6 Bread Machine Secrets You Need To Know is a helpful guide for all bread machine users, especially beginners. Whether you are just now unpacking a new machine or digging it out of the attic, don’t miss these hints from a bona-fide bread machine lover.
Sweet Milk White Bread mixed and kneaded in a bread machine, but baked in a conventional oven.
If Santa brought you a bread machine, you may be wondering where to start.
You could read the manual. (Just kidding! Who has time for that?)
Once you unpack and wash all the parts, here are a few recommendations you may or may not find in the manual.
6 Bread Machine Secrets You Need to Know–especially if you are a beginning bread baker
#1 START SIMPLE.
- (If you are already an experienced bread-maker, skip this one.) If you have never ever made bread before, use a bread machine mix from the grocery store and observe the consistency of the dough in various stages.
- Start with a simple recipe like pizza dough. This is my favorite recipe and it’s almost fool-proof. Try focaccia using the same recipe.
- Make a simple dinner roll or loaf of white bread as seen in the first picture above. Whole grain flours can be a little tricky so I suggest saving those until you’ve had a few successes with white flour.
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. Although experience is key, I’m hoping you’ll have beginner’s luck and your bread will turn out perfectly the first time.
#4 STICK WITH THE DOUGH CYCLE ONLY.
In case you haven’t read my blog before, I rarely–as in almost never–actually bake bread in my machine. I use the dough cycle to mix the ingredients and remove the dough to shape and then bake in a conventional oven.
This method gives me more control, more shaping options and a better crust on the finished product. If I’m going to ingest luxury calories, they better be worth it and bread actually baked in a bread machine rarely makes the cut in my book.
#5 INVEST IN QUALITY BAKE WARE AND ACCESSORIES.
If you want a nice crust on your bread, purchase good pans. I have suggestions. The last 3 items listed are really good if you are a serious bread-baker.
- 2 heavy-duty pizza pans with a dark finish (Check e-bay for these. Often sold off from defunct pizza restaurants.)
- 2 (8 or 9-inch with 2-inch high sides) heavy-duty cake pans with dark interior or gold finish
- 4×8-inch loaf pan for recipes containing approximately 3 cups of flour
- Instant-read thermometer–helps to gauge when bread is done
- Dough scraper
- Freebie shower caps–perfect for covering pans of formed dough for second rising
#6 ONE LAST WARNING…
If your house is cool, the dough in your machine may not rise to double in the time allotted by the dough cycle. Consequently, you may want to leave the dough in the machine to continue rising.
When the ambient temperature is really cool, consider moving your machine to a warmer spot in the house. Even though bread machines contain a heating element, the room temperature can make a huge difference in how fast the dough rises.
If you have a question or things aren’t working out like you hoped, leave me a comment and I will get back to you ASAP.
Happy bread baking from your friendly bread machine fanatic,