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.
Gluten-free cycle setting
Bread makers can make gluten-free bread too. Some models have a particular cycle setting option for it. Use that option when making gluten-free bread.
Gluten-free bread requires less rising time but still needs the rise time.
If your bread maker does not have the “Gluten-free” setting
If it allows you to create a custom “setting,” I suggest the following times for the gluten-free setting with a total of 2 hours and 10 minutes:
- 5 minutes – mix
- 10 minutes – knead
- 60 minutes – rise
- 55 minutes – bake
If it does NOT allow you to create a custom “setting,” I suggest you use a “Quick yeast bread” setting (also known as “Rapid” or “Turbo” or “Quick bake” or just “Quick”) or “Basic” with the rapid option since these doughs require less rising time.
When making gluten-free bread, ensure all the ingredients you use say “gluten-free.”
Just because something says “wheat-free” doesn’t mean it’s also gluten-free.
Read all the labels carefully.
Gluten-free setting tips and hints
When using the “Gluten-free” setting on your bread maker, there are a few things you should know that are different from the other settings:
- It’s best to use ingredients at room temperature.
- To ensure proper blending, you need to whisk the liquid ingredients separately before adding them to the bread maker.
- When using the “Gluten-free” setting on most bread maker brands, you cannot adjust the crust colour or size.
- After 6 minutes of kneading, use a silicone spatula to wipe any flour off the sides of the pan. Do not remove the pan from the machine. KEEP it locked in the machine while cleaning the flour from the sides.
- Close the lid and let the cycle complete (do NOT open the lid anymore). Let the machine complete the cycle, and it will mix and bake the bread.
Gluten-free bread recipes
Adapting for the “dough setting.”
The gluten-free 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 dough. As the dough is worked, the flour particles absorb the liquid, and the dough becomes more compact. The top surface will be smooth. A dough ball will form. However, the gluten-free dough should be more liquid than other dough made with wheat flour.
Scrape down the sides
I often look at the dough during the “Knead 1” cycle and scrape down the sides if there is a lot of flour in the corners of the pan.
Checking the ball dough
Humidity, the way the flour is measured and the moisture content of the flour affects dough consistency. For this reason, you may wish to check the dough approximately 5 minutes into the “Knead 2” cycle.
I cannot stress this enough to avoid surprises!!! Follow the method described in check the dough ball.
Note: The gluten-free dough should be more liquid than other dough made with wheat flour.
On many machines, a signal, such as a beep, is late in the kneading process. So you can add ingredients such as raisins, dried fruit, nuts, chocolate chips, chopped candied fruit, and seeds just in time to have them mixed lightly into the dough. This way, the extras are not overmixed or pulverized during the vigorous blade action of the kneading cycle of the “setting.”
Some machines with the “Automatic Fruit and Nut Dispenser” don’t have a beep and will automatically release their contents 8-10 minutes before the “knead 2 “cycle ends, regardless of whether it has been loaded.
Gluten-free bread requires less rising time, but still needs the rise time. Rising is essential to the flavour of the bread. During this cycle, no movement occurs in the bread pan, and a remarkable transformation occurs; a firm, heavy dough ball changes into a puffy mass that increases in size. The temperature inside the machine is about 27-34°C/80-93°F during the rising cycles.
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. The “Basic” setting bakes in the middle range. The “Sweet setting” is the lowest, and the “French” is the highest.
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!