If I have to pick my favorite kitchen invention in the last couple of decades, it would be the bread machine. Could you imagine that such a small machine could bake a whole loaf of bread? I know it's made my life a lot easier.
Bread Machines bake bread in 2 to 4 hours. Two-hour loaves are done on a rapid cycle. Regular bread bakes in about 3-1/2 to 4 hours. Use the fruit and nut cycle for bread with add-ins like fruits, nuts, cheese and so on. The machine will beep in 30 to 40 minutes after you've started it. This is when the extra ingredients are added. Loaves of bread that take 4 hours are generally heavier, like whole wheat breads.
How the Bread Machine Makes Bread
- Read the recipe.
- Place the ingredients in the machine according to manufacturers' instructions.
- Push a couple of buttons.
Most machines will:
- Warm the ingredients to bring them to an even temperature.
- Knead twice.*
- Allow the dough to rise.
- Mix dough again.
- Allow to rise again.
- Then bake the dough.
*Rapid rise loaves only knead once.
Top Three Ways Bread Machine Bread is Ruined
- Not reading the recipe.
- Adding too much flour.
- Not having fresh yeast.
My Favorite Bread Machine Tips
- Early in the day, I get the machine ready to go. So the bread is done for dinner.
- Before going to bed, I'll set-up the bread machine. Everyone loves waking up to freshly baked bread for breakfast.
- I use freshly baked bread to make a meal of leftovers not seem so leftover.
- Adding a loaf of bread to a light dinner like big salads or soup make it seem like a bigger dinner.
You Can Make Bread Anytime
Just keep these items on hand:
- Bread Machine Flour
- Dry Milk
- Bread Machine Yeast
- Variety of Spices