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Bread Machine Baking Tips

Bread Machine Baking Tips to help you get the most out of your bread machine, no matter which type you have. Also includes links to delicious recipes!

If you’ve got a bread machine and you’ve ever wondered why your bread didn’t rise, or had substitution questions, or just needed general troubleshooting, I hope you find some answers here! My bread machine has gotten a workout over the years, and along the way I’ve learned a few things so I thought I would share them with you!

bread machines make bread making so easy!

They really do. There’s just something so fantastic about being able to add all of the ingredients for bread into a machine, then letting it do all the hard work of kneading and rising (and baking if you bake in the machine). It’s basically fuss free, and the results are delicious! Most of the time I let my bread machine make the dough, then I shape it into what I want at the time, whether it be a loaf, buns, dinner rolls or cinnamon buns, then I bake them in my oven. I just love the flexibility of this. Fresh baked bread without all the fuss!

Bread Machine Ingredients + Tips

Now let’s get to it! Here is some general information and a few tips about the ingredients used in bread machine recipes:

  • Important! Have ingredients at room temperature. Yeast cannot grow if the ingredients are too cold or too hot.
  • Substitutions: Don’t make any, unless the recipe gives you specific suggestions.
  • Measure ingredients accurately.
  • Add the ingredients in the order that they are listed in the recipe. Making sure that when you add the yeast, it’s not touching any liquid or oats.
  • Flour: I always use all-purpose flour or bread flour, unless otherwise stated. Don’t try to substitute any different flours in recipes, instead find the correct recipe for the flour you wish to use.
  • Yeast: Use fresh Instant Yeast: also called Bread Machine Yeast and Rapid Rise Yeast.
  • Adding yeast: Make sure to add the yeast into a small well/divot in the flour. Don’t let it touch any liquid or oats.
  • Milk: You can use 1%, 2% and whole milk. Some recipes also use buttermilk. All liquids should be at room temp, or even slightly warm (which I prefer).
  • Butter: You can use salted or unsalted butter, at room temperature, it does not have to be melted.
  • Eggs: Use large eggs, at room temperature. You can put whole eggs into a bowl of warm water to warm them up beforehand.
  • Pay attention to loaf sizes in the recipes, vs. what size the basket is in your machine. Standard loaf sizes are 1.5 to 2.0 lb loaves.
close up of a loaf of oatmeal bread

Bread Machine Tips:

check the dough!

If there’s one thing I MUST recommend, it’s to check the progress of your bread dough, especially at the beginning of the cycle while it is being mixed and kneaded (within the first 5 minutes or so). Are all of the ingredients being mixed in properly? Do you need to push ingredients down off the side of the dough basket? Is the dough looking too dry or too wet? It’s much easier to fix bread dough as it’s being mixed and kneaded, instead of trying to fix it when the bread dough cycle is finished. See the FAQ section below for answers to these questions.

let it rise.

Follow the recipe instructions and make sure you allow enough time for the bread dough to rise. The biggest factors in rising, is the right air temperature, and length of time needed. Warm air is a must for rising. I have a proofing setting on my oven which I use and love! But you can also create a ‘proofing environment’ in your oven oven: preheat your oven to 115 degrees FAHRENHEIT, then turn the oven off once it reaches that temperature. Cover the dough in the pan with a damp tea towel, then place it into the oven and let it rise. If the dough doesn’t look like it has risen quite enough, leave it a little longer, maybe 15 – 30 more minutes.

a top down image of an English Muffin Loaf rising in a bread pan

baking bread:

  • Bake in Oven: My favourite way to use my bread machine is to use it for making the dough, but then I prefer to shape the dough the way I like, and bake it in my oven. Choose the ‘Dough Cycle’ for this.
  • Bake in Bread Machine: You don’t have to bake the bread in the bread machine, but if you do, consider removing the paddle inside the machine first so it doesn’t bake into the bottom of the loaf and make a big hole.

Bread Machine FAQs

First and foremost, make sure you use room temperature ingredients and you added the yeast! Now, if your dough hasn’t risen well, try moving it to a more warm location and let it rise longer. My favourite way to do the final proof for bread is to preheat my oven to 115 degrees FAHRENHEIT, then turn the oven off. Then I place my dough in the pan, into the oven and let it rise. If your oven has a ‘Proof’ setting, you can also use that…our oven does and I love this setting.

Yes, you can open the lid. I actually recommend looking at your dough within the first 5 – 10 minutes of mixing, to make sure all of the ingredients are mixing together. Sometimes ingredients get stuck up out of the range of the mixing, and I’ve had to open the lid and push them down. Just don’t keep the lid open too long…work as quickly as you can.

Add a little extra milk to the cycle. If the cycle is over, you will have to mix it in by hand or use the bread hook in a stand mixer.

Add a little extra flour to the cycle. If the cycle is over, you will have to knead it in by hand or use the bread hook in a stand mixer.

This happens to me all the time…sometimes I just get busy and distracted! Once the dough has completed its rising cycle, remove it from the bread machine and knead in the fruit/nuts. Then cover it with a tea towel and let it rise again in a warm area of your kitchen for about 30 more minutes.

Yes! Yes, you read that right. Weather and the time of the year can matter when it comes to making dough in your bread machine. If it’s a hot humid summer day, your dough may require more flour or rise too quickly. If it’s a dry, cold winter day, you may need to add more milk/water or your dough may not rise well.

now let’s make bread!

I hope you found this information useful in your bread machine baking endeavours! If you have any other questions, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer! Now that you’ve got some tips and you’re ready to roll, here are some delicious bread machine recipes to try:

Follow us on Pinterest for more delicious recipe ideas! We’re also on Instagram and Facebook!

With love, from Our Tasty Kitchen!


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  1. Hi Jo, thanks for these very good tips! We’re thinking it’s time we started making bread (shocking), so I’m wondering what kind of bread machine works best.


    1. Thanks Mom! I love my bread machine so much, I hope you get one! We had an Oster that we used for years (it was a wedding present) and it was amazing, I would definitely buy one from that brand. I did receive a new one, a Cuisinart, and it’s great too!

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