan and let it do the last rise in the pan?

    Also, I am wondering if you have any tips for covering bread during baking? I use foil now but feel wasteful as it is difficult to use more than once (at least it has been for me).

    Thanks for any advice-
    Cynthia

    1. Cynthia,
      Yes, it is important to allow the dough to rise to double before you put it in a pan or make into rolls. This is the time the yeast develops flavor. You will be compromising the final product if you shortcut this part of the process. You don’t have to leave the dough in the machine–you could remove the pan to warmer spot but don’t get in a hurry to put it in the final baking pan for the last rise until it’s ready.

      Regarding covering the bread dough, I use the free shower caps one gets in hotels. They are reusable and the elastic keeps out the cold air. Perfect!!

    2. @Paula, and anyone else who reads this: if you have a Sally Beauty Supply nearby, you can buy a 10-pack of those disposable shower caps for about $3.

      1. Hi Sher,

        Thanks for the tip. Since we haven’t been on vacation in a year, my stock is low. I always bring them home from hotel rooms. Thanks again for taking the time to write.

  109. My bread dough separates when being mixed with the bread hook of my mixer. I have added oil and water which helped some, but is it too dry? It separates as into two balls rather than one.

    1. Yes, Kathy. it is way too dry. I would add more liquid (a tablespoon at a time), however, it is actually easier to hold back some of the flour, say half a cup and add if you need it. You want the dough to stick to the side, then pull away cleanly. If you go to this post and watch the video, you will see what most doughs should look like when they have the proper proportion of liquid to flour as they are kneading. Even though I almost always use a bread machine, the dough will look the same.

  110. Katherine says:

    Hi,
    Thank you so much for the hints. My parents just gave me their 11 year old Oster bread machine and I used it for the first time over the weekend. I used the basic white bread recipe and although I don’t think I used the proper amount of salt (I used my hand to measure instead of a measuring spoon) it was good. As you stated the crust was too thick and too crunchy when it came out. Once it completely cooled I put it in a plastic bag overnight and that took care of the too crunchy crust but the blade baked into the loaf and left a huge air pocket in the bottom.
    Is there a way to set the machine to just make the bread but not bake or do I watch the machine until the 2 rise is done?
    Thank you for your help,
    Katherine

    1. Most machines have a dough cycle you can use when you don’t want to bake it. Maybe your machine is too old for that. If so, take it out after the first rise, shape the dough, and let it rise again.

  111. I just found your blog because I am searching on reasons why my bread ends up with a crater on the top. I’m seeing you have recipes but do they work in any bread machine? I have the oster bread machine. How about gluten free? I’m so new to this. The only thing I perfected in the breadmaker was jam lol

    1. Hi Danielle,
      A crater in the top of your finished bread happens when the bread rises too much before it is baked, and the reasons for that are varied. But it is a perfect example of why I don’t use my bread machine to bake bread.
      My recipes work in any bread machine because they are not baked in the bread machine, only mixed, kneaded and allowed to proof. In other words, I mostly only use the dough cycle.
      I have no experience with gluten-free so can’t help you there. I also have never made jam in my bread machine. Guess I need to take lessons from you. 🙂

  112. Daniel felton says:

    My wholewheat bread won’t rise in the bread machine, what’s happening??

    1. Daniel,
      If it doesn’t rise at all, your yeast is probably dead, either because it is too old or you managed to kill it. Normally, whole wheat takes longer to rise so if you do not have a special whole wheat cycle on your machine, you might consider removing the dough from the machine once it is kneaded and allow to proof on the counter or in a warm place. Shape and bake in a regular oven for a much superior loaf.

  113. Paula, I don’t usually get excited enough to write but thank you, thank you, thank you for the wonderful bread recipe and technique. I FINALLY found a recipe (sweet white bread) that actually has the texture I have been seeking all my married life! I had totally given up making my own bread because after all the effort I put into making it, no one would eat it. Not that it tasted bad but the texture wasn’t like “store bought”. When I happened upon your blog a few days ago, I thought I would dig out my bread maker again and give it one more try. I have the same bread machine that you do but the product I would pull from that machine always looked like “brains”. I was looking on the internet for the reason why it turned out that way and that’s how I found your blog. I am excited to try your dinner rolls next. Again, thank you for the education on baking bread!

  114. Can the dinner roll be turned into coffee bun? and IF so, how and what do I add ?

    Guidance appreaciated. Thank you so much?

    Amy

  115. hey, my bread machine is not producing heat, perhaps. IDK. How much time does it’s rod take to get warm or produce heat. HELP!!!!

  116. My Breadmaker quit on me. It did so while in the kneading cycle. I was heart broken. I was determined not to let the dough in the pan go to waist so I got what I could of it out and attempted to finish kneading it. I then covered it and let it rise until it was almost doubled in size …then I tried to make it into some rolls but it was kind of hard so I just rolled the dough into two balls and then let the dough rise again….then I cooked it until it was golden brown. Did not turn out too pretty but the taste was pretty good. My son told me he liked it better than the Breadmaker? So…….I guess I need to learn to knead most of all and practice shaping some maybe before investing in a new machine.?

    1. Hi Cindy,
      No need to learn how to knead. That’s what the bread machine does best. See this post. It’s the baking I don’t like in the bread machine. Not enough control.

      Sorry about your breadmaker. I’m currently on my fourth one. Hope you find a new one you like as well.

  117. I don’t understand: why would i buy the bread machine only to use one cycle? Why don’t you bake the bread in the machine? I am looking to bake my own bread because i can’t find fresh variety in my area and i want to control the ingredients. The honey whati bought home from the store the other day had crazy ingredients i never thought would be in bread.

    1. Maureen, Check out this post for more reasons why I love using a bread machine to mix and knead the dough but rarely use it for baking. You may not agree, but this is my personal preference.

  118. Hello , a first my bread machine was kneading properly (tourning first clock wise and than to the other side) after like 10 uses te kneading paddle started kneading only one way. Is this normal or my breadmachine broke?? thank you

  119. Thank you so much for the tip about opening the lid! My husband’s aunt sent us his grandma’s old breadmaker, so I’m giving it a try – the mixer paddle thing wasn’t on properly and I couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t working, but the manual says under no circumstances open the lid – I’m glad I broke the rules, haha. Hopefully I’ll end up with an edible loaf 🙂

  120. Hey Paula nice blog. Your pics in step 3 really helped me out, was getting chronic dry loaves but not anymore! I’m tempted to try baking in the oven to better control the rise before baking. I’ve noticed the program on my bread machine includes a number of rises that are flanked by kneads that punch the loaf down, but the dough cycle is only 1 long knead then a long rise. When baking in the oven, do I take the dough out of the bread machine after the first knead/rise cycle in the program (ie after the dough cycle) or before the last rise/bake part (ie the entire loaf cycle minus last rise/bake)? FYI I tend to make loaves that are 3/5 whole grain, 2/5 all purpose, not sure if that changes things. Thanks for any tips!
    Jake

  121. Hey,

    I was wondering if you have ever done a double batch of basic white bread dough in the bread machine. I always take mine out as well and bake in a regular loaf pan, but our family has grown to 6 people now, and I would like to utilize the long loaf pan I have.

    1. Hi Brandee,
      My recommendation is to check your owner’s manual and see what is the maximum amount of flour they recommend for one batch. If doubling your recipe means you go over that amount, you risk having the dough kneaded improperly. If you use the machine to bake your bread, it could overflow the pan. Personally, I own two bread machines. If I need a lot of bread, I use both.

  122. I didn’t understand the salt measure 2\3…. Is that 2\3 a teaspoon a 1\4 plus a 1\2 ? L put just over a half teaspoon ….

  123. Hi! My dough paddle will just randomly come off the shaft in the midfle of the cycle. Any idea why it would do this?

    1. Diana,
      I’m not a repairman but my guess is that the inside of the blade has routed out or else the post has lost its notch. I would call the 800 number listed in your manual.

  124. How can I make my breads taste sweeter ?? I follow sweet bread recipe exactly..the bread comes out perfect except I Find it not sweet enough. Please help…this is not a major issue but I would like to know know what I can do.My bread is made start to finish in the machine.

    Thanks in advance,

    Joe

  125. So glad to find your blog. I just had my mom give me her toastmaster because i told her how many times i buy bread a month do to a toddler who love 12grain. I am always so busy that i cant bake bread normally and sge thought this would help. I have been intimidated by it until now thank you and wiah me luck!

  126. I missed the salt can I still add it during the kneeding cycle

  127. Great read! Can I open the lid and try and shape the top of the bread just before it starts baking?

    1. I have seen directions for such a technique but I don’t recommend it. Your bread will turn out much better if you will remove it from the machine and bake it in a conventional oven. You might find this post interesting.

  128. I have one of those hole in the middle bread maker matchines and i have stopped using it after a couple of times because of that. I want to start getting back into making bread and other things that it can do but i still don’t know when too take it out of the matchine and put it in the oven. Can you please help me with this??

    1. Hi Trish, In one sentence, use the dough cycle and remove the bread at the end of the cycle, form into desire shape, let rise until almost double and bake in your conventional oven. See this post for more info.

  129. pat schillings says:

    what causes machine made bread to sink in the middle……would opening the lid cause this to happen

  130. pat schillings says:

    what mkes bread sink

  131. Thank you, thank you for helping me to troubleshoot a problem with mixing!

  132. I was thinking of throwing mine away ,it is a Breadman plus,got it at garage sale,didn’t care for the bread baked in it,but after viewing your website maybe id like it just for the mixing,kneading steps.no manual or recipes came with it. Would you be able to give me a white or wheat flour,basic bread/roll dough recipe? I don’t like having to manually knead dough anymore in my senior yrs! Thank u in advance!!

    1. Hi Donna,
      Those kind of recipes are all over my blog. Check the recipe index (tab at the top). The Sweet Milk White Bread is my favorite as well as My Favorite Dinner Rolls. Happy Bread-eating.

  133. Lizz Jackson says:

    Hi, I’m not even sure if you’ll see this with it being so far after the posted date. But I am looking desperately for a whole wheat (Maybe white whole wheat) pizza dough. It doesn’t have to be 100% whole wheat although I’m fine with that as long as it doesn’t taste like cardboard lol, but at the very least a bit more than half is what I’m hoping for. Do you have any suggestions for me? Thanks. I hope this finds you, I’ve been searching the internet for weeks looking for a tasty yet healthish option.

  134. I need. Help,,,,
    How do I get my loafs lighters don’t fluffier. They all come out way too defenseand each. Going on my 5 loaf. I am brand new to bread machines.

    1. Hi Debra,
      Are you baking bread from start to finish in your bread machine? If so, go back and read #4 in this post. Baking bread needs the human touch to obtain really good loaves. Sounds like your bread is not rising enough before it bakes. Take back control and only use the dough cycle, then remove the dough from your machine, form by hand, and bake only after the dough has risen properly.

  135. I am short for time today and have not read all the comments. I live in Northern Ontario and am renting a row house which is heated with electric baseboards. There is no basement and our temps reach -40 F/C (same) for at least 2 months in the winter. I found that turning on the oven light creates a bit of warmth, close the door and let your bread rise in there as it cuts out the drafts and the oven light warmth is all I need.

    1. Great suggestion Audrey. Thanks for sharing. You are tougher than I am. Not sure I could endure those temps for 2 months!

    2. Just a quick question. Are recipes (in particular pizza dough) able to be halved when using a breach machine? I have only 3 people in our family and end up with much wasted product. I understand that dough can be frozen however we rarely have room in our freeze to take advantage of freezing any excess.
      Thank you for your time and expertise.

      1. In general, no. There has to be enough ingredients in the pan so that the blade will grab, mix and knead the dough. Unless you have a really big bread machine, you can often reduce a third. Instead of 3 cups of flour, use only 2. Even then you may have to take a spatula to the sides and make sure all the ingredients get mixed in. If the original recipe calls for 4 cups—max for most machines, you might be able to halve it. Doesn’t hurt to try. Paula

  136. Rebekah Amos says:

    I always lay my pan of rising rolls or bread on a plug in heating pad. The kind you would lay on your back when it’s sore. This gives the rolls some help rising and cuts the waiting time drastically.

    1. Hi Rebekah,
      Thanks for sharing. That’s a great idea, especially in the winter time. Hopefully, you can turn the heating pad down low and it has a good thermostat. Happy bread-eating!

  137. What is the difference between rapid rise yeast, bread machine yeast, and active dry yeast? How will using a different yeast affect my dough?

    1. Bekah,
      Rapid-rise and bread machine yeast are essentially the same. They don’t have to be dissolved in water before you use them. Active dry yeast DOES need to be dissolved first in a small amount (1/4 cup for one package) of water. Then it can be added to the rest of the ingredients. Both of these types of yeast will have the same result in bread dough if handled correctly.

  138. Vicki Hamilton says:

    Can I make bread dough a few days ahead and bake it the day of?

    1. Sometimes. Certain recipes are specifically designed to put the dough in the refrigerator for a day or two or three. Some work pretty well if you just chill overnight. Others don’t work as well. The dough won’t rise as high as it normally would. Are you thinking of a specific recipe?

  139. Tyler Johnson says:

    That’s good to know that you should let your bread rise longer if your house is chilly. I wouldn’t have thought of that. I have started to make some bread and a bread machine sounds like a great way to make it a bit easier.

  140. I use a Black and Decker bread machine and my bread is quite dry. What do you suggest? when toasted, it gets quite hard.

    1. Hi Jeanette,
      I doubt if the dryness has anything to do with your machine…unless: 1. You are using the machine to bake your bread or 2. The machine doesn’t mix your bread very well.

      If neither of those are true, open the lid and check your dough once it is mixed. It should stick to the side, then pull away. Does your bread do that? If not, add some more liquid like you added originally. You can read more about this process here.

      Do you have this problem with all recipes or just one?

  141. I just got a Cuisinart Convection Bread Maker and have successfully made pizza dough & french bread in it (yum, yum!) Unfortunately, one of the recipes that I’ve tried twice now keeps overflowing and I don’t know why. The first time, (after I thought about it) I thought I may have put in 2 T of yeast instead of 2 teaspoons. This time, I measured everything exactly but it still overflowed the pan. This recipe was in the booklet that came with the machine so it should work. I’m not using instant yeast or self-rising flour. I just don’t understand why the dough keeps overflowing the pan. It’s not rising then collapsing, it’s just rising & baking and the end result looks like a big mushroom.

    1. Your first thought was my first thought. Does the recipe call for conventional yeast? How warm is the place where you are letting the bread rise? How many cups of flour does the recipe call for? Some bread recipes are “high-risers” by nature. I’m not exactly sure what’s off here, but the machine is obviously misjudging when to start baking the bread.

  142. I totally agree, dough cycle then bake. I bought a two pack of 4.5 x 12 pans that bakes a loaf the size of “grocery” sandwich bread. If you would use a 9×5, this is perfect. May bake a bit faster so check sooner. Amazon purchase made by Wilton.

    1. Good suggestion on the loaf pans. I have one of the 4.5 x 12 pans and enjoy it a lot.

  143. Melissa K Hough says:

    Should my blades in my zo face a certain direction when I begin a loaf? I keep getting so slope results.

    1. Hi Melissa,
      It doesn’t matter which way the blades face. There is only one way they will fit on the posts. The slope could be caused by two things I can think of right off the top of my head. #1–Your recipe doesn’t make enough dough to fill the pan correctly so the dough is not evenly distributed. Or #2–the dough might be too dry.

      You can avoid the whole issue by only using the dough cycle. Shape the dough by hand, let it rise until almost double, and then bake in your conventional oven. You might be surprised how much nicer your loaf will look and taste.

  144. If I am tight on time is it ok to take the dough out of the machine a few minutes before the dough cycle is done? can I just let is rise a little longer once I form the loaf?

    Thanks

    1. Sam,

      It depends on how much the dough has already risen. If it’s almost double, it should be fine. If it’s not even close, you are taking a chance. But sometimes, you just can’t wait any longer, so you do what you have to. Here’s another idea. If you know you are running close on time, take the pan out of the bread machine and place it in a warmer place to hurry things along. Don’t forget to cover it.

  145. William LeGro says:

    I use the homemade cycle on my Zojirushi for whole wheat bread, with a dough enhancer and 100 grams of seeds, and it comes out pretty good – knead 30 min, three rises at 1 hr each, then bake for 1 hr 15 min. But I have to take it out after the second punch down to remove the blades and reshape it for the final rise. The bottom of the dough is always very uneven and ragged with of course the holes. If I turn the dough over for the last rise, will all the raggedness even out? Still would have holes, of course, but smaller. Or for a 2-pound loaf, is it safe to take it out after the final rise to bake in the oven, or will that ruin the rise? If it’s OK to do, what size loaf pan for a 2-pound loaf, what material (metal, glass) and what temp? (our electric oven is demented – set it at 400 it bakes at 350, set it at 425 it bakes at 450) I don’t really like the idea of baking in a teflon pan, but that’s the bread machine companies make.

    1. Hi William,
      It won’t ruin your bread at all to remove it from the bread machine for the final rise and then baking it in your oven. I ALWAYS do it. It is not so easy to recommend a loaf pan size because sometimes the same size will have different capacities due to the slant of the sides. I’m quoting “The Bread Bible” where the author says, “It (the shaped dough) should be no higher than 1/2 inch from the top of the pan. If there is too little dough for the pan, use a smaller pan. If there is too much dough, remove some and bake it as a roll, or save it to add to your next batch of dough.” (This is obviously referring to the dough before the final rise.)

      For a 2 lb. loaf, I would probably start with a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Use metal or glass, whatever you prefer. The heavier, the better for even browning. I like non-stick for the perfect loaf but that’s just my personal preference.

      Is it possible to calibrate your oven? Sounds like that would really help.

      1. William LeGro says:

        Thanks Paula! I’d like to remove the dough from the machine AFTER the final rise – unless that would more or less destroy it. Our house is too cold (Oregon) for rising outside the machine – the oven’s lowest temp possible is (allegedly) 170º – we do have two ovens (both demented) so I could preheat one while rising in the other if 170º (or whatever) isn’t too warm.

        I’ll search for how to calibrate an oven. I have a thermometer hanging from the rack – honestly, sometimes I’d rather not know what the true temp is, since I’ve baked at what I thought was 400º for half an hour only to realize it was really 350º, then having to turn it up and pray for success. I don’t even trust the thermometer! But I am eager to try the oven method.

        1. William,

          You want the final rise to occur in the pan you are using to bake the bread. Handling the dough after the last rise will most likely lead to lower volume. Do you have a water heater in the house? How about setting your dough on top of it? A microwave? Boil some water inside. Put your prepared pan of dough inside the microwave now that it is warm and steamy. You can always turn your oven on for a minute or two, then turn it off. That should make it warm enough to proof your bread dough without starting the cooking process.

          1. William LeGro says:

            Thanks again Paula – I’ll try the microwave and oven methods – our water heater is behind a screwed on panel of wood, I suppose because of misbehavior or something long before we bought the house. We just assume it’s actually still in there ;-}

  146. William LeGro says:

    Well, I discovered something. The bread does its final rise and bakes far better in a standard loaf pan. I tried it in my oven and it was a total success. But it’s about that oven…impossible to know what temperature it’s actually going to settle on. It dithers a lot.

    So I made a discovery: a standard loaf pan fits perfectly in a Zojirushi breadmaker! Yes! I know, I tried it. Took the dough out of the Zoji pan after the second rise, put it in a greased (butter) metal loaf pan, put the pan inside the Zoji, where it sits safely on the supports that the Zoji pan sits on, doesn’t touch the sides…and it rose and baked very nicely. A ittle tricky to get out because there are no handles on the pan, but with a pair of tongs on one end, I pulled it up high enough to get a hot pad under the other end and turned it out onto a rack where it looks perfect. OK, I haven’t cut it yet – too soon – but I’m pretty confident I think this will be the way I always bake bread now. Thanks to you Paula for the tip on final rise and bake in a loaf pan – so much better, just like you said. I just used the Zoji as the oven, figuring it’s always going to be the right temperature.

    1. Well, well. Aren’t you clever! Did you like the way the loaf browned and the texture of the crust? The one thing I’m not clear about is how you are using the cycles on the bread machine. Many times, my dough is not quite ready to bake when the oven starts to preheat and bake. I also like the “spring” you get when bread dough is placed in a preheated oven. Perhaps I just need to try it myself.

      1. William LeGro says:

        It browned perfectly all over, the crust was medium – not crusty, not too thick, just right really. I’m really happy with it (even if it’s a little lopsided on the top because I don’t do a good job shaping it). Plus the all-around even baking gives it an all-around better crust.

        I use the homemade course and set it for no rest (if I can’t rest neither can the dough!), 30 minutes kneading, shaping is turned off, and 1 hour for each of the 3 rises, then 1 hour maybe 1:15 to bake depending on how insecure I’m feeling about it. The Zoji seems pretty warm when I take the dough out after the second rise to put it in the bread pan, maybe it warms further during the third rise?

        I would have no idea if the dough is ready to bake – I’m not that experienced and now I’m too old to learn ;-}. I’m not sure if there’s a spring to it or not. I figure the breadmaker is more reliable and smarter than I am and certainly more reliable than our incredibly stupid oven. One thing I’ve found out is how little extra dough enhancer beyond what the directions suggest is too much, but it’s been crucial to get my heavy-duty dough to rise beyond doorstop density.

        And yet another benefit of following your bake in a bread pan method: besides being the perfect loaf shape, it has sharp corners on the bottom, which means it goes through my kitchen equivalent of a double-bevel compound sliding mitre saw without hanging up and tearing off one of the roundish corners made by the bread machine pan (and I didn’t even start cussing out the slicer for the first time since the Christmas Day I got it).

        It also balanced out the pie crust disaster I was creating at the same time (think: scraping it off the counter and slamming the ball into the pie plate to shape by hand, accompanied by cussing normally reserved for the slicer for instead the NY Times pie crust recipe) (but it turned out delicious despite my best efforts – hard to go wrong with a pie crust that’s like 95% butter holding marionberry-rhubarb filling).

        If I encounter any disaster, like the Zoji catching fire or something, I’ll let you know (well, if I survive…), but I think it’s gonna be OK because the bread pan fits so well in the machine.

        So anyway – you’ve transformed my breadmaking for the better, and such a simple thing too that I naturally never thought of myself. Thanks again. (Oh man do I rattle on or what? Can’t help it – I’m a writer…feel free to edit…)

  147. Bulat Musin says:

    Great!
    Many ththanks!

  148. I agree with your comments.
    One more item you should mention is that ingredients should be warmed to room temp.
    Our previous breadmaker had a preheat cycle and I foolishly assumed all machines had this. Our new machine does NOT, and now, in order for the dough to be properly kneaded in the machine and rise well, we need to preheat the ingredients by warming them up in the microwave on on the stove. This is inconvenient.
    Can you advise which machines have a pre-heat cycle? This is something that does not seem to be included in the list of attributes that a machine has.
    Many thanks,
    Nora

    1. Hi Nora,

      Interesting question I have not had before. I haven’t looked at new bread machines in a while so I’m not current on what’s out there. My Zojirushi does have the preheat cycle but I have never used it. Here’s why. I never bake my bread in the machine. For me, I like it best to mix and knead ONLY. So if the ingredients are cold and it takes a little longer for the bread to rise, no problem. Doing it this way gives a little more time for the yeast to develop flavor.

      Of course, if you are using your bread machine from the beginning to the end, it would make a difference. The bread could easily start baking before the dough has proofed. This is just one reason I don’t bake in the machine, among others.

      Regarding the inconvenience of preheating the ingredients, I don’t find it that way myself. I heat the liquid slightly hotter than it should be. By the time I pour the other ingredients in there, the milk has warmed the eggs, softened the butter, etc. This cools the liquid down to the right temperature for the yeast. I hope this helps a little.

      One last thing, the extra-time required for the pre-heat cycle is much more than it takes to warm your liquid in the microwave. Just my thoughts on the matter. Thanks for writing.

  149. Can you tell me what is the best way to store the bread when it comes out of the machine? If I leave it out, the outside gets hard; especially the bottom. If I put it in a sealed zip lock, it stays a bit more moist but the bottom stays wet. Suggestions/ Thanks

    1. Hi William, First, let me say that most homemade bread rarely stays fresh as long as store-bought bread due to all the preservatives they use. Certain ingredients and techniques can help, e.g. potatoes, the Tangzhong method, etc.

      This is the way I handle my bread. Let it cool completely on a cooling rack. As soon as it cools, I use a bread storage container something like this one. My second choice is a ziplock bag. Be sure your loaf is completely cool before you put it in the bag.

  150. My bread machine was disconnected one hour before bread finished. It would not go back to original setting. What can I do please?

    1. Hi Anne, I guess it’s too late at this point. If this ever happens again, remove the dough from your machine, form it into a loaf and place it into a loaf pan, let the dough rise again, and then bake it in a conventional oven. I don’t know what kind of machine you have but I think most machines sold now will hold their current setting for a little while even if they lose power. I’m not sure how long but it’s a handy feature for the very reason you described. Sometimes I will unplug my machine and move it. Thankfully, when I plug it back in, it picks up right where it left off. Thanks for writing.

  151. I just bought a new bread maker. Something I remember from years ago, wasn’t it a basic rule to put all wet ingredients in the pan first, then the dry ingredients, then make a little cup in the top of the flour and pour your yeast?

    The way you add the ingredients is important, correct?

    1. Hi Mona,
      Congratulations on your new machine. I would follow the order recommended by your bread machine.

      In general, yes. Wet ingredients first, then flour, then yeast. However, I have recipes that do it differently for specific reasons. For example, some recipes are better when you add the butter after everything else is mixed up. My bread machine Brioche is one example.

      If you stick to the instructions included with the recipe, you should be fine. In general, I find it doesn’t make that much difference, but sometimes it does.

      p.s. I have never heard of making a little cup in the top of the flour for the yeast. Just pour it in and go. Let me know if you have any other questions or run into a problem.

  152. Paula, I wanted to say thank you! I stopped making bread a while back and since our world and times are a bit different today I dusted off my bread machine and began again. Your notes are still just as easy to follow now as they were several years ago, Kind of like riding a bike once I started I remembered more than I thought I would. I have now found a new ministry of making bread for friends and neighbors and can just put in their mailbox and give them a call that it’s delivered. As long as I can keep finding bread flour and yeast I’m happy making others smile. Thanks again.

    1. Tina,
      What a fabulous idea! You are brilliant. Thank you so much for sharing. May God richly reward you.

  153. Amanda Grimmett says:

    My husband came across a, brand new “Toastmaster” bread maker and brought it to me. I have never used it and I’ve never made my own bread but now in the times we are in I am struggling with finding a recipe that actually works for the machine I acquired. I have 3 kids, so 5 people all together in our home, so we use quite a bit of bread esp white bread. Do you have any recommendations or advice for me? I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you for your time.

    1. Amanda Grimmett says:

      As well as the steps to make the bread because there was not a manual of any kind with it.

      1. Oops Amanda, didn’t see this right off. I would look online for a manual.

    2. Hi Amanda,
      Glad to hear from you. I recommend you make some pizza dough first, just to get your feet wet. It’s super easy. Then try a bread machine mix. If you can’t find one, try the simplest recipe in the bread machine manual. If you decide you aren’t too excited about the way a bread machine bakes bread (I’m not), check out my recipe for Sweet-Milk White Bread and follow the directions exactly. I don’t use my machine to bake bread, only to mix it. That recipe will show you how. To be honest, it can take years to become a really good bread maker but a bread machine will help speed the process if you keep practicing. Let me know how you get on with your new bread machine.

  154. Su-Lize Kruger says:

    So we moved into a new house… but have no oven. i have a bread machine and was wo dering if i could possibly bake things such as dinner rolls or cinnabon rolls in my bread machine? i know how to use the dough mode. is there a bake only option in bread machines too?

    1. Hi Su-Lize, I have never seen a bread machine with a bake-only option. How about a large toaster oven? You would have to bake in batches using smaller pans but it’s an idea. Generally speaking, I don’t care for bread baked in a bread machine because it rarely makes a nice tender crust with even coloring. Maybe you could make loaves until you get a conventional oven. Dinner rolls and Cinnabon rolls both require that you remove the dough to shape it into rolls by hand. There may be a way to do it, but it doesn’t seem feasible in my imagination.

    2. @Su-Lize Kruger, my cuisinart has a bake only button, but I doubt you could bake rolls in it. I make my bread entirely in the machine (it’s too hot to turn on my oven) and the result is pretty nice.

  155. HI there,
    I’ve been following your great tips for baking bread while using the bread machine. For the first time today my bread came out of the oven like a brick and hardly rose at all. I”ve been looking around to find the answer to the following question. I didn’t deal with my dough until 40 minutes after the dough cycle was over (I’ve never done this before). Could this be the reason? I”m hoping that’s why because then at least I’d have an answer.
    Thanks so much.

    1. Hi Krestena,

      So sorry about your bread. That’s always a disappointment. It is possible that your bread proofed too long and used up all the yeast power. Was it really warm in your kitchen? When you first got back to your bread 40 minutes after the dough cycle, was the dough really high and puffy? Or was it barely changed in size? If not big and puffy, you might have forgotten to add yeast. I’m assuming you gave your bread time to rise again before you put it in the oven. Did it rise well or not much at all? Give me a few more details if you want and we can get to the bottom of the problem.

      1. Thanks for getting back to me. When I got back it had risen (was high and fluffy) but as soon as I opened it and and taken the breadmaker pan out, it sank. I then put it in the pans and let it rise again. It rose a bit but not as much as usual. The bread tasted fine but looked more like a brick (pretty dense). My hope is that it proofed too long like you mentioned. Is that a possibility?

        1. Krestena,
          I’m guessing the yeast just gave out. The fact that it didn’t rise as usual the second time is your clue. Have a good week.

  156. Carolyn M says:

    Hi, I have a Breville Baker’s Oven Bread machine. I’ve just started to use it again. If I want to make bread in the oven, I see that I can do the Dough cycle only. Or, I can let it get to the final rising/proofing stage. But it’s started to get colder here, so I’m pretty sure it’s not going to rise well in the final stage before going into the oven. If I let it rise in the machine, how do I then remove it successfully & put it in a pan to go in the oven, without ruining it? Will I just lose a little height? Or will it be completely stuffed up? The last time I made a bought mix in the machine, it got too high, and wrinkled a bit. This time, I’m removing the paddles so I won’t get the hole & will leave the machine open once done, to try and prevent that. But I think baking in the oven will be better…I’m just not sure what to do! What is the best time to remove it to put in the oven if it’s Autumn, and how please? Thanks very much, this site has been so helpful!!

  157. Carolyn M says:

    Just read all the comments, and saw that you’ve already mentioned it’s best to cook the bread in the pan it’s done it’s final rise in. Which means if I cook it in the oven, I can’t let it rise in the machine, unless my pan fits there. (no idea yet) You mention letting it do the final rise in the microwave or oven. I understand that, but how long do I leave it for then? The final rise in the machine is 70 mins-if I do that in the microwave, it will cool down after 20mins max, so is it still going to work? Or the oven, at what temp would I put it on to use it for that final rise? And do I turn it off? Sorry, very much a newbie here! I’ve had success with the machine, but really want the proper shaped loaf that we will get in the pan! (and thanks William Legro below for your excellent questions!!)

    1. Hi Carolyn,
      I’m going to try to answer both of your comments in one go. Just to confirm…yes, the final rise needs to happen in the vessel where the bread will be baked. I do not care for the way a bread machine actually bakes bread. So I take it out at the end of the dough cycle OR when the dough has risen to not quite double. These two are not always the same. After you shape the dough, place it in a slightly warm place.

      One option is a microwave oven. Boil a cup of water for 5 minutes or so and then, put the bread in the oven next to the water. Don’t turn on the oven again. I can’t tell you how long it will take for that second rise. It all depends on the ingredients and the temperature inside the microwave. Just open the door and check after 30 minutes. Check again when you think the dough might be ready.

      If you want to use a conventional oven for the second rise, turn it on BEFORE you put the bread in there for 1 minute. Then turn your oven off. Place your shaped dough in the oven (covered) and let it rise in peace. Check on it occasionally to see how it’s doing. If the oven loses a little bit of heat, that’s OK. Some conventional ovens have a bread proofing setting. If you have one of those, set it on 85˚F and leave it on while the bread is in the final rise.

      Your story about the bread machine mix that got too high is a perfect illustration of why I do not bake bread in my machine. Your dough evidently over-proofed. Your bread machine is not smart enough to recognize when the dough is perfectly proofed. It operates on a timer. When you take control of the rising times, your final product will be much more predictable.

      Give your dough plenty of time to rise. The longer it takes to rise, the better the flavor. So if your kitchen is cool, don’t worry. Leave it on the counter (covered) and give the bread more time. You will be rewarded in the end.

      In answer to your first comment, I know of no way to remove the dough from the pan after the second rise and move it directly to the oven without losing all the air and spoiling the shape.

      Write back if you still have a question.

  158. am going to try baking bread-read your comments; if am using machine for kneading etc and then bak in oven, what bread machines do you suggest I review and which do you prefer thanks

    1. Hi Rick,

      When you don’t bake in your machine, you don’t have to be as picky. A machine that kneads the bread well is really all that matters. However, it’s hard to predict that in advance. I love my Zojirushi but they are pricy. If you stick with a well-known brand, you should be fine.

  159. Karen Birkholz says:

    I have a Cuisinart bread maker, i have made several loaves and everyone has a yeasty smell and taste. I have tried cutting down on yeast many times. I just tried a loaf that called for one and a half teaspoons of yeast and I added 1/2 and still yeasty smell. I have washed my machine with lemon and baking soda and nothing works.????

    1. Hi Karen,

      I’m so sorry about your bread. In general, bread can smell yeasty if the temperature while it proofing is too high or if there is too much yeast. Are you baking your bread in the machine? If so, you might try using the DOUGH cycle and then removing the dough. Shape it and let it rise on the counter. Then use your own oven to bake it. I do this all the time so I can have perfect bread.

      Seems like you are on the right track to reduce the yeast, but I guess that didn’t help either. Have you tried a different brand of yeast? Are you using whole wheat flour? Is it super fresh? I will continue to think about this and research it. If I find a better answer, I let you know. paula

  160. I have done something very stupid. I made the sponge for the crusty round bread. After 5 min. scraped the sides down – and instead of letting it rise. I added the other ingredients!! Well, didn’t know what to do at that point but rather than throw it out. I put it in a bowl covered with plastic wrap.(I mixed the ingredients together) and it has been rising it is now about 3 1/2 hours and I realize I have no idea what to do now!

    Do I punch it down, kneed it a bit and give it a second rise? If so how long? Do I let it go longer? I’m clueless at this point. Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Margaret,

      I’m just now seeing this so I suppose it’s too late to help you now. I’m dying to know what you ended up doing. Just for fun, I’ll answer your question anyway.

      After mixing it all together, I would have let the bread machine knead it (important step) and either left it in the machine to rise, or remove it to another bowl to rise. After rising to almost double, shape the dough and let it rise one more time before baking. I’m guessing it would still taste pretty good, it just wouldn’t have the delicious flavor you get from letting the yeast develop in a sponge for a few hours.

  161. Sue White says:

    Hi, could you tell me please, my panasonic bread maker is old and the bread sticks to the pan. So I decided to make just the dough in the breadmaker ,and shape it and cook it in the over which works fine. But , the dough only recipe takes less water which I’ve done and the bread is far nicer and last for days a lot fresher. What if I had used the amount of water for dough only recipe but did the complete cooking as well in the breadmaker. Would less water make it softer and last longer.

    1. Ah yes! This is exactly why I recommend using a bread machine only for mixing the dough, not baking it. Because a bread maker has no brain, it can’t determine exactly when the bread is ready to be baked, nor does it know exactly how long. The makers of the bread machine can only guess. I have written about this extensively.

      How To Use a Bread Machine To Make Fabulous Bread

      5 Surprising Reasons I Don’t Bake Bread in My Bread Machine (But I Use It All the Time)

      Good luck Sue. Write back if you still have questions.

    2. @Paula, i use mostly too for rising the flour…but my bread machine bake tasty cake…

  162. pam welsh says:

    Hi. I just got a bread machine and I have to say the bread never looks like the pictures with the recipe. There’s no smooth top, I made a two pound loaf it was like a hockey puck did not rise to top of machine. What do I need to do.

    1. Did you sign up for my quick-start bread machine course? It is 6-days of emails that will give you all the information you need to make great bread in a bread machine. You can sign up here.

      I’ll give you a quick clue. Don’t bake your bread in the bread machine. Use the DOUGH cycle only to do the mixing, kneading, and first rise. Take the dough out, shape it, let it rise again. Then bake it in your conventional oven. You’ll be much happier with your bread.

  163. I often let the bread machine do its work, but then at about 2:40 ~ 1:50 left on the timer, I lift the dough out, remove the kneading blade, do a little shaping (with as little degassing as possible) and then gently put it back in the machine. Super convenient, not lopsided…

    1. Hi Jon,

      Thanks for writing. It’s a better option, especially for people who don’t have a conventional oven to bake the loaf or who don’t want to use their oven.

  164. Thanks for all this help. My yeast was really slow working so when my machine was done on the dough cycle I put the pan into a warm oven and left it. It finally did rise and I made cinnamon bread and baked it in the oven. I made sure to heat the house while working on the dough. I did find having the yeast in the warm water with sugar helped and then dumped it and the other ingredients into the bread machine.

    1. Good job Becky! Sounds like you used your bread machine in the best possible way (in my opinion). Since you used the dough cycle, you were able to make the necessary adjustments. Love cinnamon bread!

  165. Hi, I was wondering… if you bake your dough in an oven, would it not be just as easy to mix the dough in a food processor, let it set and then bake it? What is the advantage of using a bread maker just to make the dough? Thanks

    1. Good question, Deb. I’m a huge food processor fan and use mine almost every day. To answer your question: Using the food processor to knead dough means you have to know when to stop the kneading. As you may know, it happens FAST. It’s not hard with an easy recipe for pizza dough. But other recipes can be a little trickier if you’re not a seasoned and experienced bread maker. Since the bread maker is on a timer, it always kneads the dough perfectly as long as you have a good recipe, measure correctly, and know how to make adjustments along the way. I think it’s easier for beginners. I also think it can be a little bit hard on your food processor, but that’s a personal observation based only on the way kneading dough makes mine walk all over the counter.

  166. I am in Canada and my Black and Decker manual has side by side recipes for US and Canada, suggesting that here we use either bread or all purpose flour. Would this be the same for your recipes?

    1. Hi Marlene,
      I’ve never baked with Canadian flour. From what I can tell, you can use either bread or all-purpose flour because your all-purpose flour is so high in protein. So it sounds like you would be safe to use all-purpose flour in nearly all my recipes.

  167. Hi,I got a breadmaker for Christmas but it doesn’t have a dough only button. The basic white setting runs for 3h 20min. Approx what time would I be looking at to remove the dough if I want to remove the paddle or maybe bake in oven? I’ve only made a couple of packet breads in it so far on one of the quick programmes but the paddle gouges a big hole in the bottom of the loaf. Am wanting to continue to use it so want to be able to improve the bread it makes.

    1. Hi Liz,

      I’m so sorry your machine doesn’t have a DOUGH cycle. I thought they all did by now. Hopefully, your bread maker manual will tell you how long each stage is for the basic white setting. I would stop the machine before the last proofing or rising period. If they don’t provide times, try making a loaf and hanging out close by. As you hear the machine make noises, open the lid and see what’s going on in there. Record the times for future reference. (By the way, what kind of machine do you have?)

      Hope this helps.

    2. @Paula, Thanks. It’s a Russell Hobbs (UK) and was a gift. Guess I’m just going to have to do some experimenting and watch a couple of cycles! Thanks anyway.

      1. Hi Liz,

        I just looked up the Russell Hobbs machine. All the ones I found (maybe not the same as yours, I’m not sure) do have a dough cycle. What model is yours? Does your machine have a menu button? It would be under that. Also, if you find one labeled pizza, that will be a dough cycle.
        I copied this out of one of the Russell Hobbs user manual:

        CONTROLS
        Menu Z
        Use the menu button to select one of the 12 programs. Options are basic, French, wholewheat, cake,
        sweet, dough, jam, sandwich, gluten free, fastbake I, fastbake II and speciality. See PROGRAMS for
        more information.

  168. I like to make sourdough bread and I’m having difficulty finding good recipes to use in my bread machine. Any suggestions? I’m enjoying your post, it’s very well done.

    1. Hi Leslie,
      Thank you for your kind words. I’m testing a sourdough recipe in my bread machine as we speak. Have you seen my sourdough dinner rolls recipe? I should have more recipes coming soon. I hope you subscribed to my newsletter so you get notifications when I publish new bread recipes.

  169. Hi Paula ~
    Thanks so much for sharing your passion and expertise. Your guidance and encouragement have made bread making with my bread maker more successful and fun! Still having one challenge and wonder if you have any advice ~ when my bread maker first starts kneading or sometimes if adding flour, it flies up and out into the bread maker compartment and then can cause an unpleasant “burning” odor”. Have tried unplugging and wiping up, but sometimes there is some residue and resulting odor. Wish I could prevent it from happening in the first place. Appreciate any suggestions you have. Thanks, again for making a chore into a joy. Blessings to you and yours ~ Sharon

    1. Hi Sharon,
      Thank you for your kind words. Interesting question. You have a vigorous machine. How much flour is in the recipe you are using? Just curious.

      You might try laying a piece of plastic wrap over the top of the pan during the mixing and kneading process, then remove it for the rising and baking.

      Another option if you are open to it: Use the DOUGH cycle only, remove the bread from the pan, shape it, let it rise on the counter, and bake it in your oven. That way it won’t matter that some flour flies into the heating elements because you won’t be using them and your bread will be 100% better.

  170. I have had bread machines for many years….have worn out 4 of them already…they only last about a year and are now hard to find as the fad has worn off. My problem is when to add the raisins. They are either pulverized specks or my last recipe for Easter paska, said knead the raisins in just before baking in the oven, which I did. The raisins wouldn’t go in! But stayed around the sides and I thought while rising would eventually be inside the bread….but nope! Sat around the edges and burned…sigh. Help!

    1. Hi Helene,

      I’m glad you wrote. Does your bread machine beep when it’s time to add raisins, cheese, or nuts? If so, that’s when you should add the raisins. If not, here are a couple of suggestions.

      1. Figure out how long the kneading cycle lasts. For example, if your particular machine takes 20 minutes to knead the dough, set your timer for 15-17 minutes when the kneading starts. When your timer goes off, add your raisins. This will give the machine a few minutes to work the raisins into the dough.

      2. If you use the DOUGH cycle as I do, remove the dough from your machine at the end of the cycle and place it onto your work surface. Shape into a loose ball and cover for 15-20 minutes so it can relax. Then knead the raisins into the dough by hand. One way to do that is to roll the dough out into a big square. Roll up the dough like you were going to make cinnamon rolls. Now form that dough into a ball or whatever shape you want and the raisins should be fairly well distributed. Whenever you can’t handle your dough because it’s too bouncy, cover it with a towel and let it relax for a while. When you come back, it should be more obedient.

      I hope this helps. Let me know.

  171. Gail Petty says:

    Letting bread machine do full process but
    Crust is hard. What can I do to correct?

    1. Hi Gail,

      You could try changing the settings for the crust if your machine has that option. Also, be sure to remove the loaf as soon as it’s baked. Otherwise, the best thing I can suggest is to use the DOUGH cycle, pull the dough out of the machine, shape it yourself, let it rise again, and bake it in your oven. It’s the only way I’ve found to get a fabulous crust. The bread machine only heats up to 290-300˚F so it seems to produce crusts that resemble cardboard. It’s OK if you are only wanting bread for toast, I guess.

  172. Hello, I am trying to replicate my late mother-in-law’s homemade bread. She did not have a bread machine. I do have one and I like using the machine to mix the ingredients but then I take the dough out of the machine and mold the dough, let rise, and bake in the oven. I’m trying to get a chewy not airy bread. I’ve not had success. I think she used potato water. I’ve tried with both pot. water and mashed potatoes. Neither worked. Is it that I’m using a machine? If you have any ideas, I would be most grateful! Your hints are great!

    1. Hi Liza,

      It sounds like you use your machine exactly as I do. I always bake the bread in my machine, too. I don’t think it’s the machine although you are probably getting a better knead than she did if she did it by hand. Potatoes will almost always make softer bread. Bread flour will make a chewier bread. Do you have her recipe? If not, I would try a recipe that is not highly enriched. You might try my recipe for French bread but make it in a loaf pan instead of shaping it into a batard and see what you think. I have a feeling you will like it although I could be wrong since I have no idea what your mother-in-law’s bread was like.

  173. I am thankful for your site. I own a bread machine, but don’t love how it bakes my bread loaves and found myself using it less and less. Most recipe sites show recipes for only bread machine baking, or only by hand baking. For years I made homemade bread and buns by hand, but I now struggle with chronic pain and am unable to knead the dough effectively. This site is what I’ve been looking for and can’t tell you enough how much I appreciate your tips, tricks, and thoroughness. Blessings to you!

    1. Hi Marjorie,

      Your email is so encouraging. Thank you! So glad you are able to continue making bread.

  174. gail jones says:

    please tell me if I can bake a 1 lb loaf recipe in my bread machine when my lowest setting is 2 lb without adjusting the ingredients?

    thanks in advance for your help
    Gail

    1. Hi Gail,
      If I understand you right, you want to make a smaller loaf of bread than your machine is designed to bake. If you only use the DOUGH cycle, then use your oven to bake your bread, you can probably get away with it (don’t know how your machine will do with less dough–it might not knead so well). However, if you want to make your bread from beginning to end in the machine, I’m guessing you will need to double the recipe. Otherwise, the timing will be off. More than likely, your bread will be overbaked. The rise times will probably be affected, also. But you could certainly try it and see how the timing works out. I’m curious. What brand of machine do you own? Good luck.

  175. Barbara Augenstein says:

    Why does my bread have a small crater in loaf. Bread is still moist and good but there’s a dip in losf

    1. Hi Barbara,
      Several things can cause a dip or crater in the top of your bread (These apply to bread you are actually baking in the machine.)
      Here are some possibilities: dough too wet, no salt, bread baked at high altitude, the bread rose too much (many reasons for this), or too much yeast.

  176. cityMouse says:

    This is such a helpful site! Thank you. I am making my first batch in my new-to-me Oster, and the photos of the dough were so helpful. Mine was too dry so on the second knead I dribbled in water spoon by spoon until it looked “just right”. Next time I will weigh my ingredients.

    Question: my bread machine insists its very important to NOT add yeast to the liquid, and to make a hole in the flour and add it there. Is this crucial? I’m using instant yeast and Canadian all-purpose flour, which is higher in protein – 13% here.

    Anyway thank you!

    1. cityMouse says:

      Oh! Apparently the importance of the order of ingredients is most relevant to the delay setting.

      1. Yes! You are absolutely right. Same thing if your machine has a preheat phase. When using the DOUGH cycle immediately, it’s not that big of a deal.

  177. Gail Randall says:

    Very informative 🤩

    1. Thank you, Gail. I hope it gave you a new idea or some courage to try something you haven’t done before.

  178. When you take the dough out after choosing the dough cycle, you said you shape it and put it in the pan. Does it need to rise first before baking?

    1. Yes, it does need a final rise. In general, it needs to almost double before you bake it.

  179. have you had experience or knowledge of the kbs mbf-010 bread maker? if so, can the machine be timed to stop after kneading? I can’t seem to get this answer from other online info on this model. thanks…….claudia

    1. Hi Claudia,
      I just pulled up the manual for this machine. Oh my. I see what you mean. Not much help. I see no indication of a custom cycle. Many of the names of the cycles are different from what an American would call the cycles.
      I’m wondering about the difference between raw dough and leaven dough. Wait! I just figured it out. “Raw” dough has no yeast. I suppose they are talking about something like banana bread with baking powder. The leaven dough is for doughs with yeast. Have you tried that cycle? You may just have to experiment to see what actually happens and use your own timer if you want to interrupt the cycle. Sorry, I can’t be more helpful.