Bread maker’s basic steps & functions

Bread maker's basic steps & functions

Creating delicious recipes doesn’t need to take up a lot of time or effort. Look at the recipe and follow this Bread maker’s basic steps & functions guide.

Note: Depending on the cycle or recipe you are using, some steps may not apply, or there may be additional steps. You should refer to the specific recipe and settings & cycles instructions to know what steps apply or if there are any extra ones.

Preparing your bread maker

Put the bread maker on the counter, away from heat, cooking grease, or water. Ensure it won’t fall over and is at least 10cm/4″ from the edge of the countertop. If you put it under a cabinet, make sure you can open it without hitting it.
Don’t plug it in yet. Wait until you put the bread pan with ingredients in it.

1. Open the lid and remove the baking pan

To prevent spillage, remove the baking pan before putting in the ingredients. Hold the handle and pull it straight up or turn it, depending on your model.
Be careful not to shake or tilt the pan, which could damage the temperature sensor.

Remove Pan

2. Position the kneading paddle on the drive shaft

First, ensure no leftover dough is on the pan and shaft. If the pan or blade isn’t clean, use mild soap to clean and dry the pan completely. Match the shapes of the kneading blade (a) and baking pan (b), and twist it if needed. Ensure the blade is securely set.
Only put the pan into the bread maker after adding all the ingredients (step 3).

Position the kneading paddle

3. Measure and place ingredients into the bread pan

To make bread in a bread maker, follow the recipe’s instructions. Or follow the instructions in the bread maker’s manual. Most machines require adding ingredients in this order: 1 Liquid, 2 Dry and 3 Yeast. 
Be very careful when measuring ingredients. Inaccurate measurements, even small mistakes, can change the outcome.

Ingredients Order

Liquids temperature

NEVER use very hot or very cold water. Use lukewarm liquids when making bread dough unless a recipe states otherwise. For most yeast recipes, liquids between 27-32°C/80-90°F should be used. If making a quick/rapid/express recipe (1 to 1:30 hours), use hotter liquids around 43-46°C/110-115°F.

4. Place the baking pan into the bread maker and close the lid

Carefully insert the bread pan into the bread maker until it snaps securely into place. Gently close the lid. Ensure you install the baking pan correctly; otherwise, the kneading blade won’t work.

Insert Pan

5. Connect the plug to an outlet

Connect the power cord to the wall. You’ll hear a beep as the display turns on.

6. Press the “Menu Select” button

Select the correct cycle setting by pressing the “Menu Select” button. You will hear a beep when you press the button, and the number in the display window will change to the next option matching your bread. The bread settings will automatically combine ingredients, knead, and make bread from beginning to end.

Note: Refer to your owner’s manual for your specific machine cycles.

7. Settings options

Bread machines have different options for making bread, like how big the loaf should be, how dark the crust is, if you want to delay the baking, or if you need it to bake faster. These options let you make the perfect loaf to meet your need or taste preferences.

Loaf size

Press the “Loaf Size” button to choose your desired size, and the screen will show which size you picked. The most common sizes are 1 lb., 1.5 lb., 2 lb, or 2.5 lb. Important: Ensure you do not exceed your bread machine’s capacity, as it can overflow or spoil the machine.

Some cycle settings don’t allow you to change the loaf size, including Gluten-free, Quick/Rapid, Express, Cake, Bake, Dough, and Jam.

Crust colour

If available, press the “Crust Colour” button to choose the crust colour you want. The machine will beep, and the display window will show your selected colour.

Some machines offer light, medium, or dark crust options, while others have only light or regular settings.  It’s important always to check to see if the bread is fully cooked. If your bread has many grains or sweeteners, choose the light crust option to prevent it from quickly browning. For a crispy crust, select the dark option.

Note: Usually, the “Crust Colour” option cannot be activated for the following cycles: Gluten-free, Quick/Rapid, Express, Cake, Bake, Dough, and Jam.

Delay time

You can choose when the program finishes by setting the elapsed time using the “Delay time” button if desired. Be careful! If a recipe has milk, eggs, cheese, butter, bacon, fresh veggies, or other perishable ingredients, don’t delay it for more than 1 hour for food safety reasons.

The delay time feature lets you put ingredients in the machine and start baking later, which helps prepare meals before work or bedtime. It also allows you to have fresh bread for breakfast.

You can’t use the delay timer for bread that needs to cook in under an hour or cake settings because it could affect how the bread rises or spoil the eggs in the cake. The delay timer also cannot be used for making jam, gluten-free bread, or the quick/rapid setting.

To get the best results with the “Delay timer,” don’t let the yeast touch the salt or any liquid in the bread pan.
If the yeast touches the salt, it won’t rise properly.
If it touches the liquid, it will start working before it’s time to mix.

Note: the delay timer is the time it takes to make the bread plus the delayed time. The display shows the time until the end of the set time. For example, if it is 8:00 A.M. and you want bread ready for dinner at 6:00 P.M., that is 10 hours.

Rapid option

If you’re in a hurry and need to make bread quickly, use the “Rapid” setting on some bread machines.

This rapid option can shorten the time to make bread by about an hour, but the bread might be shorter and denser than if you used a more extended setting.

Adapting the recipe to use with the “Rapid” baking option

You can use the “Rapid” baking option for most recipes. When using rapid option, use Instant Yeast instead of Active Dry Yeast based on the size of the bread.

  • For a 1 lb (454 g) loaf size (about 2 1/2 cups of flour) substitute active dry yeast for 2 teaspoons of instant yeast 
  • For a 1.5 lb (680 g) loaf size (about 3 cups of flour) substitute active dry yeast for 2 1/2 teaspoons of instant yeast 
  • For a 2 lb (907 g) loaf size (about 4 cups of flour) substitute active dry yeast for 3 teaspoons of instant yeast 
  •  For a 2.5 lb (1135 g) loaf size (about 5 cups of flour) substitute active dry yeast for 3 1/2 teaspoons of instant yeast 

8. Press the “Start/Stop” button

To begin, press the Start button. The timer will start counting down, and the bread maker will beep with “0:00” when it’s finished. You must cancel the current one if you want to change the setting. To do this, press and hold the “Start/Stop” button for 2-3 seconds. Remember not to touch the bread maker while baking, as it gets very hot, and never place anything on top of it, as this could cause damage.

Some machines have a “Pause” button, but not all. This button lets you stop a process and then continue from where you left off. Pushing “Stop/Reset” will cancel the entire process.

9. Check the consistency of the dough ball

This is the most important step!!!

The texture of the dough can change with humidity, the type of flour, its moisture content, and the brand. It’s a good idea to open the bread machine’s lid, usually during the first 5-10 minutes of the second kneading cycle, to check the dough. You can only do this while the machine is kneading, and it won’t hurt the dough.
For good dough, it should be smooth and soft to the touch, leave a little residue on your finger, and the bread pan should be clean. If it’s too dry, add a little warm liquid teaspoon by teaspoon. If it’s too wet, add some flour tablespoon by tablespoon. Never remove the bread pan while adjusting the dough; do not turn off the machine.

You can open the lid to check the dough while it’s being mixed and kneaded to check the dough ball, but once it’s in bake mode, keep the lid closed, so the bread doesn’t get ruined. If you keep opening the lid, heat will escape, and the bread maker may not adjust the time to offset that. Don’t try to change the cycle to make up for it. Also, don’t open the bread maker to smell the bread. Just wait until it’s done baking. The bread maker has a window to watch the progress of the bread.

Note: During the kneading cycle, yeast will activate, and the viewing window may begin to fog. It will clear after some time so you can view the progress.

If there is flour on the sides of the pan

To clean the flour from the sides of the pan, use a silicone spatula. If you notice dry bits at the bottom and wet dough on top of the dough ball, use the spatula to push them to the centre. It ensures the dough ball picks up these bits while moving around the pan.

10. Add beep

There might be a beep sound when kneading when making bread with a machine. You can add raisins, nuts, and chocolate chips while it mixes lightly. It will help if you add flour to the raisins to mix better.
If the extras don’t mix well after kneading, remove the dough and do it by hand before putting it back.
If your machine doesn’t beep or has a dispenser, add extras 5-10 minutes before the kneading cycle ends. Check your manual to find out how long the kneading cycle is.
Add extras at the beginning if you want to change the bread’s colour or taste.

Some machines have an “Automatic Fruit and Nut Dispenser,” which will release its contents (like raisins or nuts) 8-10 minutes before the kneading process ends. This happens even if you didn’t put anything in before.

Also, some machines have a setting you can use to add fruit and nuts specifically, and it may be called “Fruit and Nut,” “Raisin Mode,” or “Mix Bread setting.”

11. Finishes and toppings (optional)

In some recipes, you need to lift the lid to add more things like nuts, fruits, or glaze. Brush the top with egg wash or any other glaze before or after cooking to glaze the loaf.

12. When the baking cycle is complete, an alert will sound

The bread maker will sound and display “0:00” when done. Push the “Start/Stop” button. Use oven mitts to take out the bread. Don’t put your face near the lid because of the hot steam. Be careful because the pan and bread will be very hot. Always use oven mitts to protect yourself. Don’t put the bread maker on a surface like a tablecloth that could get damaged from heat.

Remove Pan

Keep Warm

To prevent your bread from getting gummy and soggy, remove it from the bread maker as soon as it’s done baking. Though some machines have a “Keep Warm” mode, it’s only a short-term solution, so avoid leaving your bread there.

You can take out the baking pan anytime during “Keep-Warm”. To turn off the “Keep-Warm,” hold the “Start/Stop” button for 2-3 seconds. If you forget, the machine will turn off itself after 60 minutes. 

Remember to unplug the machine when finished and not leave it plugged in when not used.

The “Keep Warm” option is unavailable for Bake, Dough, Pasta Dough, Bagel Dough, Pizza Dough and Jam.

13. Turn the bread maker off and unplug the bread maker

To turn off the bread maker, hold down the “Start/Stop” button for 2 to 3 seconds. Then, unplug it from the wall.

The bread maker needs to cool down before making another loaf. If you want to make another loaf immediately, turn off the machine and let it cool for 10 to 20 minutes with the cover open and the pan removed.

14. Remove the bread from the baking pan

Use a silicone spatula to gently loosen the bread from the pan, but never use a metal or hard utensil because it could scratch the pan. Flip the pan and shake it gently until the bread comes onto a wire rack.
The pan has a special finish that makes it non-stick, so the bread should come out easily. If the bread is too soft to come out easily, turn off the machine, unplug it, and open the lid. Let the bread sit with the lid open for 5 to 10 minutes, then try again.

The bread and pan will be hot, so use oven mitts to take them out.

Remove Bread

Check for the blade when removing the loaf

After baking bread, the kneading blade may still be inside, and you should check for it. If it is there, take it out before you cut the bread. You can use a special tool or a non-metal utensil such as a chopstick to do this. Don’t use a knife or other metal object, as it might scratch the kneading blade.
Remember to be careful, as the blade may still be hot.
If the blade is stuck to the bottom of the pan, you can try pouring warm water in to loosen it.

15. Allow bread cool before slicing

Let the bread cool completely for its best texture and flavour. Bread is not fully baked until cool and excess moisture has evaporated from the inside out. The crust will also soften as it cools.

Do NOT leave the bread on the breadboard to cool; it can result in a soggy bottom, while the top is okay. After baking the bread, flip it over on a wire rack and wait 15 minutes before cutting it. Cooling the bread on a wire rack is necessary for the perfect texture. By placing the bread on the rack, air can circulate around the loaf, preventing moisture from accumulating at the bottom and keeping the edges soft.

16. Slicing the bread

Wait before cutting the bread. If you cut it too soon, you will ruin the bread. Use an electric or serrated knife to slice the bread evenly without squashing or tearing it.

Caution: Be sure to remove the kneading paddle from the bread before slicing it.

17. Storing the bread

After the bread cools, wrap it tightly in plastic or a container and leave it at room temperature for up to 3 days. You can freeze it for longer.
Remember not to keep the bread in the fridge, or it’ll dry quickly. Also, don’t freeze it and thaw it in the refrigerator because that could also cause it to dry out.

Wait 2 hours to cool down the bread before you wrap it, or it might become soggy.

18. Cleaning the bread maker

Remember to clean the inside of the baking chamber well after every use. If you put too many ingredients and the bread maker overflows, open it and clean it after you finish making it.

Let the bread maker cool down before cleaning it.


Bake only function

The “Bake” setting on your machine can be used to bake or brown bread or cakes. Using this setting, you can bake your bread again if it’s not done enough, if the crust is too light, or if your sweet bread or cake is undercooked. You can also use it if there’s a power outage and you must finish baking your bread. And it works with any pre-made or store-bought dough, too!
Here’s how to use it: 1. Press the “Menu Select” button to choose the “Bake” setting. 2. Some machines allow you to adjust the time for up to 1 hour using the up and down buttons. 3. Press the “Start/Stop” button to start baking.
Check your bread every few minutes to ensure it’s baking correctly.

This article is part of “How to bake awesome bread

I hope my easy tips will give you the confidence to step into the kitchen and prepare delicious meals to eat with a handful of close friends.

Thank you so much for reading, commenting, following and sharing.

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