A bread maker has different cycles and settings to help you bake the desired bread. It’s an appliance that makes baking bread easy, but sometimes choosing the proper cycle and setting can be confusing. Knowing the correct cycles and settings for the type of bread you want is essential when using your baking machine.
Fast2eat Bread Recipes show you which setting to use, but if you’re not using one of the Fast2eat recipes or your recipe doesn’t tell you which cycle to use, this post can help. It explains the most common bread machine cycles and settings for your convenience.
Use the “cake” setting on your bread maker for recipes that don’t use yeast, like quick bread or cake mix. Cakes are made with baking powder or baking soda, and you can use many types of cake recipes.
This setting doesn’t need rising time. Yeast bread needs rising time, so make sure to use the correct setting.
Cake setting tips and hints
These tips will help you make cakes in a bread machine.
- Use all-purpose flour, not bread flour.
- Read the recipe carefully, and use cake flour if it says so. Don’t substitute cake mix for cake flour. Suppose you substitute a cake mix for cake flour. In that case, you may be doubling ingredients in the recipe list and already incorporating them into the cake mix.
- Follow the recipe instructions for adding fruit, nuts, or other ingredients. If your machine has a fruit and nut hopper, use it; otherwise, add extras 5 minutes before the end of the second kneading cycle. There will often be an audible beep telling you to add these ingredients.
- Bread-machine cakes are usually tall and square, so you may want to slice them or use a smaller 1-pound loaf size. The sliced layering will also allow you to spread a filling between layers.
- Grease the pan and knead bars well with oil or shortening to ensure a smooth cake release after baking. If this is not done, the cake will stick. NEVER use cooking sprays to grease the pan as it can leave a residue, causing future sticking problems.
- Always use room temperature, softened butter or margarine to ensure even blending during the mix cycle. Also, cut the butter or margarine or solid vegetable shortening into small pieces for even blending. If refrigerated butter or margarine is used, it will not be incorporated into the mixture during the brief mix cycle.
- Scrape the sides of the pan with a spatula after 5 minutes of mixing with a silicone spatula to clean off any flour residue. Otherwise, a flour ring will be left. Do NOT turn the bread maker off or unlock or remove the pan to scrape sides during mixing. Scrape the sides while the machine is mixing.
- After the cake is ready, turn the bread maker off, unlock the pan and remove with oven mitts.
- Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing it. If not allowed to cool in the pan, the cake may stick.
- Use a silicone spatula to loosen it to ensure complete release.
- After removing the cake from the pan, let it cool on a rack before slicing.
Baking times may vary considerably among models.
On some models, you have to program the bake time for this “setting,” with others, it is automatically built into the “setting.”
Check for doneness
Check if the cake is cooked once the “Cake setting” is finished. A cake should be 95°C/205°F inside.
If you don’t have a thermometer, you can check by opening the lid and inserting a cake tester or toothpick in the centre of the cake. If it comes out clean, it is done. If it is wet, it needs more time. If needed, continue baking using the “Bake setting” and check every 5 to 10 minutes until it comes out clean.
Don’t cook it for too long as temperatures rise quickly towards the end of baking.
The cake cycle typically follows these steps:
The “knead” cycle distributes, mixes and moistens all the ingredients to become evenly distributed. During the “Knead” cycle, the blade rotates quickly and alternates clockwise and counterclockwise directions. It has an action that simulates hand kneading. The action of the mechanical kneading produces more friction than kneading by hand, very slightly warming the batter.
Scrape down the sides
I often look at the batter during the “Knead 1” cycle and scrape down the sides if there is a lot of flour in the corners of the pan.
The “Bake” cycle regulates the baking time and temperature according to the individual recipe, and no movement occurs in the bread pan. Baking times vary according to the loaf size and choice of setting. The proper temperature provides the heat necessary for the best oven spring.
When the cycle finishes, the bread pan, handle, paddle, and machine can be very hot.
Be careful and use potholders.
Choose the right setting to get the bread texture, colour, and flavour you want. Some commonly found setting options in a bread machine include:
- Basic (or Standard or White)
- Sweet (or Fruit & Nut)
- Whole wheat (or Whole Grain or Basic Wheat)
- French (or European or Crisp)
- Quick bake (or Quick or Quick yeast or Rapid or Turbo)
- ExpressBake™ (or One hour or Fast Bake)
- Cake (or Quick bread or Batter bread)
- Dough (or Bread Dough or Rise or Manual setting)
- Pizza dough
- Pasta dough
Note: Refer to your owner’s manual for your specific machine cycles.
Bread machine settings and cycles are easy to use once you are acquainted with your bread machine.
The most common bread machine cycles and settings explained above should help you get started, even if you don’t have your manual on hand.
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.
Have you made a Fast2eat Recipe? I love seeing your take on my recipe!