Making Bread Machine Dough and Baking It in the Oven: A Tutorial

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Sneak Peek: If you’ve been curious about bread machine dough and baking it in the oven, this post will tell you how to do it and why it’s a good idea.

Click here if you are looking for the Oatmeal Sunflower Seed Bread Recipe that used to be part of this post.

bread machine crust vs oven crustPin
Left: Bread baked in a bread machine (both pieces are the same recipe) Right: Bread mixed in a bread machine but baked in a loaf pan in a conventional oven

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The “automatic-ness” of a bread machine can mess up a loaf when you try to bake it in a bread machine. Maybe we’ve all expected too much. After all, a bread machine operates on a timer, not a brain. My solution is to make bread using only the DOUGH cycle.

Four Reasons Why You Will Fall in Love with the DOUGH Cycle on Your Bread Maker

1. Your Bread Machine is One FABULOUS kneading machine.

Stick with the DOUGH cycle, and use your bread machine for what it does best–kneading dough. In my opinion, it’s better than a stand mixer, especially for beginners who can’t always judge when the bread has been kneaded enough.

2. You Control the Timing.

When the DOUGH cycle finishes, you will proceed based on the environment in your kitchen, the ingredients in the recipe, the appearance of the dough, and your personal schedule.

3. Shaping by Hand Creates Beautiful Bread

When you shape bread machine dough by hand, the bread has a neat, uniform texture–not crumbly. The tension created by shaping makes a thinner crust and a more appetizing appearance.

4. Avoid a Crust That is Too Dark, Tough, and Too Thick

Check out the first picture at the top of this post. Use the DOUGH cycle if you prefer the crust on the right instead of the left. Among other things, bread makers don’t get as hot as your oven, which results in a thick, tough, and tasteless crust.

Please don’t be intimidated by the idea of getting more involved in the process. Try it, and you’ll see.

Even beginning bakers can do better than a bread machine left to its own devices.


Happy Bakers Speak Up

When I researched, using a long question about dough cycles and oven baking, I did not expect any joy! However, there you were and I got what I needed and more. Thank you for your time as I now understand about shaping and 2nd rise but also have your tip about using the microwave to assist said 2nd rise.“–LYNN


Making Bread Machine Dough with the DOUGH Cycle

These are general instructions for making the dough for any bread machine recipe on the DOUGH cycle. When you use one of my bread machine recipes, I will give you specific details so you won’t have to guess.

placing all the ingredients into the bread maker panPin
Dump all ingredients into the bread machine pan. Add the liquids first, then the dry ingredients. Flour and yeast go in last. Next, select the “DOUGH” cycle.

Note: Bread machine yeast (aka instant yeast) was designed for bread machines–no dissolving in liquid is required. Dump it in all the other ingredients. However, you can use active dry yeast, but it is more trouble and can be slower to rise.

Cinnamon Rolls That Stay Fresh For Longer Than a DayPin
The dough should stick to the side of the pan, then pull away cleanly while going through the kneading process.

For further instructions, see this post about the most important thing you should do when making bread in a bread machine.

Dough at the end of the DOUGH cyclePin
After the kneading stops, the machine will go quiet.

This is the proofing stage. The manual with your bread machine may say there are two rising times. Those two equal the first rise you normally allow when making bread by hand or with a mixer.

Pulling the dough out of the bread machine pan onto a silicone mat in preparation for shaping by hand.Pin
After the dough cycle finishes and the dough has doubled in size, remove it to a lightly floured surface for shaping. If the dough has not doubled, leave it in the bread machine until it does.

How To Shape Bread Machine DOUGH into a Loaf You Can Bake in the Oven

At this point, you can shape the dough however you wish. The following picture shows how to make a standard loaf. If you want to shape your bread into a free-form like French bread, see this post.

Begin rolling the dough into a cylinder, starting with the short side closest to you. Take care that no excess flour remains to cause tunnels in your bread. Pinch the seams together. Tuck the ends toward the seam and pinch.

rolling out the dough with a rolling pin.Pin
Use your hands or a rolling pin to press or roll the dough into a rectangle. Use your fingers or the rolling pin to compress the bubbles around the edges.
using your pan to check the size.Pin
The shortest side should be approximately one inch longer than the pan you plan to use.
rolling the dough to make a loaf.Pin
Roll the dough up snugly but without stretching, starting with the short side.
pinching the seams and ends together.Pin
Use your fingertips to pinch the dough tight. Pull each end toward the seam and pinch again.

What Size Pan Should I Use?

Deciding the size of the loaf pan you will need is crucial to the appearance of your baked loaf.

Too small, and your bread will rise out of the pan. Too large, and your bread will appear squatty or like it wasn’t allowed to proof long enough.

📌Kitchen Tip📌 After shaping the dough as shown above, lay it into the loaf pan you plan to use. Your bread dough should roughly fill the loaf pan half full. If it fills more than 1/2 of the pan, the pan is probably too small. If it is significantly less than half full, try a smaller pan.

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Exceptions to the Pan-half-full Rule

  1. If your recipe contains a lot of seeds, whole grains, or whole-grain flour, it won’t rise as high. Instead, use a slightly smaller pan, like an 8½ x 4½-inch bread pan.
  2. Try a larger pan if it’s a high-rising, light, and fluffy loaf such as this Sweetened Condensed Milk Loaf or the Honey Whole Wheat Bread.

For a 1½-pound loaf with 3-3½ cups of flour (360 grams), my favorite size is 9 x 5 inches when measured on the bottom. (It will hold 8 cups of water if you want to compare it with a pan you already have.) I also have an 8.5 x 4.5 loaf pan that I use for 3-cup-of-flour recipes that don’t rise as high.

When using the recipes on this website, I tell you what size is best in my experience. If you don’t have that size, you can improvise.

How To Improvise

If the only pans you have are too small, cut the dough into portions and make rolls, a free-form loaf, or a second mini-loaf with the extra dough.

Still not sure what pan you should use?

Try a 9x4x4-inch Pullman pan (paid link) with tall sides. It will hold a high-rising loaf or a low-riser and look good because the sides are straight up, not angled out. Many people use this pan for sandwich bread because it makes a square-shaped slice of bread.

placing the dough into a loaf pan.Pin
Place the dough into the pan with the seam side down. Use your hands to press the dough down and make it level from one end to the other.

Proofing the Dough After It Has Been Shaped

1. The Final Rise is Crucial

Please don’t leave it out. It determines the final size and texture and develops the best flavor from the yeast.

To clarify: The first rise happened inside the bread machine on the DOUGH cycle after the kneading phase. (Your machine may say there are two rises during the DOUGH cycle. Those two rises equal one rise you would allow when making the bread by hand.)

When you pull the dough out of the machine after the DOUGH cycle ends, you take control of the rest of the process. You will shape the loaf and let it rise again before baking.

2. How Do I Set Up My Bread for the Final Rising Time?

First, shape the dough into whatever shape you want. See the instructions above. Then, cover the loaf with a tea towel or a cheap shower cap.

Place the loaf pan or rolls in a warm place to rise. My favorite way to create a cozy environment is to boil a cup of water in a microwave for 2-3 minutes. Place a small silicone spatula in the cup to avoid superheating. Leave the hot water in the oven and place the covered dough next to it inside a closed microwave.

DO NOT TURN ON THE MICROWAVE WITH THE DOUGH INSIDE. 

3. How Long Should My Bread Dough Rise After I Shape It?

For most recipes, the dough should almost double in volume. Thirty minutes may be all you need for classic dinner rolls. If the room is chilly, it could take 45-60 minutes. If the room is very warm or humid, it could take much less time.

Loaves usually take longer to rise than rolls. Forty-five minutes is a good place to start for a loaf, whether in a pan or freeform.

Ambient temperature, humidity, and the ingredients are variable factors that will affect how fast bread dough rises. When you control the timing of the rise yourself, you can get it right every time.

Caution: Don’t go by the clock! Go by careful observation of the dough as described below.

second proofing--pan covered with a cheap shower capPin
Keep your dough covered at all times so it won’t dry out. A cheap shower cap works great.

4. How Can I Tell If the Dough Has Risen Enough in the Pan?

The dough should peek over the edge or rise to no more than one inch above the top of the pan. If it rises too much, the yeast exhausts itself. As a result, your loaf may fall or have a big hole in the middle.

Unfortunately, you may not realize your error until you slice the baked loaf.

If the dough doesn’t rise enough, your bread will be compact and smaller than it should be. Use a finger to gently press on the side of the bread. It should leave a dent that slowly springs back–but not entirely.

5. What If My Dough Already Rose Too High on the Final Rise?

If you know your loaf has risen too much (maybe you forgot), dump the dough out of the pan onto a floured surface. Push it down, knead it several times, and reshape it. Let the dough rise again, but this time, watch closely. Read more about overproofed dough.

There are no guarantees this will work, but it’s better than baking a loaf that produces an overly yeasty and bland flavor, a poor texture, or collapses in the middle.

second rising with dough in a panPin
If you are using the right pan, your loaf is ready to bake when the dough peeks above the top of the pan.

Baking Bread Machine Dough in the Oven

Use a preheated oven to get the best rise and the most excellent crust. It’s best to turn on the oven 15-20 minutes before you think your bread will be ready to bake.

Three Ways To Determine What the Oven Temperature and Cooking Time Should Be?

  1. Beginners may find it helpful to compare their bread machine recipes with similar recipes not designed for a bread maker. Look at how long they bake and at what temperature to point you in the right direction.
  2. A lean, rustic, or open-textured loaf like a ciabatta, French bread, or a simple sourdough will do better in a hotter oven in the range of 400-450˚F. The higher temperature works best when the recipe is simply water, flour, salt, and perhaps a very small amount of fat and sugar.
  3. Enriched bread, like this Hawaiian bread, should be baked at a lower temperature, 350-375˚F. Enriched bread contains milk, eggs, sugar, juices, or other ingredients that produce a softer, tighter crumb.

TIP: After making more sourdough loaves than I can count, I’ve learned that bread bakes better if you preheat the oven to 50˚F hotter than you want to bake your bread. Then, turn the oven temperature back to the specified number as you put your bread into the oven to bake. Every oven is different, but this is something to play with.

What if My Bread Gets Too Dark on Top But Isn’t Yet Baked in the Middle?

Some loaves may take longer or need to be covered halfway through baking. If necessary, aluminum foil will protect a crust that is browning too quickly.

All these details will require your attention the first time you try it, but you’ll figure it out once you make a recipe two or three times.


Why Beginning Bread Bakers Need a Thermometer

If you are a beginning bread-baker, I can’t stress how helpful it is to buy a quick-read thermometer with a probe:(paid link) The old-fashioned technique of thumping the bottom of a loaf to evaluate doness is about as helpful as thumping a watermelon if you haven’t done it all your life.

  1. For a basic flour-salt-and-yeast loaf, the internal temperature should be 200-210˚F.
  2. Enriched bread should reach an internal temperature of 190-195˚F.
loaf of bread mixed in a bead machine and baked in the oven sitting on a cooling rack.Pin
Sunflower Seed and Oatmeal Loaf--mixed and kneaded in a bread machine, then baked in a conventional oven.

After the Bread Comes Out of the Oven

How Do I Cool the Bread?

  • Leave your hot loaf in the pan to cool for about 15 minutes. Failure to do this may cause the sides to cave in, especially with a light-textured loaf.
  • Then, use a thin knife (I use a plastic knife, so I won’t scratch the pan) to ensure the bread is not sticking. Turn the loaf out onto a cooling rack.

How Soon Can I Cut a Loaf of Home-Baked Bread?

  • The answer to this question depends on the loaf. Most loaves need at least 30 minutes to an hour to cool. Some heavy loaves containing whole grains may need 2-3 hours.
  • If you cut into them too early, you risk squashing them. Since they are still baking for a little while after you remove them from the oven, they can be gummy or crumbly when cut prematurely.
  • Rolls cool much faster. Also, you don’t usually slice them. However, they can still be gummy and squishy if you don’t wait at least 5-10 minutes.

How Do I Store Homemade Bread?


Parting thoughts: If you are looking for a better recipe than what you can find in the bread machine manual, can I suggest starting with this Bread Machine French Bread? Then try this basic white bread loaf that my readers love. Bread Machine Pizza Dough is also super easy for beginners.

Remember I said a bread machine has no brain! That’s why it needs your active participation to make fabulous bread you’ll be excited to eat and share. If you’re only looking for toast in the morning, I get it. But if you want bread worth the calories, time, and expense, stick with me. You’ll be making perfect bread in no time.


Happy Bakers Speak Up

I was ready to throw my new machine out; the crust was hard or tough, and tasted like cardboard. Heavy and coarse. My husband kept saying it’s good, but I knew differently. I am fussy and definitely not used to eating bread like that.  This morning I made it your way, kneaded in machine, baked in oven and it is bread to die for. Bread at its best.”–MARILYN D.


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

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99 Comments

  1. Shel Smith says:

    Really interesting way to make the bread.My question is can I use a airfryer
    instead of a oven to bake the bread.thank you for your work

    1. Hi Shel,

      Great question. It all depends on your air fryer and the pans you use. If there is enough room, it’s worth a try. You may have to experiment to find the best temperature and time. This is when a quick-read digital thermometer is invaluable.

  2. I recently purchased a KBS bread machine and it has 2 dough programs. The raw dough program stirs for 23 minutes and is done. The leaven dough program has three rises in its 1 hour 23 minute program. Which dough program is best for making bread?

  3. I have a full size Pullman pan with lid what recipe should I use?

    1. Hi John, What do you mean by full-size? 13x4x4? or 9x4x4? You can use the 9x4x4 for a 1-2 lb. loaf. That would be almost everything you can mix in a bread machine because you don’t want to use more flour than recommended by the manufacturer. Because of the size limitation, I do not own a 13x4x4 pan, so I can’t speak knowledgably about that size. If you happen to have a 3 lb. machine, you could probably use the 13x4x4 pan. None of my recipes are for that size, but perhaps you have some.

  4. Just found your website. I have a loaf in my machine now. Can I use the “bread proof” selection on my oven for the 2nd rise?

    1. Hi Laraine,
      Yes, you can use the bread proof setting on your oven for the final rise. However, the lowest temperature on mine is 85˚F which is too high, in my opinion. What is the temperature of yours? I would rather my bread take longer to rise and develop more flavor than to rush it. I rarely use mine to proof bread unless I’m in a big hurry for some reason. Better to let it sit on the counter unless your kitchen is really cool.

  5. wow, this information is the best I have ever seen. Looking forward to using your methods.

    1. Thanks, Laura. Let me know if you have more questions and Ill point you in the right direction.

  6. When I researched, using a long question about dough cycles and oven baking, I did not expect any joy! However, there you were and I got what I needed and more. Thank you for your time as I now understand about shaping and 2nd rise but also have your tip about using the microwave to assist said 2nd rise.

    1. Hi Lynn,
      Your comment made my day. I’m so happy you found me. Google worked like it’s supposed to. Hurray!

  7. Really enjoying trying your recipes in my new machine. I would like to bake sour dough bread..how would I start the mix?

  8. Do you see that you gave temperatures for the oven but I don’t see that you gave an approximate time of baking. I have never taken it out of the bread machine and baked in the oven before so how long do you bake the bread for says:

    Do you see that you gave temperatures for the oven but I don’t see that you gave an approximate time of baking. I have never taken it out of the bread machine and baked in the oven before so how long do you bake the bread for

    1. It is hard to predict time that works for every loaf because of the different sizes of loaves and various ingredients. In my recipes, I specify the time. Bake with me if you find a recipe you like. Otherwise, I start to take the temperature (with a quick-start thermometer) of my bread in a loaf pan after about 25 minutes. Most 3-cups-of-flour recipes are done in 30 minutes. The more you use this method and know your oven, the easier it will get to estimate. If you don’t have a quick-start thermometer, I have a pretty cheap one in my Amazon store. They really are essential to making good bread. You don’t want it to be raw in the middle, but you also don’t want it to dry out. Free-form loaves often don’t take quite as long as a loaf pan.

  9. Joan Hiscock says:

    I have been using this method for years. I am on my second bread maker now. I use it for different types of bread and rolls especially brioche. I have a method for proofing my bread that is almost failproof. I set my oven to 350f for three minutes and then turn it off. It provides enough warmth and humidity to proof a loaf without covering in about 30 minutes. I set my timer for 30 minutes the first time and then check it. Depending on the height of the bread I will adjust at 10 minute intervals. Works every time. I remove the bread while I heat my oven for baking. Do not leave in while heating your oven.

    1. Hi Joan,
      Thanks so much for sharing your method of proofing. I especially enjoyed the last sentence. Sometimes, you have to add these details. 😀 Also, your recipe for a whole wheat and white combination loaf sounds delicious and worth trying. Thanks so much for sharing.

  10. Laurie Lyter says:

    Your bread machine tutorial saved my bread a few times already. Checking the bread machine mixing after a few minutes is genius. Once, I didn’t have the pan all the way in the machine (my Cuisinart was really stiff when it was new) and another time, I didn’t have the paddle in tightly, requiring a dump out of the pan, but I still got perfect bread. I love your recipe hints that deal with leftover ingredients. I’m tired of dumping out 3 1/2 cups of buttermilk, love the idea that I can freeze it for the next time. Hand shaping a loaf is far more easier than I’d imagined and more impressive than my former “holy” loaves with tough crusts that I baked in the machine. Your videos and visuals on how to check for adequate rise, shaping bread, etc. are wonderful. I recommend your blog to other bread bakers that I know.

    1. Hi Laurie,
      I think you must be Santa Claus. Your comment may be the best present I got over the last couple of days. Very encouraging! Thanks especially for the recommendations. If you ever have any questions, be sure to send them my way. I get the best ideas from my readers.

  11. I was wondering if you’ve ever tried to use some whole wheat flour with this bread. If so how much would you suggest?

    1. Hi Pat,
      I have not tried whole wheat in this recipe. However, I would recommend you start by substituting 1/2 cup of whole wheat for the same amount of bread flour. If that is successful, keep increasing it until the density is too much for your liking. That would be my recommendation for any recipe where you want to substitute whole wheat for bread or all-purpose flour.

    2. Joan Hiscock says:

      @Pat Hill, I use whole wheat and white combination in my bread all the time. My recipe is different than the one above. I have tried all combinations and I have found this to be the best recipe I have developed. I use 2 cups white flour, 1 1/2 cups whole wheat, 1 egg, 1 cup warm not hot milk, 1/4 cup melted butter, 1 tsp salt. 2 tsps yeast, 3 tbsp sugar. I put liquid in first, add dry ingredients and yeast last. I get a perfect loaf every time in a 9 x 5 pan.

  12. John Malndrino says:

    Hi Paula I have a Hamilton Beach bread maker it has 2 rise cycles. 30 minutes into the rise cycle it comes on again and knocks the dough down again then it rises for another 40 minutes. Your recipe calls for one rise then remove it from the pan, shape it and let it rise again. My question is should I remove the dough after the first rise then shape it and let it rise a second time or let the machine finish it’s cycle then shape and allow to rise a third time?

    1. Hi John,

      Good question. Most bread machines do indeed have two cycles of rising with the DOUGH function. If you are making bread from beginning to end with the REGULAR function, you would have three cycles of rising.

      For my recipes, let your bread finish the DOUGH cycle no matter how many rise cycles it has since those two cycles are fairly short. I hope that answers your question.

    2. John Malndrino says:

      @Paula, Thank you I will let you know how it goes.

  13. Thanks for this. Just about to try it out. Are your oven temperatures for fan assisted ovens?

    1. Good question. The temperatures given are not for a fan-assisted oven. As I’m sure you know, adjust backward 25˚F if using a convection oven.

  14. Pingback: Modish Taste Redirecting
  15. Okay, I just cut into this loaf of bread. I haven’t made it before but I can guarantee I’ll be making it again, and again, and again!! It is by far the BEST bread I’ve ever tasted!! Husband agrees…we don’t have to buy bread any more!! Thank You, Paula!!

    1. HIGH FIVE, Cherie! Great job.

  16. Paula
    This bread is amazing! I have made it several times in the past couple of weeks. Each time is better than before. I like the idea of letting the machine do the heavy lifting and still being able to make it my own. This latest loaf I used an egg wash to help the extra seeds stick to top of the loaf. It is a beauty to behold. Thank you again.
    Cheers, Mariette

    1. Good deal, Mariette. Sounds like you are becoming fearless and creative. Love it!

  17. This bread is amazing. I made it exactly by the recipe and I’ve made it twice now. I may never buy bread again!

    1. Fantastic, Debbie. Thanks for coming back to say so.

  18. Mo Duggan says:

    Hi
    Can I make this loaf with wholewheat bread flour?
    Best wishes
    Mo duggan

    1. Hi Mo,

      The answer to your question is, “quite possibly.” I have not done it so don’t know the exact proportions you should use. Oatmeal isn’t going to help provide gluten so you’ll probably want to use only a small amount of whole wheat and the rest bread flour. If you want to use a lot of whole wheat flour, you might consider adding some Vital Wheat Gluten. Otherwise, your loaf will most likely be small and dense. If you decide to try it, let me know how it goes.

  19. Hi Paula,
    I am new to your website and want to make the Oatmeal and Sunflower loaf, but I am in the UK and have Imperial measuring cups. As you said, the converters on the internet vary considerably in comparing weights, so please do you know what weight of bread flour is equal to 1 Imperial cup?
    I can’t wait to get started with using the Dough setting on my bread machine and finishing it off by hand!
    Many thanks,
    Joanna

    1. Hi Joanna, Glad you asked. I found this online. 360 grams flour equals 2.137 Imperial cups (284.131 ml).

      Let me know how it works out.

  20. Hi Paula
    Re: Oatmeal n Sunflower bread
    I am interested to bake this bread with my bread machine.
    However the amount of flours in recipes on the manual is max 250 gm.
    The measurements in your recipe is by cups.
    Please advise how to convert the portion with your recipe that works for my bread machine.
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Peggy,

      I think I can help. 1 cup of flour equals 120 grams in all my recipes. So in the Oatmeal & Sunflower Bread recipe, it calls for 360 grams. The oatmeal should also be counted into the flour amount. So this recipe would definitely be too much for your machine.

      Is your machine smaller than the standard size? Sounds like it might be. Perhaps you could cut the recipe in half.

      Just a note that if you bake this recipe in your machine, the shape of the loaf, the texture, and the crust will not be nearly as nice as it could be. Better to use the DOUGH cycle only, then bake it in your conventional oven.

      If you try it, I would love to hear how it turns out for you.

    2. @Paula,

      thank you for your response.
      Yes my machine is smaller than standard size. It has only one paddle in the middle.
      The capacity is max 280 g as stated in the manual.
      Will try it out with the bread machine as I do not have an oven.

  21. Having made and thoroughly enjoyed your lovely buttery dinner rolls, I moved on to make this Oatmeal-Sunflower bread, following your instructions to the letter, and finally baking it in the oven….something I hadn’t tried before. I have to say that I found your pics really helpful for comparison as I went along, and I am truly delighted with the result! This bread is so delicious, soft, yet nutty with the added sunflower seeds, and I’m sure it will become a huge favourite in our house. Thanks so much for your terrific site, and very detailed instructions. Now what shall I make next…..I’ll let you know, lol.

  22. I made the twisted cinnamon coffee cake yesterday. It turned out great. My bread maker is probably 20 years old. It’s a toastmaster and I don’t know if they make them anymore. I don’t bake in the bread maker I prefer the oven where I have more control. My next effort will be post bread and devote bread. Thank you for the microwave tip. It works really well

    1. That should read oat bread and white bread. Sorry about that lol

      1. If you haven’t already seen it, here is my best oat bread and white bread.

        I’m so glad the twisted cinnamon coffee cake worked out for you. It’s one of our favorites.

  23. May I know how to make this using kitchen aid / stand mixer please? Thanks.

    1. Ju,
      Thanks for asking. I have added the directions in the “Notes” of the recipe card. This is one of my favorite loaves. Hope you like it.

      1. Thanks Paula! I absolutely love it ?
        I tried it using my left-over-nobody-likes-to-eat homemade granola, and it turn out so nice that I can eat it eat the bread just by itself ?

        1. Great way to use a leftover. Better than throwing it out.

  24. I made this one too, on the same Monday I made the crusty rolls and french bread!!!! A bread baking frenzy ?
    I haven’t got enough amount of sunflower seeds, so top up with flaxseeds, melon seeds and sesame seeds. Turn out fantastically tasty! The ladies of my church cell group absolutely love it ?

    May I know if I can turn this recipe into making bread sticks?? How should I adjust the baking time?? Thanks.

    1. So happy to hear you are enjoying the bread recipes. I have not tried making breadsticks from either of those recipes. You might take a look at these garlic breadsticks to give you an idea.

      1. Thanks. Will try that out.

  25. Paula, you make some great suggestions! By chance, do you have a good banana/apple sweet bread recipe, thats tried and true? My kids absolutely love it. But I am a novice at this and had to throw out some loaves without getting a good result so far. Thank you in advance!

  26. Thank you so much for sharing this technique! I had tried several times to make a loaf work in my machine, and they all kept caving in. 🙁 I guess it was rising too much. Now that I am letting it rise until I know it’s ready, the bread is perfect! Just one question though…my bread is measuring at 205 degrees after only 25 minutes. The bread tastes great, but I’m wondering if it would be even better if I turn the oven down? How low would you go?

    1. Lori,
      Have you checked the temperature on your oven with an oven thermometer? Maybe your oven runs a little too hot. If so, make adjustments. If it is where it should be, I would remove the bread from the oven a few minutes earlier then 25 minutes. It’s also possible you are putting the thermometer a little too close to the edge of the pan and not in the middle of the loaf. However, if you like the way your bread is turning out and it doesn’t seem too dry, maybe you shouldn’t do anything. paula

  27. Thank you for getting back to me so quickly! I appreciate it 🙂 i have only tried a handful of recipes for my bread machine which although i’ve gotten great results so far both baking in and out of the mahine im kind of a nerd (Lol) and like to know reasoning behind each ingredient used and quantaties and what difference they make etc. but i suppose most bakers are like that and we love to experiment but i plan on making your bread this evening although without the seeds as i dont have an on hand (i do have flax seeds so i may try a couple tablespoons of those in there) but i will try the 1 1/2 tsp yeast to see how that works and if not i know i can up it to 2 for your results! Thanks again

  28. Hi, your bread recipe looks lovely! I have made bread by hand before and just recently bought a bread machine to help me out a bit and have been trying a few different recipes..anyway my question is most recipes i find and my Zojirushi manual instruct using only use 1 1/2 tsp. instant yeast per 3 cups of flour and i am wondering if there is a specific reason you use more yeast? Thanks in andvace 🙂

    1. Hi Stefany,
      Most of my recipes are “tried and true” and I know they work with 2 teaspoons. That’s not to say they might be even better with 1 1/2 tsp, but I haven’t tried it. I probably should experiment with that. Do whatever works best for you.

  29. Breanne Smith says:

    Thanks for the reply! I made my loaf in an 8×4. I could use the extra inch I am sure. Your microwave trick worked wonders. My bread making has been made so much easier thanks to you. Have a great night.

  30. Breanne Smith says:

    Hello,
    First I want to say thank you for the microwave+water tip. My house is almost always cold and rising takes forever. Hopefully this solves my problem. Second, I noticed two of your recipes for bread, this one and the white with condensed milk call for different bread pan sizes. The 8×4 and the 9×4. I plan on making mostly whole grain breads using my machine or at least trying to. Which pan size do you think would be best? Thanks!

    1. Breanne,
      My favorite pan for a 3-cups-of-flour bread recipe is 9 x 4″. It will hold 10 cups of water when filled to the very top if you want to compare with a pan you have. Whole grain bread doughs usually don’t rise quite as much as the white but I would probably still use the same 9 x 4 inch pan.

  31. Paula, I also ground the oatmeal to a flour. It required more liquid of course but it was so smooth 🙂

  32. I tried this bread tonight and not only did it taste fabulous, it also sliced very well! It takes patience to slice baked bread without an electric knife but I did it lol. I subbed out the butter for sunflower oil because that’s what I had, forgot to add my seeds so when I rolled it, I sprinkled chia seeds in the middle creating a slightly circular pattern in the slices which was neat. I got my fingers wet and spread it around the outside of the dough after I rolled and formed it and rolled it in mixed seeds. Worked perfectly actually. Thanks!! Loved the microwave rising tip. I will take that to my grave lmao

    1. Hi Jade,
      Love your idea of using chia seeds. How pretty! I’m going to try that on my next loaf.

  33. So I don’t knead the bread after it comes out of the bread machine? Just flatten into a rectangle & let rise the second time?

  34. THE IslandGirl...Sharon says:

    Awesome idea with the shower cap! I will have to remember to take them next time we are away! I’m an avid baker and never would have thought of that one.

  35. Can this be done without a bread maker? If so, would I just knead the bread and set it out to rise, and how many times should I knead it? Sorry! New to breadmaking!!

    1. Yes, Stacey. You can make almost any of my bread recipes by hand, if you prefer, or don’t have a bread machine. I can’t give you a hard and fast rule about kneading because everybody’s technique is different. Knead until the dough is smooth, shiny and elastic.

      1. So, I totally did not ask that question right!! Sorry! I’ve read in some recipes that you knead the dough, then set it out to rise for a set amount of time, and then punch it down again and set it out to rise a second time. That’s my question…How many times do I punch it down and let it rise? You see, I’m a MAJOR rookie when it comes to bread making!!

        1. I would knead the dough. Then shape it into a ball and put it in a bowl to rise – until it is about double the size. Then take it out and shape it as described above. Then put it in the pan and let it rise again – until it is 1″ above the pan (as described above). Hope this helps!

  36. I googled how to make a loaf after it has been mixed in my breadmaker and found this site. I made the the Oatmeal-Sunflower bread and it tasted awesome. The best bread I have made. I followed your photo guide explaining what to do after the dough was mixed. Excellent!! Thanks for posting this recipe and bread making guide for baking a loaf in the oven.

  37. Hi just been reading that you use the dough cycle on the bread machine and not the basic white loaf is that right because I’d love to try this

    1. Jess,
      You are correct. I almost never use anything but the dough cycle. Occasionally, you might get lucky and make a pretty good loaf that is BAKED in the bread machine but if you want a reliable and far superior method with a more predictable result, use your machine for mixing, kneading and rising ONLY. That is what is does best.

      1. Bhi do you have any more recipes I could try or know where I could get some

  38. Fabulous! I was so excited to learn how to make a SOFT, actual looking like bread, bread. I had been using my machine and the bread that came out was hard and compact although it tasted good. I really wanted that “real bread” look. Now, having accomplished this with your great recipe, I am on to try other breads with your recipe as a base. Can I make dough ahead of time and freeze it? At what stage do I need to freeze it? Do I need to let it rise again after it thaws, then bake it? Thanks!

    1. Hi Heather, Glad you found me. I guess you checked my recipe index where you can find lots more bread recipes. I have a recipe for cinnnamon bread and also, herb bread but have not published them yet. Perhaps in the near future.

      Re: freezing the dough, I don’t normally recommend it with homemade dough. The stuff you buy at the grocery store has been specially formulated for freezing, unlike most homemade bread. I prefer to freeze the finished product. Be sure to wrap securely and don’t let it stay in your freezer more than a month or two.

      1. Paula, shortly after I wrote my message I found the link to all the recipes. They look great! Cannot wait to try. My husband was so excited about how soft the bread was for his lunchmeat sandwich he takes to work. He was used to the bread maker’s tougher bread and hard crust. Thanks again, I made two loaves this past weekend.

  39. This was delicious! Had to beat the kids off with a stick so I could have some. 😉 Thanks so much!!

  40. I just finished making this loaf of bread and I am eating my first slice. It is absolutely fantastic. I love your tips and pictures. You clearly explained every step and totally nailed it. Thank you!

  41. Cindy Greiner says:

    This loaf of bread turned out wonderfully. Thank you for helping me solve my bread machine crust problem.

  42. Thank you so much for your answer, my husband and I have been eating this bread and it is good!!!!! thank you really

  43. Hello…. this looks delish, and only one question… when you said once the cycle is completed means once it proofs the first time in the machine then punch and remove to a floured surface… or does it means as soon at the machine beeps remove to a floured surface…. a bit confused here, thank you much!!!

    1. Grethel,
      You are right on the first one. Let the dough cycle complete which will mean the dough has risen once. Most machines will beep close to the end of the kneading portion when it’s time to add in nuts or raisins. Ignore that beep unless you want to add something like that.

  44. I just tried this tonight, and it turned out beautifully! In fact, it’s actually my first yeast loaf to really turn out. I may have just eaten half the loaf myself. 🙂

    1. Glad to hear it! Did I not warn you that fresh bread can be dangerous? 🙂

  45. Looks great! Can I use freshly milled whole wheat or would the recipe need to be altered?

  46. I made this bread last night, with minor adjustments, and absolutely fell in love with it! I love your use of the bread machine to knead it, and then baking. I am definitely inspired to not only make more, but buy less and less store bread. I am wondering though, what methods do you use to store it?

    1. Rikki,
      Storing homemade bread can be a challenge because it has no preservatives. Personally, I slice it, then put it into a plastic bag and then, into the freezer. I do this within 24 hours to maintain the freshness. Some recipes hold up better than others–bread with potatoes in it seems to stay fresh longest.

    2. Joe Wiecha says:

      Wow. Just wow. I bought a William Sonoma bread machine 15 years ago and put it away after making five or six bricks . I don’t really know why I decided to give it another try – but I’m so glad I found your site – and decided to give it another shot . I made the oatmeal white with sunflower seeds – and it’s unreal. It’s far better than what I’d hope for when I first bought the machine ! Thanks very much for your detailed and clear instructions. I’m looking forward to my next loaf/experiment!

      1. Hi Joe,
        Congratulations! Thanks for taking the time to write. You made my day!

  47. The bread recipe was heaven. Great technique using the microwave for the rise cycle. Would this make dinner rolls? The texture was so soft inside and the crust was devine. I ate the inside first and saved the crust for last. yum!

    1. Hi Connie,

      I haven’t tried it as dinner rolls, but I suspect they would be delicious. We used this bread for bacon and tomato sandwiches yesterday. So good!

  48. I love honey oat breads- the texture of this one looks perfect! The added crunch of the sunflower seeds adds a lot too, I’m sure. This is one I’d love to try with my bread machine doing the hard work 🙂

  49. This recipe looks and sounds delicious – thank you for it and all your good suggestions.

  50. Yeah, i was thinking of when you had your blog, quite awhile back, and just for the fun of it i typed it in, and wow I am so happy to see you back! Welcome back!

  51. stephanie says:

    Great post! Thank you for the great tips and recipe.