Basic Bread Making in 3 Easy Steps
No baking experience is necessary to use a bread maker, and most breads consist of just five main ingredients: liquid, flour, salt, yeast, and sweetener.
- Measure your ingredients and add them in the following order: liquids, oils or fats, dry ingredients, yeast (if called for).
- Select the settings for the type of bread you are making.
- Press Start.
That’s it. In as little as 1 hour, you can have a hot and delicious loaf of bread.
How Bread Machines Work
Once ingredients are added to a bread maker, they are combined and the dough is kneaded with a paddle that connects to the bottom of the bread pan.
After the first kneading is complete, a heating element provides just enough warmth for the dough to rise without baking it. Then a second kneading takes place, as does an additional rise for most bread maker cycles.
Finally, the bread maker bakes the bread to a light, medium, or dark crust depending on the selected setting.
Using Bread Machine Cycles
Bread Makers have a variety of pre-programmed cycles to accommodate everything from soft and sweet cinnamon bread to a loaf of crusty french bread. You can even make cakes and jam with a bread maker.
Differences in cycles include the amount of time needed for kneading, rising, and baking. Bread makers also have a dough setting that makes the dough but stops before baking it. This lets you bake it in a conventional oven or cook it on the grill (think grilled pizza).
How to Make Gluten-Free Bread in a Bread Machine
Many people are maintaining a gluten-free diet but still enjoy a fresh slice of hot bread. Buying gluten-free bread can be expensive, and commercially-produced gluten-free breads may not suit your tastes. By experimenting at home, you can create a loaf that fits your tastes and dietary needs by using any of the gluten-free mixes on the market – or create your own recipe using gluten-free flours. You can also try out our gluten-free bread recipes.
From the Test Kitchen: Top Bread Machine Recipes