Search for recipes throughout
the entire site or select one of the recipe collections from
the drop-down menu on the search tool below:
|Known as the Bread Machine Maven, cookbook author
Lora Brody has written a number of books on the subject including
her most recent, Plugged In, The Definitive Guide to the 20 Best
Kitchen Appliances (William Morrow, 1998). Below are a few of
Lora's most helpful tips when using a bread machine.
How-To's & Tips Index
- Use top, fresh quality ingredients
such as unbleached, nonchemically treated flour made from hard
wheat that contains at least 12 grams of protein per cup. Check
the nutritional panel on the bag. (Remember this is given in
1/4 cups, so multiply by 4.)
- Use instant active dry yeast,
the rapid rising variety is not recommended. Brody notes both
SafInstant and Red Star are excellent brands.
- If you're using a delayed cycle,
don't use fresh eggs or any other perishable ingredient that
will sit for hours in the bread machine. Instead use powdered
eggs and milk or save those recipes for when you don't have to
use the delayed cycle.
- For the very best results open
the machine and check the dough during the first 5 to 10 minutes
of the first kneading cycle. Flour acts like a sponge and will
absorb moisture to varying degrees, depending on the humidity
and barometric pressure, so you may need to add more flour to
liquid to achieve a smooth, supple, soft ball of dough. If the
dough in the machine is either a wet, messy glob or a dry desert
and it hasn't yet begun the bake cycle, press Stop and add a
small amount of liquid or flour and press Start. Or cancel the
cycle and restart from the beginning. This will not affect the
- Sweet doughs will also benefit
from an extra rise in a cool place. Place the dough in a gallon-size
heavy-duty zippered plastic bag in the refrigerator for 2 to
- Very hot water or other liquids,
with temperatures above 115*F (45*C), will kill the yeast and
your bread won't rise. If you have to add things like melted
butter or toasted nuts let them cool before adding to bread dough.
- If the paddle sticks to the
shaft inside, try applying a little nonstick vegetable spray
next time -- before you add your ingredients to the pan.
- Use the Whole Wheat cycle for
breads containing not only whole wheat flour, but other heavy
flours, such as rye, cornmeal, and buckwheat.
- Use the French Bread cycle for
breads low in fat and sugar because these cycles have a shorter
knead time and a longer rise time to produce crisp crusts and
- Use the Sweet Bread cycle for
breads that are high in sugars and fat as well as ingredients
that might burn easily, or use it if you're having trouble with
thick, over baked crusts.
- If possible remove the pan from
the machine and the bread from the pan before the cool down cycle
starts. This will prevent soggy crusts. Cool for at least 20
minutes on a wire rack before slicing or the inside will be gooey
and raw looking.
- Take care not to add excessive
amounts of salt or sugar to your dough. Both will inhibit the
action of the yeast. Two other ingredients that can inhibit the
yeast's activity are fresh garlic and cinnamon.
- Raw tops are the result of bread
that has risen too high, hit the top of the machine, and sunk
back down. Try adding less yeast next time. Be sure to add salt
-- this will slow the rise as well.
- Unless your bread machine has
retractable mixing/kneading paddle(s), remove them immediately
after the last kneading. Doing so not only makes removing the
bread from the pan easier, it also greatly reduces the size of
the hole(s) left in the bottom of "bread machine" baked
Source: Some tips adapted from
Plugged In by Lora Brody (William Morrow, 1998)