Different brands have different settings and offer a variety of features. Some bread makers may be similar, but you always have to go back to the basics to be safe—that is; reading the manual. After getting to know your machine and how it’s supposed to work, then you can get going. Follow these hassle-free steps and get ready to rock and bake.
1. Find out the capacity of your bread machine. If the manual says it can make 1 pound of loaf with the machine, then you’ll need less than 10 cups of water for it. If it says it produces 1.5-pound of loaf, then you need 10 cups. If you’re about to make a 2-pound loaf, you’ll need 12 cups.
2. Familiarize the settings. Most bread machines have pre-programmed settings. These menus usually allow you to make white or basic bread, wheat bread, sweet bread, french bread, and dough. Most of the high-quality bread makers have 10 or more programmed choices. Others also allow you to choose the color of your crust; they can be light, medium, or dark. Other machines also have delayed timers and allows you to save your own recipes.
3. Clean your machine before using it. We’re talking about food here and you need to think about safety before putting any bread in your mouth. Don’t forget to carefully clean it according to the instructions in the manual to avoid breaking it before even using it.
4. Get your ingredients. Make sure your ingredients—yeast, water, flour, eggs, butter, etc.—are stored at room temperature. Measure them properly and precisely. No more. No less. Inaccurate measurements will affect the taste, texture, and even the appearance of your loaf. Sugar, honey, and other sweeteners actually soften the dough’s texture and the finished loaf. They also provide the brownish color and the crispness of its crust.Add your ingredients in the right order. Usually, wet ingredients are put first. Afterwards, add the flour, then other dry ingredients, and lastly, the yeast. But the order depends on the brand of the machine. Like I said, read the manual and don’t experiment on your own at first try.
5. Choose your setting. Now that you’re familiar with your bread maker’s pre-programmed setting, it will be easier for you to know what to select. If the cycle doesn’t already come pre-programmed with time, you have to set your own time. Basic or white bread will take about 1-3 hours. Again, your manual is your best friend in this journey.
6. 3B is for Begin Baking Bread! Don’t be shy to press the start button. Some machines wait for the ingredients to come to the correct temperature but others don’t. It should start mixing once you push the button. Using your viewing window, you can check the dough. If it’s sticking to the sides, scrape the dough with a spatula. Adding the fruits and nuts should be done after the kneading cycle or just before the final kneading cycle. Most bread machines have an alarm that will remind you to add the fruits and nuts at the perfect time to avoid being crushed.
7. Remove the kneading blade. Take it out once the kneading is done. It may get stuck to the bottom of your baked bread and leave a hole.
8. Remove the bread and let it cool down. Do not make a mistake by slicing it immediately. You can place it on a cooling rack to let water molecules escape, allowing the inside of your bread to be soft and moist but not mushy. Then slice it after the recommended time. Usually, it takes 30 minutes to cool down.
Remember to decide the loaf size ahead to avoid leftovers. If you ever have leftovers, don’t place them in the refrigerator. It will draw out all the moisture leaving you with stale bread. Also, consume them within two days as freshly-baked bread isn’t like the ones you can buy in stores.
Still looking for more information on bread machines? No problem! We have the perfect bread machine guide for you.