Are you curious about bread machines, or have a bread machine you don’t use? Consider 5 Remarkable Reasons Why I Love My Bread Machine. DO NOT MISS the recipe for Sweet Milk White Bread at the end of this post. It is my BEST recipe for a white bread sandwich loaf.
If you like what you read here, I’ve got a lot more bread machine secrets and recipe links at the end of this post to keep you busy for days.
In a nutshell:
This is how I use a bread machine to get dependable results…every time. Use the dough cycle for mixing, kneading, and the first rise. Remove dough, shape it, let it rise again, and finally, bake the bread in a conventional oven.
You may or may not have noticed most of the yeast bread recipes on this blog are written for a bread machine. Not only do I love how easily it makes bread, apparently, I don’t need to knead. The alleged therapeutic advantages of using my own two hands to work the dough are wasted on me.
My impatience rarely allows it and my penchant for quality bread demands the consistency of a bread machine. That being said, if you love making bread by hand or even with a stand mixer, far be it from me to try to talk you out of whatever works for you.
To me, kneading bread dough by hand is like riding a horse to work in the 21st century. Riding a horse is fun and a delight for the senses but it’s more trouble and takes longer. A certain level of physical fitness and skill is required and it’s a little scary for some of us.
On the other hand, using a bread machine is like driving a car. If you need to arrive quickly and on schedule (and look good doing it), most people would choose the speed and reliability of a car. Likewise, when you want homemade bread you can count on to be ready at meal time use a bread machine to mix and knead the dough. With practice, you can be expect good texture, height, and flavor,
Three Reasons I Don’t Even Like To Eat Bread Baked in a Bread Machine:
- I’m not fond of strangely shaped bread and/or an unsightly hole in the bottom where the blade inserted.
- The crust is too often thick and tough.
- More often than not, I want dinner rolls or some kind of specialty shape so actually baking in a bread machine is not a choice.
So here we go…5 Remarkable Reasons Why I Love My Bread Machine:
1. Simple assembly. Simple clean-up.
2. Less hands-on time.
3. Bread rises higher and texture is finer.
(See post by King Arthur Flour for similar experiment and results)
4. Minimal attention required.
No need to change blades or mixing speeds. No need to grease a bowl, find a cover, or look for a warm place for the proofing stage. The bread machine takes care of it automatically. A peek or two under the lid about 5-10 minutes into the dough cycle is all that’s necessary.
For this reason alone, I prefer a bread machine over a stand mixer although a Kitchen Aid will do a nice job once you get the hang of it.
5. Bread machines have useful timers.
You can do cool things like having My Favorite Pizza Dough ready to roll out when you walk in the door from a long day at work. For example, I often throw ingredients for My Favorite Dinner Rolls into the bread machine pan before church. Upon arriving home 2-3 hours later, the risen dough is ready to form into the shape of my choice.
Do you still have questions?
1. The times I tried to make bread in a bread machine, it turned out like a brick. Who needs it?
In a nutshell, using the automatic cycle on a bread machine from start to finish is fraught with pitfalls. You may get lucky and it works. Nevertheless, it often doesn’t. I don’t care for the odds so I choose to take more control.
2. Which bread machine should I buy?
Check out this post about choosing a machine: Choosing the Right Bread Machine
3. I already have a bread machine but I need some good recipes. What do you recommend?
Get your machine out and try the recipe for the bread shown in this post. Sweet Milk White Bread is our absolute favorite for a sandwich or a munching loaf. Alternatively, go to my recipe index where I have over 50 recipes designed for a bread machine.
Sweet Milk White Bread
- 7 ounces water
- 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 cups(+) bread flour
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- Add ingredients to bread pan in order listed.
- Select Dough Cycle and start. Raise lid and check dough after about 5-10 minutes. Add flour one tablespoon at a time, if necessary, until dough reaches correct consistency. It should come together in a ball that sticks to side of pan, then pulls away. If dough thumps against the side of pan, add warm water 1 tablespoon at a time. If dough is thin enough to level out, add flour 1 tablespoon at a time till dough starts to form a slightly sticky ball.
- Remove dough from pan at the end of the dough cycle and place on lightly floured board. Roll into rectangle. Roll up and tuck ends to fit into greased 4 x 8 inch loaf pan. Let rise till dough is 1 inch above top edge of pan in the middle.
- Bake at 375 for 35-45 minutes. Interior should reach 190 degrees. Place a foil tent over bread half-way through baking to protect from over-browning. Allow to cool 15 minutes before turning out to cool completely. Best if you wait at least two hours before slicing so loaf will hold its shape without squishing with the pressure of a knife.
- Zojirushi BB-PDC20BA Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus Breadmaker, 2 lb. loaf of Bread, Stainless Steel/Black
- King Arthur Flour Unbleached Bread Flour, 5 Pound (Packaging May Vary)
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Serving Size:1 slice
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 175 Total Fat: 3g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 7mg Sodium: 202mg Carbohydrates: 32g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 7g Protein: 5g
Just so you know, I don’t work for any bread machine companies or receive any perks for talking about them with the exception of the Amazon links to my favorite bread machine which does provide a very small commission to anyone who follows the link and buys it from Amazon.
P.S. Now you see why I eat vacuum-packed salad almost every day for lunch. If only a bread machine could remove calories….